A paper presented to the Round Table on
Theology, Climate Change, and Politics,
University of Western Ontario, May 29, 2012
Paleoanthropologist and philosopher Loren Eiseley (1907–1977), who though religious in the tradition of American Transcendentalists Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau was certainly no orthodox Christian theist, on reflecting on the kind of soil in which science could flourish, wrote, “In one of those strange permutations of which history yields occasional rare examples, it is the Christian world which finally gave birth in a clear, articulate fashion to the experimental method of science itself.” While Eiseley considered this a “strange permutation,” more thorough investigators of the history of science and of the nature of both Christian and scientific thought and practice find the growth of science from Christian seeds and in Christian soil to be not strange but thoroughly understandable.
“Real science arose only once: in Europe,” wrote Rodney Stark in his controversial book The Triumph of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success.
That was not among the controversial statements in the book. Those dealt more with his understanding of economic and business history. This statement, however, merely said what has become a commonplace among historians and philosophers of science. Stark cited twelve scholarly studies that all reached the same conclusion.
He might have cited many more, in light of the thorough debunking, by such seminal thinkers as the French physicist and philosopher of science Pierre Duhem (1861–1916), of the old positivist “histories” of the “warfare” between science and Christianity that once dominated science education in the West, like John William Draper’s (1811–1882) History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science (1874) and Andrew Dickson White’s (1832–1918) A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom (1896). Duhem, whose researches into Medieval science brought him to unexpected conclusions, wrote that “the mechanics and physics of which modern times are justifiably proud proceed, by an uninterrupted series of scarcely perceptible improvements, from doctrines professed in the heart of the medieval schools.”
Several other assertions by Stark are equally uncontroversial among actual historians of science:
Fundamental theological and philosophical assumptions determined whether anyone will attempt to do science. 
The Christian image of God is that of a rational being who believes in human progress, more fully revealing himself as humans gain the capacity to better understand. Moreover, because God is a rational being and the universe is his personal creation, it necessarily has a rational, lawful structure, awaiting increasing human comprehension. This was the key to many intellectual undertakings, among them the rise of science. [11–12]
… Christians developed science because they believed it could be done, and should be done. … Newton, Kepler, and Galileo regarded the creation itself as a book that was to be read and comprehended. [14, 16]
In contrast, Stark pointed out,
… most non-Christian religions do not posit a creation at all: the universe is eternal, and while it may pursue cycles, it is without beginning or purpose, and most important of all, having never been created, it has no creator. Consequently, the universe is thought to be a supreme mystery, inconsistent, unpredictable, and arbitrary. For those holding these religious premises, the path to wisdom is through meditation and mystical insights, and there is no occasion to celebrate reason. 
China, Islam, India, and ancient Greece and Rome each had a highly developed alchemy. But only in Europe did alchemy develop into chemistry. By the same token, many societies developed elaborate systems of astrology, but only in Europe did astrology lead to astronomy? Why? Again, the answer has to do with images of God. 
Nearly ninety years earlier, the English mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947) paved the way for the rejection of the positivist, Christian-bashing pseudo-histories of science when in one of his Lowell Lectures at Harvard he said that science arose in Europe because
… faith in the possibility of science … [was] derivative from medieval theology. …
The greatest contribution of medievalism to the formation of the scientific movement [was] the inexpugnable belief that … there is a secret, a secret which can be unveiled. How has this conviction been so vividly implanted in the European mind? … It must come from the medieval insistence on the rationality of God, conceived as with the personal energy of Jehovah and with the rationality of a Greek philosopher. Every detail was supervised and ordered: the search into nature could only result in the vindication of the faith in rationality. …
In Whitehead’s estimation, other religions’ ideas of god or gods could not sustain such an understanding of the universe. On their presuppositions, any “occurrence might be due to the fiat of an irrational despot” or “some impersonal, inscrutable origin of things. There is not the same confidence as in the intelligible rationality of a personal being.”
Nancy Pearcey, a philosopher, and Charles Thaxton, a biochemist who did postdoctoral work in the history of science at Harvard, explain the importance of Christian thought to the foundations of science more extensively in the first two chapters of their book The Soul of Science: Christian Faith and Natural Philosophy. “The type of thinking known today as scientific, with its emphasis upon experiment and mathematical formulation, arose in one culture—Western Europe—and in no other.” They, too, identify the Christian faith—more specifically, its foundations in the doctrines of God, creation, and humanity—as the reason science arose in Europe and not elsewhere.
