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[[File:ScientificMethodflowchart.jpg|300px|right|thumb|Flow chart illustrating the steps to the [[scientific method]].]]
'''Science''' consists of three aspects: first, it provides systematic descriptions of everything in the world and all of human experience, generally considered as scientific [[knowledge]]. Second, there are the men (and in more recent times, women) of science who have amassed these descriptions and communicate them to everyone else. Third, there are the methods by which they carry out this work (see [[scientific method]]).
Science can be divided into two areas: [[natural science]], dealing with the [[physical]], [[natural]] world,<ref>Soanes and Stevenson called science "the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment."Soanes,C. and Stevenson, A. (eds.) (2005) 'The Oxford Dictionary of English (revised edition)' Oxford University Press, Oxford, U.K.</ref> and [[social science]], dealing with society and human nature.
People who study science are called [[scientist]]s. Most of the early scientists who started many of the scientific fields, and some of history's greatest thinkers, such as [[Galileo Galilei]] and [[Isaac Newton]], believed in [[God]], or some other higher power, and many were [[creationists]], although the ideas of [[evolutionism]] or [[Darwinism]] were not yet popular.
In addition, [[Christianity]] played a pivotal role in the development of modern science (see [[Christianity and Science]]). With further scientific advancement, the scientific approach has become increasingly [[atheism|atheistic]],<ref></ref> rejecting the supernatural. Scientific fields of study observing a clear atheistic bent include [[Counterexamples to Evolution|evolution]], [[global warming]] and much of [[cosmology]] and [[geology]], which are based on a [[Counterexamples to an Old Earth|time frame]] which predates the Christian time of [[creation]]. There are hubs of real scientific research, however, in places like the Institute for Creation Research and the Heartland Institute.
Science differs from other methodologies of classifying knowledge in that a scientific theory is a description of the world which in principle is capable of being disproved; this is known as [[falsifiability]]. It is this property which distinguishes science from other possible methods of discovering knowledge.
The [[scientific method]] consists of two stages, theory formation and theory testing. In the early 20th Century the scientific method was commonly understood to follow the [[inductive reasoning|inductive]] procedure, whereby general statements are derived from a collection of singular observations. It was thought that through this method theories were constructed; a collection of observations led to the formation of a general theory to explain them. Secondly, at the testing stage, it was considered that a hypothesis could be verified through a collection of singular observations.
[[Image:Image014.jpg|thumbnail|175px|left|[[Karl Popper]] ]]
[[Karl Popper]], considered by many to be the most important contributor to the philosophy of science in recent times, put forward a damning critique of induction, going so far is to claim that it did not exist. Popper argued that general theories cannot ever be conclusively verified by singular observations, but that such a theory could be conclusively [[Falsifiable|falsified]] by such means.
==Naturalism and science==
''See also:'' [[Atheism and science]] and [[Philosophical naturalism]]
Since the beginning of modern science, scientists have worked under the assumption that their subjects of study have been controlled by consistent natural laws.
There is good evidence that this assumption was based on the [[Christianity|Christian]] view that the laws were created by a consistent creator Who didn't change those laws on a whim.<ref>See [[Natural science#Beginnings]]</ref>
* "[[Methodological naturalism]]" adheres to [[naturalism]] insofar as it concerns scientific experiments and observations, but does not rule out a personal deity. It does, however, ''[[a priori]]'' rule out the supernatural being an explanation for observations.
* "[[Philosophical naturalism]]" adheres to the belief that there is no beings or forces beyond what can be observed; this [[atheism|atheistic]] view rejects the supernatural, or is skeptical of such beliefs.
* The third approach is to follow the inference to the best explanation regarding whether or not a supernatural or natural cause best explains a past or present observation.<ref></ref><ref></ref> For example, this third approach is advocated by [[creation science|creation scientists]] and [[intelligent design]] theorists when it comes to the origins of the natural world. Creation scientists and intelligent design theorists rightfully maintain the falsity of the [[evolution|evolutionary]] ary position given the lack of evidence for evolutionary position and the many lines of evidence against the evolutionary position. Another example is that the [[First Law of Thermodynamics|first]] and [[Second law of thermodynamics|second]] laws of thermodynamics argue against an eternal [[universe]], and [[creation science|creation scientists]] claim that these laws point to the universe being supernaturally created.<ref>[ Evidences for God From Space&mdash;Laws of Science]</ref><ref>Thompson, Bert, [ So Long, Eternal Universe; Hello Beginning, Hello End!], 2001 (Apologetics Press)</ref><ref></ref> But in other respects, such as why [[Krakatoa]] exploded, a natural explanation would be considered the best explanation.
