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CHAPTER IV SCIENCE AND CHRISTIAN FAITH
BY REV. PROF. JAMES ORR, D. D., UNITED FREE CHURCH COLLEGE, GLASGOW, SCOTLAND
In many quarters the belief is industriously circulated that the advance of “science,” meaning by this chiefly the physical sciences—astronomy, geology, biology, and the like—has proved damaging, if not destructive, to the claims of the Bible, and the truth of Christianity. Science and Christianity are pitted against each other. Their interests are held to be antagonistic. Books are written, like Draper’s “Conflict Between Religion and Science,” White’s “Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom,” and Foster’s “Finality of the Christian Religion,” to show that this warfare between science and religion has ever been going on, and can never in the nature of things cease till theology is destroyed, and science holds sole sway in men’s minds.
This was not the attitude of the older investigators of science. Most of these were devout Christian men. Naville, in his book, “Modern Physics,” has shown that the great discoverers in science in past times were nearly always devout men. This was true of Galileo, Kepler, Bacon, and Newton; it was true of men like Faraday, Brewster, Kelvin, and a host of others in more recent times. The late Professor Tait, of Edinburgh, writing in “The International Review,” said: “The assumed incompatibility of religion and science has been so often and confidently asserted in recent times that it has come * * * to be taken for granted by the writers of leading articles, etc., and it is, of course, perpetually thrust before their too trusting readers. But the whole thing is a mistake, and a mistake so grave that no truly scientific
92 The Fundamentals