Friday, December 11, 2015

God, Science, and Atheism

As Dr. Lawrence Principe notes, "The idea that scientific and religious camps have historically been separate and antagonistic is rejected by all modern historians of science." Nevertheless, the idea that science and religion are in conflict remains extremely popular, thanks to certain politically motivated works written in the 1800s and a variety of more recent claims (most notably by the "new atheists"). Yet even a brief consideration of the views of the leaders of the scientific revolution and of history's most important scientists shows not only that belief in God has been quite prevalent among scientists, but also that it has been a driving force in their discoveries. This video presents a number of quotes to illustrate the true relationship between science and religion.


  1. At the end of the video it says, "Click here to watch 'Science, religion and the Galileo affair.'" I can't find it anywhere on YouTube. Can someone post a link?

    Thank you.

  2. I am NOT a Roman "catholic", but in regards to Galileo, the inquisition got it correct. Galileo was wrong for multiple reasons which I will only mention 3:
    1- he lied about his data, he did that because according to the data available at the time, neither Ptolemeic NOT Copernican systems explained the observations with the fewest epicycles but rather Tycho Brea's system.
    2- the Earth does not go around the sun. Ignoring quantum mechanics, which is impossible to apply to anything bigger than a buckyball, the Earth is moving in a straight line (actually, it can even said that while it rotates, it is not moving at all, but that is more difficult to visualize). It is space that is warped because of the sun's gravitation. Go read general relativity.
    3- where he got into real trouble is writing a book where he clearly refered to "Pope" Urban (who had helped Galileo in the past) as "simplicio", a simpleton. Openly mocking your patron was not a good idea during the renaissance, or today.

  3. Galileo was wrong for multiple reasons. He also fudged the data which ar the time fit best with Tycho Brea, not Ptolemy nor Copernicus. It was not until Kepler introduced elliptical orbits that a viable system emerged, though not exactly correct, at least close.

    Today astronomers agree that the Earth does no go around the sun. Other than spinning, if it moves at all, it moves in a straight line. It is space that is warped by the gravity of the sun.

    The real problem for Galileo was not the science, but writing a book that thinly disguised called his former friend "Pope" Urban "simplicio" (a simpleton). In Itali, in the middle of the Reformation, not a good idea.