Science & Religion

Science was filtered or directed by those who signed the check – this is not a new concept as history itself was victim to the designs of the victors. Yet, science seems to take personal offense to being limited by funds. I wonder if the attitude of the scientist is that the experimentation and research that they need funding for benefits the whole of society, and not just the scientist/field? Or is it capitalism in general that science disagrees with?

Seventeenth and eighteenth-century scientists wanted to demystify accepted thought; they abandoned traditional scholasticism for empirical experimentation – the scientific method. One way to humanize the New Science was to make it readable and available to the public; the process of discovering truth needed to be understood so that the outcome would be accepted.[1] Science did not want to hide behind smoke and mirrors – yet something changed because modern scientists do not appreciate other fields attempting to understand their procedures.

Religion and science, prior to the Scientific Revolution, did not necessarily oppose the other. Darwin’s discovery of natural selection, however, directly challenged the church’s theory of divine creation. In “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Natural Selection as an Algorithmic Process,” Daniel C. Dennett discussed the algorithmic process of evolution that has created Us; he said, “No matter how impressive the products of an algorithm, the underlying process always consists of nothing but a set of individually mindless steps succeeding each other without the help of any intelligent supervision; they are ‘automatic’ by definition: the workings of an automaton.”[2] Nature as automaton removed the need and purpose of God – the church was shaken. The more science revealed natural means to explain existence, the less authority the church could rightfully demand.

Bibliography

Bowler, Peter J. and Iwan Rhys Morus. Making Modern Science: A Historical Survey. 2005. Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press.

Dennett, Daniel C. “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Natural Selection as an Algorithmic Process (1995).” Darwin: A Norton Critical Edition. 2005. Ed. Philip Appleman. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, pp. 489-93.

Picture c/ohttp://40.media.tumblr.com/702dc6c21e963c18370e86f3f605b986/tumblr_n81k83wQij1s50vg8o1_1280.jpg

[1] Bowler and Morus, Making Modern Science, p. 45.

[2] Dennett, “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea,” p. 493.

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