Talk:Relationship between religion and science/Archive 1

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Old talk[edit]

I think the "more abstract and less personal" needs to be clarified as to what the more and less are being compared to. -- Egern

It's OK the way it is now. - Eloquence

Off-the-cuff remarks very briefly: this article still needs a huge amount of research, and could stand very well to be moved to something like science and religion or scientific reactions to religion. There are many books and articles written about the intersection of science and religion, including a new journal edited by Nupedia religion editor Munawar Anees (who has a Ph.D. in biology). So please try to make this entry good!  :-) --LMS

Larson did publish his findings about the general publication in Scientists are Still Keeping the Faith, Nature, Vol. 386 (1997) 435 (the title comes from the fact that the number of atheists among mainstream scientists has been fairly stagnant), so the claim they weren't published in a peer-reviewed journal is false. This is probably also the case for the later findings, as Larson et al. wrote a later article in Sep 1999 where they probably reported their newer findings (if someone could verify this, please do so, there doesn't seem to be a free electronic copy). I'd also like to know if the earlier Nature article used the criticized narrow definition. I do not see how "personal immortality" can be criticized as narrow and have removed that part. --Eloquence


Not sure why you objected to the link. and Dr Hugh Ross is a scientist that has devoted his career (lately anyway) to the idea that science proves the existance of God. The website is full of a lot of his interpretations of scientific evidence that readers might find interesting. Whether you agree with the guy or not (I don't on every topic), he's an extremely interesting author.

He is interesting, but most of his readers do not realize how non-mainstream his scientific views are. The problem with his arguments is that in order to prove that God exists, he has to take positions on things (such as the age of the universe) that almost no other scientist agrees with. -- Roadrunner
That may be true or it may not be, I have no way to know. I've heard him say on one television appearance that he polls scientists on various things as he travels the world speaking to them. One of the things he always finds is that more agree with him on things than disagree. For example, he said he usually asks them "Do you believe in Evolution?", he said almost one hundred percent of the people in the auditorium raise their hand. Then he asks them "Do you believe in Darwinian Evolution?", and around half of them put their hands down, which he says is a surprise. Thats certainly not a "scientific poll" (no pun intended), but I have no statistics to contradict him. I'm actually not familiar with exactly how old he thinks the universe is, but I know he disagrees with most creationists by supporting the idea of the "ancient" universe over the "new" universe. So, I guess he's not even mainstream Creationist. (Having just searched his site, it looks like he believes the Universe is "roughly 20 billion years old", which fits pretty closely with what the Wikipedia article on the universe says, 15 Billion.).
Those statistics aren't particularly surprising. There are a lot of theories of evolution which are non-Darwinian (depending on how you define the term). The problem with those sort of questions is (which is also the problem with the scientists survey on God) is that unless you are careful about what questions you ask and how you ask them, you probably will get a totally wrong idea of what people actually believe.
Either way, mainstream or not, he defnitely fits the topic.

I think the real story here is that scientists believe non-scientific things. This should not surprise us: there are lawyers and police who break the law; physicians who have unhealthy lifestyles. Most Americans have come to question blind acceptance of authority. Unfortunately, American science education is pretty piss-poor, and most Americans do not really understand how science works; consequently, those that do value science often give blind authority to scientists, thinking that whatever they think must be "scientific." That is not right! Like lawyers, police, and doctors, scientists are human beings with a particular job to do. That doesn't mean that everything they think or believe is a product of rigorous scientific research. Slrubenstein

True, that's why there are still so many scientists that believe in God ;-). Seriously, though, the article says nothing about the "why", and that is not its purpose. It's merely intended to summarize the beliefs of scientists. This is particularly interesting as opposed to, say, "Lawyers' belief in God" because of the old and well known conflict between science and religion. --Eloquence 17:26 Nov 14, 2002 (UTC)
In that case -- and I think I am echoing a suggestion of LMS -- I think this article should be combined with a discussion of religions' attitudes towards science (e.g. how long it took organized Christianity to accept Galileo, Darwin), and renamed the relationship between science and religion Slrubenstein
I think that's a good idea. I think the subject of how religions view science, and vice versa, is an important and complex question. Not all modern religious people agree on the subject of how science relates to their religious beliefs, and it is still a big debate among them. Some people of faith are completely accepting of science (evolution, the Big Bang, the Documentary Hypothesis, etc.) while others take a totally different view on how religious dogma impinges on scientific understanding. This is a big issue within religious debate, and relates well to the flip side of this issue, namely the question of how scientists should view religion. soulpatch
I have no problem with that, but I don't have time to write it right now. An important historical resource for the religion-critical POV is History of the Warfare of Science With Theology in Christendom by Andrew Dickson White. --Eloquence 18:24 Nov 14, 2002 (UTC)

Redirected from Religion and science[edit]

I redirect Religion and science to this page. That article has only one edit by a single author and has nothing linked to it. I read it several times, trying to find things I could merge into this article, but I felt this more extensive article covers those points already. --Menchi 19:11, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Some apply scientific methods to all questions, both observable and unobservable; for example, Nazis, Communists, Nihilists, and Materialists, who assert that Science necessitates certain philosophical, unobservable, unverifiable, and value-laden conclusions of a strongly religious nature, such as the superiority of certain races, the inevitability of proletarian rule, or the meaninglessness of life.

This would seem to be self-contradictory. If one applies scientific methods to all questions, one does not arrive at "certain philosophical, unobservable, unverifiable, and value-laden conclusions of a strongly religious nature". Burschik 13:35, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Burschik didn't like the examples, so removed them. Would someone add some acceptable examples to illuminate the bare statement "Some apply scientific methods to all questions, both observable and unobservable." --Wetman 19:20, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Comment on "Religious and scientific modes of knowledge"[edit]

To my understanding of Buddhism, the statement, "Theravada Buddhists assert from the authority of the Buddha that the universe and the self are illusions and non-existent, despite scientific evidence to the contrary" is misleading. What Buddhists deny is duality, not existence. The illusory nature of existence is that it is exclusively material. Matter and 'spirit' are not of two distinct natures, but one undivided nature. And Buddhists do not assert on "authority of the Buddha", but from direct experience. Their training enables their intuitive perceptions. Many scientific discoveries also result from intuition rather than rational deduction.

But discussion is also potentially misleading. That is why the Zen koans are paradoxical. (Man is not self, but he is also not not-self). Only by breaking rational thought can the 'truth' be approached. Notice that Kurt Gödel had something to say about undecidability and incompleteness. That and the nature of quantum indeterminacy show that our knowledge always remains incomplete. --Blainster 08:09, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

It is well known that if one begins with the axioms "X" and "not X" (example: "Man is not self, but he is also not not-self") that the rules of logic allow every statement and its opposite to be logically deduced from those two contradictory axioms. "Breaking rational thought" is useful to opening up oneself to the evidence of experience. But embracing rational thought is needed for clear and accurate understanding of that self same experience. 10:24, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

It is also well known that the rules of logic do not apply universally. See liar's paradox for the classic example. The experience of mysticism is precisely where rational analysis does not apply. Physics example: Is light a wave or a particle? Experimentation cannot decide the question because it is the wrong question. Mysticism is not physics, but the example shows that when neither deduction or induction can solve a problem, intuitive (mystic) insight is needed to break through to new understanding. Only after insight reframes the question can scientific method make progress. It is not coindidence that every great theoretical breakthrough in 20th century physics was made by a well trained scientist who was also a mystic. --Blainster 21:07, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

The difference between science and religion: Science has many questions and no answers; religion has one answer and no questions. 12:17, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Scientific Method in Religious Practice[edit]


Many people tend to view religion as something totally opposite to science, as a blind faith of intellectually weak people, who never bother themselves with searching for any proof…

Yes, this kind of religiosity does exist…

But there is also another kind of religion — that of reasonable people — adepts of which make real efforts on self-transformation according to the God's design. It is in this case there exist a possibility of using scientific method for attainment of the Highest religious Purpose — complete spiritual Self-Realization.

What is scientific method

Scientific method of studying any phenomena, from physical to psychological, biological, and psychoenergetic, must be based on reproducibility of results, obtained in the course of an experiment.

Suppose, there is a phenomenon or a group of phenomena for which science have no explanation currently. Scientific method consists in development of a working hypothesis, setting of an experiment, that can either corroborate or refute this hypothesis, evaluating the results, etc.

But while in a physical experiment the object of research is phenomenon of the material world which is studied by means of some material instrument, in religious practice the object of study is in non-material worlds, while as the scientific instrument the experimentalist-practician uses his soul, consciousness.

The studying of psychoemotional states with the help of encephalographs does not provide scientists with the complete picture of what a person experiences; this is but a reflection, a projection of reality on the "material" plane.

But in the same way new discoveries become possible as scientific instruments get more sophisticated, one becomes able to directly experience new religious truths as one's consciousness grows more purified and larger in size. As a result of such practice a person's outlook inevitably changes towards more profound understanding of the structure of the Universe and realization of the interrelationships between the world and oneself. Also, false religious dogmas get destroyed in a natural way.

About principles of working with scriptures

A person willing to engage in religious study should know the Bible and other religious scriptres. But study of these books can be optimized if one takes into account the following:

1) Books were written by people, and people tend to err sometimes;

2) A significant part of what is written in these scriptures is but an allegory;

3) Many recommendations that they contain were relevant only to the specific situation at the time the particular scripture was written;

4) Some parts of the scriptural text have been to a significant extent distorted or taken out by people over time. Other important information was not even included in those scriptures — for either objective or subjective reasons.


The complete doctrine of spiritual practice can be summarized in short in the following three points:

1) There is God — the Universal Consciousness of the Creator, Who lives in the highest eon of multidimensional universe.

2) He is Love.

3) We really can and should strive to become one with Him through transforming ourselves into Love. And it makes sense to dedicate our lives to comprehending and realizing this, as well as helping others do it also.

Spiritual practice for psychogenetically mature people implies:

1) Initial familiarization with the concept of Spiritual Path and accumulation of relevant knowledge;

2) Ethic purification in accordance with principles that incarnate people received from God. At this stage various methods of psychic self-regulation, based on shifting concentration of consciousness from one chakra to another and mastering the functions of chakras can render one a significant help.

3) Psychoenergetical work on transforming oneself into a developed spiritual heart, expansion of it within multidimensional structure of the Absolute, and substituting the Higher Self for individual lower self

The religious Truth in all its entirety is impossible to understand by its description — one can only perceive it by one's own personal experience. And all people who successfully advance o this Path experience it.

Such practice results in a clearly perceptible and noticeable changes of the inner state of a person.

This knowledge have never been published before. But now they are available for all people.

Mistakes and deviations

1) Religion-specific theological schools, which do not consider all spiritual phenomena and do not have a developed practical part, cannot be called scientific

2) Scientific approach to studying religion cannot be based solely on the systematization of outer form of worship, i.e. religious rituals. Rituals represent the most primitive stage of religious practice that does not aim at serious positive transformation of a person, of his spiritual state. The only benefit of religious rituals is strengthening of the faith in the existence of God, which creates a foundation for further advancement.

3) Also those esoteric schools cannot be called scientific-religious that do not aim at cognition God. They usually seek merely development of certain personal qualities of their students, but this cannot be considered a religious practice.


If a strictly logical approach that takes into account all above said, is used, religion really becomes science, while its practical part — spiritual self-realization (cognition God and oneself as a Divine Being).

