Man has always sought to command nature as part of our dominion, it is our birthright. Gradually he tried to understand nature. Later he learned to combine the two desires and when that happened modern science took shape. The development of science rests upon the progressive revelation, curiosity and interest of many centuries, of its position at rest in the center of the universe (mainly derived from Aristotelian physics) and those against its possible motion.

For the majority of our common era, the world was thought to be flat. Science held a different view from early times, but it was religion that held the thought of the people. Socrates describes the earth as a round body in the center of the heavens, he was wrong about the center but right about the round. It will be readily apparent that there was no question of whether the earth was a sphere; no scientist after the time of Aristotle doubted it. Erasosthenes was the principle mathematician working at the Museum at Alexandria in the 3rd century BC and was the first to attempt to measure the earth. He concluded that it must be round and cited Aristotle, travelers to Arabia and the common sense of men who could see the ocean and the flight of birds.

Only Christian leaders taught against science, it was up to Jews, Moslems and free thinkers to make advancements in learning. For ten long centuries the church vigorously opposed surgery and put obstacles in the way of medical science. Dissection was prohibited for the reason that mutilation of the body might prevent the resurrection of the dead and that "the church abhors the shedding of blood." When every man's body was the image of Christ's body, Corpus Christi, dissecting a man was tantamount to dissecting God. The church thought nothing could be more impious, godless and inhuman than the study of anatomy.

That this narrow minded bigotry against science still exists in the minds of religionists today is a blot on Christianity and an affront to the truth. It is said that the world was created in 4004 BC, I have worked out the genealogies of the Genesis record and find that the age of man is recorded here, not the age of the earth. There are still those that believe that a day of creation was only 24 hours and blinded to open-minded inquiry or even to the Genesis account which records the reckoning of solar time not until the fourth day of creation.

For the ignorant religionists of the past, including many fundamentalist conservatives today, there was one truth for science and another for revelation, and it was beyond the powers of the human mind to establish their compatibility. The discovery of free thinking touched off a series of chain reactions at the University of Paris: no less that six decrees were issued between 1213 and 1241 forbidding clerks to engage in the study of natural sciences. Islamic science continued to inspire western scholars, particularly in the late 11th and 12th centuries. It was the important Muslim work on arithmetic that used Arab numerals and the Muslim translation of the Greek masters that preserved knowledge until the West came out of the dark ages.

In the minds of millions, a world view based on religion has been supplanted by a world view based on science. That is the fault of Christianity for its historical prejudice against science and the scientific method. This has led to the opposition of the Christian truth because science can be verified by reason and because of Christian bigotry, they mistakenly think that theology can only be verified by faith. Since science has increasingly come to the knowledge of the truth, it has been proven to be incompatible with religion, the clear evidence of reason and truth had won and the church lost. There is in fact only one world, and theology and science are both concerned with the same world from different points of view. If martyrs are needed to sanctify a religion, science has plenty of its own. This means that science implies some kind of faith transcending knowledge, even as religion does. There can be no conflict as long as theology does not tamper with scientific controversies which are irrelevant to religion itself. Theologians have finally realized it; the best of them know that they have nothing to gain and everything to lose in such conflicts, and they will not stick their necks out any more.
[04, 09, 41, 42, 48, 68, 86, 151, 153, 200, 392, 394]

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