“Scientists of faith” from THE NAKED TRUTH 2

science“Reblogged” from THE NAKED TRUTH 2.

(Note- while I have not investigated every one of these men’s claims as to their science-faith position, it is an interesting conversation nonetheless. It has long been assumed that true scientists have no place for a God in heaven, yet the achievements of christian scientists have long gone unnoticed.)  -john v.

Worldwide-100 Famous Bible Believing Scientists
Laurence D. Smart B.Sc. Agr., Dip. Ed., Grad.Dip.Ed
PO box 175, Kippax, ACT Australia 2615
Email: laurence@unmaskingevolution.com
Webpage: http://www.unmaskingevolution.com/
[Free to print and distribute. Copy must be in full.]
Many of the founders of modern science saw no conflict between their Christianity, the Bible and science. (continued here)

From time-to-time I post on the “controversy” between science and religion. I post to say there really isn’t a controversy. That’s why DOES THE BIBLE PROVIDE THE FOUNDATION OF SCIENCE? begins with this assertion.

Christian scholars largely agree on one thing. If a Biblical interpretation is not in accord with known facts, then that interpretation is wrong.

As thenakedtruth2‘s post shows, many scientists use to take the truth of the Bible for granted, and that has changed less than some think. Some time back I posted a commentary about a survey on CitizenLink, Survey: Most Scientists Don’t Believe Religion, Science Conflict (via CitizenLink). Contrary to popular belief, scientists don’t have a dismal view of religious belief.

How come so many scientists do not see a conflict between science and religion? That would depend upon the scientist. However, the Bible offers the first philosophical view of God and His Creation that made a scientific approach to studying the universe practical. Before the advent of Christ Jesus, most men perceived a world full of capricious gods and spirits. After Christianity began to spread, they understood there was only one God, and God is orderly and behaves logically.

Even so, it took centuries to change from that mindset that looked for mysterious, irreproducible answers in the form of spirits. Repeated generations had to be swayed and prodded by hearing the Word. Finally, multitudes had to read the Word. Nonetheless, even though it was a long time in coming, we know the Bible made it possible for Christians to progress rapidly in science. Then men began to worship their Creator by carefully studying His handiwork.

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20 thoughts on ““Scientists of faith” from THE NAKED TRUTH 2

  1. scout

    I share the post’s commitment to the idea that science and religion are not irreconcilable, distinct realms. However, I am a bit puzzled as to why the author views Christianity (as opposed to Judaism or Islam or Buddhism) as the turning point at which man could begin to appreciate his surroundings in scientific terms (and I apologize if that is not a fair synthesis of what he’s saying in the post, but I think it is not an unfair reading). Judaism was as implacably monotheistic as Christianity (which, at its origination was a Jewish offshoot). So why would science not have its golden start in, say, roughly 1200 – 900 B.C., the probable era of Moses? Or perhaps earlier with Abraham?

    Of course, there is merit in the idea that man had to advance beyond explanations of external phenomena that depended on multitudes of gods and spirits. If one thinks the Sun is explained by Apollo driving his chariot across the sky every day, that can be a serious constraint on an appreciation of Copernican planetary theory. But formal Christianity has, at best, a mixed track record in supporting scientific advances. This is not so much rooted in the Gospels (which say little about physical phenomena of this physical, temporal world), but rather in power dynamics within the early church. Galileo probably would have had an easier time of it had he lived in Damascus, Toledo (the Spanish one, not the one in Ohio, and pre-1450), or Baghdad, as opposed to Italy.

    I doubt that it can be demonstrated that the Christian world was doing better in scientific advances in, say, the year 1000, than was the Islamic world.

    My impression is that the Western world eventually excelled in science (particularly starting in what we refer to as the Renaissance) because Christianity doesn’t really address these issues in any great detail. This frees Christians to address physical science issues outside the constraints of religious doctrine, at least in the last three + centuries). Once religious orthodoxy becomes entwined with scientific research, the latter sometimes suffers. Occasionally, but marginally, one still sees religious persons (Christians come to mind, but there are other religions with similar taboos) arguing against creation theories that date back beyond several thousand solar years.

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    1. Scout-
      Indeed christianity has no monopoly on the sciences. As you probably know, Jews in archeology,engineering,biology, medicine, astronomy, Ziv, Gideon Mer (malaria), Salk, etc.all have proven records, some of these men (and women of course) had no issue with a creator.

