PresentismMythologies do not arise from the ignorant, but from the elite. This timeless truth is nowhere more evident today than with the Warfare Thesis myth. This myth has many tentacles, including: (1) Christianity often conflicts with and opposes scientific advances, (2) Science is a strictly empirical endeavor, free of religion, (3) The modern scientist has no metaphysical influences. And while good historians and philosophers are attempting to disabuse everyone else of these falsehoods, there seem to be just as many others who continue to repeat them. To wit, yesterday’s National Geographic quotes philosopher James Force as follows:
What set Whiston and Newton apart from modern scientists is their assumption that the Bible was literally true, and that God’s “book of nature” could be used to understand God’s other book, the Bible. Today, we tend to keep science and religion in strictly segregated boxes. Not so Newton and Whiston.
It is not that there have been no changes in the way naturalists think since the seventeenth century, but the idea that scientists today don the white lab coat and are free of religious influence is simply false. This is evident in the literature, as we have pointed out many times.