The Clash Of Titans

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The Clash Of Titans – Science Vs Religion Essay, Research Paper The Clash of Titans: Science vs ReligionSince 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 they gain any credibility with normal people and the church. “…False views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for every one takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness and when this is done, one path towards error is closed and the road to truth is often at the same time opened” (Darwin, 264). Darwin believes that if a scientific view is false, then by continuing study and research the truth may be arrived at. By taking such a stance, he is never really

hesitant about publishing his work. He knows that people may view his ideas skeptically, but only through trial and error may the truth be arrived at. By following this line of thought, one may deduce that if no one presented new ideas, then intelligent thought would have no place in a society like that. Darwin knew and accepted the risks involved in presenting new ideas. Voltaire also was a revolutionary thinker. Although, he presented ideas of his own, he decided to satirize science and religion. In Candide, the main character Candide, was put through many tests and unfortunate accidents. Through these misfortunes, we get a glimpse of how Voltaire viewed science, philosophy, and religion. In each community or society, there are different views expressed on a host of ideas.

Pangloss is Voltaire’s humanization of such societies and their thinking. “…Master Pangloss, the greatest philosopher of the whole province, and consequently of the whole world” (Voltaire, 2). Each society, church, men of academia, believes that their ideas are correct and therefore are the best of the world. It is true, even to this day, that each nation has a different set of standards, reasoning, and beliefs on how life works and what are the best possible things to believe in. In some cases, nations try to push those beliefs on other nations. This results in a push for new scientific research and other religious and philosophical beliefs of that nation, to combat the ideas that are being impressed on them. In both cases there is a constant gathering of new