Introduction

John Shook

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It was a great love-hate story, a truly grand narrative. Science and Religion, ever entangled yet estranged, always going in opposite directions yet returning to collide again and again. Somehow they just can’t stay away from each other. They have had a long history going on this way, and the drama won’t end any time soon.

Like any bickering couple, each has its own version of the story. The way Religion tells it, Science got inspired by Religion to study the laws of God’s creation. Science bravely ventured to study all those detailed plans for the material world, set down In the Beginning by God. Religion was so encouraging and supportive. Whenever Science would get frustrated—unable to explain curvilinear motion with only simple math or becoming mystified by the human body—the soothing voice of Religion’s reassurance was always there. “Don’t worry about such things, dear Science,” Religion was quick to say, “because God alone could have knowledge of that.” As Science grew more confident of its explanatory powers, tracking the heavens with laws of gravity and motion and combining elements to make new chemicals, Religion proudly boasted of Science’s talent. Telling anyone who would listen, Religion lauded Science’s ability to trace the design of the Creator’s hand and to explain how God made the world solely for humanity’s happy convenience. “What a team we are!” Religion would say, over and over again.

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