Stanley Jaki on the Development of Science

‘For Plato and the Greeks, the world was not created but generated, or rather begotten from a divine substance. For Christians the only divinely begotten entity was the Son, alone consubstantial with the Father, the Creator. The world in Christian perspective had to be created, that is, contingent in the deepest sense. But since creation was the act of a rational Creator, infinitely superior to a mere demiurgos, the work of creation had to be fully consistent, that is, rational. Such was the fuller perspective of the “Word became flesh,” a perspective which the Greeks of old could not muster. This is why science implies much more than the Greek way of looking at the world, a way which, however rational as long as it dealt with the abstractions of geometry, was not rational enough when it came to physical reality. In the end it became the prisoner of irrationality which barred access to the novelty of a self-sustaining science, the only science worthy of its name. (Stanley Jaki, ‘Chance or Reality and Other Essays’, p. 221)


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