This book starts with a discussion over the main human expectations from the development of knowledge which are as follows:
- -Increasing one’s knowledge regarding the universe and the human being
- -Individual well-being with the advancing technologies
- -Providing the required grounds for social peace and stability
The most significant periods in the history of science are then singled out, the scientific records of which would separately been examined through the critical analysis of the reasons behind its progression and/or decline.
Ancient Greece is the first significant period in the history of science. According to the findings of this book, scientific communications, manifestations of democracy, high social status of scientists, the establishment of the academic institution, and relative well-being are considered as the most important reasons of the scientific progression of the Greeks. Reviewing the Greeks’ scientific records, the role of disbelief in divine religions in Greek knowledge would then be carefully investigated.
Examining the Islamic civilization constitutes another chapter of the book. Honoring wisdom in religious teachings, problem raising, opposing superstitions, offering scientific and civilization-building teachings, religious requirements, vast communications, the support of the rulers, academic institutions and prospered economy are regarded as the main reasons for the development of knowledge in this period.
The role of religion in the development of knowledge in Islamic civilization, and the reasons behind its decline especially the influence of the ruling establishmentand the rise of anti-reasoning currents are some other issues which arethen investigated and discussed in this regard.
Medieval age is another historical period whose records in science and the factors involved in the downturn of knowledge throughout its dominance in the West, especially the role of religion and Christian teachings in this regard are critically investigated. Then, the most significant period in science history, i.e. the Modern West is studied based on historical documents, elaborating on the key factors which have contributed to the fast scientific development of the modern age.
Christian teachings, the weakening of the Church, efficient academic system, economic growth, familiarity with Islamic legacy, reformist movements and the strengthening of rationalism in the West, scientific developments, the establishment of knowledge, the reverence of the scientists, and scientific inventions are among the factors listed here for the prosperity of knowledge in Modern west. However, having reviewed the scientific records of this time period, the author examines the detrimental role of religious aversion on the destructive aspects of the Western technology and its social crisis, and the effect of the separation of knowledge from religious beliefs on the knowledge-increasing potential of the modern sciences.