External links[edit]

I removed all of the external links which were not specifically about the relationship between science and religion. Articles about the relationship are fine, but most of the links did not address the topic at all (things like biographies of creationists and a rabbi's speech about Creation are not engaging the question directly). The atheist website was at least something trying to engage with the idea but is so poor in its analysis and non-notable that I don't think there is any justification for it here. --Fastfission 18:28, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

Conflict thesis - "largely rejected by historians"?[edit]

The intro says,

"Another view known as the conflict thesis—popularized in the 19th century by John William Draper and Andrew Dickson White, but now largely rejected by historians"

The statement about being "largely rejected by historians" is given without any information whatsoever to back this up. The statement looks entirely like a POV. Can anyone give any support to this view, otherwise I'll delete the "largely rejected by historians" part Adrian Baker 16:33, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

actually, it comes from the Ferngren source, in one of the introductory essays. I can provide a specific quote and/or page number in a few weeks when I get back from vacation, but I think among historians science, it's a pretty uncontroversial statement.--ragesoss 21:08, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
It may be the view of Ferngren, but it certainly isn't the view of many others. If the only justified inclusion of this statement is the viewpoint of Ferngren, then the statement is certainly POV. It should be deleted. Adrian Baker 23:45, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
The Ferngren book is an edited volume that contains essays by a number of authors, and the article that I took that from is a historiography article tracking the changing ways historians have approached the question. It is one historian's POV of what the consensus of historians is, but as far as POV regarding history, it's as close to NPOV as one can get. That's not to say historians don't identify instances of conflict, but that conflict as a general metaphor for the broad sweep of the history of science and religion is totally inaccurate.--ragesoss 01:43, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
The statement about the conflict model being "largely rejected by historians" implies that a consensus exists. Perhaps instead it is better to say that the positions advocated by Draper and White are couched in the views more particular to the late 19th century, and that today there are several other models that together express the much wider range of views held in the 21st century. This wide range is discussed by both Ian Barbour and John Haught in their textbooks. So the consensus is not that the conflict model has been superseded by another one, but that there are at least four models for the relationship (conflict, independent (non-overlapping), conversation or dialogue, and integrated or harmonious) each one being held by sizable groups. --Blainster 18:33, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
I think you would be very hard pressed to find any historians of science and religion who still think the conflict model is useful as a general model; I think there is in fact a consensus in that regard. Those four models are more normative models for how different groups think science and religion ought to interact in the present; historically, there are clear cases of every one of them in specific instances. Some historians talk about a "complexity" model, which is to say, there aren't any easy generalizations. But dispelling the conflict thesis (which still has a lot of popular sway), at least historically, is one of the main things historians of science try to do in this area. See the beginning of the PBS external link, for example.--ragesoss 20:00, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
ragesoss is right. The conflict thesis does not just say that science and religion sometimes interact in negative ways, it says that conflict happens most of the time, until religion learns just to get out of the way. It is nothing like what Barbour writes about. It is very NPOV to say that historians have come to a consensus in rejecting the conflict model. I have started a new page on the conflict thesis. I'm not sure if there is any more to discuss on this issue--the points are pretty well spelled out already--but if there is, maybe it should move to the new page. Maestlin 06:58, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't know whether it's worth to mention that here, because the discourse has become so decentralized, but I would agree with Adrian Baker and Blainster, and disagree with Ragesoss and Maestlin. However, there is something to the argument that a majority of American academic historians of science today probably reject the conflict thesis (there are six qualifiers in this!), and so to say that it is "largely rejected" is probably correct and NPOV, although I would certainly like to have "currently" and "of science", or something like that. Clossius 10:41, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

The problem here is that the relationship is not only, or even primarily a historical issue. Probably more scientists and theologians are writing about it than historians— historical analysis is just one aspect of the subject. Note that Barbour is both a scientist and theologian, and Haught is a theologian; neither of them are historians. --Blainster 18:51, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Blainster, that's why the conflict thesis stuff is in the paragraph on history, not in the first paragraph. While, as you correctly note, the relationship is not only a historical issue, the voluminous present-oriented writings of scientists and theologians are an odd mix of philosophy, opinion, and prescription... there is a lot more encyclopedic content to be written about the history, even if it isn't the most important part of the topic. There is a place for the Barbour, etc., we just need to be careful not to conflate it with history (which is very commonly done), but rather separate it and be explicit about who holds what positions.
Clossius, do you really think the consensus is limited to American historians of science, or are you just being careful? I would definitely say it applies to British historians as well, and from my (fairly limited) experience reading and interacting with European and other historians, I don't get the impression that there is much opposition there either.--ragesoss 19:14, 14 March 2006 (UTC)


If I understand correclty, Blainster, you are still thinking of Barbour as someone who views the conflict model as one type of interaction? From Barbour, When Science Meets Religion, p. 38: "In examining particular sciences in each of the chapters that follow, I will indicate my reasons for disagreeing with the Conflict thesis." Seems clear-cut to me. Maestlin 00:37, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

I have Barbour's 1997 book, and yes, he discusses the conflict model as one of four different types. I did not mean to suggest he thought it was a fruitful one. He also didn't say it was no longer being used. --Blainster 23:07, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

If there is no longer a conflict, why are American christians fighting in the courts in Pennsylvania for Intelligent Design (a religious theory, not a scientific one) taught as an alternative to Evolution?? Many fundamentalist Christians still teach that the Earth is only 10,000 years old, and that there was a flood that destroyed the Earth's life (apart from those saved by Noah)?

This seems like a conflict to me no matter what some historian may think! To claim there is no conflict today is POV - it should go. Adrian Baker 13:09, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

As I read the statement, and the discussion here, there is no disagreement over whether there currently exists conflict between religion and science. The disagreement seems to be on whether a majority of those who study the subject believe that conflict is the primary relationship between religion and science. It is not necessarily POV to state that a majority of historians of science believe that this is not the case (assuming, of course, that such a statement is true). -- MatthewDBA 14:17, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
Again, the fact that there is sometimes conflict does not prove the conflict thesis is correct. The conflict thesis claims that conflict is the dominant or only way that religion and science interact. White's book is one such example: he says that whenever theology has tried to intervene in science, the results have harmed both. I find Barbour to be a little slippery regarding what, exactly, his four models are, but I understand him to be saying that the conflict model is one way people interpret the relationship. When summarizing the conflict model, he talks about "views" and "positions" (p. 10). He also says that "scientific materialism and biblical literalism both claim that science and religion make rival literal statements about the same domain (the history of nature), so a person must choose between them" (p. 11). This sounds to me like he is trying to describe a Manichaean interpretive outlook, not the fact of occassional or even frequent clashes.
Additional examples:
  • [1] "The conflict model of science and religion is that the two are always in conflict and always have been."
  • [2] (Drawing from Barbour) "The conflict model embraces voices such as Thomas Huxley, a contemporary of Darwin, who wrote that “There is but one kind of knowledge and but one method of acquiring it, namely science.” "
  • [3] "many people just came to assume that science and religion were in perpetual conflict."
I hope this has cleared things up. To say "there is no conflict" would be POV and factually incorrect. But the article does not say this (not the last time I checked). It only addresses the conflict model, which views conflict as virtually inevitable. And it does not say that "the conflict model is no longer being used," which would also be POV and factually correct. It says that most historians of science no longer use it (paraphrase). I haven't asked Barbour, but I bet he would agree, looking at his citations.
Once again, I will remind participants here that there is a new article on the conflict thesis. It has a section on support for the model now, and it could really use contributions by people who are friendly to the idea of the conflict model. Maestlin 21:17, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
Oops, in the penultimate paragraph I meant to say "also be POV and factually INcorrect." Maestlin 21:20, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

historian's views, con't[edit]

The second paragraph of this Wikipedia article says:

"A common modern view, described by Stephen Jay Gould as "non-overlapping magisteria" (NOMA), is that science and religion deal with fundamentally separate aspects of human experience and so, when each stays within its own domain, they co-exist peacefully.[1] Another view known as the conflict thesis—popularized in the 19th century by John William Draper and Andrew Dickson White, but now largely rejected by historians of science—holds that science and religion inevitably compete for authority over the nature of reality, so that religion has been gradually losing a war with science as scientific explanations become more powerful and widespread."

The above paragraph gives two views about the relationship between science and religion, but only states that ONE of these is largely rejected by historians of science. That is POV. It tells the reader that one view is 'right' and that one view is 'wrong'. I don't really care what side of the argument you take, but to only say one is 'rejected by historians' is POV. Would Richard Dawkins agree that the conflict model has been rejected? We keep hearing about some historians believing it to be so, but that is SOME historians. The article would be better without any POV comments and should just stick to describing what its title suggests. I'll remove the comment as it should not be there. —This unsigned comment was added by Adrian Baker (talkcontribs) .

  • No, Dawkins wouldn't say that it has been rejected, because he's 1. not a historian, at all, and 2. is of the sort of scientist who gets a lot of mileage out of saying that religion and science are irreconcilable, and considered rather extreme in that respect. And I think you're fundamentally missing the point of WP:NPOV. The statement above does not say one is right or wrong, it states what the general opinion is about one of them. Frankly I think most historians would reject Gould's characterization as well (the question of where disciplinary or epistemological boundaries lie in this instance is part of the contestation itself) if they bothered to comment on it. --Fastfission 21:54, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't think i have got it wrong. You say that most historians would reject Gould's characterization as well - well this really does help to show that what some historians might think is irrelevant. Why report only what historians may think about one viewpoint - shall we add 'largely rejected by historians...' after both introductory sentences? We should either have it twice, or not at all, ..... and not at all makes more sense! Adrian Baker 22:44, 19 March 2006 (UTC) (oops - forgot to sign my last comment)

Oh, one other thing Fastfission, you might not be aware that the mainstream view of science and religion in Europe is somewhat different to the mainstream view in the USA. Perhaps as you are US based, you are seeing the issue from an American point of view? Adrian Baker 22:51, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm happy with some revision — I think stating the "historian viewpoint" as a positive statement rather than a negative one would be more positive — but not a complete lack of input on the fact that most historians think that these very "flat" conceptions of the relationship between religion and science is a lot murkier than scientists usually make it out to be. I don't know what you mean by "mainstream" here -- if you mean, "mainstream culture" then yes, I imagine they are quite different, but if you mean "mainstream philosophical/historical views" then I am not so sure they diverge sharply on this particular issue. My recommendation for how to please everybody a bit more is to indicate that most historians and philosophers reject the notion that 1. there is necessarily a strict boundary between what is science and non-science, religion and non-religion; 2. science and religion inevitably conflict with each other either in the past or the present. --Fastfission 23:08, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
Adrian, the fact that the historians line only addresses the conflict thesis reflects the fact that historians of science over the last 25 years or so have spent a lot of time and energy attacking the conflict thesis (because the thesis itself has been so historically significant). As Fastfission notes, they would mostly reject NOMA as well, but Gould intended it more as a modern prescriptive approach than a historical description, and historians they haven't spent much time or written many books on how NOMA (specifically) is so wrong. The fact that so many historians of science have written so much on the conflict thesis is why it gets singled out.--ragesoss 06:48, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Fastfission - I'm glad that you are happy to accept some revision. It does need changing as this 'historians' bit is the only part of a decent article that stands out as POV. The article would be much better either without any comment on what 'some historians..' think as both you and rageross agree that both of the viewpoints discussed are rejected by many. There are many different viewpoints on this issue, so why not just leave out the part about what some historians think? There is a drive by many Christians to deny that there is any conflict whatsoever between their belief and science, and similarly there is a drive by some scientists, such as Dawkins, to blow up every conflict to its maximum amount. Both of these viewpoints are POV. I COULD argue that we replace the 'historians' bit with a quote saying "as supported by Richard Dawkins and many others". This would be correct, could be supported by references, but would be POV. Would you be be so keen to keep a line like that in the article? I wouldn't, as it would be a POV, as of course is the 'discounted by historians...' bit. Lets just get rid of it. I ask again, why are you so keen to keep it in?

