Throughout history we can find many instances where religion was strongly opposed to scientific research. For example, the Catholic Church’s objection to Galileo’s defense of Copernicus’ heliocentric model where he offered his observations that he felt furthered the theory that the planets revolved around the Sun. At that time, the belief that the Holy Scriptures were perhaps inaccurate was one thing, but attempting to confirm it as Galileo tried to do was a completely different issue and resulted in Galileo being forbidden by the Church to write or teach his findings. Another example is the opposition to Darwin’s theory of evolution by the majority of the Christians in America. 51% of those polled in 2005 by CBS believe God created humans exactly as they are today and reject evolution despite the evidence to the contrary. Even well-known scientists such as astronomer Allan Sandage stated his belief in creationism when he said "I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing." (Willford)
Whether this belief or a combination of beliefs are correct or not is not of debate in this paper. Instead in this paper I hope to highlight some of the instances where religion and science were not at odds and, in fact, where religion encouraged the scientific thought and research of the time. I have included examples where a scientist was moved by the teachings of his religion as well as examples of a religious organization outright participating in scientific research, such as the funding of adult stem cell research by the Vatican. In the Philadelphia Inquirer, Cardinal Rigali commented on this research by saying “The Catholic Church's rich heritage of ethical teaching in the medical-moral area and her duty to... [continues]
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