Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Offerings from Science and Religion 1800's

The 1800's provided an explosion in new ideas. I am reading Jan Sapp's book Genesis - The Evolution of Biology. It is a well-written book giving me lots of background on how our current understanding of biology was developed. I definitely recommend it if you can afford it's steep price ($50).

During this century many people from many countries contributed to science. Brilliant and dedicated minds contributed hard scientific evidence for ALL to see, to comment on, to test for themselves and even to build on. It is very impressive to see a combined human effort to discover realities about life. Their discoveries gave rise to knowing how to fight diseases allowing us to live longer and more healthfully.

Many sciences arose during this century.
  • paleontology
  • anatomy
  • physiology
  • zoology
  • botany
  • embryology
  • cytology
  • bacteriology
  • protistology
As Sapp notes "The days were over in which an individual could pretend to be an expert on all aspects of the life sciences"

As I reading this section my mind drifted to what was going on in the religious world, particularly in the northern eastern United States, a lot of it in the so-called burned over district. These religions arose:
  • Mormons - 1830
  • Seventh-day Adventist - 1844
  • Spiritualism (mediums) - 1848
  • Christian Science - 1875
  • Jehovah Witness - 1881
  • Pentecostalism - versions from 1830 to 1901
These were not noble efforts to serve mankind, but instead the local interest of the prophets or ministers. They had secret knowledge which required you to believe before you would understand. Nothing could be tested or validated. Many Christians today believe these are cults. They would even call each other cults or under the control of Satan.

How advanced science could be if great minds were not burdened down by wacky religions trying to stop their progress?

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