RC then continues with Jewish and Christian attitudes.
In the more conservative and strict places, education was mostly on the Bible and religious law, while Jews in Alexandria and other such places got a pagan-like education.
Philo argued that scientists and natural philosophers ought to dedicate their study of nature to God, just as a sailor dedicates the success of a voyage to God, showing humble thanks for the talent God had given them, which God obviously intended them to use. This means Philo had no problem with Jews becoming scientists and studying science, so long as they honored God as they ought.
But he thought that contemplation of God was the highest activity.
Xianity had some very different attitudes. Mostly disdain for education as pagan, coupled with lack of interest in developing Xian alternatives. The theologian Origen was an exception, however. But some theologians argued that God would not have made the knowledge necessary for salvation difficult to acquire. RC quotes a 3rd-cy. tract:
Avoid all books of the heathen. For what have you to do with strange sayings or laws or lying prophecies, which also turn away from the faith those who are young? For what is wanting for you in the word of God, that you should cast yourself upon these fables of the heathen? If you want to read historical narratives, you have the Book of Kings. If wise men and philosophers, you have the Prophets, wherein you shall find more wisdom and understanding than of [the so-called] wise men and philosophers, for they are the words of the one God, the only wise being. And if you wish for songs, you have the Psalms of David. But if you’d rather read about the beginning of the world, you have the Genesis of the great Moses. And if you want laws and commandments, you have the glorious Law of the Lord God. All that is strange therefore, everything contrary [to the Bible], wholly avoid.
There were some exceptions, like a sect that admired the works of Euclid, Aristotle, Theophrastus, and Galen, but that sect never got very big, and it was scorned as heretics by other Xians.
Then RC discusses Justin Martyr's considering various schools of philosophy. RC suspects that JM's account of his quest is at least partially fictionalized, but it is nevertheless interesting.
JM first went to a Pythagorean, but that gentleman was disappointed in JM's lack of learning. JM's response was to argue that being learned is not really necessary. Then JM went to an Aristotelian, and that gentleman wanted to charge him for being taught. JM didn't want to pay anything. Then JM went to a Stoic, and that gentleman de-emphasized God. JM didn't like that either. So he settled on Platonism for a while before discovering Xianity. Interestingly, many later theologians also liked Platonism, and that's why most of Plato's books survive.
Then 3rd-century Clement of Alexandria. RC notes that he thought that one should study science and philosophy, but mainly to avoid seeming stupid, as Augustine of Hippo also recommended. However, it was not as an end in itself.
Clement seems to treat these subjects as closed and finished, as mere traditions that had only to be passed on, never expanded or improved.
To him, science and philosophy must be subordinated to Christian dogma and studied primarily to arm the Christian against attacks upon the faith by scientists and philosophers. Thus, for Clement, science and philosophy take on the role of the enemy’s scriptures, a view voiced by other Christians, too.
This reminds me of how some recent Xian apologists misunderstand science. They seem to think that it is just like their religion, a set of revealed truths. Thus, Ray Comfort once handed out copies of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species
with this curious addition.
The catch is that he wrote a 50-page introduction that explains how evolution has no support, brainwashes people, and has a direct connection to Adolf Hitler.
Complete with omitting his name (Ray Comfort Tries to Sneak Creationism into On the Origin of Species
After noting that science was not a high priority for early Xian theologians, RC pointed out that that can easily explain the decline of science and science education after the 4th cy., when Xianity was made the Roman Empire's official religion. It also did not help that not many people learned Greek in the West after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
It wasn't until the late Middle Ages that science started to revive again, and it only did so in the Roman Catholic parts of Europe, and not in the Eastern Orthodox parts. It also was over a millennium after the origin of Xianity, so Xianity does not deserve any real credit.