Well you come back to whether the reformation allowed any specific scientific discoveries to florish, that would otherwise have been held back.
While I acknowledge that it's all speculation and that there can't be proof, I don't see more than spurious hints for such an absolutist argument.
Well its spurious if you are not operating from any evidence. There is the evidence on that account by Burke there that technological development was held up by Church bureaucracy refusing study of vacuum's. And before anyone says anything about my being hard on the catholic church, I think it fair to point out the work of Johannes Keppler was also held up Lutherans, which was I understand persecution due to his certain beliefs he had involving his work.
So clearly, ANY church was capable of holding up technological advancement, if it didnt suit their personal aims.
A better example is Gallileo.
Galileo's championing of heliocentrism and Copernicanism was controversial during his lifetime, when most subscribed to geocentric models such as the Tychonic system. He met with opposition from astronomers, who doubted heliocentrism because of the absence of an observed stellar parallax. The matter was investigated by the Roman Inquisition in 1615, which concluded that heliocentrism was "foolish and absurd in philosophy, and formally heretical since it explicitly contradicts in many places the sense of Holy Scripture". Galileo later defended his views in Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (1632), which appeared to attack Pope Urban VIII and thus alienated him and the Jesuits, who had both supported Galileo up until this point. He was tried by the Inquisition, found "vehemently suspect of heresy", and forced to recant. He spent the rest of his life under house arrest. While under house arrest, he wrote Two New Sciences, in which he summarized work he had done some forty years earlier on the two sciences now called kinematics and strength of materials.
As a contrast to the experiences of Galileo look at the experiences of Isaac Newton. There is only about 30-40 years between them at this point. This was the worst sticking point of his career, and seemingly, it had absolutely nothing to do with his work.
In April 1667, he returned to Cambridge and in October was elected as a fellow of Trinity. Fellows were required to become ordained priests, although this was not enforced in the restoration years and an assertion of conformity to the Church of England was sufficient. However, by 1675 the issue could not be avoided and by then his unconventional views stood in the way. Nevertheless, Newton managed to avoid it by means of a special permission from Charles II.
Ive been trying hard to think of anyone in England that had their work or held up or was ruined post reformation due to unfashionable religious or political beliefs, and I struggle to think of one. The only one I can think of was Darwin, and that was to a large extent his own doing, and his lack of security in his own beliefs. He wasnt even the first Briton to theorise evolution, he was just the first to get it into print. The difference being in Britain in that period, we were secular. There was no real involvement of region in politics since Charles I. Now whether that gave us an advantage in technological development or not, I cannot possibly assert, but I do suggest its one possible explanation why so many technical developments were developed or were welcomed here.
Am I certain of this? But I mention it as something to consider. If the ONLY difference the reformation made to England was an ability to think without orthodoxy, or creating a separation of state and church in politics, then maybe that was the key ingredient.
At the very least, i think you can make a case the reformation brought the industrial revolution forward. It would have happened anyway, but nobody can predict how long it would have took. You only have to look at James Burkes connection series to see how unlikely and chancy many of the key ingredients of the industrial revolution were.
Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 17 July 2019 - 0901 AM.