In his oft-quoted work, Conflict between Religion and Science, Professor Draper shows a decided propensity to kick the beam of the scales of justice, and lay all such impediments to the progress of science at the door of the clergy alone. With all respect and admiration due to this eloquent writer and scientist, we must protest and give every one his just due. Many of the above-enumerated discoveries are mentioned by the author of the Conflict. In every case he denounces the bitter resistance on the part of the clergy, and keeps silent on the like opposition invariably experienced by every new discoverer at the hands of science. His claim on behalf of science that “knowledge is power” is undoubtedly just. But abuse of power, whether it proceeds from excess of wisdom or ignorance is alike obnoxious in its effects. Besides, the clergy are silenced now. Their protests would at this day be scarcely noticed in the world of science. But while theology is kept in the background, the scientists have seized the sceptre of despotism with both hands, and they use it, like the cherubim and flaming sword of Eden, to keep the people away from the tree of immortal life and within this world of perishable matter.
Isis Unveiled, ch. III
the identification of contradictories, so far from being the self-developing process which Hegel supposes, is really a selfconsuming process, passing from the less to the more abstract, and terminating either in a laugh at the ultimate nothingness, or in a mood of vertiginous amazement at a meaningless infinity.
William James, pragmatist