As many of my loyal readers(E.G. no one, ever) are aware, I am an avid student of history. The more deeply I dig into the past, well, the more I realize that nothing has really changed in 5,000 years of recorded history.
It's not depressing, it just is what it is. While technology marches on, its easy to forget that we had doctors and teachers and lawyers in the Old Kingdom of Egypt, nearly 5,000 years ago(depending on who's chronology you follow).
Lately I've been doing a bit of digging into the past, reading about various historical figures, and generally laughing when I realize how little has changed. Today I got on the subject of Nicolaus Copernicus, and made some interesting revelations.
Now, the story we were all taught in public school goes something like this: "Copernicus was a brilliant vissionary who discovered that the planets revolve around the sun and the earth is not the center of the universe. He was attacked by the catholic church and deemed a heretic, because it was the middle ages and everyone knows God hates science." I may be paraphrasing a little bit towards the end, there, but that's basically the commonly -accepted version of events.
What tends to get left out is the part where Copernicus WAS a catholic himself(and very devote, at that). The bible says nothing about earth's position in the universe, its only based on a few scriptures that the whole "everything revolves around us" concept came about. But, most importantly, Copernicus' detractors were other scientists who attempted to refute his theories on scientific grounds. The whole catholic church/heresy thing is just... ugh.
So here's where it gets interesting. First, let me point out: its no secret that I am a young earth creationist. I don't really try to hide the fact, but also prefer not to run around smacking people with bibles(although that does sound fairly cathartic...). My position being understood; we have this general notion today that science wasn't invented until 1859, and that prior to the theory of evolution, everyone was just a zainy religious zealot screaming bible verses.
Just take a look at Sir Isaac Newton, widely regarded as "the greatest and most influential scientist that ever lived"(that's taken directly from wikipedia, folks). Secular history likes to ignore the fact that he was also a theologian and a devout christian. Atheists like to pain a picture of him as a man of pure science, and just gloss over his work on biblical chronology(Old 'saac placed the date of creation in 4000 B.C.).
Science was never considered heresy, heresy was considered heresy. Evolutionists would be branded heretics in the middle ages for stating that God does not exist, not for positing theories on science.
What we have to look at is the climate of the times. For a thousand of years before people like Copernicus, Christianity was the dominant religion, and scientists began their work from that standpoint(as do many creationists today).
I we regard Darwinian evolution as a religion, and we replace Copernicus with any well-known scientist of the modern era, his story perfectly mirrors any arguments today. One scientist proposes a new theory, other scientists vitriolically shoot it down. The only difference is today they are quoting evolutionists instead of scripture.
Dig in yourself, I came to this conclusion just off of wikipedia's entry on Copernicus. Today we're having the exact same scientific discourse we did 500 years ago, we just have a new religion in the game. One that gets to be taught in public schools.