For the Glory of God: The Role of Christianity in the Rise and Development of Modern Science: The Dependency Thesis and Control Beliefs (Volume 1)
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- Publication Date:June 8, 2011
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In this book, Richard H. Jones presents arguments concerning the positive and negative roles Christian doctrines have played in the rise and development of modern science. Philosophers and scientists have written numerous books about how Creationism and Intelligent Design are not part of science, but they have ignored two more encompassing historical and philosophical issues underlying the conservative theists' attack on science.
- First, conservative Christian scholars commonly claim that Christian theological doctrines are the source of modern science. To them, modern science is the step child of medieval Christian theology or early Protestant doctrines. That is, without those theological beliefs as presuppositions, modern science could never have arisen, and Christianity or at least theism is the only possible source of these beliefs. Moreover, they argue that even today to practice science all scientists must be committed to these theistic or specially Christian ideas, whether they realize it or not. This "dependency" thesis has become widely accepted, even outside conservative circles. Such scientists as Edward O. Wilson and Paul Davies in their writings for the general public accept the historical part of this thesis as a given.
- Second, some conservative Christians argue that theology has the epistemic right to control the content of all scientific theories and indeed the very nature of science. To them, science unfettered from theological control cannot reveal all of the true nature of the universe, and so theology must control the content and methods of all science. In the words of the philosopher Alvin Plantinga, "Scripture can correct science." These Christians in fact advocate religious "control beliefs," not only over science, but over all thought.
- Both the "dependency" thesis and the "control belief" thesis are challenged here. First, the Dependency Thesis is presented, and the historical and philosophical case against it is laid out. Next, an argument for why modern science arose in the West and not in some other culture is presented. The negative effect of "control beliefs" on science is then presented, followed by a more general discussion "science and religion."
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