The retreat from Copernicus, and what it means to me.
Think of science as a spotlight on a map of knowledge. As time passes, the spotlight gradually grows, illuminating more and more. Historically there was no worry that science would discredit theism as God's roles were things like weather, the movement of the heavenly bodies, the origin of our planet, life...all questions which for a very long time were thought impossible to answer except through supernatural means. But the spotlight kept growing, eventually encompassing the water cycle and the other natural forces behind weather. So God was moved back a bit, just behind the border of light and darkness, just beyond science's reach. Those who moved him felt terribly modern. "Look, ours is a theism compatible with science and which always will be!" they said.
But the spotlight kept growing. Soon it encompassed the movement of the heavenly bodies. Believe it or not if you care to research it this was an enormous controversy in the middle ages. It was thought atheistic heresy to suggest that the heavenly bodies were actual worlds one might go to, and that their motion was not divinely controlled. Those who conceded that natural processes drove the planets felt terribly modern and enlightened, because their faith was not in conflict with the science of the day, so they could feel both men of science and of God.
But the spotlight kept growing. Charles Darwin's discovery of evolution unseated God as designer of life, and the controversy rages to this day. Some shifted God yet again to a removed creative position at the point of singularity, just beyond the reach of science. "Look," they said, "our faith is compatible with science and which always will be!"
...Meanwhile, the spotlight continues to grow larger every day.