In our ever-increasingly secularized world today it has seemingly become rather hip to run down or mock people of faith as being unenlightened, backwards, willfully ignorant, or just plain dumb. Our new modern age culture teaches us that science (and progressive politics) should guide us in our lives. Anyone that still believes in an omnipotent divine creator is a curiosity at best. Today they are often looked down upon with sadness and a slow back-and-forth nodding of the head as one might do when a not-particularly-bright child trys to stick a fork into the electrical outlet. Either that, or with outright sneering and scorn. Indeed, these foolish Christians that believe in such myths and fabrications of an all-powerful and loving deity must be dragged from their pews and into the new millennium for their own good, whether they want to do so or not.
The truly amusing thing is that irony abounds in the fact that today many atheists and agnostics are championing Science as their god. Unfortunately for them, Science as we know it today would never have developed without the Catholic Church. Indeed, it was the Catholic Church that developed the scientific method in the High Middle Ages via the Bishop of Lincoln, Robert Grosseteste. It was Bishop Grosseteste that was the very first man credited with formalizing the Scientific Method, under the concept of “composition and resolution” using Christian, Islamic and Aristotelean texts. His ideas were translated into the Scientific Method we know today by Roger Bacon, a Franciscan friar who used terms like “observation, hypothesis, experimentation, and independent verification” for the first time. Indeed, even the Big Bang Theory was formulated by a priest, as was our modern theory of genetics.
This must be very confounding, if not outright vexing, to our atheist friends today. How can it be that the Catholic Church and Christian Western Civilization developed the Scientific Method and empirical science in general? How come it was not developed by the Chinese or in India or other advanced cultures of those days? For that matter, how come ancient Greece or Rome did not formulate the Scientific Method?
The answer will further confound and vex my atheist and agnostic friends, but I would submit that it lies in two simple words: Monotheistic Religion.
“WHAT?!”, you say! “How can that possibly be?”
Well, quite easily, actually. History show us that the fragments of intellectualism that remained after the collapse of the Roman Empire were salvaged by Christianity. Further, that same Christianity provided the philosophy on which the Scientific Method was founded. Now Christianity has as one of its core tenets of belief that the Universe was created by a magnificent and supremely rational God. Logic would thus dictate that the Universe He created must therefore also be rational. This rational Universe that God created abides by very specific laws; Laws regarding physics, gravity, thermodynamics and entropy and so forth.
At least through the 18th century, discovering the laws of nature and how they worked would be the same as discovering how God ordained that events and the Universe should unfold. Without that guiding philosophy and rationalism, it leaves only a conception of nature and the Universe as a succession of different events that just happen to show patterns and regularities. To the atheist, it could be said that it is just one damn thing after another, accordingly. Tom Bethell of The American Spectator and author many books and essays regarding science said it best, “Christianity elevated the faculty of human reason and fostered a spirit of inquiry. Without it, there would never have been a scientific revolution.”
Atheism not only had absolutely nothing to do with the creation of Science but it could NOT have ever created Science. To an atheist who thinks that life and the creation of the Universe happened as a matter of random chance coming to fruition over billions of years, this seems to be in direct conflict with an ordered universe. “That’s just how things are” is hardly the basis for sound scientific thought, let alone the creation of the Scientific Method.
If, however, the very laws of nature and the Universe come from a supreme lawgiver, and we as mankind are made in the image of that lawgiver, then indeed the Universe absolutely explodes with possibility. Everything is a subject for observation and rational study accordingly.