Sunday, October 30, 2011

Christianity and science

Returning to a topic often covered here: The October, 2011, issue of First Things has an article by James Hannam entitled Modern Science’s Christian Sources. The article provides more arguments about how Christianity did not impede the growth of science but instead provided the conditions necessary for it to start, and Hannam focuses on showing how two key myths are false: (1) "science has advanced by fighting religious superstition and making the world safe for rational inquiry" and (2) "Westerners only picked up the baton from the ancient Greeks, or, as has been more recently alleged, the Islamic caliphate." Some highlights:
Science as we imagine it today—with laboratories, experiments, and a professional culture—did not appear until the nineteenth century, but its origins can be found much earlier, in the period commonly known as the “scientific revolution.” And the “scientific revolution” was a continuation of developments that started deep in the Middle Ages among people whose scientific work expressed their religious belief.
With the exception of mathematics, in medieval Europe things were different. Aristotle’s faulty method was struck down by the Catholic Church, allowing previously forbidden ideas to flourish. The Church also made natural philosophy a compulsory part of the courses it required trainee theologians to follow. So, science held a central place in Christian centers of learning that it did not hold in Islamic madrassas. And Christianity itself provided a worldview especially compatible with experimental science.
Christianity made science a theologically justified and even righteous path to pursue. Since God created the world, exploring how it works honors its Creator.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Organ Harvesting in China

Wesley Smith's description of the report by two Canadian lawyers that describes how Chinese authorities are harvesting organs from members of the Falun Gong and a call for a boycott of scientific and medical interchange with China concerning transplantation