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.
"The picture of science and religion at each other’s throats persists in mainstream media and scholarly journals, but each chapter in Galileo Goes to Jail shows how much we have to gain by seeing beyond the myths."
It's a myth as far as Catholicism is concerned. The Church generally nutured science, mathematics and philosophy unless they directly contradicted doctrine. However, various Protestant sects were and are anti-science. Virtually all the opponents to evolution are Protestants, and I've even met a product of Unitarian/Universalism who doubted it.
Virtually all the opponents to evolution are Protestants
Debatable. Larger numbers of scientists doubt the Big Bang than ever before. Cosmology is in increasing upheaval, and much of the emerging new sensibility grasps that a magical evolutionary origin is just another deus ex machina myth about creation as well as a scientific dead end, albeit without the ancient human narrative to at lend it some resonant authenticity.
I've even met a product of Unitarian/Universalism who doubted it.
Heh. The UU crowd is perhaps the most religiously faithful community I've ever seen, virtually all of it either self-referentially circular or unbacked by their favorite notion about themselves, which is that they are scientific.
You won't find a bigger proponent than me of the lack of a conflict between science and religion. Still, I'm always uncomfortable reading the explanations of how Galileo wasn't really imprisoned or tortured by an intolerant Church. It's true that the popular myth is exaggerated, but the man was placed under lifetime house arrest and his publications were suppressed; what's more, he reached a deal on his punishment under threat of torture. He was a jerk, certainly, who made his own political problems needlessly worse, but the Church comes off looking pretty horrifying, too. I don't for one minute believe the Church stood foursquare and in every century for freedom of conscience in scientific inquiry, even though it certainly can point to some fine achievements from time to time in that area. Some men wielding the significant power of the Church have a better record than others.
The danger of powers to punish heresy are a lesson we can't seem to learn, given today's squabbles over non-PC science on issues like IQ, gender identity, and global warming.
That the world is a sphere has been known since Roman times. The church never disputed this. Indeed, their main opposition to financing Columbus's voyage was that they thought the world was larger than Columbus did and that Columbus's voyage would not prove to be a short-cut to East Asia (the church was correct).
The Vatican has been very careful through out much of its history not to be caught on "the wrong side" of scientific findings. They know that maintaining their influence requires this effort.
I think its best to say that comparing science to religion is like comparing apples to oranges.