Science vs. Religion

(Also see Where Is God? for a history of science vs. religion)

Step by step, from contest to ultimate conquest, in every single conflict of Fact with Faith, the Church has been defeated and has retreated -- put to shaming rout. It has been a slow and tortuous progress,--

"For faith, fanatic faith, once wedded fast
To some dear falsehood, hugs it to the last"!

But fantastic Faith has wondrous powers of "accommodation" and specious tenacity of false pretense of being forever inspiredly right. The process of adjustment has throughout a thousand instances has been the same: Faith is confronted with a discrediting Fact; it curses it and denies it. When the fact is crammed down its throat and it is forced to recognize it, it lyingly denies that it had ever denied it. Then when all mankind has united in joyful acceptance of the new fact, the arch hypocrite declares that it is entirely in accord with its "sacred science," and tries to steal all credit for it as one of its very own grand contributions to "Christian civilization," and sanctimoniously wheezes, "How much grander a concept it gives of the infinite knowledge and glory of Gawd in His wonderful process of Nature"! Oh, Hypocrisy! Thou art the Church of God! "Semper eadem" (always the same) -- lying and shameless! [1]

The Catholic Church now admits the "Galileo Incident" was a "mistake". According to the Catholic Encyclopedia the Church is only infallible in matters of religious dogma, and its current definition of religious dogma extends only to matters of faith and morals. Thus the Catholic Church made a "mistake" with Galileo because the Church confused religious dogma with a matter of science. However the Church's claim of papal infallibility is still intact because the pope never invoked his infallibility and explicitly claimed that the universe was geocentric, and even if he did it wouldn't count because according to the Church the pope's infallibility only extends to matters of religious dogma and not to matters of science.

However it is quite clear that at the time of Galileo the Church's infallible religious dogma did extend to all matters of science including astronomy, biology, geology, geography, and archaeology. Even today religious fundamentalists still insist the Bible is the literal infallible Word of God, inerrant, without contradiction, correct in all matters of Faith and all matters of science. They force the Bible to fit in with today's knowledge of science, like forcing a square peg into a round hole, or they attack any science they can not yet force the Bible to conform to.

The priestly principle of the subordination of scientific fact to dogmatic faith is thus naïvely posed by the Catholic Encyclopedia itself which I quote, "When a clearly defined dogma contradicts a scientific assertion, the latter has to be revised." A more palpable and ridiculous untruth has never been uttered by those who still insist on Biblical literalness. No single scientific fact ever discovered and proclaimed, in all the struggling history of Science in defiance of Church, has ever been "revised," altered or withdrawn in deference to religious Dogma. Every fact of science has proudly and triumphantly defied and refuted Dogma and Church, and made them both cheap and ridiculous. Faith hates facts; they are forever divorced on grounds of congenital incompatibility. The Church, True Church, and Protestant, has screamed and reviled at every truth of Science which was ever discovered; with high priestly anathema, the curse of God, with prison, rack, and stake, it has sought to suppress and kill every thought of the human mind, every bold thinker, whose truths for the benefit of mankind have contradicted and ridiculed it and its holy dogmas. [2]

Even today there are those trying to prevent the teaching of Evolution in our schools, not for any scientific reason, but simply because Darwin's theory of Evolution conflicts with their current religious dogma. But I do not believe the science of Evolution will be the last nail in the coffin of Biblical literalness, just as the undeniable proof of a heliocentric universe did not end it hundreds of years ago.

When it was finally accepted that the Catholic Church was wrong about the structure of our solar system the Catholic Church changed its religious dogma to not include science, claimed that its infallibility never extended to matters of science and therefore is still intact, and now claims the Bible all along agreed with everything science has now proven.
1. Joseph Wheless Forgery in Christianity: A Documented Record of the Foundations of the Christian Religion (Kessinger Publishing)
2. ibid.
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