SCIENCE AND RELIGION
Science and region have a common origin in the process of civilization. Science enabled man to practice and propagate religion. Religion gave him the conditions necessary for the pursuit of science.
In ancient civilization scientific revelations represented the greatness of god. In ancient India scientific enquiry was provoked by the sages themselves. Arabic mathematician AI Biruni insisted that his experimental work was subjected to the moral principles of Islam.
During the sixteenth century the polish German mathematician and astronomer proved that the earth is not the centre around which the sun and the other planets revolve.
This revelation was against the teaching of the medieval church. Again, when it was put forth that the earth rotates on its own and moves around the sun, not the religious fundamentalists made a hue and cry. A few years later the Italian astronomer Galileo discovered that it is the sun, not the earth that is the centre of the solar system. According to the Roman Catholic Church, those findings were intended to oppose the Holy Scriptures. The fanatics tortured him and compelled him to state that his findings were erroneous. The Pope even forced the closure of a formal academy started by his students in 1656.
In spite of all these it seems that the religious fundamentalism of medieval Europe provided necessary helps for the growth of modern science. There were no problems when Newton propounded his theory of gravitation. Newton had rejected the possibility of the control of day to day events by God.
In the early nineteenth century J.B.Lamarck, a French naturalist revealed that the smallest living things have given rise to all others. Afterwards, Charles Darwin assembled the evidence for evolution and described the principles in his book published in 1859. It contradicted the orthodox who believed that the earth was only 6000 years old. The theory of Genesis says that all living beings on earth were created by God.
The religious leaders had then come to accept the reality. The religion had not the power to oppose even those scientists who pronounced that ‘God is dead’. The twentieth century thinkers even reiterated God’s irrelevance with the growth of society. The onset of the two World Wars hastened the speed of scientific progress.
Now the relationship between religion and science has become like that of a divorced couple. They do not pose any threat to each other’s weakness and assets.