The Conflict Myth






“Newspaper articles thrive on cliché.”

Cambridge and Oxford trained historian and physicist James Hannam goes on to state in his online article, “Yesterday’s clichés are, of course, today’s stereotypes as any perusal of earlier writing will show. The conflict between science and religion is an acceptable cliché that crops up all over the place.”

Even Harvard University has published on the myth of the historical conflict between faith and science through Ronald Numbers’ book, Galileo Goes To Jail. The Harvard University Press summarizes the work here:

If we want nonscientists and opinion-makers in the press, the lab, and the pulpit to take a fresh look at the relationship between science and religion, Ronald Numbers suggests that we must first dispense with the hoary myths that have masqueraded too long as historical truths. Until about the 1970s, the dominant narrative in the history of science had long been that of science triumphant, and science at war with religion. But a new generation of historians both of science and of the church began to examine episodes in the history of science and religion through the values and knowledge of the actors themselves. Now Ronald Numbers has recruited the leading scholars in this new history of science to ­puncture the myths, from Galileo’s incarceration to Darwin’s deathbed conversion to Einstein’s belief in a personal God who “didn’t play dice with the universe.” The picture of science and religion at each other’s throats persists in mainstream media and scholarly journals, but each chapter in Galileo Goes to Jail shows how much we have to gain by seeing beyond the myths.

The following video introduces and illustrates the misunderstandings surrounding this topic. The video merely presents the same basic information as award winning historian James Hannam and as outlined by Harvard University Press author Ronald Numbers. However, you will quickly see, if you view the video on YouTube, from the “likes” and “dislikes” that the video has not been well received in the YouTube community. Unfortunately, the conflict myth is well-established in spite of the towering historical evidence to the contrary.