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  • Writer's picture Peter Kupisz

Conflict View of Science and Christianity is Myth

Have science and religion been perpetually at war with each other?

This view of the relationship between science and religion, known as the “warfare” or “conflict” view, is commonly accepted by the general public. And part of this commonly accepted view is the idea that when science and religion conflict, religion always loses.

There’s only one problem with the view and that is, it’s not true. Historians of science have been arguing against it for decades. They trace its origin to two men living in the late 19th century – Andrew Dickson White and John William Draper. The books these men wrote reflect such poor reasoning that scholars discuss whether they were deliberately trying to distort the facts or just blinded by their ‘anti-religious’ biases and prejudices. Dr. James Hannam explains that

...the historical record clearly shows that accommodation and even cooperation [between science and religion] have been the default positions in the relationship... A strange thing about the conflict myth is that much of the evidence for it is bogus. Not only are most people ignorant of the real history, but what they think they know about it is actually untrue.

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James Hannam, “Science and Religion: A History of Conflict?,” The Guardian, June 14, 2009, sec. Opinion,



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