Monday, January 21, 2013

What the middle ages did for science

Here's a list of gifts that came down from the Middle Ages (or from 'the age of faith' in the language of those who like to contrast it with a 'age of reason' than followed it) - gifts on whose necessary foundations science is built: All these intellectual achievements were worked out in the so-called pre-Enlightenment times:
  • There is a distinction between a primary cause (God did it) and a natural secondary cause (the machinery of the world has enough vitality and flexibility for things to happen naturally, as a consequence of laws of nature)
  • Nature is intelligible because it has a rational and loving creator
  • Natural philosophy is the study of the ordinary course of nature
  • Nature can be understood through the language of mathematics
  • God freely created the universe so we must observe his work to understand it. 
(From Dr James Hannam , Science and Christianity: An Historical Sketch. This is a Faraday Institute lecture, available from iTunes U.)

1 comment:

Steven Carr said...

'Nature is intelligible because it has a rational and loving creator'

How does that follow?

Why are some things yellow? Because God is yellow?

In the last chapters of Job, the god character taunts humanity with its inability to understand his creation.

Did God not know he had created a universe which could be understand when he taunted humanity like that?