Francis Bacon, Science, and the Two Books

The first thing we need to do is get our Bacons sorted out, since there were two notable historical fellows with that name. Both came from England, and each studied natural philosophy (which is now known as science). Both of them also studied theology. Roger Bacon was a friar, and I like using bacon and friar in the same sentence. He was a pioneer of the scientific method and believed the Bible.

We can jump ahead a few hundred years, around the time of King James I, to Francis Bacon. He was brilliant, and like the other Bacon, cooked up advances in what has become known as the scientific method. A part of the fame of Francis is his idea of "two books".

Around the time of King James I, Francis Bacon was developing natural philosophy (know known as science). His "two books" idea has caused problems.
Main image credit before Francis Bacon portrait insert: Pexels / Polina Tankilevitch
While Francis believed the Bible, he also considered nature itself to be a book provided by God to teach us things not in the Bible. Apparently, he wanted to keep science and Scripture apart, and secularists have run with this idea and taken it much further than Bacon intended.

Now they use it in the spurious claim that there is a "war" between science and religion. No, the proper view is that the Bible must have the superior position because it is inerrant. Manmade science philosophies as well as things considered facts are constantly changing.
Bacon is best known today for having inaugurated a widely regarded form of the scientific method. That is, the laws of science are discovered by gathering and analyzing data from experiments and observations. Before this, in the Renaissance, there was widespread reliance on armchair arguments based on the beliefs of ancient Greek authorities such as Aristotle.

Bacon was also responsible for promoting the division of knowledge into two branches, viz., ‘natural philosophy’ (as science was called back then), and the Bible. This ultimately contributed to the modern mindset that alleges there is a conflict between science and religion. To be fair, Bacon thought that these two branches affirmed rather than contradicted each other.

To read the full article, see "Francis Bacon and the alleged conflict between science and the Bible". Also, I suggest that you consider reading articles linked beneath that one.

Comments