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Journal of No. 118


December 25th, 2011

History of the Conflict between Religion and Science by Draper @ 09:30 pm


Chemist and early photographer John Draper wrote this treatise in 1874, and it became widely read and influential, though it's hard to see how. A better title of the book would be Why I Think the Catholic Church is Bad. I'm no fan of the Church either, but a hatchet job on Rome doesn't tell us much about the relationship of science to religion. In large part, he was exercised about Vatican I and papal infallibility, which was recent news at the time of his writing.

He allows that Protestantism, which allows for personal interpretation of the Bible (as opposed to Catholicism, which relies on adherence to Church teachings) makes it possible for a comfortable coexistence between science and religion. Also for Islam. But not the guppy-gobbling Catholics! Somewhat ironic, since that latitude within Protestantism allows for enough variation that the nuttiest antiscience religionists nowadays are clearly Protestant.

All in all, far inferior to Andrew Dickson White's extremely similar History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom (1896).

But I got this'n free for the Kindle, so it's okay. Except that there is the danger of reading lots and lots of free stuff from pre-1900 and getting lost in time.
 
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Journal of No. 118