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'Two Men' Examines Rift Between Faith and Science

The conflict between religion and science is at the core of a new play that opens at the Huntington Theatre Company tonight.

"Two Men of Florence" by Dick Goodwin is set in the 17th Century, when Galileo was trying to advance the theory that the earth revolves around the sun. In doing so, he angered then-Pope Urban.

Here's a scene from the play:

POPE URBAN: People will ask, 'If Earth is not the center, where does the devil live.' Or 'If we are a planet among other planets, what of Adam and the Great Flood? Did it happen on all the worlds?' You see the morass that lies in that direction.

GALILEO: How can I describe the world if it is maintained that Scripture forbids its description?

POPE URBAN: Scripture sets no limit to thought. If we can better understand the world assuming that the Earth moves we can do so. As long as we don't insist that it actually moves.

"Two Men of Florence" is the first script for Goodwin, who's more accustomed to writing for presidents. We joined him recently during a break in rehearsal and began by asking what inspired him to write this drama.

This program aired on March 11, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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