Until the end of the Middle Ages there was no distinction between theology and science. Knowledge was deduced from self-evident principles received from God, so science and theology were essentially the same field. After the Middle Ages, the increasingly atheistic rejection of God by scientists led to the creation of materialist secular science in which scientists will continue to search for a natural explanation for a phenomenon based on the expectation that they will find one, instead of settling on a supernatural explanation. This rejection of faith and revelation and the paradigm shift towards the modern evidence-based secular science involving methodological naturalism correlated with a rapid acceleration in scientific discovery that is responsible for the shift from alchemy to chemistry and from astrology to astronomy and developed our comparatively vast knowledge base about that natural word.
- Butterfield, Herbert. The Origins of Modern Science, 1300–1800, p. viii