blog arguing that faith and science are indeed compatible, and he quoted the Christian philosopher of science John Lennox to make the point. I just had to respond, given Lennox's failure to make a convincing argument. From Lennox's book God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? he quotes:
C. S. Lewis’ . . . view is worth noting: ‘Men became scientific because they expected law in nature and they expected law in nature because they believed in a lawgiver.’ It was this conviction that led Francis Bacon, regarded by many as the father of modern science, to teach that God has provided us with two books — the book of Nature and the Bible — and that to be really properly educated, one should give one’s mind to studying both.
Many of the towering figures of science agreed. Men such as Galileo, Kepler, Pascal, Boyle, Newton, Faraday, Babbage, Mendel, Pasteur, Kelvin, and Clerk Maxwell were theists; most of them, in fact, were Christians. Their belief in God, far from being a hindrance to their science, was often the main inspiration for it and they were not shy of saying so. The driving force behind Galileo’s questing mind, for example, was his deep inner conviction that the Creator who had ‘endowed us with senses, reason and intellect’ intended us not to ‘forgo their use and by some other means give us knowledge which we can attain by them.’ Johannes Kepler described his motivation thus: ‘The chief aim of all investigations of the external world should be to discover the rational order which has been imposed on it by God, and which he revealed to us in the language of mathematics.’
First, I’m not a huge fan of Lennox, but at least he is not, from what I understand, a creationist who denies evolution. So he gets a point for that. Second, it might be important to know that in Galileo’s day, you had to profess Christian faith. This was back when the Church was the State. If you publicly denied Christ or god you’d be burned at the stake. Galileo spent the last decade of his life under house arrest because he dared challenge the orthodoxy of the day that the Earth was NOT the center of the universe. And in 1600 Giordano Bruno was burned alive for saying the same thing and for believing there might be other forms of life out in space. Galileo was aware of this and it silenced him. Thus it took many centuries and hurdles to get scientific facts accepted because Christianity held them back.
It was not until Darwin that it became safe enough to profess agnosticism or atheism, but even then there were massive social persecutions. But once religion’s power grip loosened, science began to flourish faster.
The ancient Greeks and Romans faced the same problems when Christianity came to power. Atomism was banned as blasphemy, even though it was correct 2,400 years ago. And the dark ages fell over Europe. The Church stagnated scientific progress. In China, there were actually more advances in technology before the modern era, we just hear history from a Western perspective. The compass, gunpowder, papermaking, and printing, were all invented in China centuries before Europeans had them. (See here.) And the Islamic Golden Age made advances in astronomy, math and science before the modern scientific revolution in Europe. So it is not true at all that Christianity can be thanked for science. The foundations of it go way back before Christianity. The main reason why science has thrived in Europe for the last ~400 years is because of European colonialism that made Europe rich off of the slaves labor and exploited resources it received from oppressing other people and conquering their lands. Plus its proximity to the Middle East and through the Silk Road to Asia, ideas from the East could spread into Europe. (Read Jared Diamond's excellent work, Guns, Germs & Steel.)
Most Christians today are anti-science. More than half don’t accept evolution. Same is true of Muslims. That’s not true of the Chinese. Or the Japanese. Or most of Europe today which is largely secular and post-religious. The more Christian a country is today, the more uneducated they tend to be on science. Atheists make up 60 percent of scientists and 90 percent of elite scientists in the US. And there are no shortage of scientists and engineers in China, Korea and Japan where they are wooping our ass in these fields. And here in the US it’s the anti-science creationist that holds us back in part. 50 percent of Americans think the world is less than 10,000 years old. That’s an embarrassment.