The BioLogos Conference later this month is themed “Beyond Conflict”. Here’s some context from a historian of science on the topic.
Thank you James for posting Mr. Ungureanu’s article. What I see missing from historical accounts of the conflict is the deeper situation analysis, posing the question “What did each party have to lose?” On the surface, a scientist going to church today does not seem like there is anything to lose. That was not the case historically.
From the other perspective, what does the church have to lose? The big churches have been losing influence and revenues, but more than that, they were most afraid of losing their power. And historically, churches were the most power institutions in the wold with much to lose. This is the problem of looking back in history from here, instead of doing an in-depth analysis of all the players in the time in question.
I’d suggest there is a deeper analysis called for here too. At least for those of us in the evangelical tradition, there has been an awful lot to lose by publicly supporting the findings of contemporary science. Perhaps my own circumstances have colored my view of such things, but I’d say (the Galileo affair notwithstanding) it is harder to be a Christian in the sciences today than it was before the 20th century.
I agree, I find myself in conflict with my own family because of this. Their view is that Science can not be taken with authority when it conflicts with a literal view of the Bible. My view is that a literal view is actually rather impossible to take of the Bible without all kinds of mental gymnastics. It thus does not make sense to take the Bible as a authority on Science, especially since it clearly was never meant to be a Science book in the first place.