Re: textbooks

Don N Page (
Fri, 5 Dec 97 15:57:22 -0700

Joel Cannon wrote Fri, 5 Dec 1997 12:05:28 -0600 (CST) of the
Judeo-Christian contribution to the development of modern-type science.
Another documentation and discussion of this is Reijer Hooykaas, Religion and
the Rise of Modern Science (Scottish Academic Press and Wm B Eerdmans, 1972),
ISBN 0701118350 and 0802814743 (unfortunately out of print). Hooykaas
acknowledged that we owe to the ancient Greeks the general mental tools of
science, such as logic and mathematics, but only the injection of the biblical
world view allowed modern science to develop. He concluded his book by saying
in the penultimate paragraph, "Metaphorically speaking, whereas the bodily
ingredients of science my have been Greek, its vitamins and hormones were

Besides stating most of the the four points Joel noted, Hooykaas
pointed out that (5) the biblical view of the world as a separate, nondivine
entity created by God allowed it to be investigated without profaning it, (6)
the commandment of God for man to have dominion over the earth encouraged the
research needed to make that possible, and (7) the fact that manual labor is
praised in Genesis was a motivation to go beyond the ancient Greek ideal of
leisure that favored pure thought and did not lead to so much experimentation
as a more biblical attitude later did. I think I also remember that Carl Sagan
pointed out that the Greek system of slavery discouraged experimentation.

I also see a quote in a talk I gave once that A. R. Peacocke in
Creation and the World of Science wrote, "since the seminal article of Michael
Foster in 1934 there has been a strong case for the proposition that the
Judeo-Christian doctrine of creation was of major significance in providing a
philosophy of nature validating an empirical science." However, I've never
tried to track down Foster's article.

Don Page