(1) Science vs. Theology: Andrew D. White

nord at mail.atw.earthreach.com nord at mail.atw.earthreach.com
Thu Mar 5 09:47:31 EST 1998


HISTORY OF THE WARFARE OF SCIENCE
 WITH THEOLOGY IN CHRISTENDOM # 1

BY ANDREW DICKSON WHITE (1896)

TWO VOLUMES COMBINED

VOLUME I

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To the Memory of

EZRA CORNELL
I DEDICATE THIS BOOK.

Thoughts that great hearts once broke for, we

Breathe cheaply in the common air.--LOWELL

Discipulus est prioris posterior dies.--PUBLIUS SYRUS

Truth is the daughter of Time.--BACON
The Truth shall make you free.--ST.  JOHN, viii, 32.

# 1

INTRODUCTION

My book is ready for the printer, and as I begin this preface my
eye lights upon the crowd of Russian peasants at work on the Neva
under my windows.  With pick and shovel they are letting the rays
of the April sun into the great ice barrier which binds together
the modern quays and the old granite fortress where lie the bones
of the Romanoff Czars.

This barrier is already weakened; it is widely decayed, in many
places thin, and everywhere treacherous; but it is, as a whole,
so broad, so crystallized about old boulders, so imbedded in
shallows, so wedged into crannies on either shore, that it is a
great danger.  The waters from thousands of swollen streamlets
above are pressing behind it; wreckage and refuse are piling up
against it; every one knows that it must yield.  But there is
danger that it may resist the pressure too long and break
suddenly, wrenching even the granite quays from their
foundations, bringing desolation to a vast population, and
leaving, after the subsidence of the flood, a widespread residue
of slime, a fertile breeding-bed for the germs of disease.


But the patient mujiks are doing the right thing.  The barrier,
exposed more and more to the warmth of spring by the scores of
channels they are making, will break away gradually, and the
river will flow on beneficent and beautiful.

My work in this book is like that of the Russian mujik on the
Neva.  I simply try to aid in letting the light of historical
truth into that decaying mass of outworn thought which attaches
the modern world to mediaeval conceptions of Christianity, and
which still lingers among us--a most serious barrier to religion
and morals, and a menace to the whole normal evolution of
society.

For behind this barrier also the flood is rapidly rising --the
flood of increased knowledge and new thought; and this barrier
also, though honeycombed and in many places thin, creates a
danger--danger of a sudden breaking away, distressing and
calamitous, sweeping before it not only out-worn creeds and
noxious dogmas, but cherished principles and ideals, and even
wrenching out most precious religious and moral foundations of
the whole social and political fabric.

My hope is to aid--even if it be but a little--in the gradual and
healthful dissolving away of this mass of unreason, that the
stream of "religion pure and undefiled" may flow on broad and
clear, a blessing to humanity.

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Posted by Robert E. Nordlander
nord at mail.atw.earthreach.com
March 5, 1998

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