thousands of years, science has unraveled the workings of the universe
in its orderly fashion--picking, pulling, and sometimes yanking
away turf previously claimed by religion. Religion has not always
yielded willingly. As science staked more ground, Christian clerics
countered by debunking and suppressing science, and, when all else
failed, persecuting and prosecuting the heretics.
A Roman Catholic tribunal during the 17th-century inquisition sentenced
Galileo to life in prison for advocating the Copernican theory that
Earth orbits the sun. More than 350 years later, the Kansas State
School Board, motivated by religious considerations, dropped evolution
from the state's science curriculum.
Yet, we would be wrong if we were to believe that religion and science
have been at odds throughout history. Austrian monk Gregor Mendel
was the father of modern genetics. Charles Darwin saw evolution
as a process designed by God. Galileo was devoted to the religion
that prosecuted him. And Albert Einstein wisely observed that "science
without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."
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