The Clash of Titans

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, November 1996

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Since the beginning of human history there have been many explanations for events that seem out of human control. In recent civilized history, religious and scientific views have often clashed with one another. Religious ideas are usually presented first and then enough scientific evidence accumulates to defy religious beliefs. These findings of science are met with incredulity and most are considered heresy. From the middle ages and to around the 18th century, religious ideology was the most accepted way of explaining the unexplainable. During the next couple hundred years, many members of academia, using science to back them up, came up with new ways of dealing with the unanswerable questions. When the church had the greatest power, men and women of science were viewed as the 'bad guys.' In most cases it was safer to believe in the church and their ideas, in order not to be excommunicated or shunned by society, than to place their trust in quack scientists.

As a result, many conflicts arose between men of religion and men of science.

In the last chapter of The Descent of Man, Charles Darwin made it clear that his work was highly speculative and some of his conclusions would end up being proved false. In this, he states that false facts can hinder the progress of science much more than false ideas can. This can be seen throughout history as some of the church's views were completely wrong, yet they were believed to be the truth and therefore went un-contested for hundreds of years. Even if a scientist set out to prove the church wrong and can up with some very strong evidence contrary to popular belief, he was usually shunned and his ideas denounced publicly. It is not until many people have similar evidence and findings do...