I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.
The above quote was posted by Anne Rice, author of the Vampire Chronicles, on her Facebook account. Continuing my series of posts in reaction to this quote, today I will write about Rice’s seventh complaint — that Christianity is anti-science.
This is actually one of the more difficult complaints to deal with, because it is so far ranging and there are so many myths to deal with: Genesis, Galileo, science vs. religion, etc. Let me begin by deferring to Catholic Apologist Fr. Baron:
In other words, science and religion are not competitors, because they ask and answer different questions: science seeks out the empirical and observable to understand a variety of objects and phenomena whereas religion concerns itself the spiritual. God and the ultimate cause of the universe are outside the scope of science, which cannot observe in an empirical way God and His works.
I would like to go even further than Fr. Barron to say that science as we know it today could not have come about sans Christianity. Science cannot be practiced unless one accepts a world view in which the world is rational and predictable. The whole scientific method is predicated on the assumption that if an experiment is repeated, it should produce similar results — that it is actually possible to control several variables in order to test how one variable behaves under certain givens. In addition, science assumes that we are rational and creative beings capable and free to explore, observe and understand the world around us. These assumptions are fruit of the Christian understanding of creation: God, the supra-rational, created the cosmos and declared it very good (Gen. 1:31), created humanity in His image and likeness (Gen 1:26) and to be co-creators with Him ( 2:19).
Hinduism and Buddhism understand creation as illusory, thus cannot support or spawn the assumptions of science. Islam means submission. It does not recognize human freedom nor does it encourage the questioning of creation — to do so would be to question Allah. Yes, Muslims have excelled in practical science (such as astrology) but science as we know it today could not have arisen out of Islam. There is a reason why modern science was born in the Christian West — because it was Christian.
Thus, Christianity cannot be anti-science. It does not ask or answer the same questions as science and is the soil in which the flower of modern science was able to take root and bloom.