Why There is No Conflict Between Science and Religion: Some Historical and Philosophical Considerations

Why There is No Conflict Between Science and Religion: Some Historical and Philosophical Considerations

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

Presented by the History & Philosophy of Science Section

 

The History & Philosophy of Science Section of the New York Academy of Sciences holds multiple meetings covering a wide range of topics within the field. The Section's advisory committee works to bring together distinguished lecturers and scholars to promote discussion of their most recent research, or topics of critical current interest on issues related to the history and philosophy of science, technology, medicine, and relevant social and ethical questions.

Topics include the history of related disciplines in all historical periods from antiquity to the present, studied through diverse methodologies. The goal of the Section is to keep the Academy, its members, and those who attend its meetings well-informed about current work and the major figures—nationally and internationally—who are making the most significant contributions to the history and philosophy of science.

Abstract

Why There is No Conflict Between Science and Religion: Some Historical and Philosophical Considerations
Daniel Garber
Princeton University

There is considerable worry about the supposed conflict between science and religion, and considerable discussion about how to deal with the apparent conflict. In my talk I shall argue that there is no such conflict because, in a way, there is no such thing as science and no such thing as religion. That is to say, both institutions are very complex, and within each one can find a wide variety of opinions on the issues from which the supposed conflict arises. I shall argue, using historical examples, that what passes for the conflict between science and religion are often instances of the kinds of conflicts that happen within science, within religion, or, for that matter, within any kind of human institutions. I shall argue that it is a mistake to focus too narrowly on the supposed conflicts between science and religion as if they were any more significant than any other kind of human conflicts.