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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/124

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

eral, profoundly ignorant of science. When we are thinking of the attitude of the church we must remember that the conflict with Galileo had not arisen. Calvin quotes the first verse of the ninety-third Psalm

—The World also is established, that it can not be moved

and says: 'Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above that of the Holy Spirit?'

Such dicta of great theologians are often quoted to demonstrate the existence of an age-long conflict between science and religion. So to interpret them is a sad misconception of the real warfare that has occupied mankind for ages. The veritable conflict has been between ignorance and enlightenment, not in one field only, but in all conceivable spheres.

Before there can be fruitful discussion the 'universe of discourse' must be defined. Things of a like kind can alone be compared. The world of science relates and refers to material things moved by physical forces; and only to these. The world of religion relates and refers only to immaterial things moved by spiritual energies. These worlds are wide apart now. They were widely separated even in the sixteenth century, and they were entirely divided for the highest thinking men even in the middle ages. In either world conflicts are possible. They can only take place between ideas of the same kind; between religion and heresy, or between science and pseudo-science. Theologians decide the issue in one world; men of science in the other. It is the business of philosophers to define and discuss the limits of each world in turn; to determine the validity of conclusions. It is the privilege of poets harmoniously to express imagined analogies between the action of spirit on spirit and of force on matter. It is the dream of seers and prophets to synthesize such analogies into a single system, mingling two universes into one. Whatever may be our hope for the future, the synthesis has not yet been achieved. Theologians have essayed it from one direction, philosophers from another, but the essential distinction remains untouched. There is a world of matter; there is a world of spirit. Men live in both. Their actions are ruled by different and discrepant laws. In the world of spirit the good man is safe and happy, no matter what fate may befall him in the world of physical phenomena. In the latter world no virtue will save the man who transgresses its especial laws. Gravitation, and not goodness, decides whether his falling body suffers harm or is preserved alive.

To Calvin the pronouncement of Copernicus was sheer blasphemy. It seemed to him to lie entirely within the sphere of religion. Judged by the accepted standards of that sphere it was audacious heresy. To Kepler the law of Copernicus lay entirely within the sphere of science. It was to be accepted as true, or rejected as pseudo, science entirely by