Objections to this thesis often appeal to the invention of various technologies or fundamental theorems of mathematics, geometry, and astronomy among, for instance, the ancient Babylonians, Chinese, or Egyptians, or the Medieval Muslims. But these, Pearcey and Thaxton argue, differ from science per se.
Through sheer practical know-how and rules-of-thumb, several cultures in antiquity—from the Chinese to the Arabs—produced a higher level of learning and technology than medieval Europe did. Yet it was Christianized Europe and not these more advanced cultures that gave birth to modern science as a systematic, self-correcting discipline. The historian is bound to ask why this should be so. Why did Christianity form the matrix from which this novel approach to the natural world developed?
… The source itself seems to have been a tacit attitude toward nature, a flowering forth of assumptions whose roots had been deepening and strengthening for centuries.
Scientific investigation depends upon certain assumptions about the world—and science is impossible until those assumptions are in place. As [historian of science Michael B.] Foster argues, Western thinkers had to ascribe to nature the character and attributes that made it a possible object of scientific study in advance of the actual establishment of science. As Whitehead puts it, “faith in the possibility of science” came antecedently to the development of actual scientific theory.
This faith, Whitehead explains, rested on certain habits of thought, such as the lawfulness of nature—which in turn, he maintains, came from the Christian doctrine of the world as a divine creation. 
Pearcey and Thaxton then specify ten ways in which Biblical thought—and Biblical thought alone—served as the soil in which science could grow (22–37):
- “To begin with, the Bible teaches that nature is real.” Pantheism and idealism, whether Platonic, Gnostic, or neo-Platonic, see the physical world as illusion—and as evil illusion to boot, an illusion from which we must free ourselves by world-denying mystical and ascetic practices that are precisely the opposite of the logical and world-affirming practices on which science depends.
- “Science rests not only on metaphysical convictions but also on convictions about value. A society must be persuaded that nature is of great value, and hence an object worthy of study. The ancient Greeks lacked this conviction. The ancient world often equated the material world with evil and disorder; hence, it denigrated anything to do with material things.” In contrast, “Christianity teaches that the world has great value as God’s creation.” Six times in twenty-one verses of Genesis 1 we read that God saw that what He had made was good—a direct repudiation of the widespread ancient view of the material world as evil.
- “In Biblical teaching, nature is good, but it is not a god. It is merely a creature. The Bible stands firmly against any deification of the creation.” In contrast, “Pagan religions are typically animistic or pantheistic, treating the natural world either as the abode of the divine or as an emanation of God’s own essence. … The de-deification of nature was a crucial precondition for science. As long as nature commands religious worship, dissecting her is judged impious. As long as the world is charged with divine beings and powers, the only appropriate response is to supplicate them or ward them off.”
- “To become an object of study the world must be regarded as a place where events occur in a reliable, predictable fashion. This, too, was a legacy of Christianity. Whereas paganism taught a multitude of immanent gods, Christianity taught a single transcendent Creator, whose handiwork is a unified, coherent universe. … The God revealed in the Bible is trustworthy and dependable; the creation of such a God must likewise be dependable.” As Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Melvin Calvin says, “This monotheistic view seems to be the historical foundation for modern science.”
- “Belief in an orderly universe came to be summed up in the concept of natural law. The phrase ‘laws of nature’ is so familiar to the modern mind that we are generally unaware of its uniqueness. People in pagan cultures who see nature as alive and moved by mysterious forces are not likely to develop the conviction that all natural occurrences are lawful and intelligible. … the concept of natural law was unknown to both the ancient Western world and the Asian world. When the concept finally arose in the Middle Ages, [historian A. R.] Hall says, it signified ‘a notable departure’ from anything that had gone before.” Hall rooted that departure in the Biblical doctrine of God as Creator.
- Pearcey and Thaxton cite historian Carl Becker as saying that until the scientific revolution of the late Medieval period was well underway, “nature simply did not strike most people as either lawful or rational. Nature ‘seemed to common sense intractable, even mysterious and dangerous, at best inharmonious to man.’” The deep conviction that nature is intelligible came from Biblical principles.”As an aside, but an important one, let me address an objection some listeners might immediately raise. Surely if there’s anything that our advancing knowledge in science tells us, it is that the world is indeed very mysterious—that there are vast reaches of fact that remain far beyond our ken, and some that seem at best paradoxical, if not outright irrational. That is certainly so. However, there is a great difference between that recognition and the widespread, pre-scientific, and anti-Biblical, conviction that the universe is fundamentally irrational. The Biblical and scientific conviction is that there are indeed mysteries—but they are mysteries that at least in theory are susceptible of unraveling. It is significant that the Bible, unlike pantheistic, animistic, and mystical religious teachings, never uses the word mystery to denote something irrational or counter-logical. Rather, it speaks of mystery—the Greek musterion—as something once hidden but now (or in the future to be) revealed. Biblical faith is not irrationalism.
