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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/301

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RELIGION AND SCIENCE.

spiritual worlds; and specifically a struggle in one world between true and false science, in another between religion and the heresy of the time. If we survey the whole of history at a glance we see that the science of one epoch has often been at variance with the religion of another; but we also see that in each and every age the conflict has been between things of one and the same kind; between religion and its opposite, between science and its opposite; and not in general between things so different in their nature as science and religion.

The histories of the so-called 'martyrs of Science' should be interpreted in the light of the foregoing conclusions. It may be that some readers, even while admitting the argument here set down, will leave it with an uneasy feeling that it can not, after all, be correct. It differs from received opinion. It is so much at variance with the views expounded in books of the warfare-of-science sort. But is it? As to opinion, I will quote a phrase of Kepler's:

The whole of philosophy is nothing but innovation, and a combat with immemorial ignorance.

Kepler was in the thick of the fight and knew that of which he spoke. He blames ignorance and not religion, nor theology. As to the real teaching of the books in question, I will quote two paragraphs from President White's 'Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom.'

I. Nothing is more unjust than to cast especial blame for all this resistance to science upon the Roman Church. The Protestant Church, though rarely able to be so severe, has been more blameworthy. II. As to the older errors the whole civilized world was at fault, Protestant as well as Catholic. It was not the fault of Religion; it was the fault of that short-sighted linking of theological dogmas to scriptural texts, which in utter defiance of the words and works of the Blessed Founder of Christianity, narrow-minded, loud-voiced men are ever prone to substitute for Religion.

The first citation is amply proved in the book from which it is taken. The second lays the blame precisely where it belongs, namely, upon the whole civilized—that is, partly civilized—world. The conflict was the outcome of invincible ignorance; it was an episode in the progress towards enlightenment. It had nothing to do with religion—Dr. White so states. That it had nothing to do with theology will be clear when we reflect that the particular form of men's theology determined only the particular manner in which their ignorance was manifested. Catholics chose one form; Protestants another. The real cause underlaid theological form; and was the ignorance of 'narrow-minded' men. It was independent of 'scriptural texts,' though they were often quoted to serve a purpose. From Dr. White's own words it appears that the conflicts of science have not been, in general, with religion, nor yet with theology; but with the 'immemorial ignorance' of 'narrow-minded men,' recognized as the arch-enemy by Kepler, the protagonist, and recognizable all about us to-day, if we will but look.