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Science and religion Can they be reconciled Or is it necessary to renounce one for the sake of the other This is basically a question arising in modernity For much of our history as a species they could barely be separated let alone counterposed On our way up from the mud and the dark we as a species stumbled upon the earth and looked up at the skies we struggled to cope and to comprehend and we gave names to stones and gods From animism to the pantheons of primitive religions to monotheism religion evolved reflecting our conceptualisation of the natural world and the social order at any given time in our history Primitive gods were idealised functions of a primitive society The medieval god was an idealised medieval lord However as our methods of empirical investigation and logical reasoning grew more and more phenomena once explained by religion came to be explained by science Thunder was no longer the startling roar of an angry god but came within the sober scope of meteorological prediction The god hypothesis became more and more redundant From being the loving father who counted every hair of our heads and cared for every lily in the fields he became in the world of Newtonian mechanics a vague 1st mover who set the mechanism of the world in motion God was disappearing from the world dying the death of 100 qualifications There were moments of classic confrontation in the process In the wake of Copernican cosmology Galileo v ersus the Inquistion In the battle over Darwinian evolution Huxley versus Wilberforce at Oxford and Darrow versus Bryant at the Scopes trial in Tennessee There have been waves of challenge conflict and crisis There have also been patterns of resolution These have taken the form of accomodation and reconciliation or of renunciation of one or the other For religious believers there have been 2 basic strategies The
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