The Protestant Reformation Led to Science?

In Genesis 1:28, god commanded Adam and Eve to go forth and multiply upon the earth, to subdue it and use it.  Thus the seeds for man’s use of the earth and subsequently science, and the scientific method for progress were planted.

Yes!  Its true.  Christ’s followers who studied the natural world went on to create the major fields of scientific study that we take for granted today.  Honestly, even honest atheists can’t deny this truth.  Some have even become not only creationist believers but followers of Jesus Christ.  View a video where Dr. Richard Lumsden, professor of parasitology and cell biology at Tulane University, shares his new found creationist belief.  There are many others who you aren’t supposed to know about.  Discover the conversion of just two prominent British Darwinian philosophers: Professor Antony Flew, and Richard N. Ostling.

Just what is the “Scientific Method” anyway?

Answer: Well, Webster’s Dictionary says its a set of principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.

In a shorter version: The scientific method is something that is observable, measurable, and repeatable, and based upon empirical evidence and established laws.  Laws of science are considered universal and invariable facts of the physical universe.  Theories, and hypotheses are different.  They may contain certain established laws of science to help form an assumption about the world around us but that does not make a theory or hypotheses a law of science.

It’s a process for experimentation used to explore observations and answer questions. Scientists use the scientific method to search for cause and effect relationships in nature. In other words, they design an experiment so that changes to one item causes something else to vary in a predictable way.  See Sciencebuddies.com

What About the Wisdom of the Ancients We Always Hear About?

To the ancient Greeks believed things of the natural world for instance like how the rain fell from the sky, or the sun rose in the East and set in the West were controlled by the gods.  They were to be revered and above all else feared.  They reigned over everything and only intervened in the lives of men for their own gratification.  How would any Greek mortal dare regard the powers of the gods as something to be used to change or benefit his society?  In fact, they regarded the whole subject as a mental gymnastic game.  They did develop some rational deduction systems for nature and came up with some interesting facts, but their thinking about science never developed into a “scientific age.”

The faith of Islam would never have brought about the scientific method due to its fatalism.  How often have we heard in movies and T.V. shows that “It was Allah’s will” that something good, or bad had happened to someone?  That’s the fatalistic view of the Islamic faith in a nutshell.  If you fall into a deep hole in the ground there’s no need to devise a way out because Allah willed you to be there.  To do so would be to contradict Allah’s will and fall into his disfavor eternally.

For the Hindu no scientific method was necessary since the entire world and everything in it was considered very simply an illusion.  You wouldn’t spend time studying an illusion would you?  Remember the deep hole the Muslim fell into?  To the Hindu who falls into that same hole there’s no need to try and find a way out of it.  All he has to do is imagine it doesn’t exist, since after all the Hindu believes the entire world is just an illusion.

Same with Buddism, a reformed Hindu belief system.

For the tribesman living in the jungles, plains and forests of Africa, North America, or Central, or South America, there was no scientific method for a simple reason, he was an animist.  If it occurred to him to do so he wouldn’t perform scientific experiments on anything of the natural world since everything- stones, trees, or animals contained living spirits, gods, even his ancestors!

Copy of Luther’s 95 Theses

Only the Christian worldview, born of the Protestant Reformation in the early 16th century, allows for the development of the scientific/deductive reasoning method to escape that deep hole.

Jesus Christ commanded his creations to subdue and use the earth. Since he is a rational god who created an ordered and rational world, water, for instance, always boils at sea level at 212 degrees Fahrenheit everywhere on the earth.  That is a scientific fact when its tested today, tomorrow, or next year.  Gravity, another scientific law, works today, tomorrow, or next year, no matter where you go.  The speed of light is always 186,000 miles per second.  These are facts, derived from unbiased observation, not theories that don’t necessarily lead to facts.  Learn more about the difference between fact and theory here.

A Partial List of Scientists Who Believed in a Creator

Sir Francis Bacon

Sir Francis Bacon, (1561-1627) – philosopher, credited with developing the scientific method once wrote: “There are two books laid before us to study, they prevent our falling into error; first, the volume of the Scriptures, which reveal the will of God; then the volume of the Creatures, which express His power.”   Thus the study of the written word of the Creator was held dear by Bacon, as was the study of God’s creation, the earth, giving rise to modern science.

