In the early nineteenth century, the harmony between science and religion was so pervasive that one contemporary dubbed it “The Age of Christian Science.” The second third of the century, however, witnessed challenges to traditional Christian beliefs from astronomy, geology, anthropology, phrenology, and, most threatening of all, from biology. During these years religious leaders commonly portrayed themselves as the victims of scientific aggression. During the last third of the century such complaints were largely drowned out by the shouts of men such as Huxley, Tyndall, Draper, and White, who charged religion with being the historical aggressor against science. In the 1920s, fundamentalist Christians in the United States finally struck back, launching a crusade to eradicate evolution from the churches and schools throughout the land. Sponsored by the Presbyterian Association on Science, Technology, and the Christian Faith.
Reception to follow.
Sponsored by the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry.
Dr. Ronald L. Numbers is Hilldale Professor of History emeritus at the University of Wisconsin. He has authored or edited 27 books, including The Creationists (Harvard 2006) and Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion (Harvard 2009). He is currently editing the eight-volume Cambridge History of Science.