Darwin and his theories of natural selection are often thought in juxtaposition of God and the theory of Creationism; yet, history suggests otherwise. In Darwin’s life, and particularly in the ways in which his image lived on after his life, there were many associations with religion. Before the idea religion and science must be mutually exclusive permeated around the world, the religious public did not seem to condemn and segregate Darwin and his research as heavily as one might imagine. Although it was recognized that he no longer accredited God to being the ‘creator’ and consequently became an agnostic, Darwin was respected enough throughout the community that his statue was placed in the centre of a museum built as a Cathedral and his funeral was also in a Cathedral.
Similarly to how the Darwin Revolution spanned decades, the potential revolution between science and religion could be in the process right now. The relationship between science and religion has always been a tense and conflicting one, which is especially clear in the Scopes Trials and the ongoing debate of creationism versus evolution, but, it is also a constantly changing and varying relationship. Neither field of knowledge can prove with absolute certainty that their truth is the right truth, and I think people forget that ideas and what we thought we knew to be true can change. Taking Galileo’s heliocentrism theory for example, it was a long and hard fight to get his theory published and for people to take him seriously as opposed to simply shunning him, but eventually, everyone recognized the possibility of his theory and there was a complete 180 degrees turn of thought. The point of this example is not to show that Galileo was right and the majority was wrong, but rather, to show the need for an open mind and consideration of other ideas. At the base of it, there needs to be respect for individual beliefs and an elimination of the strict dichotomy. When will people stop questioning or being uncomfortable with the fact that a doctor, a person of science, can believe in God? Will the next Pope be as willing to speak out about climate change as the current one has?
The possible revolution I hope for may be centuries in the making and continue for centuries more, but I think there will come a point in time when the relationship between science and religion will be a strong and mutually respectful one, when it will not be more shocking to hear of the next Darwin of being remembered in a Cathedral than of them being condemned.