Your suggested improvements just add the same POV, particularly so point 2. You seem determined to remove any notion in the reader that Science and Religion may just clash now and again. What about the Intelligent Design conflict being fought in the US courts? This is a conflict between science and Religion - conflicts do exist! I don't want to bring up conflicts here, it isn't the place, but you can't just discount them all by saying that the viewpoint has been 'largely rejected by historians of science'. Adrian Baker 15:38, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

  • I think you're reading what I've written a bit more. It is not that science and religion can't clash or won't -- it is that most historians don't think that there is always a clear boundary of what is science vs. what is religion, and perhaps most importantly, that even if we assume there is a self-contained entity called "science" and a self-contained entity called "religion", that they don't necessarily have to clash. They of course can clash. As for the US intelligent design controversy, I think that has more to do with fundamentalist politics and the system of school administration in the US than it does with any fundamental conflict between science and religion, per se, but anyway my opinion is neither here nor there for the purposes of this article. --Fastfission 23:39, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

More largely rejected[edit]

Do we have a specific source on "largely rejected"? I see the reference to Ferngren above, but I tend to agree here. Either we say "Ferngren [insert page ref] states that...", or we find a source to say "According to [new source], only 40% of historians agree that...", or we drop it altogether. Any of these would be NPOV. — MatthewDBA 16:03, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

I'll provide some quotes from the first two articles in the Ferngren volume. From Ferngren's introduction:
  • While some historians had always regarded the Draper-White thesis as oversimplifying and distorting a complex relationship, in the late twentieth century it underwent a more systematic reevaluation. The result is the growing recognition among historians of science that the relationship of religion and science has been much more positive than is sometimes thought. Although popular images of controversy continue to exemplify the supposed hostility of Christianity to new scientific theories, studies have shown that Christianity has often nurtured and encouraged scientific endeavour, while at other times the two have co-existed without either tension or attempts at harmonization. If Galileo and the Scopes trial come to mind as examples of conflict, they were the exceptions rather than the rule." (p. ix)
  • But while [John] Brooke's view [of a complexity thesis rather than conflict thesis] has gained widespread acceptance among professional historians of science, the traditional view remains strong elsewhere, not least in the popular mind." (p. x)
From the first essay, "The Conflict Thesis" by Colin A. Russell:
  • "The conflict thesis, at least in its simple form, is now widely perceived as a wholly inadequate intellectual framework within which to construct a sensible and realistic historiography of Western science." (followed by a list of the basic reasons why it's wrong) (p. 7)
From the second essay, "The Historiography of Science and Religion", by David B. Wilson:
  • The most prominent view among both historians and scientists in the twentieth century has been a presentist conflict thesis that argues as follows." (followed by explanation going back to 19th century writings on the history of science, when the conflict thesis emerged) (p. 14)
  • "By the 1980s and 1990s , there had been nearly a complete revolution in historical methodology and interpretation." (Goes on about the reaction to "Whig history", which historians were revolting against)(p. 23)
  • "This radically different methodology yielded a very different overall conclusion about the historical relationship of science and religion. If 'conflict' expressed the gist an earlier view, 'complexity' ebbodied that of the new. The new approach exposed internalism as incomplete and conflict as distortion. Past thought turned out to be terribly complex, manifesting numerous combinations of scientific and religious ideas, which, to be fully understood, often required delineation of their social and political settings." (p. 24)
--ragesoss 16:37, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

These quotes provide evidence that Ferngren disagrees with the conflict thesis, and that Russell and Wilson claim that most historians disagree with the conflict thesis. But that's all they provide evidence for; and any statement referencing the quotes needs to make that clear. That's all I'm saying. — MatthewDBA 17:23, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

We have multiple professional historians of science stating clearly that most historians of science reject the conflict thesis, and no evidence to the contrary, and you still want to qualify the statement "now largely rejected by historians of science" with "according to Russell, Wilson, Ferngren, Brooke, Numbers, and Lindberg" ?(the list could go on, and it's not hard to find more quotes). That current historians of science broadly reject the conflict thesis is not controversial; Numbers, who is top scholar of American creationism, was recently president of the History of Science Society (see Conflict thesis and Andrew Dickson White for his reference). The qualifier "largely" is there mainly just to be safe; I'm not aware of any current historians of science and religion who endorse the conflict thesis.--ragesoss 18:08, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Regarding certain scientific issues, in the USA there is a noticeable discrepancy between what most scientists think and what the general population thinks, which I think is similar to the concerns here. I just took a look at the articles for two of those topics: Descent with modification and Age of the Earth. Both of those articles contain generalizations about what scientists think that, IMO, are not as well supported as what already is provided in this article for the opinions of historians.
What type of evidence, what level of evidence would satisfy the critics here that most historians do not agree with the conflict thesis? What would be confirmation that it has been carefully scrutinized by recent historians? What allows a specialist to make a comment about the current state of thought in her/his field? Under what circumstances should we not accept such comments? Why is it necessary to say "Ferngren says X about historians" but not "So-and-so says Y about biologists or geologists"?
AGAIN, the conflict thesis article could use contributions from people interested in discussing conflict--either the conflict thesis itself, or past/current examples of conflict. I think that more attention being given to that article could take some of the pressure off this one. (Hoping my comments go through this time) Maestlin 18:51, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Ragesoss - There are MANY people who endorse the conflict thesis, particularly so many scientists such as Richard Dawkins. You haven't answered my above question of why not add "as supported by Richard Dawkins and many scientists" as opposed to the present "but now largely rejected by historians of science" would you be happy with both of these views? Please answer. I notice on your user page that you claim to be a christian. Have you considered the possibility that your Christianity is affecting your views here? I'm an atheist scientist who works with many people of a similar viewpoint as me. Over here in the Uk Richard Dawkins has just had a two part documentary on prime time TV with a very powerful programme explaining his views (conflict thesis) in depth. These views are widespread and mainstream in the UK (although opposed by many too). However, despite my views and background, I don't argue that that this should be offered to support the conflict theory, as that would be POV. Why do you, and others, insist that a disclaimer about the conflict theory should be added in the main text? Is your christianity getting in the way? Leave that argument here on the talk page, and remove it from the front page. Lets keep this article POV free!! Adrian Baker 23:02, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Adrian, I don't think that appeals to people's religions and personal histories is a helpful thing -- let's just not even go there.
Let's think of this in terms of domains of expertise. What is the conflict thesis? Is it a) a scientific theory, b) a historical thesis, or c) a philosophical thesis? It is clearly not a), but it could plausibly be either b) or c) depending on how you phrased it (either "science and religion have always conflicted" or "science and religion will always conflict"). In either case, the relevant experts would, one would assume, not be scientists, but historians and philosophers; at the very least, their pronouncements on a thesis's lack of empirical or philosophical base would be, don't you think, somewhat important here? --Fastfission 23:39, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Adrian, since you probably assume me to be "stupid or insane (or wicked"), I'll remove myself from this conversation for now. May the Wiki be with you--ragesoss 00:40, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Ragesoss - How on earth did you come to the conclusion that I thought you "stupid or insane or wicked"???? I thought that this was a discussion page... to discuss and find a middle ground that agreed on how wikipedia articles should be. What a strange response. I asked a question of you, but again got no answer - is this dialogue? Sorry that you felt that I was in some how insulting you - as I wasn't.

Fastfission - some useful points there. Personal histories/religions can indeed be unhelpful, but we all must recognise that are own views are biased depending on how we see the world. Indeed, in my own immediate family we have an atheist, a born again christian and an ecuminical minister in the Catholic church!! We all see the same things in totally different ways! This would obviously affect how we would all read this page. Recognising that is important.

Your a, b and c options are a good way of looking at this 'problem'. I think we could find a solution here based on your points. My one concern though does remain that in the introduction, only one 'viewpoint' is dismissed (and yes, I understand why you say this is). Indeed it is a historical or philosophical thesis (points b and c), but scientists also have a valid viewpoint about this, and this is what is missing - surely a scientific view should be considered in a thesis concerning scientists! (scientists also disagree about the validity of the thesis!). If you still feel a need for a disclaimer, why not a finishing sentence at the end of the paragraph saying something like "both of these points of view have their critics amongst scientists and historians of science". Would this be acceptable? It would to me as it removes any possibility of POV. thanks for listening. Adrian Baker 12:14, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Sorry; I was trying to be clever by alluding to Dawkins, but that quote was not about what I thought it was (evolution doubters, not Christians). In any case, the reason I didn't answer your question is that I thought Fastfission's comments were sufficient, and if you weren't going to be convinced by him, you wouldn't be convinced by me. However, in the long run, there probably is a place for Dawkins in this article, which could still be greatly expanded and divided into history, historiography and current views sections. Once the remainder of the article has something close to a permament structure, the intro will probably need a re-write anyway. I don't object to including scientist's views; maybe we can import some of the footnotes from Intelligent Design. It still needs something stronger than "critics amongst" for historians of science, though. Yours in discourse--ragesoss 13:27, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
Adrian, when you propose to bring in personal histories and personal beliefs as an explanatory mechanism for why people don't agree with your logic, it is, strictly speaking, ad hominem, and can be annoying and insulting. In the end I think it is un-useful in this situation: it is clearly not an issue that Ragesoss and I are disagreeing with you because we are Christian, because, frankly, I'm not Christian. I'm actually pretty far from it (I'm somewhere in between agnostic and atheist; I believe that ultimately such knowledge is fundamentally unknowable but in such a case I default towards non-assumption of existance because I don't think Pascal's wager is compelling at all) and in a previous incarnation was a relatively well-known local activist for the separation of church and state. I even once met Dawkins himself when I hosted him for a talk on, coincidence of coincidences, the relationship between s. I say this not because I think it should invoke any authority (I don't claim any from it, anyway), but more to just to put to sleep this particular line of thought altogether -- I don't think simple appeals to pre-held religious opinions work as a very good explanatory device in this instance. And I don't think they help in discussing what to do with this article. Frankly, I'd like to just drop this now -- I abhor talking about my "real life" persona in anything but the most general terms because I value my privacy.
Personally, I think the article should be re-written to talk more about how this relationship is theorized rather than attempting any on factual account of the relationship. Philosophers, scientists, theologians, and historians will all produce different factual accounts depending on how they go in to look at the problem. But that's more of a long-term goal, and would accomodate the ultimate intention of WP:NPOV. I agree that the scientist opinion is notable, and should have a place. I am not sure there is a consensus scientist opinion about the conflict thesis per se and would tend to defer to historians and philosophers on this one, since they have addressed it directly, but there certainly is a spectrum of scientist opinions about the relationship between science and religion, which is relevant (ranging from the "totally incompatible" of Dawkins to the "they just shouldn't mix" of Gould to the "they can get along just dandy" of most of the ones I've met personally). --Fastfission 04:19, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

More "largely rejected by historians"[edit]

Geez, "largely rejected by historians" is still not sourced. Nor is it meaningful as historians aren't the ones you should ask. What is going on here is simply that the conflict thesis is not "politically correct". So I've changed it to say just that. What is also true is that the truth is more complex. But the intro finishes up saying that anyway, so there is no need for the additional qualification (when the first extreme alternative lacks such qualification; and I point out that the first alternative is even more false) JeffBurdges 15:06, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Expansion requests[edit]

Expansion of science attitude Section[edit]

Could someone please expand the section, "The attitudes of Science towards Religion"? It seems to me that it's being massively underrepresented. Secos5 18:57, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Added something, i'm not sure that's what you wher thinking --Pixel ;-) 05:22, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Examples needed[edit]

This article doesn't give any examples of conflicts between science and religion, factual religious pronouncements, or of how religious motivations supported science. -- Beland 22:03, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

You can make an argument that monotheist culture was an essential foundation for modern science. In the West, religious beliefs were often a motivation for scientific research. Newton, for example, was an orthodox Protestant Christian. Judaism, Christianity and Islam posit a creator-God, which leads to the belief that the world is organised, and not random. This belief was one of the necessary conditions for the development of the scientific approach to the world. However, there is very little of this in this article- but it needs someone more knowledgable than me to write this in Slackbuie 17:59, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
Here's a general source[1]. Someone more familiar with the subject please incorporate it or better sources (just not the Pope ;)).
    • ^ Ward, Keith. "Introduction". God, faith and the new millennium: Christian belief in an age of science. Oxford: Oneworld publications. p. 14. ISBN 1-85168-155-8. The growth of the natural sciences since the sixteenth century was inspired by the thought that God's creation was meant to be understood by rational creatures, and that it therefore could be understood. 
    -- Jeandré, 2006-12-19t19:39z
    Thanks for this. Perhaps I'll have a bash at it Slackbuie 17:08, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

    Section on Buddhist view needed[edit]

    The attitute of Buddhism toward science is discussed very scarcely in this article. Would someone expand on it?

