In the history of humankind, many mysteries have been solved.
For example, it was once commonly believed that the sun revolved around the earth. Further, it was once believed that the earth was the center of the universe.
The following abridged information was gathered from an article written in the Christian Science Monitor, by Steph Solis, dated Feb. 19, 2013:
Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), was a Polish mathematician and astronomer. He theorized that the earth traveled around the sun. Further, he proposed that there were many suns in the universe that had planets that revolving around them.
In 1543, after a decade of revisions, Copernicus finalized his theory in a manuscript entitled “De revolutionibus.” At that time, he even wrote a letter to Pope Paul III that defended his beliefs. Copernicus died two months later. His beliefs were in opposition to the so-called common wisdom of that day; however, they were eventually taught, albeit in limited fashion, within circles of Catholic education.
In the 1600s, however, Protestant churches condemned Copernicus’ theory and treated it as heresy. The Catholic Church soon followed suit. From 1616 to 1835, his book was banned.
It is interesting to note that Nicholas Copernicus was a religious man. His scientific views did not change the practice of his faith. During his lifetime, he became a canon and medical advisor from within the Catholic Church.
Long after his death, while it is true that his views were rejected for quite some time, they were eventually accepted. This took 219 years.
Critics of the Christian Church (and religion in general) would say that this enlightened view took much too long. I would agree.
For me, science and religion do not necessarily mean conflict, and neither is perfect unto itself.
In some instances, religion needs quite some time to “catch up,” but eventually may do so.
On the other hand, I believe science discovers what God already knows. Scientists may exclaim “eureka,” to which God may reply, “What on earth took you so long?
Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has served as parish pastor for more than 25 years.