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Are Christians "Anti-Science?"

Not at all. Science has many Christian roots. Most of the early scientists were Christians (Copernicus, Galileo, Pascal, Isaac Newton, Carl Linnaeus, Johannes Keppler, Robert Boyle, Louis Pasteur, Jean Henri Fabre, Michael Faraday, John Ambrose Fleming, etc.). The faith of these great scientists was not a separate part of their thinking; indeed, it was integral to their thinking as they operated within a Christian framework. (See the book How You Think the Way You Do by historian Glenn S. Sunshine.)

An interesting fact is that the vast majority of all scientific development has come out of western civilization, which has Christianity as its basis. Christianity views God as rational and trustworthy, which implies that His creation is rational and orderly and thus can be examined. Nature in the Christian view (as compared to non-Christian worldviews) was no longer an object of fear and worship.

The idea of laws of nature came from Christianity. And the concepts of subduing nature and being stewards of nature are right from the first book of the Bible—Genesis.

As D. James Kennedy suggests (see resource list), science could not have begun in the Buddhist or Hindu worlds. The essence of those religions is that the physical world has no reality, that it is an illusion. Scientific inquiry requires the assumption that the world is real. Nor could science have begun in the Muslim world because that worldview is dominated by fatalism, and fatalism is antithetical to the concept of progress.

Here's another interesting aspect to Islam, according to historian Glenn Sunshine in his book Why You Think the Way You Do. While Muslim scholars excelled at practical learning such as geography or astronomy, they did not develop science in the sense of explanations of why the physical world works the way it does. This was in part because Muslim thinkers taught that seeking explanations of physical processes was either not possible or inappropriate. It was argued that the very idea that natural laws exist was blasphemous because it denied Allah's freedom to govern the universe as he saw fit. Indeed, Muslims who might challenge the Quran with scientific thinking were considered infidels, and it was obligatory for all good Muslims to kill infidels.

Misconceptions about the Bible have been around for a long time. For example, one misconception is that the Bible teaches that the earth is flat, or that it is the center of the universe. A closer examination of Scripture shows otherwise. The idea of a flat earth from the Bible is rooted in the biblical language of "four corners" in Isaiah 11:12 and Revelation 7:1, and "four winds" in Jeremiah 49:36 and Matthew 24:31. The Hebrew and Greek words translated "corner" are also translated as "quarter" and are best understood as "directions" or "headings." The Bible's usage obviously refers to the four directions as measured from the particular focal point of interest and is the standard convention used in surveying and mapping to this day. Moreover, in Isaiah 40:22 the Bible uses the term the "circle of the earth," also translated "sphere of the earth" as is evident from the context.  

It can be said that Christianity has produced more literate and educated people than any other movement in the history of mankind. For example, in America all but 3 of the first 126 colleges established in the United States were built in order to propagate the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Bible was not written as a science textbook. But, when the Bible does reveal truths related to science, the Bible can be trusted. Indeed, the Bible demonstrates scientific knowledge and concepts far before mankind had developed the technological base for such knowledge.

Biologist William J. Cairney (in the book edited by John Warwick Montgomery, see resource list) discusses many such biblical pre-science evidences in the fields of human health, disease control, agriculture, etc. He states, "These rules of sanitation and diet stand on a foundation requiring considerable knowledge of epidemiology, microbiology, physiology, plant pathology, and animal pathology, all of which require a technological base not available until the last hundred years or so of human history."

Henry Morris (in Appendix 8 of his Defender's Study Bible, see resource list) lists numerous other pre-science evidences in the Bible.

When pressed, even the most hardened atheistic scientists acknowledge that science and the supernatural are compatible. See this link for a most revealing summary from a debate between Christian Frank Turek and atheist Christopher Hitchens: Big Bang and God.

So-called conflicts of science and the Bible are often conflicts between interpretations of the facts. While there are questions for which there are as yet no explanation, there is no fundamental conflict between science and Scripture. (See also the Evolution or Creation section of our web site.)

Dinesh D'Souza in his book What's So Great About Christianity (resource list) thoroughly refutes the notion of past conflicts between science and the church. He shows that the Galileo affair, perhaps the most famous, and other alleged disputes are a red herring.

Further, D'Souza details the consistency with modern science and the Bible. For example, he demonstrates that, "In a stunning confirmation of the book of Genesis, modern scientists have discovered that the universe was created in a primordial explosion of energy and light...." He notes that the Bible is unique among the documents of ancient history—and especially unique among religious documents—in positing an absolute beginning of the universe. But now modern science tells us that the Bible is right!

D'Souza adds: "The Big Bang resolves one of the apparent contradictions in the book of Genesis. For more than two centuries, critics of the Bible have pointed out that in the beginning—on the first day—God created light. Then on the fourth day God separated the night from the day. The problem is pointed out by philosopher Leo Strauss: 'Light is presented as preceding the sun.' Christians have long struggled to explain this anomaly....but it turns out that there is no mistake. The universe was created in a burst of light fifteen billion years ago. Our sun and our planet came into existence billions of years later. So light did indeed precede the sun. The first reference to light in Genesis 1:3 can be seen to refer to the Big Bang itself. The separation of the day and the night described in Genesis 1:4 clearly refers to the formation of the sun and the earth. Day and night—which we experience as a result of the earth's rotation—were created much later than the universe itself. The Genesis enigma is solved, and its account of the creation is vindicated not as some vague parable but as a strikingly accurate account of how the universe came to be."

More importantly, while we live in a time of change and of great scientific discovery, what we discover about the human heart is that it has not changed at all. Matters of human nature, emotions, relationships, and ultimate meaning remain the same. It is in Scripture that we find enduring truths as appropriate for modern man as for ancient man.