    A quote I found interesting regarding Buddhism and Scientific method: "The Buddha always made it clear that his teachings should be examed and meditated on, but never simply accepted as true out of respect for him....We should examine the teachings, said the Buddha, in the same way we'd examine a piece of gold. To check that it's really pure gold we'd rub it on a flat slone, pound it with a hammer, or melt it over a fire." (Revel, Jean-Francois, Ricard, Matthieu. "The Monk and the Philosopher". Random House:1998)

    Left wing of the Enlightenment[edit]

    In reaction to this religious rigidity, and rebelling against the interference of religious dogma, the skeptical left-wing of the Enlightenment increasingly gained the upper hand in the sciences, especially in Europe.

    I don't think the term "left-wing" had even been invented at the time. For contemporary readers, the term has all sorts of political associations, some of which I suspect are not appropriate. What is the meaning which is intended to be conveyed here? -- Beland 22:05, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

    oh, that whole bit was a mass of unsupported run on sentences. I cut it back to what I think are the supported parts, and attempted to use better grammer. JeffBurdges 15:52, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

    Removed material[edit]

    I've removed the following paragraph from text of article and am placing it here for further analysis. Maybe there is something worth including in the future of this article. ... Kenosis 05:33, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

    • Many studies are done on religion as a social phenomenon.A serotonin study(Dr. Lars Farde Ph.D, professor of psychiatry at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden,2003the study) suggest that low serotonin levels(linked with anxiety) are linked with religious belief (vulgarized article).Overwhelming amount of studies have shown an inverse relationship between IQ scores and religiosity.Thers also studies on gender differences. [sic]... 05:33, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

    i'm all ears--Pixel ;-) 05:36, 10 August 2006 (UTC) i will weat a day--Pixel ;-) 09:19, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

    since you ignored me i'm puting it back--Pixel ;-) 02:28, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

    I also removed this paragraph. It starts with a weasel-phrase, and proceeds to make some very broad speculations without any backing whatsoever. It then proceeds to erroneously describe what scientific method is and what it does. It concludes with an irrelevant sentence about epistemology. ... Kenosis 14:59, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

    • It has been argued that many scientists' conceptions of deities are generally more abstract and less personal than those of laypeople. Atheism, agnosticism, Humanism and logical positivism are especially popular among people who believe that the scientific method is the best way to approximate an objective description of observable reality. The general question of how we acquire knowledge is addressed by the philosophical field of epistemology. ... 14:59, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

    Scientific study of religion[edit]

    Recently, I spent some time searching and reading scientific articles on religion. It became clear that the section on the “Scientific study of religion” needs major rework. It surprises me, for example, that the large amount of studies consistently pointing to benefits of religiosity to overall health and mental health are not mentioned at all.

    The text also points to a supposed "consistent inverse correlation between religiosity and intelligence". But, if it was a clearly established fact, I would expect to have seen such info during my education as a psychologist. And I found no reference for scientific studies directly suggesting this connection in my recent overview of the topic. (BTW, the article on Religiosity and intelligence had many problems such as misinterpretation/ overgeneralization of the sources and undue weight for an old and non-academic essay. – I tried to do a quick fix on that yesterday.)

    I wonder if this page about "the Relationship between religion and science" is the right place for discussing scientific data on religion. I always thought of it more as a history or historiography page. What seems certain is that the current text of the section is biased and needs to be modified, if kept. --Leinad ¬ Flag of Brazil.svg »saudações! 15:52, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

    [About Leinad's first paragraph]
    Yeah, add that. It would be beneficial. I do remember hearing in the news (and I don't trust the news about science, so somebody will need to confirm this) that a study was performed to see if prayer helps in medical recovery (the findings were that it had no effect).--Roland Deschain 23:25, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
    [About Leinad's second paragraph]
    I don't agree that there is no research on that. I remember reading an article with that thesis in the Scientific American in 99 or 2000. Also, wikipedia actually has a topic dedicated to that thesis: Religiosity and intelligence. Here is the quote from the wiki article: "Although there is little research directly linking IQ with levels of religiosity or spirituality, research has revealed a negative correlation between religiosity and some variables usually related with higher IQ, such as educational level and scientific inclination."--Roland Deschain 23:25, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
    Notice that I didn't say there is no research that could be used to imagine a correlation between religiosity and intelligence (in fact, I recently wrote the line you just quoted). What I said is that studies pointing to a direct link between "religion and intelligence" did not appear at all in my recent search for published scientific articles on religion. The bottom-line is that a negative correlation between religiosity and intelligence is not an established fact; it is also not "consistently" corroborated by many studies (as the text of the section currently makes it seems). On the contrary, the actual data sugesting that relation seems sparse and indirect. It begs the question: why such speculations are provided in this section as a fact while much more established correlations (like the relationship between religion and health) are ignored? --Leinad ¬ Flag of Brazil.svg »saudações! 00:30, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
    Apart from that. As I wrote before, we should question if this is actually the right place for mentioning research data on religion. I think it falls outside the scope of the article and there is just too much to say on the matter, (especially if we are allowing even speculative topics regarding the subject to be displayed). --Leinad ¬ Flag of Brazil.svg »saudações! 01:27, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
    I removed the statement about "studies consistently showing inverse correlation between religiosity and intelligence". I couldn’t find anything supporting that affirmation on scientific journals. Moreover, a closer inspection on the content of "Religiosity and intelligence" (wile trying to improve it) made me see that this study was the closest thing the article had for a reliable source dealing directly with the topic, and it failed to find any significant correlations between religiosity and IQ (BTW, before my intervention on "Religiosity and intelligence", this study was cited only for info regarding SAT scores, but without mentioning that it tested IQ vs. Religiosity and found no relationship between the two... tsc. tsc.). --Leinad ¬ Flag of Brazil.svg »saudações! 19:21, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

    Case study: Charles Darwin?[edit]

    The case study at the moment is horribly slanted towards the conflict thesis POV. It states nothing, for example, about those scientists and religious figures who have managed to accept both religion and the theory of evolution (i.e. Pope John Paul II), nor does it give any indication as to why Darwinism is so overwhelmingly rejected by Americans today (there are deeper issues there than simply science v. religion), nor does it point out that many of Darwin's supporters attempted to use evolutionary theory towards explicitly undermining religion and religious power and were in fact the ones who often drew the sharpest lines between science and religion. It then quotes a number of opponents of evolution out of context in order to make them seem like loonies (Bryan, though I disagree with him, was not being simply fatuous when he opposed evolutionary theory). It's a bad case study, one straight out of the historiography of the late 19th century, or maybe out of something that an explicit anti-religionist like Richard Darwkins would come up with; it is not a reflection of current historiography of science on Darwin, Darwin's reception, or the complicated relationship between science and religion. It is probably not worthwhile to say that the case study here is not Charles Darwin, the man (who is barely mentioned), but Darwinism, or evolutionary theory in general. --Fastfission 20:11, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

    I agree that the case study should be renamed to evolution. I'm devided between wanting to fight for this section as it is the best example of a conflict between religion and science and wanting it deleted as it will attract unwanted attention to this article.--Roland Deschain 20:37, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
    The section badly needs attention, but it's an interesting case. It mentions excommunication and doesn't seem to appreciate that the Essays and Reviews caused much more outrage because of its theological dismissing of miracles than because of its support of Darwin, as I understand it. The section should include the perspective put in the broadcast by James Moore "Darwin's understanding of nature never departed from a theological point of view. Always, I believe, until his dying day, at least half of him believed in God. He said he deserved to be called an agnostic, but he did make the point later in life that "when I wrote The Origin of Species, my faith in God was as strong as that of a bishop." So Darwin's many references to creation, there are over 100 references to creation in The Origin of Species…" and so on. ...dave souza, talk 21:19, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
    If we are going to have a Darwin section it needs to be fleshed out to accord with a more neutral interpretation, one a bit closer to the scholarly interpretation. As it is, it is nothing but an anti-religious hit-piece. --Fastfission 21:49, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
    Ta for fixing the title, Roland. Inspired an attempt from memory to show a more nuanced picture in its historical setting. Well, that was the aim. Bedtime now. ...dave souza, talk 23:16, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
    • Origin of the "case study": It seems that this text was one subsection of a larger text from recent edits in Biblical cosmology. They were moved by Science Apologist because he considered their content inappropriate for that article (and I agree the text doesn’t belong there). Other parts of the original text are now on Historical development of physical cosmology. Unfortunately, they also suffer from the same kind of POV problems that are being criticized here. --Leinad ¬ Flag of Brazil.svg »saudações! 14:38, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
      • I, the original author of this section, favor its complete deletion from this article. The intention of this text was to "offer historical support for specific Biblical interpretations" at Biblical cosmology. The supported Biblical interpretations served as a counter-balance to the Biblical interpretations there claiming the Bible foretold the big bang theory. Even at Biblical cosmology, I viewed this particular section as a very rough start for the topic. I believe ScienceApologist removed it to this location so that it could be ridiculed while taken out of context; see straw man arguments. Based upon ScienceApologist's contribution history, I cannot believe he placed it here due to a sincere belief in the post. The section was not improved when Leinad-Z stripped away two-thirds of its references. I regret the time Wikipedians have wasted attempting to fix this section, as it was never written for this subject. If someone is genuinely interested in making such arguments here, they are welcome to make the text their own. --Arbeiter 06:37, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

    (1) You seem to be completely misinterpreting ScienceApologist's edit history. As a materialist, (see his user page), I really doubt that he is inclined in any way to defend specific Biblical interpretations in favor of a "biblical cosmology" worldview. (2) When you say that I "stripped away two-thirds of the references" you are talking about a few quotations that were given completely out of context. Fastfission, for example, complains about them in the post that started this discussion by arguing that the text: "...quotes a number of opponents of evolution out of context in order to make them seem like loonies". I am quite confident that, contrary of what you say, my edit improved the text. --Leinad ¬ Flag of Brazil.svg »saudações! 11:52, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

    Comment on reference[edit]

    An anon editor recently observed that one of the references in the 'scientific views of religion' section may be inappropriate. I've commented out their notation of this, since it disrupts the text of the article. The reference still needs to be checked. Michaelbusch 00:06, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

    Please reference this view "Islam took an even harder line, canonizing Medieval science and effectively bringing an end to further scientific advance in the Muslim world". It seems an unproven claim, Islamic scientest and Islamic science has flourished under Islam for many centuries. Also, its "end" as this quote says cannot be ascribed to Islam as there are many possible reasons for the decline of scientific thought in any culture. Any claim that Islam has somehow caused this must be backed, I will for now remove it until someone can actually cite something. (talk) 16:42, 8 February 2008 (UTC) Fad


    "They employ different methods and address different questions." That, I think, is an opinionated and particularly egregious statement considering the sentences that follow (and considering which truth propositions religious persons assent to on the basis of what evidence. It would be lovely if science and religion didn't tangle, as Gould envisions, but I think the fact of the matter is that (in practice) they do. When people talk about the creation of man by god or the ressurection or miracles that occur in their lives, they mean what they say and (contrary to these intellectual rationalizations) are not speaking symbolically. People really believe this stuff.

