"Since there are a good many Manicheans among the Moderns as we may remark in a moment, some may agree [that the creator of the earth was primarily the creator of the evil, whether we call him a devil or a god], some may be puzzled about it, some may only be puzzled about why we should object to it. To understand the medieval controversy, a word must be said of the Catholic doctrine, which is as modern as it is medieval. That "God looked on all things and saw that they were good" contains a subtlety which the popular pessimist cannot follow, or is too hasty to notice. It is the thesis that there are no bad things, but only bad uses of things. If you will, there are no bad things but only bad thoughts; and expecially bad intentions. Only Calvinists can really believe that hell is paved with good intentions. That is exactly the one thing it cannot be paved with. But it is possible to have bad intentions about good things; and good like the world and the flesh have been twisted by a bad intention called the devil. But he cannot make things bad; they remain as on the first day of creation.
The central question in the philosophy and history of science: what (or who) made the world, and was it made good, or bad, or both?
The atheist answer: nothing made the world. How this serves as an impetus to science remains obscure.
That it serves as a basis for nihilism and will to power is not obscure. No atheist (Marxist) country has produced new science in any meaningful way. Example: the Soviet Union, home to brilliant mathematicians and mathematical physicists, had to steal Western nuclear blueprints.
Another example: Trofim Lysenko, a paradigm of the atheist scientist, committed to ideological purity, rather than to an honest investigation of nature. For atheists, science is ideology pursued by different means.
The Manichean answer: good and evil made the world, mostly evil. It suppresses science. Why study matter, which is evil, when the purpose of life is to escape it? The Manichean thread runs through Buddhism and New Ageism, neither of which produces science.
The Thomist answer: Good Himself made the world, entirely good at creation. Evil is a spiritual degradation of good matter. The study of nature is good, because it is the study of that which is naturally good.
The Thomist understanding of creation is the basis for all modern science. It is no coincidence that the scientific Enlightenment followed on the High Middle Ages (13th century), once the scholastic understanding of nature had spread throughout Europe.
Chesterton comments on the current struggle between science and atheist ideology:
The work of heaven alone was material; the making of a material world. The work of hell is entirely spiritual.
Atheism lacks justification for natural science. Atheism is entirely spiritual, under a masque of science.
* Chesterton GK: Saint Thomas Aquinas Image/Doubleday 1933. p83f.