We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
There is some truth in what Sagan writes here, but he still gets it wrong.
Contemporary W Theology does often miss the splendor and grandeur that God the creator must possess, but Sagan misses out on the point that while God shows His greatness in the creation of the universe, He shows His goodness in His care for us wretched creatures.
Furthermore, western pop-theology does seem to miss out that we're told we'll one day rule...and that it's a reasonable interpretation that this grand creation is a template for what believers will eventually study, understand and take dominion of.
Science is a noble form of worship, Prov 25:2 says that explicitly.
I don't know, Ron, why don't you answer your own question by citing historical documentation instead if tossing off an unsubstantiated assertion? It's incumbent on you to provide an estimate and explanation since you're the one who raised the topic. Reality, not rhetoric, please. And given the limitations of space, I'll happily accept a list of historians along with your number.
My answer would be none of those tortured and killed at the orders of the "Church" would agree. As I am a Buddhist I really do not care. I do find it amusing when Christians, and other Organized Religions, gloss over the dark side of their history. Give me a semester if you really need a specific (actually a guesstimate) number. At one time Christians were no less bloodthirsty than are the current Islamic Radicalists -unless you are into Historical Revisionism. Hardly an Unsubstantiated Assertion.
Ron- you throw the accusation of the Church suppressing science without substantiating it. The Catholic Church, as in the people, has sometimes, done some scientists wrong, but not because of science. And very rarely, as opposed to the lies that it hates science and scientists. So,... cite it! That is all Gpc31, along with me, ask for.
Once again we have a "Ron"--poorly educated, unable to do critical thinking and graduated with a list of bumper stickers memorized.
I want to thank you for posting this wonderful read from Sagan, some of the finest physicists (Lawrence Livermore and Lockheed) were devout Christians. As one told me once when I was a young high school student and asked how he could go to church and be a scientist: "when you crawl up the edge and peek over into the galaxy you cannot doubt ever again."
Merry Christmas to Bird Dog and Barrister--thank you for so much more than you will ever believe!
Edward Oakes (just deceased) wrote a great book called Infinity Dwindled to Infancy which contains within it insights that Sagan may have appreciated, from a theological point of view.
Science, it can be argued, grew out of a Judeo-Christian worldview that posited the created world as a gift and something to understand rather than to appease. The work of scientist Pierre Duhem is a place to start. Hope Ron engages with Duhem during his autodidactic pursuits.