    Too much POV[edit]

    I believe this article focuses too much on how Science and Religion are compatible and too little on the actual conflicts between the two and the differences in thought, such as Evolution vs. Creationism/ID, Round Earth vs. Flat Earth and Big Bang vs. Young Earth. -ramz- 21:37, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

    And let's not forget:
    Conflict between religion and science is common when religious people get careless and make testable claims about the real world which exceed the knowledge of their day, based on nothing more than what they claim to be divine revelation (which, whenever testable, turns out to function exactly like imagination). Centuries of experience have shown divine revelation to be next to useless compared to the scientific method for understanding and explaining the real world. That is why governments spend billions of dollars to fund scientific research rather than religions when the goal is to produce tangible results, and why modern nations no longer sacrifice virgins to the rain gods (no amount of sacrifice changes the probability of rain). (Some nations such as Saudi Arabia do still fund state religions, but arguably they would get more for their investment by spending that money on science.)
    Relationship between religion and science/Archive 1 does seem to gloss over the many specific conflicts between science and various religions. A start would be to build a comprehensive list of links in the See also section to existing articles which document these conflicts. Perhaps a "Survey of conflicts between science and religion" section could summarize them. --Teratornis 04:37, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

    That's because this article is hugely biased in favor of NOMA. ThAtSo 15:37, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

    I think the article seems to be written from a NOMA advocater's view, trying to minimize the conflict between religion and science. I think the part in the beginning claiming that science answers "how and what", while religion answers "why", is a splendid example of NOMA in action. I think this article is in need of a big NPOV rewrite, does anyone disagree? 11:43, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

    EDIT: I think the whole "Science attempts to answer the "how" and "what" questions of observable and verifiable phenomena; religion attempts to answer the "why" questions of value, morals and spirituality. Some religious authority also extends to "how" and "what" questions regarding the natural world, creating the potential for conflict." part should be removed.

    First, I think this "what and how" versus "why" is utter nonsense. What exactly is a why question? And why does only religion answer question about morals andvaluse? What about the nonreligious philosophers?

    Also, religion makes many claims about the natural and material world. That "some religious authority" thinks that religious dogma explains the natural world is laughable NOMA POV. Is there any supernatural religion which does not make claims about the natural? 11:56, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

    On the morals and values. Non-religious philosophers discuss morals, but philosophy is not a science. It may be origin of sciences, but it is not a science in itself. DanielDemaret (talk) 21:16, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

    Error in Quoting Ecklund Study[edit]

    The following statement in the article is a well-known Internet fraud (I am not of course suggesting misconduct on the part of anyone here):

    >A recent survey conducted by Elaine Ecklund of Rice University and funded by the Templeton Foundation found that approximately 38% of scientists do not believe in a God. This survey was conducted in 2004 and is on-going.

    As Ecklund herself has publicly stated of her research ( ):

    >When asked their beliefs about God, nearly 34 percent of academic scientists answer “I do not believe in God” and about 30 percent answer “I do not know if there is a God and there is no way to find out,” the classic agnostic response.

    I.e., over 60 percent do not believe in God: less then 40 % are believers.

    This confirms a survey conducted a decade or so ago and reported in the New York Times: ( ) :

    “What's more, in some quarters, atheism, far from being rare, is the norm -- among scientists, for example, particularly high-level scientists who populate academia. Recently, Edward J. Larson, a science historian at the University of Georgia, and Larry Witham, a writer, polled scientists listed in American Men and Women of Science on their religious beliefs. Among this general group, a reasonably high proportion, 40 percent, claimed to believe in a "personal God" who would listen to their prayers. But when the researchers next targeted members of the National Academy of Sciences, an elite coterie if ever there was one, belief in a personal God was 7 percent, the flip of the American public at large.”

    The false information about Ecklund’s study was exposed well over a year ago by Dr. John Bice ( ) who spoke directly with Ecklund to confrim the fraud (apparently, Dr. Ecklund’s own essay was not on the Web at that time).

    This fraud, which has been floating around the Internet, appears to have originated in a false report on livescience ( ), due I assume to a failure to adequately fact-check, which was then picked up and run verbatim, without fact checking, by MSNBC ( ).

    It’s nice to see the high journalistic standards of national media such as MSNBC!

    As someone new to the editing process here, I do not wish to make the change myself; however, this needs to be corrected, the older study should also be cited, and the fact that Ecklund’s study confirms the older study’s result that only a minority of scientists seem to believe in God should be mentioned.

    Dave Miller Drdavidhmiller 23:34, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

    Philosophy of Science section[edit]

    I edited the Philosophy of science section (I wasn't logged in) in order to: 1.) remove obvious bias (e.g., statements like "This allows theism to be sustained despite the fact that, caveats aside, theism is not a rational conclusion to take given such evidence"), and 2.) correct niave descriptions of the philosophies mentioned (e.g., "Confirmation holism instead focuses upon avoiding dangerous confirmation bias effects, which scientists are supposed to avoid, but which are present in some religious arguments").

    I fleshed out and corrected the descriptions of the philosophies of science mentioned and tried to minimize bias in all directions, and I think I did fairly well. (Believe me, as a fundimentalist Christian I would have loved to have addressed the problem of evil, the nature of worldviews constituting them as religions [albeit not necessarily organized or formalized], the tenacity of epistemologically central ideas, etc; but that would have been off-topic and POV).

    My edit was reverted as allegedly POV. I am reinstating the changes and ask that any allegedly POV statement or incorrect material be discussed here before it is reverted. Thank you. » MonkeeSage « 21:33, 14 June 2007 (UTC)


    I cut out the part that said "but in general about 34% of scientists express disbelief. Ecklund also metioned that about 48 percent of scientists believe in a personal god". I couldn't find where exactly it came from, and there are other problems with it. The 34% figure needs to be contrasted with the percentage of the general population in order to tell us anything about scientists. Likewise, the personal god thing sounds a bit too high, based on what I've seen in some studies.

    Please quote the parts of Ecklund that support these numbers so we can check for ourselves, and let's also see if Ecklund provides a figure for non-scientists. ThAtSo 02:46, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

    I know that it may seem like I am trying to attack atheism in a way, but I am atheist myself and Ecklund's survey says that 34 percent of scientists believe in a god. I do admit that the 48% figure may be a bit too high. But I will quote her words. "When asked about their peronal beliefs in god nearly 34% of academic scientists answer "I do not belive in god"
    I looked at the survey. the more-than 60% figure, is from 34% saying they don't believe, and 30% saying they don't know. I've changed the statement to reflect this. It also provided comparison figures to the general US population of 3% atheist and 5% agnostic, should I put that in too? Here's the quote anyhow
    Not sure about the personal god thing though. ornis 12:51, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

    While we're looking at these percentages, can anybody find a new URL for the reference for them? The old one[4] appears to be broken. Hrafn42 12:59, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

    Here. ornis 13:02, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

    I strongly support updating the percentages so as not to mislead, as discussed above --Jonathanstray 16:32, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

    On second thought, I find the Ecklund survey confusing. When it says god, does the survey mean the almighty god, or does it any type of life force, higher power, deity? Or does it mean both. Einstein technically believed in a god, but his god was a universal god. A god of beauty, harmony, and coherence, but not the type that you pray to. I think the Ecklund survey is a great start, but needs to be more specific. If any one has answers, please share them on the discussion page(here) [[]

    Isn't Changeability A Key Distinction?[edit]

    Science is built on the idea that ideas and even entire systems of theory can be discarded when proven false, and indeed, this happens on a continual basis in small ways as prevailing hypotheses are discredited, and occasionally in large ways too as in the classic Kuhnian paradigm shifts. In contrast, most religions are not at liberty to discard certain central or sacred texts or ideas; to do so would be equivalent to destroying the religion. This seems to me to be a key difference -- shouldn't we we discuss this somewhere?

    I'm going to take a stab at it shortly, if I don't hear otherwise. --Jonathanstray 16:30, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

    This is a false dichotomy. Any historian of religion will tell you that religions are very labile (many religions' claims to the contrary notwithstanding). Supposedly central tenets, historically speaking, are often no more stable (perhaps much less so) than many scientific ideas. Unless you have a reliable source to back this up (a necessity for anything added to this occasionally contentious topic), I wouldn't suggest taking a stab.--ragesoss 16:42, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

    i agree with Ragesoss as a historian to mak esuch a disctinction would be moronic, to generaliza all of science and religion in that fashion is not up to encyclopedic standards -ishamelblues

    At best it could be argued that this change is generally more systematised and orderly within science, and thus less likely to result in accusations of heresy and in long-lived bitter schisms than in religion. However this makes for a less clear-cut distinction, which may be far more obvious in hindsight than at the point of change. Arguably, the purpose of science is to create such changes, whereas the purpose of religion is to prevent them (and to preserve its traditions). Hrafn42 16:25, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

    Religious fundamentalism and scientific enlightenment[edit]

    The phenomenon of religious fundamentalism, especially Protestant, Christian fundamentalism which has arisen predominantly in the United States, has been characterized by some historians as originating in the reaction of the conservative Enlightenment against the liberal Enlightenment. In these terms, the scientific community is entirely committed to the skeptical Enlightenment,

    Is the reader supposed to understand the liberal enlightenment as being the same as the skeptical enlightenment? 1Z 12:41, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

    Even assuming that 'liberal Enlightenment'='skeptical Enlightenment', we still need definitions for 'liberal Enlightenment' versus 'conservative Enlightenment'. This entire section has been tagged as lacking references for more than 6 months without a single reference being added. It may be time to consider deleting it in its entirety (with copy to this Talk page) & only letting it back into the article when this has been corrected to a substantial degree. Hrafn42 15:50, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

    i dont like this section either its not clearly defined "The phenomenon of religious fundamentalism" which one, or what exactly does this refer to, puritanism, the great awakening of the 19th century and so on. i think this section needs drastic improvement or i'm going to just remove it totally


    The conflict hypothesis[edit]

    The article refers to Andrew Dickson White and the conflict myth. The following article, which I wrote, gives chapter and verse on his historical errors. In addition, it gives lot of extra information on the opinions of modern historians on the conflict myth. I would recommend it as an addition to the external links: James Hannam 15:54, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

    Given that wikipedia already has articles on Andrew Dickson White and the conflict thesis which cover these issues, I don't see what this external link adds to the subject of the relationship between religion and science. These issues, at best, warrant a see-also linking to the above-mentioned internal articles. Hrafn42 16:10, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
    This article mentions both White and the conflict and so the link is worthwhile here too. James Hannam 16:22, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
    I agree that this is a worthwhile addition. But I would also comment that you may want to be careful to avoid posting redundant links in multiple articles, as it may trigger others' spammy senses. Make sure that the articles you want to link to focus on the main topic of the wiki article, hopefully not just a particular section/part of the wiki article, unless the subject of the subsection does not have its own wiki article.--Boffob 16:58, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
    Mere brief "mention" of a subject is insufficient justification to provide an external link to that subject, particularly when internal wiki-links that cover the subject already exist. To provide external links to every subject briefly mentioned would be to turn articles into link-farms - WP:NOT#LINK. Hrafn42 17:52, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
    This would mean we have to remove most of the links from this article. For most people the key point about the relationship between science and religion in the conflict hypothesis. For historians, trying to communicate it is false is also a key priority. The link is to an article that, as far as I am aware, does this better than anything else on the web. James Hannam 08:29, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
    There I agree with you: there are several external links that would more appropriately be internal wiki-links, as well as several where it is hard to tell the external link from the wiki-linked author/institution attribution. I'll attempt a clean-up. Hrafn42
    Not sure your clean up does more than reinforce your POV. We have Maiden in an utterly irrelevant anti-creationist essay, some Dawkins ranting from Edge, Ruse talking about Dawkins, Horgan talking about Dawkins (both fellow atheists), some lightweight PBS journalism and a few websites from related organisations. It seems the heavy atheist bias in these links makes my own article all the more required. I'll also pop over the to Dawkins page and see if some balance is required there too. James Hannam 11:53, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
    If I was POV-pushing, I'd have removed the Plantinga piece, rather than a garbled piece on "Hinduism & Quantum Physics". I didn't actually even look at the viewpoint the linked articles were representing, just whether they gave ready access to something that looked like it might be useful. You're right that the Maiden article should be out (if it belongs anywhere, it is in Creation-evolution controversy), and I will remove it. There are at least three links that give a pro-religion perspective (Plantinga, Science & Spirit, Dalai Lama), so I would question that there is a "heavy atheist bias". And I am working to get less tangental links on this page, not more. Hrafn42 13:08, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
    So in what way is my link tangental? It looks full-square relevant to me. Look, it's not spam, it's factual useful and relevant, so it goes in. This discussion is exactly the sort of pointlessness where he who has time just to keep it going wins because the other side gets fed up. It's bad for wikipedia. James Hannam 13:34, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

