Seiler Introduction Sometime in the very-near future, your child may pick up his textbook to read about the famous scientist Galileo and his confrontation with the Church, and he may read: The reason Galileo came into conflict with the Church was because of his arrogance and his bad luck, not because of any supposed conflict between science and religion.
Science-and-religion is a huge industry, especially in the Anglo-American world. But, should one necessarily take sides in this Cowboys-and-Indians warfare? The conflict thesis is, however, popular in the public sphere, thus demanding some historization so as to better understand its past origins and deflate its current strength.
An example of the latter is the recurring studies of the Galileo affair. Any interpretation of this episode of the early 17th century will fails to characterise the relations between science and religion since neither fully existed at the time, at least not in the way we understand them today.
Peter Harrison, the former Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford, argued rather convincingly that the conflict thesis was a by-product of the process of constructing the boundaries between modern science and other activities which took place in the nineteenth century 3.
Prior to that, one can talk about natural philosophy, natural history, alchemy, etc. Moreover, the notion of religion, in which Christianity would dissolve as one among many other realities on equal terms with Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.
Was the conflict thesis a necessary consequence of this process? Like everything else in history, the answer is no. Then, how did it gain momentum and how is it that it still holds legitimacy in the public sphere? Individuals of an imaginary community, thus, share in a number of invented traditions that help them coalesce in a common identity.
Let me elaborate on that.
The "Conflict Thesis" between Science and Christianity As described in the previous post, Christians are often caricaturized as holding on tightly to anti-scientific views, such as a flat Earth and geocentrism, in spite of strong scientific evidence to the contrary. Apr 04, · The "conflict thesis"—the idea that an inevitable and irreconcilable conflict exists between science and religion—has long been part of the popular imagination. In The Warfare between Science and Religion, Jeff Hardin, Ronald L. Numbers, Released on: September 24, conflict thesis John H. Evans offers a sociologists’ view on science and religion debates. John H Evans is the author of Playing God? Human Genetic Engineering and the Rationalization of Public Bioethical Debate and Contested Reproduction: Genetic Technologies, Religion and Public Debate.
This professionalization of science, which was partly a product of the post-Enlightenment, took place first in professional guilds, industrial facilities and in the new centralised-State bureaus.
The old universities were the last strongholds to resist scientific specialisation. The new scientist needed a sense of community as well as rhetorical and institutional instruments to reject potential interlopers like philosophers, amateur naturalists, and, also, clergymen.
Thus, the latter became only one of the targets of those who advocated for the professionalization of science. A now classical paper by the late historian of science Frank M. Turner examined the professional dimension of the conflict between science and religion in Victorian Britain 6.
Towards the middle of the nineteenth century a number of professional scientists started a public campaign to promote the social prestige of science as an activity both prestigious and necessary for a modern state.
So far, academic natural philosophy was largely seen as an ally to theology. As a matter of fact, a generation of Christian polymaths, many of them clergymen of the Church of England, had developed a particular brand of natural theology in the early nineteenth century, one which saw in the findings of geology, biology and mechanics the material signs of a designer-god.
This tradition was, thus, one of the targets by those who argued for an independent, professional and socially prestigious science. The X-Club was the most visible of such lobbies.The conflict model was developed and defended in the nineteenth century by the following two publications: John Draper’s () History of the Conflict between Religion and Science and White’s () two-volume opus A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom.
Both authors argued that science and religion inevitably. Epistemology - Are science and religion in conflict? - The relationship between science and religion is a difficult one and the two sides have tested each other and debated each other in many forums. The "Conflict Thesis" between Science and Christianity As described in the previous post, Christians are often caricaturized as holding on tightly to anti-scientific views, such as a flat Earth and geocentrism, in spite of strong scientific evidence to the contrary.
The conflict thesis, which holds that religion and science have been in conflict continuously throughout history, was popularized in the 19th century by John William .
The idea that science and religion are fundamentally at odds has been called the “conflict thesis” by historians of science. This image of conflict has been generally accepted by many throughout the twentieth century and to the present day.
The conflict thesis continued to be promoted well into the twentieth century, with titles such as James Y.
Simpson’s Landmarks in the Struggle between Science and Religion () and Bertrand Russell’s Religion and Science (). A new American cultural movement ended up further popularizing the conflict thesis, but from the opposite.