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Stars twinkled in the night sky —long before man discovered the laws of astronomy.

ome look to scientists as the new high priests of the New Age. But are scientists really the fearless seekers of truth - wherever that truth leads? Or, are they subject to the same biases — pride, hypocrisy, greed and petty prejudices that plague other human endeavors for mastery?

EVOLUTION OF SCIENTISTS' IDEOLOGY

The birth of modern science began during the Renaissance period. The founding fathers of modern science were mainly Creationists (see table). How did scientists' ideology change from theism, to deism, to the atheism of today's evolutionist scientists?

History
Being less than 500 years old, modern science is a relatively recent development in man's 6,000-year history. However, certain themes have persisted in science ideology from its earliest beginnings.

Scientists in Ancient Times
The journey of science began with astronomy and agriculture, many thousands of years ago.  
"To our most ancient ancestors, the sky provided order and guidance, offering important clues essential for survival" [18]

This type of primitive scientific knowledge in some cultures was the exclusive and closely-guarded property of kings, pharaohs and high priests. It was often used for political purposes to infer the priest's supernatural control over natural phenomena, for reinforcing dominance over the superstitious masses. 

"The roots of science date back to ancient times of superstition when the sun, moon and stars were worshiped as pagan deities."

"...In those days, a knowledge of their movements could enable one to, for example, determine the time, predict the change of the seasons; predict livestock mating behavior; predict tidal movement; predict solar and lunar eclipses; and determine direction for navigating." [18]

In ancient times, the first-born son of the ruling class was typically the prince, while the second-born son was typically chosen for the priesthood. Priests would spend decades learning their craft - closely guarded secrets of science, superstition and often occult powers (white and black magic) — handed down from generation-to-generation. By limiting access to this knowledge, political regimes could leverage their secrets of science to ensure control over their subjects and sometimes over their enemies.

Early civilizations learned to associate the changes they saw in the sky, with the changes they saw on the earth. They learned that when certain stars appeared in the evening sky, that certain trees will bud, or that certain animals will have their offspring. [18]

The Greek philosophers, Aristotle and Ptolemy, began developing notions about nature and its physical laws. Unfortunately, they taught, for example, that the Earth was the center of the universe and that the sun, planets and stars revolved around it.

"They studied astronomical clues for regulation of very basic human activities, such as when to hunt, when to plant, when to harvest." [18] 
"Wherever you look in ancient cultures you will find evidence of astronomical symbolism, the recognition that the sun has power, the moon measures time and that the stars spell out the course of the seasons."  [18]

These erroneous Greek notions of a geocentric (i.e., earth-centered) universe dominated scientists' concepts of astronomy for nearly 2,000 years. In fact, these false Greek notions of geocentricity were subsequently adopted and venerated by the early Roman Catholic Church for their consistency with their dogmatic conceptions of heaven and hell.

Copernican Revolution - Difficult Birth of Modern Science

The birth of modern science took place during the Renaissance period, following centuries of intellectual, religious and political repression by the Roman Catholic Church.

The sixteenth century was a particularly tumultuous period for Roman Catholic Church prestige. The Catholic Church orthodoxy was being challenged by protesters such as Martin Luther. Luther protested against was the Catholic Church's selling of indulgences (cash payment for sins).

Also during this period in the 1500's, the Catholic Church's geocentric view was being challenged by Copernicus, an astronomer. In his book, De Revolutionibus, Copernicus proposed a heliocentric (sun centered) universe.

But Copernicus was closely tied to the Catholic Church, so didn't release his controversial book for publication until after he realized that he was dying. (This controversy would begin to symbolize for many, science's objective superiority over religion and superstition).

Copernicanism - a New Sin to be Rooted Out —Claimed the Catholic Church
The Catholic Church reacted strongly to Copernicus' views and dealt harshly with scientists infidels who supported them. For example, in the seventeenth century,
  • Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in Rome for the crime of Copernicanism.
  • Galileo, the father of modern astronomy, remained under house arrest by the Catholic Church, until his death for publishing his book endorsing the heliocentric view.

It was against this backdrop of extreme religious intolerance and intellectual bigotry during the Middle Ages that modern science ideology was forged.

The Development of Scientists' Naturalistic Ideology
While still struggling for ideological emancipation from an oppressive Catholic Church orthodoxy, eighteenth century scientists forged ahead, pioneering new fields of scientific inquiry.

This period also saw the beginnings of universally accepted rules of scientific evidence, i.e., the scientific method. This was based in part upon contributions by Lord Francis Bacon. However, several ideologies would later converge before scientists' paradigm for origins would be complete.

The founding fathers of modern science [see SIDEBAR) were primarily theists, that is they believed in a Creator-God who was actively involved in the affairs of His creation. 

"For the founding fathers of modern science, such as Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and Newton, the laws of nature were changeless ideas in the divine mind. God was a mathematician. The discovery of the mathematical laws of nature was a direct insight into the eternal Mind of God." [18]

However, coincident with scientists' bloody emancipation from Catholic Church orthodoxy was an increasing shift in their religious ideology from theism, to deism and ultimately to atheism.

Increasingly, scientists began to interpret reality as consisting only of those things which could be discerned by tools of science.

In other words, non-science would soon be equated as nonsense [15]. How did this gradual shift in scientists' ideology occur?

Mechanist View: All Things are Machines
The first of these atheistic ideologies that began to shape scientific thinking was the philosophy known as mechanism. First proposed by Rene Descartes in the 1600's, the mechanistic philosophy viewed the universe and everything in it as mere complex machines, explainable in terms of ordinary physics and chemistry. 