- “One of the most distinctive aspects of modern science is its use of mathematics—the conviction not only that nature is lawful but also that those laws can be stated in precise mathematical formulas. This conviction, too, historians have traced to the Biblical teaching on creation.“The Biblical God created the universe ex nihilo and hence has absolute control over it. … Hence in its essential structure the universe is precisely [emphasis added] what God wants it to be.“This idea was alien to the ancient world. In all other religions, the creation of the world begins with some kind of pre-existing substance with its own inherent nature. As a result, the creator is not absolute and does not have the freedom to mold the world exactly as he wills. …“Thus the application of geometry and mathematics to the analysis of physical motion rests on the Christian doctrine of creation. …
“Historian R. G. Collingwood expresses the argument most succinctly. He writes: ‘The possibility of an applied mathematics is an expression, in terms of natural science, of the Christian belief that nature is the creation of an omnipotent God.’”
- Not only belief in a rational, comprehensible nature, but also belief in a rational, comprehending observer of it—man—was necessary to the rise of science. “… science cannot proceed without an epistemology, or theory of knowledge, guaranteeing that the human mind is equipped to gain genuine knowledge of the world. Historically, this guarantee came from the doctrine that humanity was created in the image of God.”In contrast, argues Sinologist Joseph Needham in The Grand Titration, “the Chinese never developed modern science” because they “had no belief either in an intelligible order in nature nor [sic] in the human ability to decode an order should it exist. As Needham writes: ‘There was no confidence that the code of Nature’s laws could be unveiled and read, because there was no assurance that a divine being, even more rational than ourselves, had ever formulated such a code capable of being read.’”The Biblical doctrine of the fall of man into sin, which injured human capacity to think reasonably, tempers this belief in human ability to understand the world, but it doesn’t erase it.
- Christian belief in human rationality and in nature’s susceptibility to rational analysis does not, however, lead, as might first be expected, to the Aristotelian idea that once one knows some things about nature he can derive the rest by infallible deduction. Nature comes with surprises, not because it is inherently irrational but because it is the work of a free and personal God who does with it as He pleases. He is indeed faithful and dependable, but He is not entirely predictable, for, as the Apostle Paul, paraphrasing Isaiah 43:11, put it in 1 Corinthians 2:16, “who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” While “Aristotelian science tended to stress rational intuition of purposes or Forms followed by deduction,” mature Biblical reflection on the Creator and His creation led to the realization that all deductions about nature must be tested by observation and experiment. “Experimental science had to await a shift away from Aristotelianism”—a shift that “began when some Christians became troubled by the Aristotelian concept of Forms” that “appeared to limit God’s creative activity,” a notion that eventually the Christian Church repudiated, leading to the theology of voluntarism, “which admitted no limit on God’s power” and “regarded natural law not as Forms inherent within nature but as divine commands imposed from outside” God’s freedom entailed a nature that required not only deductive inference but also specific observation to be known by man.
- “As theologian Thomas Torrance writes, ‘The contingency of the creation as it derives from God is inseparably bound up with its orderliness, for it is the product not merely of his almighty will but of his eternal reason.’ The world does not have its own inherent rationality, but it is intelligible because it reflects God’s rationality.” This, too, requires that we approach nature not solely deductively but also inductively. “In science that means we cannot merely intuit what seems reasonable. Instead, we must observe how nature operates. We must look and see.”At a time in the history of science when many scientists, especially climate scientists, tend to mistake the output of their computer models for data—for observations of the real world—these two closely related points are an important caution.
