So....when I saw the forum topic "Developments that shape how we live our lives," it reminded me of the debt that science owes religion..... 1. Prior to the Enlightenment, people rarely considered science to be antagonistic to religion. Most of the major figures who started modern science were devout Christians: Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Boyle, Newton . a. In 2003, sociologist Rodney Stark identified 52 stars who launched the scientific revolution, and discovered that all but two were devout Christians.(The two skeptics were Edmund Halley and Paracelsus). Stark, For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery, chapter two. 2. Today, most historians agree that the scientific outlook actually rests on fundamental concepts derived from the biblical view of nature. For example, no other culture, East or West, ancient or modern, came up with the idea of laws in nature. The concept appeared for the first and only time in Europe during the Middle Ages, a period when its culture was thoroughly permeated with biblical assumptions. Pearcy, "Saving Leonardo," p.106. a. The use of the word law in the context of natural events would have been unintelligible in antiquity, whereas the Hebraic and Christian belief in a deity who was at once Creator and Lawgiver rendered it valid. The concept of laws was not metaphorical, as in a figure of speech, but literally true! Natural laws were regarded as real laws or commands, decrees from the Almighty, literally obeyed. Hall, The Scientific Revolution, 1500-1800: The Formation of the Modern Scientific Attitude, p.171-172. 3. Many ancient societies were animistic, nature thought to be filled with gods or spirits ready to inflict disasters such as storms, droughts, famines, unless placated by correct performance of the specific rituals; nature "seemed to common sense intractable, even mysterious and dangerous," writes historian Carl Becker. 4. But the bible rejects any religious status for nature. From the opening lines of Genesis, the sun, moon, and stars are not gods, nor emanations of a divine essence, but simply created objects with no power over humans. Rather, the bible teaching of a transcendent God liberated people from fear of spiritual forces within nature. however highly developed a cultures powers of observation, however refined its equipment for measuring, no real scientific breakthrough is possible until man can face the natural world unafraid. http://www.allofliferedeemed.co.uk/reformation of modern science.pdf a. By exorcising the gods of nature, biblical monotheism freed humanity to investigate it without fear. It taught to think of nature as regular, predictable and open to systemic study. 5. Therefore, the idea of an intelligible order in nature was not derived from scientific observation. It was derived from biblical theology prior to observation. And it was what made the scientific enterprise possible in the first place. 6. And, continuing along this line, applying technology was also a biblical worldview. Christian theologians were eager to use science to restore humanitys stewardship over the rest of creation, lost in the fall into sin. a. According to historian Lynn White, the development of technology was inspired by the spiritual egalitarianism of the Bible, which engendered a religious urge to substitute a power machine for a man where the required motion is so severe and monotonous that it seemed unworthy of a child of God. Lynn White Jr. "What Accelerated Technological Progress in the Western Middle Ages?" in Scientific Change, ed. A. C. Crombie, p.272-91.