      But it is true that of late with the ascent of instant communications and immediate scrutiny, it has been christian men who are presented as fools, because men like Stephen Hawking get more press time, and his message suits a liberal agenda whereby ‘really smart people’ have though out a creator and replaced His ways with the wisdom of this world.

      The attack is on christianity when presently with science because it leads to Christ. A friend who is a scientist tells me his colleagues are not convinced re. their own views;, he says they just cannot ‘tolerate the alternative,’ and that is a Creator,and He is Christ.

      Completely sympathize with your points, and you presented it well.
      john

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    2. thenakedtruth2 – Thank you for your comment.

      Scout – Note that the thenakedtruth2 and I don’t disagree. We just have slightly differing agendas. Frankly, I don’t think the “world” is going to be easily convinced Christians are not fools. What I am more interested in doing is showing how a belief Christ Jesus has made a difference.

      You asked some good questions.Why was Christianity the turning point? Why Christianity instead of just monotheism? The issue is not just the fact of a belief in one God. Christianity defines a unique relationship with that one God. Christ Jesus loves us enough to die for us. Christianity defines us as God’s children.

      Yes. We are to be obedient to be God, but there is only rule we must follow: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself” (Luke 10:27 ). Thus, so long as what we do we do out of love for our Creator, we are totally free to explore what our Creator has made.

      In the process of exploring God’s creation, Christians “discovered” what the Bible says is true. God made an orderly and logical universe. Thus, men like Isaac Newton began the process of modelling creation using Mathematics. That is, they began applying the scientific method with gusto.

      Judaism was as implacably monotheistic as Christianity (which, at its origination was a Jewish offshoot). So why would science not have its golden start in, say, roughly 1200 – 900 B.C., the probable era of Moses? Or perhaps earlier with Abraham?

      I have wondered about that myself. I think the answer lies in the fact there are just not that many Jews. As it is, I think you will find that Israel has been a very inventive nation, but numbers do make a difference.

      Numbers are also why the invention of the printing press was important to the progress of science. Contrary to popular opinion, Gutenberg did not invent the first printing press, but he did print the first Bible. When people read the Bible for themselves, even a translation, that experience can give them an entirely new outlook.

      Did Islam have a period where in science it excelled Christendom? Yes. The collapse of the Roman Empire created a mess that lasted for centuries. Christianity assumed dominance as the Roman Empire became decadent, With the collapse of stability, scientific progress became difficult if not impossible.

      When it comes to history, there is no simple way to understand it. That’s partly because men are incapable of ideological purity. Thus, we often do the opposite of what we say we believe. So it is that when the Muslims took Constantinople, they did it with cannons invented by a German engineer.

      Ephesians 2:8-10 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

      8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

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  2. Already long time before Chrisitanity there where people who were convinced there is only One God of gods, the divine Creator of all things. The son of Miriam (Mary/Maria) who was born in a special way (conceived without human intervention) at his baptism by his nephew John was called by that God to be His “only begotten beloved son” and became known as the long before promised Messiah. He walked around in his country to tell the people more about his heavenly Father, who he himself also considered to be his God without Him he could do nothing. The people of God, the Israelites who for centuries worshipped the Only One God were now confronted with a man who promised that all people, so also the gentiles, could come up to that One God and would be able to enter His Kingdom, which they thought was their own privilege.

    Some years after the prophet and master rabbi Jeshua (Jesus Christ) was killed (brought to death at a wooden stake) some false teachers started to twist the teachings of that Jewish man and more and more people made him also to their new god. E few centuries later at the time of Constantinople the church-leaders agreed to take on that heathen three-une god as their god, by which Christianity became divided in a Christendom with Trinitarians (those believing in a 1. God the Father, 2. god the son and 3. God the Holy Spirit) while those followers of Christ who took him as their Saviour and wanted to be faithful to his teachings and to what he had done (really dying for our sins, whilst God can not die) became the minority in Christianity.

    Before Christ there had also been many many scientists and in several countries where there was not at all spoken of him lots of scientific developments had already been taken place before his birth and after, without knowing about him.

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    1. It seems to me you have made an unsupported assertion. The historical evidence, the New Testament and the martyrdom of the apostles and those who believed the evidence of their eyes, speaks for itself.

      1 Corinthians 15:1-11 English Standard Version (ESV)

      15 Now I would remind you, brothers,[a] of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

      3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

      The New Testament was written during the time when people who saw Christ Jesus still lived. 1 Corinthians was written in the range of 53 to 57 AD. The Gospel of Mark came out AD 60–70. You want to say otherwise? It is your God-given right to make the wrong choice.