- “… the transition from science to technology itself required certain presuppositions about the world. It required a set of beliefs that sanctioned active intervention in natural processes to advance human purposes.“In animism and pantheism, the divine is immanent in the universe, whether conceived as several deities inhabiting the woods and rivers or as a single spirit permeating all things. The universe is the sole all-encompassing reality.“In this context, the individual is an expression of nature, incapable of transcending his environment. The intellectual stance vis-à-vis nature is passive. The human mind is thoroughly embedded in nature; it does not transcend it as subject over against object. As a consequence, humans are interested in knowing nature only in order to adapt and conform to it, not in order to harness its forces for practical ends.”The Biblical view explicitly rejects this, and it does so right from the start, in Genesis 1:26–28: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’”
The first of these verses summarizes what the next two specify: the essence of man (a creature, made in God’s image, male and female), and the mission of man (to fill and rule the Earth). And the mission flows from the essence: Because he is made in God’s image, man is to do what God does—not, of course, in the ultimate sense of creation ex nihilo, but in the derivative sense. As God brought something out of nothing, man is to bring more out of less; as God brought order out of chaos (when after He had first created the Heavens and the Earth the Earth was “without form and void,” Genesis 1:2), so man is to bring greater order out of lesser order; as God brought life out of non-life, so man is to bring more life out of less life—enhancing Earth’s fruitfulness to the glory of God and the benefit of his neighbor, thus fulfilling the two Great Commandments to love God and neighbor.
Thus, as Pearcey and Thaxton put it, “Humans do not merely conform to nature but are free to manipulate it, both theoretically in mathematical formulas and practically by experiment” and technology.
I return now to Eiseley, whom I quoted at the start. “The experimental method succeeded beyond men’s wildest dreams,” he wrote, in the same place in Darwin’s Century, “but the faith that brought it into being owes something to the Christian conception of the nature of God. And science today [is still] sustained by that assumption.”
But in concluding their chapter on the Christian epistemological and metaphysical foundations of science, Pearcey and Thaxton posed what they called “a haunting question”—actually a series of unfolding questions, questions that I find all the more haunting in light of the history of climate science over the past twenty years:
If science received much of its impetus from Christian assumptions, what will happen now that those assumptions have eroded—now that Christianity is no longer a public faith undergirding science but merely a private belief held by individual scientists? What will happen to science as the Christian motivation and intellectual scaffolding wither away? Contemporary science still lives off the accumulated capital of centuries of Christian faith. But how long will that capital last? And what will take its place? 
Let me conclude by making a few observations on climate science as practiced by environmentalists generally and particularly many “climate activists”—those who believe that (a) Earth has been warming since the mid nineteenth century; (b) beginning sometime in the twentieth century—probably in the late 1970s to early 1980s—the warming trend has reached unprecedented rate and magnitude; (c) human emissions of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, are the primary cause of this recent, unprecedented warming; and (d) left unchecked by severe reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, this warming will become so severe as to pose grave, perhaps catastrophic, danger to human civilization and natural ecosystems.
- As I have already suggested, I find their propensity to confuse computer model output with the real world an alarming retrogression away from scientific method and toward pre-scientific Aristotelianism. While it doesn’t contrast so starkly with modern science as do the mysticism and nature worship of pantheistic and animistic religions, it may actually be more dangerous to the survival of real science—especially climate science—precisely because it is not so readily recognized as unscientific. But it truly is. If there is anything I would like to shout out to the world of both scientists and laymen in the midst of the debates (or more often the noisy harangues) about anthropogenic global warming, it is this: Computer model output is not data, it’s hypothesis, and it must be tested by empirical observation.
- Climate activists’ frequent resort to such logical fallacies as argumentum ad populum (“The overwhelming consensus of scientists is …”), argumentum ad verecundiam (appeal to authority, especially when genuine authorities disagree so much with each other!), and argumentum ad hominem abusive (name calling, attacking character rather than rebutting arguments) and circumstantial (refusing to rebut skeptics’ arguments on the grounds that those making them might have some vested interest in their conclusions)—these frequent resorts to logical fallacies in debate should be exposed and denounced for what they are, the resort of debaters who fear they cannot prevail by legitimate argument.
