Your average internet atheist virtually always considers themselves to be a paragon of logical, scientific thinking. To hear them tell it, atheistic thinkers have the academic world by the tail and have single-handedly brought technology and scientific advancement to the world. And one can expect them to finish these dishonest rhetorical flourishes with a jab at religious thinkers.
Yes, they’ll go on and on about Church’s muzzling of Galileo and other “atrocities” <sic> against science committed by those nefarious, closed-minded Christians. If we accepted these ridiculous narratives, we’d all believe that Christendom would still have us all in the bronze age if not for those brave atheistic geniuses. Well, should we allow them to rewrite history? No.
The following line of questioning is designed to shine the light of truth on this blatant dishonesty and lead this particular type of atheist to admit to their skewed view of science history.
“Religion is anti-science!”, saith the atheist.
1.) Would you say that that religion has retarded scientific progress? If so, how and when?
NOTE: Here, you’ll often see a handy link-dandy trotted out. It will no doubt be some bit of mad ranting from the Secular Web about how Christianity banned all learning and rational thought and ushered in the Dark Ages until Leonardo da Vinci invented intelligence.
Save it for later analysis and refutation (if you care to) and redirect the atheist to the dialogue at hand. It’s important to make them defend their assertions [on the spot] as opposed to throwing up the work of others as a shield against your questions.
2.) Considering your response, may I assume that you do indeed believe that theism of any kind is antithetical to reason and an enemy of science? If that [is] what you’re saying, I think such assertions are quite vulnerable to immediate rebuff.
3.) Here is an example of what I’m talking about: Are you familiar with Occam’s razor? Would you like to know who that problem-solving principle is attributed to? How is it that men like William of Ockham, an English Franciscan friar, philosopher, logician and theologian, are to be considered enemies of rational thought?
4.) What do you know of The Venerable Bede (ca. 672–735)? I can tell you that he was a Christian monk of the monasteries of Wearmouth and Jarrow. I’m sure that’s less than impressive to atheists but there was more to him than his faith in Christ. So, do you know [any]thing about him?
Well, we wrote: “On the Nature of Things” and several books on the mathematical / astronomical subject of computus. He also wrote, “On the Reckoning of Time” and made original discoveries concerning the nature of the tides and his works on computus became required elements of the training of clergy, and thus greatly influenced early medieval knowledge of the natural world.
4.) Would you agree that I’ve, thus far, presented to you two important Christian contributors to science from the so-called Dark Ages? And does this not militate against the notion that medieval Christians were bent on keeping the sciences from advancing?
NOTE: For more examples go to -> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_medieval_European_scientists
NOTE: For examples of later Christian contributors to science and technology, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christians_in_science_and_technology
You can take facts/statements from the wealth of data at links like these and present them as questions. Long story short, do your homework and have your questions ready to go ahead of time.
Bottom Line: Anyone who can look another person in the eye and say that Christians don’t contribute greatly to the science of discovery is either: 1.) Unimaginably ignorant 2.) Dishonest 3.) A Christ-hating heckler
This pernicious and dishonest attack on theism is one of the easiest ploys to dispatch when you learn to gather and marshal facts from non-revisionist history.