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    1. Your comment confuses me. If I go to your About page, it is apparent you are a Christian, but your comment sort of contradicts that fact. I gather you want to explain what makes your Christian sect different.

      It also appears that for you English is a second language. So you are doing something I cannot do, writing coherently in another language. So I hope you will forgive me when I criticize.

      When I read your comment I got confused, but I don’t think the fault was entirely mine. So what it is worth I have a suggestion.

      It seems to me that you try to say too many things at once. For the sake of clarity, please try to confine each of your sentences to one thought. In addition, please confine each of your paragraphs to the transmission of one basic idea or concept. Finally, if you are going to comment on a post, consider what the blog post is about. If you want to introduce related subject, please make it distinctly clear you are doing so and why.

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  3. scout

    Tom – what do you mean when you refer to “ideological purity”? In the American secular realm, I am a great enemy of ideology – I consider it toxic to democracy. In this post and thread, however, we are talking about the relationship of religion -specifically Christianity – to scientific advancement. What is your point about “ideological purity” in this context?

    Re the Jewish/Christian demarcation in this context, Israel pretty much ceased to be a nation in a political sense before the birth of Christ. The state we now call Israel is something different, and is about my age, give or take a few weeks. There was a gap of a couple of millennia, roughly, where there was no Israel at all as a nation. Modern Israel has some very advanced high-tech enterprises, but I think it is an awkward stretch to attribute them to religious beliefs.

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    1. So you say you are an enemy of ideology? I presume that is for ideological reasons?

      We often have differences of opinion because we do not define our words carefully. What is an ideology? An ideology is a belief system. Christianity is a belief system. Communism is a belief system. With effort we can narrow down Christianity to the beliefs of a specific sect or Communism down to the beliefs of a specific leader/theorist.

      What I suspect you mean is that you are against ideologues. Because of the rantings of pragmatists (Pragmatism is also an ideological system.), many consider the notion that anyone should zealously advocate or live by their beliefs radical. That’s because many now practice situational ethics. Instead living by a code of honor, they do whatever seems right in their own eyes at any particular moment.

      So what do I mean by ideological purity? Well, Jesus is the only person who ever achieved the sort ideological purity I had in mind.

      What explains Israel’s technological prowess? You say it is not religion. Yet if religion had nothing to do with Israel, then the nation of Israel would not exist.

      What people believe makes a difference in how they live their lives, and what we believe about God provides a foundation for the rest of our beliefs.

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  4. Citizen Tom wrote:

    Contrary to popular opinion, Gutenberg did not invent the first printing press, but he did print the first Bible.

    Gutenberg almost didn’t even do that — he was involved in a legal battle, which he ultimately lost, and most of the “Gutenberg Bibles” were actually printed by the attorney who won his business from him in a court fight (after planting a helper in Gutenberg’s business to learn the techniques).

    (Years ago, I had a lawyer named Gutenberg — he had no idea of the legal profession’s involvement with the famed printer. He was amused.)

    That printing press led to the major separation between the West and the Middle East. No Islamic culture would permit a printing press, because the boar’s-bristle brushes used could not be allowed to touch the written name of Allah — which was, of course, on all of their writings. Thus, for hundreds of years, no printing was done in the Middle East — until Napoleon conquered Cairo and brought in a printing press to print propaganda. By this time, the Muslim countries had fallen so far behind the Western Renaissance that they could not catch up. And to this day, there is a massive resistance to “outside” books. The technological cost to Islam has been monumental.

    As I understand it, the first book printed in Arabic was much earlier — but the Horologion was ordered by a Pope (Julius II) and printed in Venice, intended for Christian audiences.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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    1. Thanks for the comment. Very informative. Did not know a lawyer acquired Gutenberg’s business. There must be a sad story behind that

      Ironic about a Pope having the first book printed in Arabic. Never would have guessed.

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  5. Pingback: Fear of science | Thoughts from a Minimalist Christian

  6. CT: This is a favorite topic of mine to research.
    Refer folks to Moises Maimodes to reconcile the Torah and Aristotelian rational empiricism.
    Refer folks to Gerard Schroeder to reconcile the Torah with the Big Bang and evolution.

    Let’s look at this through time. From Adam and Eve through the end of the last Ice Age to 500 BC many native peoples and the emergent civilizations – Egypt, Mesopotamia, Mediterranean, China, India, Aztec and Inca – there were many discoveries and inventions.