    <unident>It is tangental because it's main subject is Andrew Dickson White and the conflict thesis, which is not the main subject of this article, and is already covered by articles of their own (as I said before). This was exactly my reason for deleting the Maiden link, and the creation-evolution controversy arguably has as much (or as little) overlap with the "relationship between religion and science" as White and the conflict thesis. Should we provide an external reference for each of the other 24 topics on the "see-also" list as well? If you don't want to indulge in "pointless" discussions with people that disagree with you, then don't attempt to get links to your webpage inserted. Doing that requires a consensus, which involves convincing people like me. Hrafn42 14:10, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

    You are not discussing this is good faith. You started by claiming the link was spam. When it transpires it was not, you shifted the goalposts. You still haven't read the article because if you had, you would know that the second half is a discussion of other perspectives. James Hannam 14:37, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
    So it wasn't you adding large numbers of external links to your own articles?[5][6][7][8][9] And it is not the "second half " -- you have 1939 words on the "conflict hypothesis" and only 897 on what you term the "real historical relationship between science and religion" (which would seem to make it your perspective, rather than "other perspectives"), including promotion of your own book on the subject (making it only the "final third"). Hrafn42 15:14, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
    Several of these links have been reinstated. The others probably will too once I get around to adding them to the relevant talk pages. The only reason this one hasn't been is that you won't admit you are wrong. I'm going to leave this for a week and see what comes up. James Hannam 15:24, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
    The fact that they have since been reinstated does not negate the fact that they gave the appearance of spam, and were in fact in violation of Wikipedia:External links#Advertising and conflicts of interest (as I pointed out in a later revert). Citing the wrong policy for a legitimate revert is hardly a failure of "good faith" or "shift[ing] the goal posts". Your article's relevance to this article is purely subsidiary to its relevance to the conflict thesis, so if it should be externally-linked anywhere, it should be at that article. I "won't admit that [I'm] wrong", because you have provided no compelling evidence that I am in fact wrong. The only compelling evidence you have provided is of your own lack of civility and unwillingness to assume good faith. By all means come back in a week, I doubt if you'll get a different response. Hrafn42 15:57, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

    religion and science are one?[edit]

    Are there any pages anywhere which refer to people believing that science and religion are exactly the same thing but viewed from a different angle? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pm504 (talkcontribs) 01:24, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

    I would suspect not, as wikipedia would likely have difficulty finding reliable sources advocating this view. HrafnTalkStalk 02:50, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
    I don't know about the idea that they are "exactly the same thing" but certainly one could find support for the idea that they are very similar. For example, "All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. - Albert Einstein
    Both science and religion would fit into the category of 'immortality projects' as described by Ernest Becker in his book The Denial of Death. I think Becker would argue that each is "ultimately an elaborate, symbolic defense mechanism against the knowledge of our own impending death" (quoted from the article not the book). The idea is that we have a basic fear of death, we continually strive to escape death or at least avoid the fear, and so we create projects that are an attempt to connect ourselves with something bigger than our physical beings, something eternal. I think you can hear this same sentiment in Einstein's words: "ennobling man's life, lifting it from physical ... towards freedom".Stokes dk (talk) 19:55, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
    "branches of the same tree" does not imply "very similar". HrafnTalkStalk 07:02, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
    I assume you are not questioning whether Einstein was saying that they are similar, but you are questioning the degree of similarity he was trying to imply. In other words, you don't disagree with "similar", you disagree with "very". I think that "branches of the same tree" does imply "very similar"; unless you graft a willow branch on to an oak tree, I think two branches of the same tree are necessarily very similar.
    But I don't think you can dispute that Einstein was implying a similarity. He goes on to say that "all these aspirations are directed toward...", implying that they serve a similar purpose. It seems to me that it is this similarity that is at the root of any conflict between science and religion, and it's an important part of the relationship between the two. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Stokes dk (talkcontribs) 22:40, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
    You are stretching the "branches on the same tree" analogy too far -- further than you have any evidence that Einstein meant it. Branches on a tree start at a common source but stretch out in many, often very different, directions. Similarly the fact that cousins are branches on a family-tree does not mean that they are necessarily "very similar" (even in such superficial traits as appearance). Einstein was most probably talking of commonality of motive, not similarity of result. HrafnTalkStalk 02:43, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
    I agree with you. I think Einstein was saying that the two have a common purpose or motivation, not that they look similar now. They appear to be quite different, but that's what makes his comment and this question about similarity interesting. So what exactly do science and religion have in common (in terms of motive or otherwise)? If branches of a tree start at a common source then what is the common source of science and religion? I think that question is a very important aspect of the relationship between the two that isn't discussed in this article. In terms of sources, I think Becker is a good place to start. In fact I just took a look at "The Denial of Death" and realized that the last section of the book is titled "The Fusion of Science and Religion". I know that Einstein wrote a few articles on science and religion, there's a section with that title in his book "Ideas and Opinions".Stokes dk (talk) 16:45, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

    <unindent> Not having more than a skeptical/academic interest in western religion, I couldn't really tell you what they have in common now. As far as common sources, a good place to start might be with Augustine of Hippo. HrafnTalkStalk 17:10, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

    Einstein had a lot to say about the relation between Religion and Science, some of which may be relevant to this article. For example: "science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." or "What is the meaning of human life, or of organic life altogether? To answer this question at all implies a religion. Is there any sense then, you ask, in putting it? I answer, the man who regards his own life and that of his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unfortunate but almost disqualified for life." If you search for the word "religion" in you get a great deal of food for this article. DanielDemaret (talk) 21:47, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

    I'd say philosophy at many times has been postulated as the merger of science & religion, or that philosophies have sought many times to be the point at which science & religion meet. I do think there should be more information on philosophers who've proposed such was the goal of philosophy in this article. (talk) 07:25, 28 April 2008 (UTC)


    this is clearly the main article for Category:Religion and science. Why not move it to simple Religion and science or Science and religion? dab (𒁳) 13:22, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

    I think including the word "relationship" makes the title slightly more informative, so would have a mild preference for retaining it. HrafnTalkStalk 13:43, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

    This section needs to be informed of the other wikipedia section on the Baha'i Faith and science. Simply refer back to that. Of course the Bahai Faith regards science and religion as one in the search for the same truths, but with religion having a more complete view of the metaphysical, and science the material realms. (talk) 18:18, 11 February 2008 (UTC) (Dr. Chris Hamilton, political scientist, Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas)

    Faith in Science[edit]

    It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Relationship between religion and science. (Discuss). This article "Relationship between religion and science" quotes relevant sources and cites different views. I suggest we delete the "faith and science" article and re-direct here, since I can find nothing in "faith and science" that would improve on this article. DanielDemaret (talk) 14:05, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

    • agree: -- a simple redirect would be appropriate in this situation. HrafnTalkStalk 14:17, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
    Where is this artilce? You don't link to it and I can't see any such article, or history of its deletion. Richard001 (talk) 22:04, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

    Scientific study of religion[edit]

    Shouldn't the main article only be religious studies? I thought at first religious studies was more like a social science (cf say American studies, but it seems to be simply the scientific study of religion, from anthropology to neurotheology. If these are all sub-sub-articles, we should only link to the main one. Richard001 (talk) 22:07, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

    The article states that "surveys suggest a strong link between faith and altruism," and a reference to a single study is included. Here are twice as many studies that suggest otherwise:
    -- (talk) 02:05, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

    The attitudes of scientists towards religion[edit]

    I removed the Richard Dawkins reference because no other specific scientists' views are discussed in this section and I feel it is a violation of neutrality to only have one. Especially when that one is as outspoken and controversial as Dawkins (his Biography page refers to him as a "professional atheist"). If an attempt was made to show a spectrum of opinions/POV's from prominent scientists I would not object to him being included. Personally, I would be far more interested in the thoughts/opinions of "real" scientists like Stephen Hawking, Einstein, etc (talk) 00:54, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

    Whatever your opinion of his views on religion, to claim he is not a "real" scientist is a little silly, and definitely not NPOV: as a Zoologist and Evolutionary Biologist he is well respected, with a number of published papers in the various journals. -- simxp (talk) 23:41, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
    The comment was on the discussion page, and in quotes to highlight the silliness of the assertion. .. but that said, when I think of prominent scientists (past or present) his name is not at the top of my list. That is not to slight his work, but at the same time if you polled the public on why they know his name I would expect most know him as an atheist first. Again, if there were an attempt to present opinions from a range of scientists' POVs I would happily remove my objections and expect to see him put back in. (talk) 06:19, 3 March 2008 (UTC), please stop pushing your POV. Dawkins is a notable evolutionary biologist and he has made some notable contributions. I don't know much about Einstein's views on religion. I need to do some research. I know about the religious views of Stephen Hawking. He is not a fan of religion and he has said that the concept of God is unnecessary. Masterpiece2000 (talk) 12:28, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

    Verbiage in the lead[edit]

    Firefly322 insists on adding the following to the lead:

    A few yet significant number of scholars see religion and science as patterns or subsets of human consciousness itself [1] where an apt historical, philosophical, and psychological metaphor has been to see these two concepts as merely the poles of a continuum of human thought and western cultural heritage with science as Athens on one end and with religion as Jerusalem on the other. [2] [3]

    I have a number of problems with it:

    1. It is badly written and jargon-ridden, and needs to be translated into grammatical every-day English.
    • Thank you Firefly322 for that violation of WP:AGF. "A few yet significant number..." is ungrammatical. A number is singular, a few of anything is plural. Also, you're throwing into the lead a whole heap of complex concepts with no explanatory context -- "patterns or subsets of human consciousness itself", "poles of a continuum of human thought", "science as Athens", "religion as Jerusalem". The lead is not a place for waxing metaphorical. HrafnTalkStalk 04:47, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
    1. Placing the material in the lead gives WP:UNDUE weight to a minority viewpoint.
    • Another subjective problem and POV of Hrafn's. Not at all a minority viewpoint, just that it's said to be expressed less frequently by scholars. Better way to describe it is "a somewhat quieter, but extremely important perspective".[1]
    • Bullshit! "A few yet significant number of scholars" -- by your own admission this is a minority viewpoint. HrafnTalkStalk 04:47, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
    • My original point might be unclear, but... Saying only a few scholars express such a viewpoint (as I have) is hardly the same thing as saying it's a minority viewpoint (as you have). When the academic climate makes the expression of a viewpoint difficult and unfashionable--as the viewpoints John F. Haught calls contact and confirmation are--only a few scholars are going to work in such an area, even if they hold such a viewpoint. The very title of the book Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About by Donald E. Knuth is a good example ( a book on religion by a famous Computer Scientist faculty member at Stanford).
    1. The wording gives me strong suspicion that the material is WP:SYNTH of the cited sources. I would therefore request that a copy of the relevant passages of all three sources that it is cited to be provided here on talk (as it is unclear what passages these statements are based upon, particularly as page numbers aren't given for 2 of the 3 sources).
    • Also a subjective problem and POV of Hrafn's. In light of the current state of the article and in comparison with available well-referenced web articles [10], which User:Hrafn inexplicably removed, User:Hrafn's standards are inconsistent and appear based on his or her own sense of WP:TRUTH.

    HrafnTalkStalk 15:14, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

    • Put up or shut up, instead of making wild and WP:AGF-violating accusations. Provide the requested quotes. HrafnTalkStalk 04:47, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
    • Really not trying to trouble you, Sir or Madam. (Verbiage Sigh. In this disagreement, Verbiage sort of sounds like garbage. Even if not intended as a pointy comment, commonsense should have revealed that it's not a good faith way to start a discussion) Based available works in this area, it's clear that the lede is too narrow in the perspectives covered, thereby expressing a POV. My intended improvements to the lede have been done simply to counter-act the obvious. User:Hrafn does not appear to have read much in this area, otherwise he or she would see that the added perspective--whether he or she likes its wording or not--is neither WP:UNDUE nor WP:SYNTH, but obvious. --Firefly322 (talk) 22:45, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
    • Then read a dictionary! verbiage: "a profusion of words usually of little or obscure content". You were the one who insisted on reverting this material back into the lead undiscussed with a demand that "Discussion on talk page would be appropriate action" before its removal, which started this conversation off on an adversarial footing.

