Sunday, October 4, 2009

Angels & Demons - Science vs. Religion - some thoughts

Dan Brown's novel, Angels & Demons was one intriguing book that I read this summer. Chronologically, this novel's setting precedes The DaVinci Code (though "The DaVinci Code" was made into a movie before "Angels & Demons" was.)

"Angels & Demons" was a page turner of mystery, conspiracy plots, serial killings, revenge, exciting locations in interesting times. The story took me from CERN, Switzerland to many architectural marvels in Rome and the Vatican. It introduced me to the fascinating traditions and rich history of the Roman Catholic Church.

The age old conflict - Science vs. Religion - rippled as the common thread throughout the novel. A mixture of fact and fiction, the plot spun a good yarn of the Illuminati, a secret organization allegedly started by Galileo, which survived throughout the centuries. Now this secret organization was rearing its ugly head to wage war on the Catholic Church for her persecution of free thinking scientists.

As I am a student of the Bible and have earned a masters in physics, the Science vs. Religion discussion is always one of great interest to me. I had learned much about Galileo in my physics classes, reproducing some his experiments on motion and inertia. We learned about galilean relativity before leaping to Einstein's special relativity. And we gazed at the moons of Jupiter through our telescopes like Galileo did in 1610.

Also, I had heard how the Church had forced Galileo to recant his theory that the earth revolved about the sun. We will never live this one down! Throughout my schooling and work, many of professors, colleagues, co-workers denounced those narrow minded Christians for doing that.

Recently, I have been researching life in the Middle Ages. I found the Roman Catholic Church did not view science and religion as incompatible at all. In fact the medieval church embraced science and encouraged it.

And that will be a subject of my next blog.

Related links:
Photo from:
DAVID, Gerard Altar of Archangel Michael, c1510:

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