And That’s the Reason Why!

As the late Arthur Koestler, certainly not a Bible-thumper, saw it, “the cosmic quest set in motion by Galileo and his successors has destroyed the medieval vision of an immutable social order in a walled-in universe together with its fixed hierarchy of moral values, and transformed the European landscape, society, culture, habits and general outlook, as thoroughly as if a new species had arisen on this planet.”(107) So it is, and I still have to find one historian of whatever religious or philosophical stripe who in essence disowns this appraisal or denies that the impact of the Copernican revolution has been far-reaching in its corollaries. Even more to the point in summarizing the final results of the “New Science” is Theo Löbsack, a German popularizer of the progress mankind has been able to make after discarding the Ptolemaic outlook of Antiquity and Middle Ages. “Galileo’s way of thinking laid 350 years ago the foundation for the modern science and technology, and into what crisis he since has brought theological thinking is difficult to describe. Until today the Church fights for an inventory of religious truths that are no longer compatible with the insights gained by means of the inductive method: among them the dogmas and the notion of a Supreme Being, an Almighty Father in Heaven.”(108)

In a 1987 trumpet blast by means of a circular letter, calling upon all friends of science to join his anti-creationist crusade, Isaac Asimov is also refreshingly candid. The battle, he warns, is not only against anti-evolutionism in physics and astronomy. It also concerns the fight against benighted dimwits “introducing inflexible concepts of sin, guilt, and a hierarchical relationship descending from God to man to woman to child.”(109) Indeed it does, and I am grateful to read in black on white the motive lurking behind the vituperation and name-calling to which Asimov, et al. subject “the rotting corpse of Christianity.(110)