Johannes Kepler

Johannes Kepler, (1571-1630) – Lutheran, mathematician and astronomer, who established the laws of planetary motion around the sun.  He almost achieved what Isaac Newton would be credited for, the laws for universal gravity, long before Newton was born.  Kepler’s writings contain references to how space and the heavens represent the Trinity.  He coined the term: “Thinking God’s thoughts after Him.”

Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal, (1623-1662) – Catholic philosopher whose work was so great he now has a computer language named after him.  He invented the first working barometer, and made innovations in mathematics.

Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) – astronomy & mechanics. He too suffered at the hands of the Holy Roman Church when he disagreed with the accepted beliefs about the earth’s relationship with the sun and planets.  He also insisted on writing his works in Italian when the scholarly language was always Latin.  This displeased the church as it wanted all such things in Latin for its nefarious reasons.

Mikoli Kopernik, (aka Nicolaus Capernicus) (1473-1543) – Catholic cleric who was canonized in 1497, astronomer and mathematician, who studied celestial motion & order of our solar system.

Michael Faraday, (1791-1867) – A Protestant and blacksmith’s son who revolutionized physics with his work in the fields of electricity and magnetism.

Rene Descartes, (1596-1650) – Roman Catholic, mathematician and philosopher who developed an alternative of scientific methodology rivaling Sir Francis Bacon.

Gregory Mendel, (1822-1884) – Augustan friar who laid the foundations for the science of genetics.  At about the same time Mendel was beginning his research in the Monastery where he lived in the early to mid-1860’s, the X-Club, dedicated to lessening religious influences and propagating the image of a conflict between science and religion was being created.  This informal group of leading researchers such as Thomas Huxley, John Tyndall, Joseph Dalton Hooker, who shared not only their personal and scientific beliefs but they belief that theological influences should not be part of any scientific discovery.

Albert Einstein, (1879-1955) – A German physicist, who renovated our understanding of time, gravity, and the conversion of matter.  Though he who never came to believe in a personal god he firmly denied atheism.  He once told a young protege: “I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element.  I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.” “Just What Did Einstein Believe About God?”, Michael R. Gilmore, Skeptic Magazine, Volume 5, No. 2, 1997.  Learn more about how Einstein believed in a supreme creator here.

Isaac Newton, (1642-1727) – An undisputed genius in mathematics, mechanics, and optics.  A devoutly religious man, he saw that God is essential to the nature and absoluteness of space.  “The most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”  Isaac Newton, Principia.

Robert Boyle, (1791-1867) –  A Protestant, known for “Boyle’s” Law” concerning the proportional relationship between a gas, pressure and temperature.  In his The Christian Virtuoso, he wrote that the study of nature was a central religious duty of man.  He promoted the Christian faith by funding translations of the New Testament into the Irish and Turkish languages.  Learn more about him.

Lord William Thomas Kelvin, (1824-1907) – A Christian and British scientist who laid the foundations of modern physics.

Max Planck, (1858-1947)- German physicist, 1918 Nobel Prize winner in physics, and best known as the founder of quantum theory.  He believed in an all mighty creator.  Learn more.

 

 

 

Charles Babbage, (1791-1871) – A Christian and mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer is considered the father of the computer.   Parts of his uncompleted mechanisms are still displayed in the London Science Museum.  Learn more.

 

 

Charles Messier, (1730-1817) – French astronomer.  He was a French astronomer most notable for publishing an astronomical catalogue consisting of nebulae and star clusters that came to be known as the 110 “Messier objects”. The purpose of the catalogue was to help astronomical observers, in particular comet hunters such as himself, distinguish between permanent and transient visually diffuse objects in the sky.Learn more here.

 

 

 

I hope you will see that the Protestant Reformation, ignited by Catholic cleric Martin Luther’s “Ninety Five Theses” in 1517, spurred revolutionary thinking by brave, learned men who believed and followed the Bible’s hints that the all mighty creator was behind it all.  Luther’s proclamation was the crack in the entire Roman Catholic Church dogma that the earth was the center of all creation.  Over a period of time, slowly, surely would the natural world be recognized as a product of God’s handiwork!

 

All images courtesy of wikipedia.org

Certain videos courtesy of David Rivas Ministries.


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