Science is based on what James Trefil calls the principle of universality. “It says that the laws of nature we discover here and now in our laboratories are true everywhere in the universe and have been in force for all time.” Moreover, the laws that govern the universe seem to be written in the language of mathematics. Physicist Richard Feynman found this to be “a kind of miracle.”
Why? Because the universe doesn’t have to be this way. There’s no particular reason the laws of nature that we find on Earth should also govern a star billions of light years away. There’s no logical necessity for a universe that obeys rules, let alone mathematical ones. So where did Western man get this idea of a lawfully ordered universe? From Christianity.
Christians were the first ones who envisioned the universe as following laws that reflected the rationality of God the creator. These laws were believed to be accessible to man because man is created in the image of God and shares a spark of the divine reason. No wonder, then, that the first universities and observatories were sponsored by the church and run by priests.
No wonder also that the greatest scientists of the West — Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Boyle, Newton, Leibniz, Gassendi, Pascal, Mersenne, Cuvier, Harvey, Dalton, Faraday, Joule, Lyell, Lavoisier, Priestley, Kelvin, Ampere, Steno, Pasteur, Maxwell, Planck, Mendel, and Lemaitre — were Christians. Gassendi, Mersenne and Lamaitre were priests. Several of them viewed their research as demonstrating God’s creative genius as manifested in his creation.