    The lede should basically follow any of a dozen (or perhaps even dozens of) books on Science and Religion available. To quote one such book by John F. Haught, [1]

    Throughout these pages we shall observe that there are at least four distinct ways in which science and religion can be related to each other:[2]

    1) Conflict — the conviction that science and religion are fundamentally irreconcilable;

    2) Contrast — the claim that there can be no genuine conflict since religion and science are each responding to radically different questions;

    3) Contact — an approach that looks for dialogue. interaction. and possible "consonance" between science and religion. and especially for ways in which science shapes religious and theological understanding.

    4) Confirmation — a somewhat quieter. but extremely important perspective that highlights the ways in which. at a very deep level. religion supports and nourishes the entire scientific enterprise.

    My added text is what John F. Haught here calls the Confirmation perspective. And I hold that it is really no more WP:SYNTH than the rest of the lede. --Firefly322 (talk) 22:48, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

    1. ^ a b Science & Religion: From Conflict to Conversation, 1995, p. 9 Paulist Press, ISBN 0-8091-3606-6
    2. ^ Religion in an Age of Science (1990), ISBN 0-06-060383-6

    Yes but (i) Haught states his point a lot more clearly than you did, (ii) "confirmation" and "continuum" would appear to be different (if potentially related) concepts, and (iii) you didn't cite Haught, nor the other source you cite here. Your addition appeared to be (and still appears to be) WP:SYNTH of the sources you cited in the article -- whether or not they are SYNTH of some uncited source is not an issue that I can be reasonably expected to address.

    The appropriate way forward would be to first provide a detailed, clear, well-cited explanation in the body of the article that clearly demonstrates its prominence to the article's topic, then include a short and clear summary (in the manner of the Haught quote above) of the perspective in the lead. HrafnTalkStalk 04:47, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

    Let's put it aside and find some way forward (as suggested)[edit]

    Another strong source for the relationship of Science and Religion, at least around the 16th and early 17th centuries, would be H. Floris Cohen's The Scientific Revolution: A Historiographical Inquiry. As a historiography, it gives substantial details about other history of science historians, even including details about the relationship between Science and Islam; A.I. Sabra and Aydin Sayili are identified as the two well-respected pioneers in this areas. The book gives a very favorable judgement to E.A. Burtt's The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Physical Science, a more or less favorable, yet sometimes cautionary judgement to Pierre Duhem's work, also a very favorable judgement to Alexandre Koyré and Eduard Jan Dijksterhuis. --Firefly322 (talk) 12:06, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

    'Birth of early modern science due to a biblical world view' is a complete and utter mess[edit]

    1. The claim made in both the title and the opening line that "the birth of early modern science was in fact due to a biblical world view" is a gross overstatement of Cohen's hypothesis.
      • "Cultivation of early modern science due to a biblical world view" (my emphasis), while an improvement on the original title, is still problematical in that it implies a purposeful relationship between the introduction of Biblical views and the emergence of science, rather than the far more accidental/happenstance relationship that Cohen narrates. HrafnTalkStalk 16:51, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
    2. I do not recall Cohen referring to Hooykaas' & Merton's theses as "two distinct views" -- in fact they would appear to overlap somewhat.
      • In fact the quoted text has him stating: "That this is so has been maintained on two distinct levels of argument" (my emphasis) -- i.e. that these are two distinctarguments for what appears to be the same, or very similar, viewpoints. HrafnTalkStalk 16:16, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
    3. "Following the historian H. Floris Cohen, there exists two distinct views along this line of thought." is in any case very cumbersome English -- it gives the impression that the views came after ('followed') Cohen, not that Cohen was the one describing them.
    4. Hooykaas' view on a Biblical basis for empiricism is repeated three times -- once, quite anomalously, in the section on Merton.
    5. The Andrew D. White/Richard S. Westfall paragraph is placed in the Merton section, but is not related to Merton's specific ideas.
    6. The footnoted quote that "Finally, and most importantly, Hooykaas does not of course claim that the Scientific Revolution was exclusively the work of Protestant scholars. The road toward the new respect for nature was trodden by Catholics and Protestants alike." bears only a tangential relationship to the sentence to which it is attached: "The most recently proposed is that of the Dutch historian Reijer Hooykaas, who held the rise of early modern science was due to a unique combination of Greek and biblical thought.
      • [Hidden comment from Firefly322, responding to this point:] "the second footnote is needed to show that H. Floris Cohen is merely highlighting Protestant thought, later making it clear that he is aware that Hooykaas also considers Catholics as also being part of the new respect of nature"
        • Except that the section does not distinguish between Protestant and Catholic though at this point, it merely mentions "biblical thought" -- meaning that the footnote clarifies a point that the article hasn't made. HrafnTalkStalk 18:34, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
        • A further problem with it is that part of the footnoted quote applies explicitly to Merton, not Hooykaas (whose section it is in), and the rest applies to both of them. HrafnTalkStalk 18:59, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
    7. "The most recently proposed" implies that nobody since Hooykaas has made any proposal related to this topic.
    8. "Metaphorically speaking, whereas the bodily ingredients of science may have been Greek, its vitamins and hormones were biblical." does not appear to be a particularly informative metaphor, and adds little to reader understanding.
    9. The statement that "the Merton thesis ... parallels the Weber thesis in suggesting that the rise of science was due to a Protestant ethic" is erroneous, or at least highly misleading -- the Weber thesis refers to the rise of capitalism not science.

    While I do not intend to edit-war on this, the recent changes have not been an improvement, and I intend to (eventually) revert back to a less garbled version. HrafnTalkStalk 16:02, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

    Suggest you be more thoughtful in this discussion[edit]

    1. Your suggestions and comments are not at all in line with key wikipedia behavior, including WP:GOODFAITH and Wikipedia:Civility. For example, "Bullshit" or "Put up or Shut up" or "Then read a dictionary!" are over the top and make it difficult to work with you. So far, I have not once been uncivil or personally disrepectful towards you. --Firefly322 (talk) 17:17, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

    2. Instead of cooperating with me in writing a mutually satisfactory article, your comments call the effort a "mess." Then instead of trying to figure out and fix statements, you simply write WP:SYNTHESIS and state your intention to "eventually" revert them. --Firefly322 (talk) 17:27, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

    Suggest that you either improve your writing standards or develop a thicker skin[edit]

    1. Pointing out blatant editing flaws is not an assumption of bad faith.
    2. You need to distinguish between blunt criticism of the shortcomings of your edits (permissible per WP:SPADE) from incivility towards yourself.
    3. Your claim that "I have not once been uncivil or personally disrepectful towards you" is belied by your previous comments, e.g.: "Hrafn's subjective problem and POV. merely WP:IDONTLIKEIT"
    4. I stand by my claim that the article is a mess -- particularly the repeated mentions of Hooykaas' view on a Biblical basis for empiricism, and the inclusion in the Merton section of material unrelated to Merton. The section currently reads as though you took my material and chopped it up and inserted it at random. It does not appear to be a violation of any wikipedia policy to announce an intention to correct these flaws by the expedient of reverting to the last stable version if these flaws are not corrected.

    Your approach seems to be to ignore content issues, while claiming persecution at the slightest criticism of your edits. I consider such a strategy to be unhelpful, and do not intend going into endless recriminations on the latter topic. If you will not discuss the former topic, then you leave me no option but to correct them by unilateral action. HrafnTalkStalk 18:27, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

    • The use of the word "bullshit" and calling things "blatant editing flaws", "a mess" towards another editor who is working on the article is WP:UNCIVIL. Also persecution? Strategy? Unilateral action? Why are you using such biased words that tend to push the conversation towards an WP:UNCIVIL state? What I have done is go out and get good references and started to incorporate them into the article, while you have been overly impatient and hyper-critical. --Firefly322 (talk) 19:12, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

    Reply to Hfran's Comments[edit]

    1. The claim made in both the title and the opening line that "the birth of early modern science was in fact due to a biblical world view" is a gross overstatement of Cohen's hypothesis.
    • The nature of Cohen's book is histographical. And the fundamentals of histography include summarizing broad trends among other historical works. Sincere there no real hypothesis here, I'm not exactly sure what you mean.
      • Non-responsive. Does not address my point that Cohen does not claim that the relationship is sufficiently dominant that it can be considered "due to" HrafnTalkStalk 19:38, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
      • "Cultivation of early modern science due to a biblical world view" (my emphasis), while an improvement on the original title, is still problematical in that it implies a purposeful relationship between the introduction of Biblical views and the emergence of science, rather than the far more accidental/happenstance relationship that Cohen narrates.
    • A search on the word "birth" in the book reveals that the table of contents on page ix of Cohen's book uses the phrase "the Birth of Early Modern Science." Also on page 14 in passage titled Outline of the work, Cohen writes "...Part II [which Chapter 5 is a part] is devoted to efforts undertaken to explain the birth of modern science. Then on page 16 Cohen writes "In Chapter 5 causal chains are treated that have been suggested to connect the birth of modern science with both previous and contemporary events in the history of western Europe. Here such causal agents come to the fore as Puitanism and the Reformation" --Firefly322 (talk) 09:49, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
    • Cohen crafts his chapter titles to show broad histographical relationships. For example, chapter 5's title, which we are referencing, The Emergence of early modern science from events in the history of Western Europe complements chapter 6's title of The Nonemergence of Early Modern Science Outside Western Europe . Cohen's heading generalizations as in Chapter 5's and 5.1's titles aren't meant include or exclude relationships between religion or science. I had read Reijer Hooykaas thesis and the Merton thesis to both be fairly tight relationships, but in light of your point here I will re-read them.
      • Non-responsive. Does not address my point that Cohen does not claim that the relationship is sufficiently intentional that it can be considered to be "cultivated" HrafnTalkStalk 19:38, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
    1. I do not recall Cohen referring to Hooykaas' & Merton's theses as "two distinct views" -- in fact they would appear to overlap somewhat.
    • That's a good point. And it's fixable. But it doesn't mean that whole section needs to be recast.
      • In fact the quoted text has him stating: "That this is so has been maintained on two distinct levels of argument" (my emphasis) -- i.e. that these are two distinctarguments for what appears to be the same, or very similar, viewpoints. HrafnTalkStalk 16:16, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
    • I can agree with many of the issues in subtlety and nuance here, being brought up. But I see it as a minor issue that can be fixed with a few modifactions to phrases. Flaws in writing don't necessarily warrant complete rewrites.
      • I disagree, given the prominance you are giving to Hooykaas & Merton, whether they are expressing similar or "distinct" viewpoints is quite important. HrafnTalkStalk 19:38, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
    1. "Following the historian H. Floris Cohen, there exists two distinct views along this line of thought." is in any case very cumbersome English -- it gives the impression that the views came after ('followed') Cohen, not that Cohen was the one describing them.
    • I'm not opposed to a suggestion on how to correct it.
    1. Hooykaas' view on a Biblical basis for empiricism is repeated three times -- once, quite anomalously, in the section on Merton.
    • It's WP:IMPERFECT and I intend to fix it with you and other editors. I left much of what you wrote in, so that we could work on it together. Incidentally, Can "Biblical basis for empiricism" be put in terms of the overall article as "Hooykaas's view on the relationship between religion and science"?
      • It's not simply WP:IMPERFECT, it is worse than what it replaces. If you can't even put things into the right section, or avoid massive duplication, you shouldn't attempt merge (material from two sources)/split (into sections) copy-edits. HrafnTalkStalk 19:38, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
    1. The Andrew D. White/Richard S. Westfall paragraph is placed in the Merton section, but is not related to Merton's specific ideas.
    • Left it in because you are also working on the article. And I want as much as possible to be respectful of other editors' work. I don't see that as a "mess" just WP:IMPERFECT that can be cooperatively improved with WP:GOODFAITH.
      • No, you did not 'leave it in', you moved it to the Merton section, where it didn't belong. HrafnTalkStalk 19:38, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
    1. The footnoted quote that "Finally, and most importantly, Hooykaas does not of course claim that the Scientific Revolution was exclusively the work of Protestant scholars. The road toward the new respect for nature was trodden by Catholics and Protestants alike." bears only a tangential relationship to the sentence to which it is attached: "The most recently proposed is that of the Dutch historian Reijer Hooykaas, who held the rise of early modern science was due to a unique combination of Greek and biblical thought.
    • It's necessary because although Protestants are highlighted, Catholics are not by means excluded from Hooykaas's scholarship.
      • No they aren't -- at least in the article -- see comments above. HrafnTalkStalk 19:38, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
    1. "The most recently proposed" implies that nobody since Hooykaas has made any proposal related to this topic.
    • A good usage and style improvement. In fact, I already added a clearer phrase using more instead of most has already been added.
    1. "Metaphorically speaking, whereas the bodily ingredients of science may have been Greek, its vitamins and hormones were biblical." does not appear to be a particularly informative metaphor, and adds little to reader understanding.
    • I disagree because the quote uses the original author's own words to show precisely how strong of a relationship that he indended.
      • It may show "precisely" what he intended, but it does not (at least in my opinion) give clarity to what he intended. A metaphor may be a good way of encapsulating what is meant, but in this case it does little to explain it. HrafnTalkStalk 19:38, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
    1. The statement that "the Merton thesis ... parallels the Weber thesis in suggesting that the rise of science was due to a Protestant ethic" is erroneous, or at least highly misleading -- the Weber thesis refers to the rise of capitalism not science.
    • I sense the problem too. But I don't see it as very misleading, just clearly benefiting from more qualification.--Firefly322 (talk) 18:49, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

    Mixing histography with history[edit]

    Regarding Hrafn's introduction...