- Environmentalists’, including some climate activists’, move to resacralize nature—to restore belief in nature as either the Body of God (the title of an influential book by feminist eco-theologian Sallie McFague) or the realm of multiple spirits, daemons, whose presence must be honored and perhaps appeased—is another retrograde move away from science. Historian Lynn White Jr. in his famous essay “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis” decried the desacralization of nature by the early Christian Church, blaming it for giving license to an abusive attitude toward nature. Without sound basis in the history of either Jewish or Christian commentary, he alleged that Jewish and Christian interpretation of God’s mandate to humanity in Genesis 1:28 to “subdue the Earth and have dominion over” it became a rationale for destructive, careless exploitation of the Earth and thus the real root of modern ecological crisis, and that thesis has generated considerable hostility to Christianity (though not so much to Judaism, presumably either because Jews have been too few, or because people fear to be labeled anti-Semitic) among environmentalists. Aside from the lack of such interpretation in actual rabbinic or Christian commentary, the context of the verse makes it clear that destruction and abuse cannot be the sense of the verse, for both the description of God’s own creative work (Genesis 1:1–25) and the later record of God’s purpose in placing Adam in the Garden of Eden “to cultivate and guard it” (Genesis 2:15) indicate that the aim of subduing and having dominion over the Earth is not destructive but creative—not to reduce but to increase Earth’s fruitfulness, beauty, and safety, to the glory of God and the benefit of our neighbors. It was, historically, the desacralization of nature that made ethical room for the rise of technology that turned nature from something to be feared and in which man’s life was solitary, poor, nasty, brutal, and short into something to be admired and enjoyed. Resacralizing it and making humanity its servant rather than its godly master threatens—indeed has already done—great harm to human beings (e.g., by depriving developing-world countries of the least expensive and most effective insecticide to rid them of malaria, resulting in as many as 100 million malarial deaths over the past fifty years) and will be of no benefit to the natural world.
- The tendency among some environmentalists, including Al Gore in his Earth in the Balance, to abandon rationality and return to mysticism, is yet another retrograde from real science. Whatever else is involved in the imago Dei, it is at least rationality, as we learn from the start of the Gospel of John: “In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” This Logos—and the better translation of that word is not Word but Logic or Reason—this Logos is “the true light, which lightens everyone” (John 1:1–5, 9).
The widespread practice of Post-Normal Science, pioneered by Silvio Funtowicz and Jerome Ravetz and embraced by University of East Anglia Professor of Climate Change Mike Hulme, who in turn has heavily influenced many of the central figures in the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (and has had leading roles in it himself), is yet another retrograde move away from true science, and it is extremely dangerous, not just to science but to rational public discourse generally, especially as relates to shaping public policy. I cannot take the time to discuss this in depth, but I can say that Post-Normal Science must not be confused with what Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions called revolutionary science, which he compared with normal science. At the risk of oversimplification, but in the interest of brevity, I will define Post-Normal Science as the application of Postmodern Deconstruction to science. As Deconstructionism asserts that language cannot convey meaning and truth but only projects power, so Post-Normal Science makes it the purpose of science not to find truth about the world but to promote particular policy goals. As Post-Normalist Eva Kunseler put it in her essay “Towards a New Paradigm of Science in Scientific Policy Advising”:
The concept of post-normal science goes beyond the traditional assumptions that science is both certain and value-free . . . . The exercise of scholarly activities is defined by the dominance of goal orientation where scientific goals are controlled by political or societal actors . . . . Scientists’ integrity lies not in disinterestedness but in their behaviour as stakeholders. Normal science made the world believe that scientists should and could provide certain, objective factual information. . . . The guiding principle of normal science—the goal of achievement of factual knowledge—must be modified to fit the post-normal principle. . . . For this purpose, post-normal scientists should be capable of establishing extended peer communities and allow for ‘extended facts’ from non-scientific experts . . . . In post-normal science, the maintenance and enhancement of quality, rather than the establishment of factual knowledge, is the key task of scientists . . . . Involved social actors must agree on the definition of perceptions, narratives, interpretation of models, data and indicators . . . . scientists have to contribute to society by learning as quickly as possible about different perceptions . . . instead of seeking deep ultimate knowledge.
If real scientists don’t rise up and point out that this emperor—“post-normal science”—has no clothes, the whole scientific enterprise will die. And the world will be a much poorer place for its demise.
On August 9, 2007, climatologist Roy W. Spencer and three co-authors published in the Journal of Geophysical Research an article titled “Cloud and radiation budget changes associated with tropical intraseasonal oscillations.” They reported empirical measurements from satellites had found that high-altitude cirrus clouds in the tropics diminish rather than increase with rising surface temperatures. Thus these clouds act as a negative rather than a positive feedback on climate change—exactly opposite what every global computer climate model assumes, implying far less warming than models suggest. Spencer et al.’s article added support to a theory by another climatologist, Richard Lindzen, that the atmosphere acts like an iris to modulate surface temperatures.
Both of these articles have stunning implications for the ongoing debate about global warming. Perhaps more important, though, they should prompt Christians to praise God for the way in which Earth’s climate system, like the human body, is “fearfully and wonderfully made.” In some senses this planet, like the eye, may be fragile. But it may also, by God’s wise design, be more resilient than many fearful environmentalists imagine.