    Enter Greek Civilization and human thought and testing of ideas. Rational Empiricism. This is a big deal. This way of thinking goes with the Greek – Western – way of war and conquest to cover 3 of the first civilizations (Egypt, Med and Mesopotamia). Rome builds upon the Greeks until roughly 400 AD.

    Then, several things happen. Rome becomes Christian. Rome in the West falls. The Roman imperial civil service is ‘essentially’ transformed to serve the Roman Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire (which isn’t) for the 500 year fight against the barbarian invasions.

    Western Europe and Rome in the East defended against the invading Muslims from the 600s until Orthodox Rome, the Byzantine Empire, falls with Constantinople (1453) and the last armed invasion is defeated at the gates of Vienna (1683).

    Muslim Civilization, like the library in Alexandria, built upon what the Romans-Greeks had done. They did well enough in a few centers of learn until it all came to crashing halt when the Imams decided all knowledge had been revealed by Mohammed (approx. 1250)

    Western Civilization was hampered by Augustinian thinking that one had to know God through the Church to know knowledge. Thomas Aquinas sewed a seed for the Reformation when he said one knows knowledge and then chooses to know God or not.

    In 1000 AD the Chinese are tops in science and technology. Islam is second. And, the West is third. But, events are in motion – based on ideas. While there are a handful of centers of learning across Islam, there are 40 universities in the West. The Renaissance is an explosion in learning – base on the rational empiricism of the Greeks. Rational empiricism teaches experimentation to test ideas.

    Since the Muslims stop learning, the West moves forward. It moves beyond China because the Chinese believe the unseen world is made up of spirits which influence, willy nilly, the physical world. The Christians believe in a created world from an unseen Creator – who established a natural order and laws which can be discovered.

    The Reformation puts this learning on steroids. A Created order to the universe is begging men to learn and reveal God’s compelling order throughout the sciences. If a ploughboy can know the Lord of the Universe through the Bible, so can any peasant learn to know any knowledge – and test it through rational empiricism instead bowing to priestly pronouncements.

    The Enlightenment adds more energy. The French Enlightenment may be anti-Catholic cleric – in part, but the American and British Enlightenment is enthusiastically Christian (Protestant) because of the unity of Biblical created world and rational empiricism – and the freedom to find out what is what.

    From 1000 to 1500 the West gains the advantage. From 1500 until 1975 (ending of colonialism) the West rocks. Christian thinking – improved by Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment – and 3 Great Awakenings in US and UK – provides the cultural world view under the scientific society.

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      1. James Atticus Bowden

        Yes, thanks. Lots more to say about the subject. Ideas have lineages. Ideas motivate humankind. Ideas change cultures. Ideas really matter.

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  7. scout

    BAck to your 25 November 2325 comment. You correctly sense that political ideologues are very disturbing to me. I view them as artifacts of 19th Century European intellectual acrobats who miss the central points of governance and human liberty. But my concern extends beyond that to ideology.

    You advance an idea that I, frankly, had not considered. That ideology and religion are part of the same concept. Up until I read that, I had not really thought of religion as ideology. I think the reason I had not is perhaps based on a semantic quibble between us, a quibble that, like many quibbles, isn’t particularly important. You see, the connotation I attach to ideology when I use or read the term, is one rooted in secular, worldly debates about civil governance. Religion, by contrast, in my usage, is related to the relation of man to God. There are, of course, issues in moral philosophy where these fields intersect, but, I think it safe to say that in my world the areas of intersection are quite limited, whereas in your world view they are nearly or completely coterminous.

    While you commend Jesus for ideological purity, I don’t even think of Him as ideological in any sense at all. To me He is “just” God.

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    1. I just think it ironic how some people will war with ideologues and think themselves non-ideological.

      Please note you have yet to explain why you are an enemy of ideology. All you have done is excuse yourself by confining your definition of the term “ideology” to suit your own “world.” That is, you have tried to define the term “ideology” so that it coincides with your own political beliefs. Even so, that does not make you any less of an ideologue. It just makes it you more difficult to understand.

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  8. scout

    No – as often happens, you completely miss the point. I have said that ideology is completely at odds with my political beliefs. I view ideology, at least in its secular sense, as completely alien to the American system of governance. I suppose you can say that my aversion to ideology makes me an ideologue, but that’s getting fairly deep into the realm of sophistry.

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