Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 8 years ago

science and the church?

To what extent has religion or morality interfered with scientific discovery throughout history? (e.g. Galileo, Darwin, etc)

9 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Very little.

    Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543), a Catholic clergyman and scientist theorized a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology, which placed the Sun at the fixed center of the universe instead of the Earth (which, by the way, was wrong). This theory was widely accepted as a legitimate theory in the scientific world of the time. Tools like telescopes had not yet been invented to help prove the theory.

    Galileo (1564–1642) improved the telescope and was able to record astronomical observations that supported but did not prove Copernicus. In 1611, he made a triumphant visit to Rome, where Pope Paul V assured him of his support and good will.

    Galileo felt that he had to convince the world that heliocentricism was true without further evidence. If he had just stated that Copernicanism was a hypothesis, one superior to the Ptolemiaic (geocentric) system, until further proof could be found (as the scientific method requires) then he would not have gotten into trouble.

    Instead Galileo said that the scientific community and the Church either had to accept Copernicanism as a fact (even though it had not been proved) and reinterpret Scripture accordingly; or they had to condemn it. He allowed no middle room. It was Galileo's pride and arrogance that got him into trouble, not his science.

    By the way, the heliocentric theory that claimed the sun was the fixed center of the universe instead of the Earth, was also incorrect. The sun is the center of the solar system but not the universe and the sun itself moves, it is not fixed.

    The Church quickly got over Galileo's excesses. Pope Benedict XIV granted an imprimatur (an official approval) to the first edition of the Complete Works of Galileo in 1741.

    “[Galileo] declared explicitly that the two truths, of faith and of science, can never contradict each other, 'Sacred Scripture and the natural world proceeding equally from the divine Word, the first as dictated by the Holy Spirit, the second as a very faithful executor of the commands of God', as he wrote in his letter to Father Benedetto Castelli on 21 December 1613. The Second Vatican Council says the same thing, even adopting similar language in its teaching: 'Methodical research, in all realms of knowledge, if it respects... moral norms, will never be genuinely opposed to faith: the reality of the world and of faith have their origin in the same God' (Gaudium et Spes, 36). Galileo sensed in his scientific research the presence of the Creator who, stirring in the depths of his spirit, stimulated him, anticipating and assisting his intuitions”: John Paul II, Address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (10 November 1979): Insegnamenti, II, 2 (1979), 1111-1112. From the Vatican website:

    For more information, see:



    + Galileo, Science, and the Church (1992) by Jerome J. Langford

    + The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions (2009) by David Berlinski

    + Seven Lies About Catholic History (2010) by Diane Moczar

    With love in Christ

  • 8 years ago

    The context this question implies is somewhat misleading.

    You have to remember, in the dark ages, academia was closely associated with organized religious institutions.

    It was not until the age of reason and the enlightenment periods in western history that academic and political institutions began to distance themselves from religious affiliation.

    And a significant number of important scientific discoveries were made by priests and monks.

    Major organized religions have contributed as much to the promotion of scientific inquiry, as it has to the suppression of controversial findings, as ironic as that may seem, it is none the less accurate.

  • 8 years ago

    Considering churches sponsor scientific research.... The Roman Catholic church in particular - the Vatican has it's own observatory and Jesuits in particular do a fair bit of scientific research. It was churchmen that came up with genetics, the Big Band theory, and so on.

    Many suppose that religion and science are opposed to each other. The reality is that many see them as complimentary, and not opposites at all.

  • 8 years ago

    The first scientists that most sciences were based on were Christians. I'm not good with names but I know the theory of genetics was thought up by a monk.

    And most christians are practical and see science as a good thing in many cases. The media likes to distort us a little and show our extremists more than our moderates who make up the majority.

    Source(s): Im Christian
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  • 8 years ago

    Christianity is the foundation for modern science.

    Darwin, on the other hand, puts us back about 150 years. For example, spontaneous generation was disproved by Louis Pasteur (a biblical creationist, btw) in the 1800s. But now the Darwinists are trying to sell us the same lie in new packaging (it's now called abiogenesis).

    Galileo was persecuted by the Catholic church, not the Christians.

  • ed f
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    All the major universities in America were started by churches.

  • 8 years ago

    A lot especially in modern day society... Just look at the opposition to stem cell research

  • 8 years ago

    Religion always interfere with abortion. I'm against it but we don't need you spitting out scriptures and all that crap.

  • Oscar
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    That was the RCC, not Christians

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