"Mechanists have always feared and still fear, that to admit the reality of anything "mysterious" or "mystical" in the realm of life would be to abandon the hard-won certainties of science" [18]

This ideology is fundamental to modern scientific thinking. The mind of man was the only exception to this view, being as was supposed in those times, spiritual in nature.

Reductionism - Machines Reduced to Their Lowest Level
The next ideological shift among scientists was reductionism. Reductionism is the belief that complex systems can be iteratively decomposed to their lowest (and simplest) levels. Scientists' ideology of reductionism is largely responsible for the discovery and development of the various branches of science.

For example, from biology scientists discovered the underlying molecular structure, thus spawning the field of chemistry. Scientists later theorized that molecules themselves consisted of even smaller structures, i.e., atoms and thus began atomic physics.

And for over 100 years physicists taught that atomic structures were the irreducible building blocks of matter. However, physicists later discovered that atoms themselves consisted of subatomic particles, patterns of vibrations within fields and the field of quantum theory was born.

From the largest structures in nature - galaxies of 100-million light years or more in diameter, to the invisible subatomic particles that they are composed of, each reduced layer of science revealed structure, complexity, function, order, design, mathematical coherence and conformance to nature's immaterial laws.

Naturalism - Emergence of Scientists' Material World
After two centuries of religious persecution, scientists were finally free to question and investigate natural phenomena without threat of religious reprisal. By the end of the eighteenth century, theism had given way to deism, (the belief in a Creator who set the universe in motion, but who played no active role in its operation).

But by the nineteenth century deism had all but collapsed to atheism, as a growing number of scientists began to consider God an "unnecessary hypothesis" [Henri Laplace]. 

"Most biologists, agriculturalists and doctors have been brought up to believe that the mechanistic theory represents the triumph of reason over superstition, from which true science must be defended at all costs" [18]  

During this timeframe mechanism and reductionism eventually converged into the philosophy known as naturalism. Naturalism is the belief that the ultimate order of reality exists exclusively in the material or physical realm.

Scientists' interpretation of naturalism is that reality exists only within the observable and/or measurable properties of the material.

This ideology can foster an eccentric world view. For example, for scientists the essence of nature lies not in answering the philosophical why, but in understanding the how, what, when and where of natural phenomena.

This ideological confinement of reality by scientists to their narrow, naturalistic definitions allows no concessions for any spiritual, immaterial, or otherwise non-physical phenomena...

It in effect denies the existence of any supernatural entity, such as a —Creator.  

However, it doesn't prove the non-existence of a Super-Being. Instead, naturalism absurdly declares that for God to exist, He must consist of material properties which can be detected or observed by instrumentation.

In other words, to be believed, the Creator must submit to a scientific examination. 

"To concede to anything of a supernatural or immaterial nature would constitute a betrayal of the hard won certainties of science, not the least of which would mean rejection by the entire scientific community". [18]

Emergence of the Neo-Priesthood of Modern Scientists
The naturalism ideology exalted scientists as the modern mediators of truth and meaning.

In their supposed objective of impartial quest for knowledge, scientists now promote themselves as uniquely qualified to dictate what the masses should and should not believe. This is viewed as science's victory over religion, where God is seen as an outdated concept of the superstitious.

Scientists' Search for a Neo-Creator
By the nineteenth century, virtually all naturally occurring phenomena could be scientifically explained in terms of physics and chemistry. By purely intellectual and physical means, scientists had deciphered a major understanding of nature and the physical laws that govern it.

Scientists had finally transcended above religion, myth and superstition.

Their naturalistic orientation provided them a commanding insight into the physical composition of the material realm. They could resolve the what, when, where and how, of nature, but not the why. Nor had they any answer for the origin of the universe, nor the source of the immaterial laws of nature that governed it (e.g., gravity, thermodynamics, the speed of light, etc.). Nor could they account for the rich diversity of life forms on earth.

Via naturalism, the universe was proclaimed closed by scientists, i.e., closed to any reference or interference by any troublesome Super-Being.

This death of God was heralded as the triumph of reason over superstition.


Scientists' Search for a Substitute Creator
 
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"For centuries, superstition and myth were also associated with early scientific discovery. Early civilizations often ascribed divine attributes to natural objects in the sky and in the earth, which men felt compelled to worship and offer service to. These pagan practices continued in many civilizations until Greek scientists rescued early scientific discovery from the mythological world view." [18]
 
 
"In the minds of Bible believers, the great modern increase of scientific knowledge should have pointed man to his Creator. And this it did, up to less than two centuries ago, when Bible believers began to give way to unbelievers in the development of science and Bible believers began to lose control of education and especially scientific education, because they failed to see its importance to Bible faith. The study of science then soon began to be conducted as though nothing except that which can be tested in the laboratory existed. The modern science revolution became one of the greatest obstacles to Bible faith. Largely owing to tremendous industrial progress, science gained great prestige. It developed an all-inclusive philosophy of its own which would completely supplant Bible faith or deny its leading features." [18]
 
"Astronomy was originally rooted in practical everyday reality. The sky provided the basic means of understanding such things as direction in the landscape (i.e., north, south, east and west). It also provided the basic rhythms celestially, for the passage of time; the regular cycle of day and night, the monthly packaging of the phases of the moon; the annual circuit of the seasons, the stars and the sun." [18]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

"Most simply assume that by means of "the scientific method," theories can be tested objectively by experiment in a way that is uncontaminated by the scientists' own hopes, ideas and beliefs." 
"Scientists generally feel the need to preserve an idealized self-image, not just for personal and professional reasons, but also because this image is projected on to them by others"
"And to the extent that science replaces religion as the source of truth and values, then scientists become a kind of priesthood"  
 

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