We welcome guest speaker Ted Davis, Professor of the History of Science at Messiah College, to our campus who will address the pervasive belief that science and religion are engaged in an ongoing, inevitable conflict.
This view is often supported by offering famous historical examples, which are alleged to show that conflict between science and religion has always been the normal state of affairs. However, a more accurate understanding of the history of science shows that the “warfare” view of science and religion fails entirely to capture the complexity of the actual historical situation. Dr. Davis examines the sources of the “warfare” view, showing how two nineteenth-century American scholars – chemist John William Draper of NYU and historian Andrew Dickson White, the first president of Cornell University – effectively created the historical myth of an ongoing, inevitable “warfare” of science and religion.
He also explains why modern scholars have found the “warfare” view all but useless as a guide for writing the history of science and religion. This talk has been given at Arizona State University, Cornell University, the University of Minnesota, the Faraday Institute (Cambridge, UK), and the Pennsylvania State University-Schuylkill.