    In The Scientific Revolution: A Historiographical Inquiry historian of science H. Floris Cohen presents scholarship arguing for a Biblical (and particularly Puritan Protestant) influence on the early development of modern science.

    • A historgraphy provides a good source of summaries and references, but if it's arguing anything it's only arguing meta-history (the links and influences between historians). It's merely presenting summaries of various historians' works and showing how they influenced other historians' works. Here the wikipedia article is adding meaning to the text by presenting its histography as history. It's a sort of synthesis. --Firefly322 (talk) 19:44, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
    • Yes, and my phrasing makes allowance for this -- it says "presents scholarship arguing for..." not "makes arguments for". HrafnTalkStalk 03:58, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

    Regarding Hrafn's new additions to the section's articles...

    While Cohen rejects more crude articulations of the conflict thesis, such as Andrew D. White's, he admits that milder versions of this thesis have some merit, that "it remains an incontrovertible fact of history that, to say the least, the new science was accorded a less than enthusiastic acclaim by many religious authorities at the time." He also notes that the influence was not unidirectional, and quotes Richard S. Westfall as stating:[12]

    Here again, Cohen is not rejecting anything. Using a histographical text, it's okay to use to it to reference an instance of Merton or Hooykaas rejecting something. And it's okay to say that groups of scholars reject something, which is what Cohen is stating in regards to the conflict thesis (p.309), but Cohen is not rejecting anything. --Firefly322 (talk) 19:59, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

    • Firstly, these are not "new additions" -- it is material that Firefly322 mis-filed under Merton and then deleted because "Merton thesis has its own article. No need to duplicate it here." Secondly, if this overstates Cohen's investment in the viewpoint that he presents (which seems unlikely given his characterisation of White's thesis as "crude"), then it can be rephrased in a like manner to the above point, representing Cohen as merely presenting this material, not advocating it. E.g.: "Cohen states that '[c]rude notions such as White's [articulation of the conflict thesis] have few scholarly adherents anymore', but admits..." HrafnTalkStalk 03:58, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
    • Why insist on finding fault and placing blame? (e.g., "Firefly322 mis-filed") The reasons for keeping material have as much to do with trying to show some respect as in a good faith showing of one's limitations in making an unnecessary procrustean decision about what to do.
    • Why insist on misrepresenting other editors edits? These were not "new additions". Are you claiming that placing them in the Merton section was correct? Are you claiming that the edit summary on deleting them: "Merton thesis has its own article. No need to duplicate it here." was in any way applicable to this material? If not, then accept that you made a mistake, instead of whining at me for pointing this out when you misrepresented the material as "new". HrafnTalkStalk 12:38, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

    Merton truncation[edit]

    I have a number of problems with the wholesale removal of material on Merton:

    1. It leaves the Cohen section unbalanced, in that it gives the impression that Cohen was talking almost exclusively about Hooykaas.
    2. It is uninformative, in that it says virtually nothing about what Merton's argument was, let alone what Cohen said about it.
    3. It is now about 1/3rd a heavily tangential parenthetical on the Weber thesis -- which has nothing whatsoever to do with Merton's views on the 'relationship between religion and science'.
    4. The remains are so vestigial as to make a mockery of giving Merton his own subsection.

    It is my opinion that this should be merged back into a single section with four paragraphs:

    • Introduction to Cohen's treatment
    • Hooykaas (but I still think that the metaphor-quote, taken out of its original context, is too cryptic to be a useful summary)
    • Merton, giving an accurate summary of his views, and Cohen's characterisation of his criticism and rehabilitation
    • a single paragraph on Cohen's treatment of other voices: White, Westfall and any others, which also gives wider context to the work that Cohen is presenting

    Incidentally, we also need to place this material into the classification described in the 'Overview' section (or some well-cited extension thereof). Would it fit under 'Consonance'? HrafnTalkStalk 04:38, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

    1. A careful reading of Cohen's The Scientific Revolution: A Histographical Inquiry reveals that these other voices Cohen represents, especially that of Westfall, are histographical in nature and aren't at all historical analysis. More to the point, Cohen is here showing the reader the limitations or at least a juxtaposition of Westfall in regards to Robert K. Merton and Reijer Hooykaas. Such histographical analysis, especially the quote of Westfall that is currently in this wikipedia article, should not be.
      • If we follow this line of argument to its logical conclusion then we should exclude Cohen altogether as it is likewise historiographical (explicitly so in fact). However, you have not given any argument for your bare assertion that material based upon "histographical[sic] analysis...should not be" in this article. HrafnTalkStalk 12:30, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
    • That could be said about any book, any source where we run the risk of taking something out of context. We just need to try to fully understand the context of Cohen's statements and the motive for quoting Richard Westfall on page 309. For example...
    Earlier in the book, on pages 136-147, Cohen considers Richard Westfall's Conception of the Origins of Early Modern Science. Here Cohen praises Westfall to be the first to consider the Scientific Revolution as a process, stating Westfall predated Thomas Kuhn by a year (see page 137). In Cohen's summary here (on page 147) Cohen writes "An analysis internal to Westfall's argument itself already displays discrepancies, and additional incentives toward further modification are to turn up as we proceed. But I do think that the conception of the Scientific Revolution as a dynamic process is quite as fertile as it is underexploited." [1]
    1. On Page 143, Cohen writes "It is Chapter 3, however, on "Mechanical Science," where, as already suggested in the course of my summary, trouble comes in. ... In Westfall's chapter 3, then, 'mechanical' is rather indiscriminately employed ... Thus Pascal's baramoterical experiments are interpreted in the framework of the mechanical philosophy..."
    2. Also on Page 139, Cohen writes "In chapter 3, entitled 'Mechanical Science,' the theories and experiments of Torricelli, Pascal, and Boyle on the void and on air pressure..."
    3. On page 577 n.12 (a footnote from page 313 in the 5.1.1 section Hooykaas and the Biblical World-View), Cohen writes "One example here is Pascal, to whose pertinent ideas Hooyaas devoted an inspiring study in 1939 (translated by me in 1990 as 'Pascal: His Science and His Religion')."
    4. Considering Boyle's The Christian Virtuoso, Pascal's well-known deep religious views, and the possible religious connotations of process (e.g., process as in Process philosophy with origins in Alfred North Whitehead's Science and the Modern World (1925)), Cohen is showing us on pages 308-321 that religion (e.g., along the lines of Reijer Hooykaas's and/or Robert K. Merton's scholarship) may be key in fully exploiting the Scientific REvolution as a dynamic process. --Firefly322 (talk) 14:05, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
    1. Merton thesis has its own article. Why repeat it? --Firefly322 (talk) 11:47, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
      • Why repeat it? (i) Because Merton has prominent things to say about the 'relationship between religion and science', which is the subject of this article. (ii) Because it makes no sense whatsoever to mention Merton (let alone giving him a section) if we don't actually mention what he has to say on the subject (or how his views have been received). This article should contain a lucid summary of Merton's thesis (in context of the 'relationship between religion and science'), while the Merton thesis gives it a more detailed and more globally-focused treatment, per WP:SUMMARY. HrafnTalkStalk 12:30, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

    Your "out of context" claim is tenuous to the point of ridiculousness. The "context" in which Cohen presents this Westfall quote is not what he says about other things Westfall says over 150 pages previously, it is how he presents this quote -- which is not to impeach it, but with obvious approval: "Here is how Westfall brought out the ultimate paradox that lies hidden here:". Cohen need not approve of everything that Westfall says in order for the presentation of this quote to be approving. HrafnTalkStalk 14:40, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

    If one doesn't appreciate comments or understand them fine, but don't use a phrase about another editor's comments, especially ones that are well-referenced, such as to the point of ridiculousness. It is really well-outside the bounds of five pillar wikipedian spirit. --Firefly322 (talk) 08:36, 29 June 2008 (UTC)


    I've just made an attempt to 'chainsaw' the article into a cohesive structure (rather than simply being a loosely related set of sections on the topic). Apologies if there are any major gaffs. The structure is now:

    1. Models of interaction
    2. Specific views of religion on science
    3. Specific views of science on religion (not sure if 'Philosophy of science' fits here, but didn't seem too far out of place).

    I've moved all the material out of the overview, as most of it was too specific to fit there. The one remaining sentence seems to fit in the lead. I must agree with Firefly322 that the original material in this isn't a good fit. It is too technically-worded and doesn't really provide a summary of the article (possibly because to date the article was too much of a grab-bag to summarise succinctly). HrafnTalkStalk 05:14, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

    Cohen on 'Greco-Islamic tradition'[edit]

    The section on 'Cultivation of early modern science due to a biblical world view' currently contains the statement "In The Scientific Revolution: A Historiographical Inquiry historian of science H. Floris Cohen presents scholarship arguing for a Biblical (and particularly Puritan Protestant, but not excluding ... the Greco-Islamic tradition) influence..." I tagged the "Greco-Islamic tradition" bit, because Cohen makes no reference to it. Firefly322 reverted with the edit summary: "again look on page 154 of A history of Medicine by Lois N. Magner". I reverted this reversion on the narrow basis that the cited source is Cohen not Magner. I would also like to make the further broader point that Magner's comments, which in any case were making passing mention of the replacement of the Greco-Islamic tradition in the relevant period, should not be misattributed to Cohen (regardless of citation). HrafnTalkStalk 05:01, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

    Cohen explains the historical body of Greco-Islamic knowledge in his next chapter (chapter 6)--The nonemergence of early modern science outside western Europe. Pages 384-417 (6.2 The Decay of Islamic Science) discusses the relationship amongst ancient Greek culture, Islamic culture, and Early modern science, including many passages on A.I. Sabra and Aydin Sayili. --Firefly322 (talk) 08:24, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
    1. You did not reference chapter 6.
    2. In any case, Cohen talks about "Greek" and "Islamic" influences, he does not lump them together as a "Greco-Islamic tradition".
    3. You have given no indication that Cohen considered that Islamic influence was relevant to "Biblical influence" -- the subject of the section and the sentence.

    In summary, I can see no possible reason to include this term at this point in the article. 10:03, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

    1. ^ The Scientific Revolution: A Historiographical Inquiry, H. Floris Cohen, University of Chicago Press 1994, 680 pages, ISBN 0-2261-1280-2, pages 308-321