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Most scientific naturalists are unaware that modern science was incubated in and born out of a Judeo-Christian worldview. Denis Alexander lists four theological themes that were indispensible to the rise of modern science, and historian Humphrey Clarke gives insightful commentary. The first two:
1. The Concept of Scientific Laws
‘there seems little doubt that the concept of scientific laws was nurtured by the Christian belief that God has established moral laws for the universe and therefore, ipso facto, God must maintain similar laws that govern the physical world. The rational God of Christian theology provided a rationale for seeking intelligibility in the world, as expressed through laws. This is made explicit in the writings of early natural philosophers such as Descartes, Boyle and Newton.
2. The Contingency of God’s Actions
A second theme that we often find in the early natural philosophers is the idea that the contingency of God’s actions encourages an empirical attitude towards the natural world. The God of the Bible can do what he likes, and it is up to natural philosophers to determine this empirically; it cannot be worked out from first principles as the Greek rationalists mistakenly thought. Contingency stems from the free will of the omnipotent Creator. (Continue)