Science versus Religion (02:12)
Christians saw the Bible as the primary source of knowledge for 1500+ years. Modern science placed experiment and reason ahead of Revelation; Darwin pushed Christianity into retreat.
Scientific Progress Challenges Religion (00:55)
Host Colin Blakemore doesn't believe in God and considers science our only route to knowledge. Scientific progress requires challenge to orthodoxy, which is often religious.
Church Support for Science (01:26)
The church helped found Oxford (motto: Dominus illuminatio mea.) Believing God gave humans reason, the church championed early science. Natural philosophy was part of an Oxford education.
Christianity Subsumes Science (01:43)
Christians looked to Greece to understand the natural world, but Aristotle held that the cosmos is eternal. St. Augustine dealt with rational flaws in the Genesis account and assimilated science to Christianity.
Copernicus watched the skies from a Frombork, Poland cathedral. His heliocentrism rejected Christian doctrine. The church initially tolerated him, hoping he would be proven wrong.
Church Crackdown (01:21)
Until the sixteenth century, the Church tolerated ideas that contradicted the Bible. Under Protestant criticism for abandoning God's Word, the Vatican set up an Inquisition against heresy.
Giordano Bruno became interested in Copernicus's theory and thought there were other inhabited planets. The Inquisition burnt him at the stake, a huge blow to Italian science.
Vatican View of Bible (01:40)
A Vatican astronomer argues that the Bible is not a science book. It is divinely inspired but not dictated directly by God, as Muslims believe the Koran is.
Galileo was a respected part of the church's scientific establishment until he announced discoveries confirming Copernicus. He recanted under threat of torture.
Battle Over Methodology (00:47)
The Church accepted astronomers who dealt only in ideas. Galileo was the first astronomer to base his theories on evidence, and this threatened the Church.
William Harvey (02:52)
Shut down in Italy, science flourished in Britain. The church's biology was based on the idea of man in God's image; William Harvey found that the body was a machine.
Lightning Rod and Churches (02:07)
Thinkers realized natural laws were to be discovered, not revealed, sparking the Enlightenment. Franklin invented the lightning rod. Churches, vulnerable to lightning, worried the rod circumvented God's wrath.
Franklin and Enlightenment (01:15)
Franklin was the first scientist to help found a secular nation on Enlightenment principles. He was the son of a Puritan immigrant but rejected Church authority.
Darwin and God (02:57)
Darwin's theory suggested that God did not design life. For Dawkins, it removed the best argument for God. Blakemore says one could argue that God is still needed to create the laws of physics, with all their improbability.
Accommodating Science (01:50)
Mainstream churches accept evolution but hold that God made it possible. Blakemore argues that such accommodation makes God malleable; a Catholic scientist counters that it is our understanding that is malleable.
Fundamentalism originated in the U.S. A Tennessee law against teaching evolution led to the Scopes trial. In narrated transcripts, Bryan rejects Darrow's attempt to attribute to him a literalist Biblical interpretation.
Origins of Fundamentalism (01:34)
Early Fundamentalists rejected the diluted Christianity that emerged from the Enlightenment, and from German scholarship. They considered themselves pro-science.
In the 1970s, fundamentalists developed Creationism, presenting it as science. The Creation Museum in Kentucky presents dinosaurs as coexisting with humans.
Creationist's Philosophy of Science (02:56)
An astrophysicist and Creationist favors revelation over experimental evidence because our minds and observations are imperfect. For him the ground for science is that God created our minds and a consistent universe.
Adhering to New Testament (01:52)
A Catholic scientist explains why he rejects six-day creation but accepts the Resurrection. Blakemore says science can't disprove the Resurrection, but does not support it; the Catholic sites non-scientific evidence.
Restricted Role of Religion (02:54)
Many in the Anglican Sea of Faith movement doubt Christ's divinity and even God's existence. One such priest explains sees religion as a way of finding meaning in nature, community and life.
Science and God (02:54)
We visit the Large Hadron Collider, which seeks the Higgs Boson- the "God Particle." Blakemore asks if there is scientific evidence of God; a scientist says science cannot answer the question of God's existence.
Completing Science's Victory (01:32)
Science has transformed Christianity over the last 400 years, challenging the Bible and increasing the status of reason. Blakemore believes science will eventually make religion redundant by providing a neurological explanation for religious urges.
Credits: God and the Scientists: Christianity- A History (00:41)
Credits: God and the Scientists: Christianity- A History
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