Spencer, who is a personal friend, has told me that he was alerted to the possibility that the General Circulation Models on which the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change depends might have the role of clouds backward—might be treating them as strong positive feedback rather than strong negative feedback on surface temperature—by his reflections on the Biblical teaching that when God had created the world, He judged it “very good” (Genesis 1:31). A “very good” world, he thought, wouldn’t likely be so fragile that an increase of carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere from 27 thousandths of 1 percent to 54 thousandths of 1 percent would set off a catastrophic, runaway global warming through a positive feedback loop. Might there, then, be problems with the modelers’ assumption that clouds were a positive feedback? And how might he test that? This led to a variety of experiments and observations from which he reasoned that clouds are in fact a negative rather than a positive feedback.
Notice that this doesn’t mean Spencer’s Biblical faith predetermined his conclusion. That would be Aristotelian methodology, not Christian and scientific. It means, instead, that his Biblical faith affected his research agenda—that he was spurred to ask certain questions others weren’t asking, devise certain experiments others hadn’t devised, attend to certain observational data others hadn’t devised—and the result of his research was what it was. And, not in spite of but precisely because of its foundation in Biblical faith, it is eminently scientific.
Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., is the Founder and National Spokesman of The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. He is a former seminary and Christian college professor of historical theology, social ethics, apologetics, and interdisciplinary studies and the author of over ten books and hundreds of articles. This paper was first delivered by invitation at a Round Table on Theology, Climate Change, and Politics hosted by the Centre for Public Theology at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, May 29, 2012.
Loren Eiseley, Darwin’s Century (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1958; reprinted, Doubleday Anchor Books, 1961), 62, cited in Nancy R. Pearcey and Charles B. Thaxton, The Soul of Science: Christian Faith and Natural Philosophy (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1994), 18.
Rodney Stark, The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success (New York: Random House, 2005), 14. Stark cited Bernard Cohen, Revolution in Science (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 1985); Randall Collins, The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998); Harold Dorn, The Geography of Science (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991); Edward Grant, Planets, Stars, and Orbs: The Medieval Cosmos, 1200–1687 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994) and The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages: Their Religious, Institutional, and Intellectual Contexts (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996); Toby Huff, The Rise of Early Modern Science: Islam, China, and the West (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993); Stanley Jaki, Science and Creation (Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1986); Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962); David C. Lindbergh, The Beginnings of Western Science (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1919), and “Science and the Early Church,” in David C. Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers, eds., God and Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounter Between Christianity and Science, 19–48 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986)
Cited in David C. Lindbergh and Robert S. Westman, eds., Reappraisals of the Scientific Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 14, via Pearcey and Thaxton, Soul of Science, 53.
Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World (New York: Free Press,  1967), 13, 12, 13, cited in Stark, Triumph of Reason, 14–15.
Pearcey and Thaxton, Soul of Science, 17.
Melvin Calvin, Chemical Evolution (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969), 258; cited in Pearcey and Thaxton, Soul of Science, 25.
Significantly, Paul didn’t stop there. He added, “But we have the mind of Christ,” suggesting that our not initially knowing the mind of God doesn’t mean we never shall know any of it. Rather, God reveals Himself—in creation, in Scripture, and ultimately in Christ Himself. Thus, Jesus could say to His disciples, “If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him” (John 14:7).
See Myanna Lahsen, “Seductive Simulations: Uncertainty Distribution Around Climate Models,” Social Studies of Science 35/6 (December 2005), 895–922, DOI 10.1177/0306312705053049.
Sallie McFague, The Body of God: An Ecological Theology (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1993).
Lynn White Jr., “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis,” Science, 155 (3767) (March 1967).
Al Gore, Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1992).
See especially Mike Hulme, Why We Disagree About Climate Change: Understanding Controversy, Inaction and Opportunity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).
Cited in [Kevin McGrane], “Climate Change and the Death of Science,” http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/climate-change-and-the-death-of-science/, October 31, 2009.
R. W. Spencer, W. D. Braswell, J. R. Christy, and J. Hnilo (2007), “Cloud and radiation budget changes associated with tropical intraseasonal oscillations,” Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L15707, doi:10.1029/2007GL029698, abstract online at http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2007GL029698.shtml.
Richard S. Lindzen, Ming-Dah Chou, and Arthur H. Hou, “Does the Earth Have an Adaptive Infrared Iris?” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 82:3 (March 2001), 417-32.
Featured image: Sir Isaac Newton, statue by Eduardo Paolozzi, photo by Duncan Hull, Flickr Creative Commons.