On the Alleged Christian Origins of Modern Science

There is an often repeated claim by Christians that belief in their god produced modern science. There are a number of ways to show them wrong.

1) Richard Carrier destroys such a claim in my anthology, The Christian Delusion. As you might guess, I love how he opens his chapter. He excoriates it!
As the story now goes, not only has Christianity never been at odds with science and never impeded it in any way, but it was actually the savior of science, the only worldview that could ever make science possible. And that’s why the Scientific Revolution only ever sparked in one place: a thoroughly Christian society.

This is not only false in every conceivable detail but so egregiously false that anyone with even the slightest academic competence and responsibility should have known it was false. Which means its advocates, all of whom claim to be scholars, must either be embarrassingly incompetent, perversely dishonest, or wildly deluded. That so many scholars would be so incompetent seems improbable. That they are all lying, even more so. Of course, we’ve all seen the conservative political tactic of repeating a lie so often, in so many places, with such confidence, and from so many sources, that everyone begins to believe it. This may be one such lie. Or these scholars may really be this mind-bogglingly incompetent. But I’m inclined to doubt it. Delusion seems a more likely explanation for how so many can repeat a claim so demonstrably false without ever being corrected by their peers.

An obvious objection to this delusional claim is that it violates one of the most basic principles of causality: when the cause is in place, its effect is seen. Christianity fully dominated the whole of the Western world from the fifth to the fifteenth century, and yet in all those thousand years there was no Scientific Revolution. A cause that fails to have its predicted effect despite being continually in action for a thousand years is usually considered refuted, not confirmed. Excuses will be made, claims of impediments, but no Scientific Revolution occurred in the Eastern half of the Christian world either, which had none of the West’s excuses. The East was not overrun by barbarians and remained prosperous and developed for five centuries. Such excuses are usually denied anyway—the new trend is to insist even the Western Middle Ages were shot through with an unrivaled spirit of innovation and economic and intellectual vigor. But even if you reject that and accept the West was held back, why did the Scientific Revolution still never happen in the Byzantine Empire, despite being just as Christian, and in every respect more successful? Those caught by this question usually solve it by denigrating the Byzantines as somehow the “wrong kind” of Christians.3 But once you start down that road, the notion that Christianity is the solution goes out the window. Now you need a special kind of Christianity, which is evidently not an inevitable outcome of the original Christian Gospel. Either way, the fact remains, whether East or West, once Christians dominated the culture, no Scientific Revolution ensued. It took over a thousand more years. [pp. 397-98]
2) Ask why their god inspired the origins of science when it's the major investigative tool that destroys faith.

Here are seven examples of science debunking Christianity.

See also my anthology, Christianity in the Light of Science: Critically Examining the World's Largest Religion.

3) Ask them why their god has never revealed anything to us that we didn't discover on our own. The best explanation for this is that we discovered these results on our own, without the help of their god.

Why didn't your god tell us to wash our hands before eating, and to boil contaminated water before drinking it?

Why didn't your god tell us about antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, antiepileptics, and especially anesthetics, which deadens the pain of tooth extractions, amputations of legs on the battlefield, and other surgical procedures?

Why didn't your god make our immune systems stronger, and/or showed us how to make vaccines long before we discovered them?

Why didn't your god warn us about poisonous animals, plants, bugs, fungi, and so on?

Why didn't he warn us to avoid building cites near earthquakes, or volcanoes, or flood zones?

People around the planet had to die to learn they should avoid such things on their own, without any revelation from their silent god.

Why didn't your god... [Readers share more examples!!]