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Man sometimes you just go over the top.

Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Tycho Brahe, Newton, Huyghens, Boyle, Haller, Mariotte, the Bernoullis, Euler, and Linné, and hundreds of other, less famous Christians (and non Christians) built modern science. These men were spiritually nurtured and in many cases directly financed by the Church.

The Church continues to finance and encourage serious experimental science. Nicolaus Copernicus was a priest, Mendal was a monk. The Vatican Observatory is one of the oldest astronomical institutes in the world.

The Belgian priest Georges Lemaître came up with the "Big Bang" theory. Many of the most serious refutations of "Intelligent Design" have come from Vatican Scientists. Jesuit Scientists are so famous 35 different Lunar creators are named after them.

The Catholic Church runs more large research (and small serious) universities than any other single organization. Science as you know it would not exist without the Christians.

"Science as you know it would not exist without the Christians."

That's not what was asked. Many scientists were (and are) Christians, that is undisputed. But what was asked was what contribution Christianity (i.e. the system of beliefs) made to science. In other words, there is a correlation between Christianity and science (in that science really got going in Christian Europe), but is there a causation? Did Christianity (the belief system) contribute to the development of science, or was it an irrelevant incidental?

To illustrate, many of the most evil dictators of the 20th century had moustaches -- e.g. Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, and Saddam. But I am confident that their moustaches did not cause their evil. Similarly, many of the 'Greats' in science were Christians, but it remains to be seen whether their Christianity had any more to do with their scientific careers than Hitler's moustache had to do with his evil.

"I approve this poodle"

best part

I'm NOT christian, but I think I can contribute an answer to your question.

Christianity perserved scientific information through the copying of manuscripts.

The refermation introduced the concept of using one's own senses instead of beleiving a heirarchy of prists

The reformation also had a program to reintroduced literacy into the general public starting off the enlightenment

The catholic church maintained an acedemic tradition in latin that allowed for people who were educated as clergy to communicate with one another across national and language barriers via latin the latin language served much as computer language does now and facilitated the sharing of observations and information on scientific methodology.

for many, christianity has dovedtailed nicely into science and while this isn't an example of the beleif system of christianity supplying christian information, it is an example of the relgion facilitating a state of reverence which many sciencists start out from when formulating hypothesis.

I'll also add that Hildegard of Bingen revolutionized modern botanical illistration and that her direct observation of plants rather then the consulting of texts was veiwed as a symptom of her being chosen by god.

Jordan and Andy both make excellent points... but apparently Professor Grayling has already discredited such examples.

Scientists who are/were Christian, or inspired by their Christian faith, or even sponsored by Christian Churches or monasteries apparently don't qualify. He only wants to hear what Christian ideology itself has contributed. As if the Sermon on the Mount was supposed to include a hypothesis on electromagnetic forces or something. One may as well ask what the study of poetry has contributed to agriculture, and thus argue that poetry is anti-farmer since it fails to irrigate fields.

It's a dismal, dishonest argument, and people who pride themselves on rationality ought to know better.

i'm not a Christian, but one could make the case that many scientists have been motivated by a quest to 'know the mind of god' in seeking explantion to various phenomena.

"As if the Sermon on the Mount was supposed to include a hypothesis on electromagnetic forces or something."

yes, Yes, YES, GOD YES ooooo oooooaaaahhh ....yesssss, yesssssss .... mmmmm sacred electromagnetic forces mmmmmmm.

"for many, christianity has dovedtailed nicely into science and while this isn't an example of the beleif system of christianity supplying christian information, it is an example of the relgion facilitating a state of reverence which many sciencists start out from when formulating hypothesis."

I believe the poorly articulated criticism of "Christ, what have ye done for me lately?" is aimed at those who claim that Christianity is the alpha and the omega to real science, as opposed to devil homosexual science; as Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and Jews all have religious traditions that revere wisdom and have produced the same fruits, and as time goes on the Protestant Work Ethic that created the Northern European schema of world domination will probably be supplanted by the Dharmic Sustainability Quotient that doesn't abuse man, materiel and mother earth in order to achieve maximum efficiency.

DAMN STRAIGHT!!! IT'S ABOUT TIME REPUBLICANS STARTED COMMING, AROUND TO SEEING THIS MADNESS FOR WHAT IT REALLY IS!

Chill, Robby Caps.

Science as you know it would not exist without the Christians.


You have committed a non sequitur. Just because a few Christians did scientific work or that the Church funded science has nothing to do with the advancement of science. It does not follow. On the contrary science progressed in spite of Christianity, not because of it.

I could also argue that Kovalev, Landau, Tsiolkovski, Kapitza, and hundreds of other communists built post-modern science. These men were nurtured in the communist belief system, financed by communism.
Have I made a case for communism? Of course not. This also represents a non sequitur.

The Catholic Church has been the largest stumbling block against scientific progress in the history of mankind. When Constantine established orthodox Christianity, science virtually stopped. Greek & Roman medicine and science stood as the highest level of science for centuries. As Ruth Hurmence Green once wrote, "There was a time when religion ruled the world. It is known as The Dark Ages." It was religion that destroyed the Greek libraries including the great library of Alexandria. It was Christianity that put to death many infidel scientists. Christians killed Hypatia, Giordano Bruno (a priest). They imprisoned Galileo and rejected his science. The list against scientists and freethinkers goes on and on.

Moreover, the members of imperial Christianity keep education for themselves. They discouraged the masses from learning.

The Christian scientists that you mentioned were mostly heretics or did their science in secret. These scientists had to fight, tooth and claw, against Christian dogma to get their ideas accepted. You had to be a Christian in those days or else fear death, ostracism, or ridicule. Moreover, they lived during the Renaissance or after, when the Church began to lose its power. It was science that influenced religion, not the other way around.

Christianity held back modern science for 1,500 years. Imagine what we could have learned about the world if not for the barriers constructed by religion?

Unfortunately, Christianity today, continues to place barriers against science. Many Christians reject modern biology, geology, and physics. They deny global warming, stem cell research, birth control, and many other scientific advances that could save millions of people, if not the entire human race.

The idea that Christianity founded modern science is a myth and a bad one at that.

Check out this speech by Neil deGrasse Tyson from the Beyond Belief 2006 lectures where he elaborates on such specific matters.

Andy mentioned Copernicus and Galileo in his forst posts here as Christianis who built modern science, and spiritually nurtured and in many cases directly financed by the Church.

Weren't these 2 Christians prosecuted by the Church for going against the Churf belief that the sun revolved around the Earth?

You have to really question what Christianity brings to science when the religion is influencing its believers to reject sound scientific facts like evolution all over the world.

Yep, there are Christian fundamentalists in my own country in Asia, who firmly believed that evolution is just a theory and that man apeared just 6000 years ago.

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