Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Fall of Man and the Foundations of Science

Denver Seminary: "The strength of Harrison's argument is his insistence that experimental science grew out of the acute awareness that attaining knowledge is not an easy, natural process. In a postlapsarian world, strategies must be devised to overcome the inherited infirmities of original sin, as well as circumscribe the difficulties of apprehending nature, which had become less intelligible since the Fall. A scientist would have to create controlled environments so that experiments could be performed and repeated, and naturalia observed and described. As Harrison points out in the first chapter with numerous cited examples, many of these early modern scientists wanted to recreate the approximate conditions of the Garden of Eden, which had allowed Adam full and unobstructed knowledge of the natural world. He quotes many important thinkers of the time, like Francis Bacon, who reasoned that Adam had been able to name every creature in the Garden because he had known, a priori, the essential nature of each one."

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