Re: creationism

Max More (
Tue, 23 Jun 1998 18:32:42 -0700

At 04:31 PM 6/23/98 -0700, Jonathan Colvin wrote:
>are loony-tunes. But science as we know it today would not have existed
>without the Judeo-Christian belief in "rational explanation", which
>contrasts greatly with Buddism for example, where the question of origin is
>not really considered at all. The first scientists were theologists,
>observing the universe around them and trying to explain it.

I wouldn't venture to assert whether science would or would not have
existed had histoy gone differently. However, I think it entirely possible
that we would have had science considerably earlier if Christianity had not
been so strong, with other, better intellectual systems in their place.

Certainly some aspects of the Christian tradition -- primarily in the
Catholic side (thought the independence-from-authority meme in
Protestantism helped) -- encouraged science. But these were not uniquely
Christian and originated clearly from outside Christianity. They were
essentially due to the respect for Plato and his conviction that universal
rational explanations were possible, and due to the (Platonized)
Aristotelianism of the Catholics. Most of the basic ideas of Christianity,
despite these imports, have been anti-rationalist ("tear the eyes out of
your reason" -- Martin Luthor), and have turned thinkers eyes towards
unworldly realms rather than towards naturalistic investigation.

If Christianity had died out with nothing in its place, or with Buddhism
taking over (not sure how that could have happened), I'd agree with you.
But what if Hellenic humanism had survived and flourished? If it had,
perhaps the Dark Ages would never had happened, and we wouldn't be dealing
with Rifkin and his kind today.


P.S. Good line from the X-Files movies: Mulder to Sculley: "Your strict
scientific rationalism has saved me a thousand times over."

Max More, Ph.D. (soon also: <>)
Consulting services on the impact of advanced technologies
President, Extropy Institute:,