Thursday, September 25, 2008


I'm going to read a few books on the history of science and Christianity. Most indicate that science as we now know it as a system of thought is linked to Christianity. The atheist philosopher Daniel Dennett actually admits this point given the historical evidence but argues that we can essentially harvest the seeds of good ideas grown from a field of bad ideas.

It seems to me that there are possible lines of historical evidence that such a harvest is impossible or can't last long. E.g. the post-Christian culture of the Weimar Republic in which Nazism fermented based on a return to "scientific" forms of Nature based paganism which was associated with pseudo-science, superstition and the occult. The pattern seems to be that science begins with Christian assumptions but then science is said to be rooted in methodological naturalism, which naturally and gradually tends to build a philosophy of naturalism which undermines Christianity until science is turned into a form of Nature based paganism, then all the old occult/"hidden" practices and superstitions typical to the type of paganism that Christianity originally did away with emerge again. Those who base their opposition to Christianity on science are often in the odd position of undermining the ground upon which they stand. It seems that a protestation of Protestantism itself opens the door for superstition again.

Here's a recent WSJ article citing evidence of this apparent pattern:
From Hollywood to the academy, nonbelievers are convinced that a decline in traditional religious belief would lead to a smarter, more scientifically literate and even more civilized populace.

The reality is that the New Atheist campaign, by discouraging religion, won't create a new group of intelligent, skeptical, enlightened beings. Far from it: It might actually encourage new levels of mass superstition. And that's not a conclusion to take on faith -- it's what the empirical data tell us.

"What Americans Really Believe," a comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology. It also shows that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians. Look Who's Irrational NowBy MOLLIE ZIEGLER HEMINGWAY

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