I am reading av very interesting book at the moment. The book is written by Vishal Mangalwadi from India and has this title: "The Book That Made Your World - How the Bible created the soul of the Western civilization." I have only read half the book so far, but I can truly recommend it! Today i like to share what he says about science.
- Ancient India produced great surgeons like Sushruta. Why didn't his tradition develop into scientific medecine?
- As early as the fifth century, Aryabhata suggested that the earth rotates on its axis and revolves around the sun. Indian astrologers knew of his theory, but didn't change their practices.
- Ancient and medieval India's genius for mathematics is widely recognized. An unknown Indian mathematician introduces zero. Mathematicians Brahmagupta (seventh century), Mahavira (ninth century), and Bhaskara (twelfth century) were eons ahead of West.
Why didn't Indian mathematics become the language of science? Consider growing up in a culture that believe that the world you see and touch is unreal - maya - an illusion, a dream. Would you devote your life to study that "unreal" world? Wouldn't you seek to escape the world? To meditate inwardly - "go within" your consciousness - to try to find "reality" there?
The Chinese monks and the Hindu sages did not lack ability. They lacked the philosophical motivation. They looked for a psychological paradise, for bliss within their consciousness. Until the sixteenth century, the Western Christian mind also looked for a psychological or spiritual salvation. It was only when a major portion of Christendom could read the Bible and take it at face value that it began to understand the loss of Eden as a loss of earthly paradise.
The West's passion for science began when the Bible inspired Christians to devote their lives to recovering God's forgotten mandate for humans to take dominion over nature. The first historian of the Royal Society of Science, Thomas Spat (1635-1713), explained that the society's objective was to enable mankind to reestablish "Dominion over Things". It was this religio-scientific exercise that collected the data that showed the apparent design in nature.
The scientific method of studying nature grew out of theology, out of a particular way of viewing the material world based on the Bible. This way assumed that the physical universe was real. It was neither a Platonic "shadow" nor a Hindu maya (illusion).
So far Vishal Mangalwadi. This is just the way he begins to explain how the scientific outlook was born out of the outlook of the Bible. I hope this will cause you to study this subject more deeply. I recommend that you read this book for yourself.