Disagreements over details of the world picture

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Unformatted text preview: earth as merely one of several planets revolving around the sun, and the sun itself was later seen to be merely one of many fixed stars each of which is itself the nucleus of a solar system similar to our own. Man, instead of occupying the center of creation, proved to be merely the inhabitant of a celestial body no different from millions of others. Furthermore, geological investigations revealed that the universe was not created a few thousand years ago, but was probably millions of years old. Disagreements over details of the world picture, however, are only superficial aspects of a much deeper conflict. The appropriateness of the whole Christian outlook is at issue. For Christianity, the world must be regarded as the “creation” of a kind of Superman, a person possessing all the human excellences to an infinite degree and none of the human weaknesses, Who has made man in His image, a feeble, mortal, foolish copy of Himself. … As the natural sciences developed, however, more and more things in the universe came to be explained without the assumption of a supernatural creator. Science, moreover, could explain them better, that is, more accurately and more reliably…. In fact, scientific explanations do not seem to leave any room for this hypothesis. (83- 4) 2 “Could explain them better” and “do not leave any room” in the sense that the hypothesis of atheism is more rational than the hypothesis of theism, in the light of such scientifically respectable principles as Ock...
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