The article by William Provine championing the superiority of science over religion was disturbing to me. My concern is not at all due to my religious sensibilities being shocked, but rather the shock is to my scientific sensibilities. Historically, the revolution brought by scientific knowledge was in kind and not in content. It was the nature of scientific knowledge—not its content—that contrasted so violently with the absolute authority of the medieval church.

This is the real conflict between religion and science, the provisional nature of scientific thought versus the absolute authority of the church. The religious fathers feared this much more than any specific content of science, since it undermined the conservative nature of social institutions.

Dr. Provine attempts to reverse this progressive role of science in society by making science the new religion. He usurps the absolute authority of religion with the absolute authority of science. He offers absolute...

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