With the “Christian” right opposing the progressive left at every turn, it may seem like Christianity and science or progress just can’t get along. When did the rift begin to form between scientists and clergy? Has it always been this was?
The church and science used to be inseparable, throughout a fairly vast majority of human history the church was the catalyst by which knowledge was expanded and disseminated to humanity. The Catholic church specifically is the largest and longest-term patron of science in history.
Problems begin to arise when people begin interpreting their holy texts and reading between, and even outside, the lines. This problem is exacerbated when you have a situation like what was present in the middle ages. Most could not read, of those who could most couldn’t read Hebrew and Arabic, of those who could there is complex language that is hard to understand. As a result, most of the knowledge an average middle ages person got was from someone in the Clergy. There have been numerous accounts of people abusing their power in this system, calling for indulgences and excessive tithes. The system relied on ignorance and an established chain of command manufactured by those in control to stay in control. Anything that questioned what these elite few said were condemned and excommunicated. This leads to a very information hostile environment and condemns expanding our knowledge or even learning about what has already been discovered. This brought rise to several branches of the church that were opposed to this method of rule and misinformation such as the Protestant, Lutheranism and many more.
A more modern look has people questioning evolution and its scientific roots. Again, this all comes back to people reading outside the lines, establishing what they want to believe, or what is simplest to believe, and calling that fact. If you believe God created everything, then you must believe that physics and chemistry and biology, and yes even evolution, all of these are rules set in place by God for his creation. In much the same way a programmer sets patterns and rules in a simulation with lines of code. The order and patterns in the universe are exactly the reason that science can even exist. If there was no order and anything could happen at any time to anything else then science could not exist. This whole tumultuous debate arises over one sentence in the bible “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” Genesis 2:7 NIV translation. Copied and pasted. You can even see the little notation ‘c’ indicating that in ancient Hebrew the word adam(ah), which in this example has been translated as just ‘a man’ can mean mankind, ground or a man. Which means that later in that sentence ‘from the dust of the ground‘ could also be from the dust of mankind or from the dust of a man. Which, if the bible said God made modern man beginning with Adam from another man or another mankind, aka evolution, then this wouldn’t be much of a topic. That’s not what people do however, they read their translated version, ignore notations and tiny print at the bottom of the page and hold fast to their interpretation as if they saw God himself deliver that message to them earlier that morning at their kitchen table.
In summary, it has been easy for me to be in a scientific field (Electrical Engineering) and have a passion for science and still be an active and studious christian. If you sift through all the screaming and yelling there is often common ground between the arguments of science with religion and the remaining positions lie on the non overlapping portion of the Venn diagram labeled misinformation and misunderstanding. God provides many examples where he makes something using something else, water to wine, fed five thousand from a single loaf of bread and fish, the coin in the fish’s mouth. So it seems reasonable that this instance would be no different in that he takes something, and changes it into something else vis-a-vis evolution.
A great link that sums it all up Here.