The Christian could respond by saying that it was the Christian religion that so played a role in the rise of modern science, as commentator Efron captures:
“To be fair, the claim that Christianity led to modern science captures something true and important. Generations of historians and sociologists have discovered many ways in which Christians, Christian beliefs, and Christian institutions played crucial roles in fashioning the tenets, methods and institutions of what in time became modern science…today almost all historians agree that Christianity (Catholicism as well as Protestantism) moved early-modern intellectuals to study nature systematically” (1).
Belief in God, to many notable past & current scientists, has cultivated a sense of awe in the order and beauty of the universe that God created. Sir Isaac Newton once wrote that “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being” (2). Similarly, the well-known German mathematician Johannes Kepler saw God’s fingerprint in the intricacy of mathematics, writing that “The chief aim of all investigations of the external world should be to discover the rational order and harmony…which has been imposed on it by God, and which he revealed to us in the language of mathematics” (3).
More contemporaneous is John Lennox, Oxford mathematician and philosopher of science, who claims that “Far from science having buried God, not only do the results of science point towards his existence, but the scientific enterprise is validated by his existence” (4).
It may be the case that fundamentalist Christians view much of science as the enemy but it wouldn’t follow that all Christians are of such a view. To many Christianity is far from being a science stopped. In fact, some would argue that belief in God and the rational intelligibility of the universe is what gave science value and purpose.
1. Efron, N. 2010. Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths About Science and Religion. p. 80.
2. Newton, I. 1687. The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy.
3. Keppler, J. 1858. On the more Certain Fundamentals of Astrology.
4. Lennox, J. 2009. God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? p. 210.