We often hear that Christianity is hostile to science. Care to elaborate relative to denomination?

In order of most friendly to most hostile toward science, rank the various Christian denominations.

Personally, I believe that the more wackier groups like the Jehovah's Witnesses are most hostile to science (ban blood transfusions) to slightly less hostile, like the Catholic Church (which tortured Galileo and burned scientists), to more friendly churches, like the modern Protestant sects (Episcopal, Anglican, Lutheran, etc.) to the most friendly: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).

What do you think?

11 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Galileo was never tortured.

    Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543), a Catholic clergyman and scientist theorized a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology, which placed the Sun at the fixed center of the universe instead of the Earth (which, by the way, was wrong). This theory was widely accepted as a legitimate theory in the scientific world of the time. Tools like telescopes had not yet been invented to help prove the theory.

    Galileo (1564–1642) improved the telescope and was able to record astronomical observations that supported but did not prove Copernicus. In 1611, he made a triumphant visit to Rome, where Pope Paul V assured him of his support and good will.

    Galileo felt that he had to convince the world that heliocentricism was true without further evidence. If he had just stated that Copernicanism was a hypothesis, one superior to the Ptolemiaic (geocentric) system, until further proof could be found (as the scientific method requires) then he would not have gotten into trouble.

    Instead Galileo said that the scientific community and the Church either had to accept Copernicanism as a fact (even though it had not been proved) and reinterpret Scripture accordingly; or they had to condemn it. He allowed no middle room. It was Galileo's pride and arrogance that got him into trouble, not his science.

    By the way, the heliocentric theory that claimed the sun was the fixed center of the universe instead of the Earth, was also incorrect. The sun is the center of the solar system but not the universe and the sun itself moves, it is not fixed.

    The Church quickly got over Galileo's excesses. Pope Benedict XIV granted an imprimatur (an official approval) to the first edition of the Complete Works of Galileo in 1741.

    “[Galileo] declared explicitly that the two truths, of faith and of science, can never contradict each other, 'Sacred Scripture and the natural world proceeding equally from the divine Word, the first as dictated by the Holy Spirit, the second as a very faithful executor of the commands of God', as he wrote in his letter to Father Benedetto Castelli on 21 December 1613. The Second Vatican Council says the same thing, even adopting similar language in its teaching: 'Methodical research, in all realms of knowledge, if it respects... moral norms, will never be genuinely opposed to faith: the reality of the world and of faith have their origin in the same God' (Gaudium et Spes, 36). Galileo sensed in his scientific research the presence of the Creator who, stirring in the depths of his spirit, stimulated him, anticipating and assisting his intuitions”: John Paul II, Address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (10 November 1979): Insegnamenti, II, 2 (1979), 1111-1112. From the Vatican website: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/enc...

    For more information, see:

    + http://www.catholic.net/rcc/Periodicals/Issues/Gal...

    + http://www.catholic.com/library/Galileo_Controvers...

    + Galileo, Science, and the Church (1992) by Jerome J. Langford

    + The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions (2009) by David Berlinski

    + Seven Lies About Catholic History (2010) by Diane Moczar

    With love in Christ

  • 8 years ago

    The LDS Church is the *most* science-friendly? Seriously?

    I don't care to engage in the popularity pissing contest here, but I just don't understand how you could count the LDS Church as the *most* science-friendly.

    I'd consider this question by thinking about very basic theological dogmas of the various denominations and how those dogmas might contradict contemporary scientific knowledge. Such denominations are typically more hostile to scientific discovery than others.

    The Fundamentalists will rail against evolution since it contradicts their literalist interpretation of Genesis.

    The Christian Scientists will rail against medicine (in all forms) since they believe in strict "faith-healing",

    and I'm sorry to say this, but your church isn't much different. The LDS believe that significant numbers of modern Native Americans are descended from Palestinian Jews, and this flies in the face of what we know about genetics. As a molecular biologist, I'm well versed in the genetic literature, and have had the misfortune of arguing with one of your more famous apologists (a Mr. Jeff Lidsay) who has an incredibly tenuous grasp of haplotype tracking and mtDNA analysis.

  • 8 years ago

    I would say that Christian Scientist is ironically the most hostile to science. They openly reject modern science. Evangelicals are almost as whacky considering how many branches of science they have to reject to believe in a young earth. Mainline and liberal denominations are usually in tune with science. Catholics seem to be all over the map depending on who you talk to.

  • 8 years ago

    Aww, where's CoE? The again, we're like honey badgers - don't give a-! You do what you want and we'll let you get on with it, Church of England never teaches anything against anything, love and acceptance are taught for everything, and we accept science mostly. Due to how my church taught me, I became a creationist-evolutionist, and I completely accept science as truth.

    But rank them? I don't know...

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  • trugoy
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    Care to elaborate how refusing blood transfusions equals hostility towards science? I'm curious since trauma centers are now doing trauma and severe blood loss without the use of blood.


  • 8 years ago

    I don't know if there is any way to quantify it, but Mormons do seem to be more accepting of science as a source of truth than most other churches. Television, stereo, the hearing aide, the artificial heart - were all invented by Mormons. That isn't to say that science doesn't have its flaws. Scientists insisted for decades that there were canals on Mars. It turns out they were just scratches on a telescope lens. A "missing link" turned out to be a complete fraud - still taught in schools long after the fraud was exposed. In fact, most scientific theories are just waiting for someone to prove them false, so they can be replaced with new theories. Even Einsteins holy grail, the theory of relativity, is being challenged by a new theory that might just replace it. It is the nature of science to never be absolutely sure about anything.

  • 8 years ago

    I don't think you hear that as much as you often say. Turn your statement around--Science is hostile to Christianity (Religion as a whole) Not any particular religion just any one that happens to be popular.

  • C C
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Most friendly to science: Univeralist Unitarians

    Most hostile: The rest.

  • 8 years ago

    Supernatural claims such as the existence of God are not falsifiable, and since everything in science has to be falsifiable, a belief in God is not scientific. This does not mean that God does not exist, it just means it''s impossible to know empirically.

    Carl Sagan, the astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in astronomy and natural sciences talked about "the dragon in my garage."


    Youtube thumbnail

  • 8 years ago

    How does, "We decide not to have blood transfusions" correlate to being hostile to science?


    Source(s): Me, one of Jehovah's Witnesses
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