==Religious cultivation of early modern science==
''See also:'' [[Christianity and Science]], [[Atheism and the suppression of science]]
According to the historian [[H. Floris Cohen]], there exists two distinct levels of argument along this line of historical scholarship. <ref> [ The Scientific Revolution: A Historiographical Inquiry], [[H. Floris Cohen]], University of Chicago Press 1994, 680 pages, ISBN 0-2261-1280-2, pages 308-321 </ref> The first to be proposed was the [[Merton thesis]] in the late 1930's1930s, which parallels the [[The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism|Weber thesis]] in suggesting that the rise of science was due, at first, to a [[protestant work ethic]] but later extended to a more general biblical ethic. The second to be proposed was that of [[Reijer Hooykaas]], who held the rise of early modern science was due to a unique combination of Greek and biblical thought. One of the main aspects of Hooykaas's argument was that the Greek disrespect for manual work prevented an experimental science from truly developing until the biblical view of honoring work with one's hands was socially sanctioned. Hooykaas reaches the conclusion that "Metaphorically speaking, whereas the bodily ingredients of science may have been greek, its vitamins and hormones were biblical." <ref> * [ ''Religion and the Rise of Modern Science''], Regent College Publishing, 2000. ISBN 1-5738-3018-6 </ref>
Historian and professor of religion [[Eugene Marion Klaaren|Eugene M Klaaren]] holds that "a belief in divine creation" was central to an emergence of science in seventeenth-century England. The philosopher [[Michael B. Foster]] has published influential analytical philosophy connecting Christian doctrines of creation with empiricism. Historian William B. Ashworth has argued against the historical notion of distinctive mind-sets and the idea of Catholic and Protestant sciences in "Catholicism and early modern science."<ref> [ ''God and nature''], Lindberg and Numbers Ed., 1986, pp. 136-66; see also [ William B. Ashworth Jr.'s publication list]; this is noted on page 366 of ''Science and Religion'', [[John Hedley Brooke]], 1991, [[Cambridge University Press]]</ref> Historians James R. Jacob and Margaret C. Jacob have published the paper "The Anglican Origins of Modern Science," which endeavors to show a linkage between seventeenth century [[Anglican]] intellectual transformations and influential English scientists (e.g., [[Robert Boyle]] and [[Isaac Newton]]).<ref> [ The Anglican Origins of Modern Science], [[Isis (journal)|Isis]], Volume 71, Issue 2, June 1980, 251-267; this is also noted on page 366 of ''Science and Religion'', [[John Hedley Brooke]], 1991, [[Cambridge University Press]]</ref>
Two well-respected theological surveys, which also illustrate other historical interactions between religion and science occurring in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, are [[John Dillenberger]]'s ''Protestant Thought and Natural Science'' ([[Doubleday]], 1960) and [[Christopher B. Kaiser]]'s ''Creation and the History of Science'' ([[Eerdmans]], 1991).
{{quotation|When natural philosophers referred to ''laws'' of nature, they were not glibly choosing that metaphor. Laws were the result of legislation by an intelligent deity. Thus the philosopher Rene Descartes (1596-1650) insisted that he was discovering the "laws that God has put into nature." Later Newton would declare that the regulation of the solar system presupposed the "counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being."<ref> [[John Hedley Brooke]], ''Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives'', 1991, [[Cambridge University Press]], ISBN 0-521-23961-3, page 19 </ref>
|Historian and [[Oxford University]] [[Science and Religion]] theologian [[John Hedley Brooke]]}}
[[University of California at Berkeley]]-educated historian [[Ronald L. Numbers]] has stated that this thesis "received a boost" from mathematician and philosopher[[Alfred North Whitehead]]'s ''[[Science and the Modern World]]'' (1925). Numbers has also claimed "Despite the manifest shortcomings of the claim that Christianity gave birth to science&mdash;most glaringly, it ignores or minimizes the contributions of ancient Greeks and medieval Muslims&mdash;it too, refuses to succumb to the death it deserves. The sociologist [[Rodney Stark]] at [[Baylor University]], a [[Southern Baptist]] institution, is only the latest in a long line of Christian apologists to insist that 'Christian theology was essential for the rise of science.'"<ref> ''Science and Christianity in pulpit and pew'', [[Oxford University Press]], 2007, [[Ronald L. Numbers]], p. 4, and p.138 n. 3 where Numbers specifically raises his concerns with regards to the works of [[Michael B. Foster]], [[Reijer Hooykaas]], [[Eugene M. Klaaren]], and [[Stanley L. Jaki]] </ref>
==See also==
* [[Atheistic science]]
* [[Branches of science]]
* [[Scientific method]]
* [[Computing]]
* [[Anti-science]]
* [[Science and speculation]]
* [[Science and bias]]
* [[Science and dogma]]
* [[Science and faith]]
* [[Science and engineering]]
* [[Science and the church]]
* [[Scientific ignorance]]
* [[Scientific integrity]]
* [[Scientific testing]]
* [[Scientific virtues]]
* [[Scientific uncertainty]]
==Further reading==
* -
(Systematic Musicology in a Postmodern Age, 1999 Lecture by David Huron, University of California, Berkeley, Department of Music)
==See also==
* [[Scientific method]]
* [[Computing]]
[[categoryCategory:scienceScience]] [[Category:Methodology of Science]]