Throughout history, scientific ideas and religious beliefs have conflicted, often culminating in strong disagreement, imprisonment for some people, and sometimes fuel for war sentiments. Even today, strong debate between the two still exists, as humans struggle to explain their purpose, beginnings, and surroundings. In comprehending this issue, it is imperative that one focus on the key individuals who, through their work, beliefs, and motives shaped this argument. There are too many of these individuals to name, but two which had a very strong influence were Galileo Galilei and Sir Isaac Newton. Differing in many ways, including personality and beliefs, these two men helped directly shape the course of history with respect to the science and religion debate.
In the Galilean controversy, the focus of Galileo, Science, and the Church, the science vs. religion debate unfolds. In fact, some may cite it as the ultimate representation of the conflict. The view of the world at the time of Galileo held by scientists and theologians was an Aristotelian one. Up until that time, for nearly two millenniums, no real debate concerning the view of the world erupted. As major scientific advancements developed, however, new theories re
Sir Isaac Newton, one of the greatest and most heralded scientists to ever live, was responsible for our current understanding of the laws of motion, gravity, and the invention of calculus. According to Langford, Galileo, "if he had had the proofs, would have found a great deal of support, especially from the Jesuits". Two scientists who experienced this struggle were Galileo Galilei and Sir Isaac Newton. Newton was one of the first scientists to successfully advocate this to the world, and thus was praised for his accomplishments and contributions, both in the realm of science and humanity. Galileo worked tirelessly throughout his life to develop a firm, scientific grasp and understanding of the phenomena he observed through his telescope. Isaac Newton gained this popularity and support because he married his religious beliefs with the science and knowledge he thrived upon. For this reason, Newton was able to somewhat succeed in his pursuits. According to Dobbs and Jacob, Newton felt that the "ancient religion was the most rational of all" and that it "encouraged humanity to gain knowledge of the deity by the frame of nature". Sometimes enduring criticism, both for lack of proof to support his claims and "big-headedness", Galileo was not easily held down by the Church or other influences. Had he been wrong in his method Had he been to overbearing Was the world not ready for his theories A combination of all of these things was the reason behind minimal support for Galileo. Dobbs and Jacob, in reference to Newton"tms studies in alchemy, conveyed that "alchemy was the story of God"tms ongoing activity in the world of matter for Newton". To do this, he dealt with the same arena as Galileo had concerning the struggle between science and religion. However, while supportive, Campanella"tms writings were not very helpful in convincing others to accept the Copernican theory. While most of the Church was skeptic and critical of Galileo"tms motives, some welcomed Galileo"tms "new science". In conclusion, humans have struggled to explain their existence both through religious and scientific ideas.