Tom Flynn – The Science vs. Religion Warfare Thesis

February 22, 2008

Tom Flynn is editor of Free Inquiry Magazine and director of the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum. He also directs traditional video operations at the Center for Inquiry. He is editor of The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief and author of three books: the science-fiction novels Galactic Rapture and Nothing Sacred and the polemic The Trouble With Christmas.

In this discussion with D.J. Grothe, Flynn details the history of the idea that science and religion are at war, including details about the founding exponents of the idea, John William Draper and Andrew Dickson White. He explains the unintended growth of the idea, and its consequences. He explores Stephen Jay Gould’s response to the Warfare Thesis, Gould’s NOMA theory, and reaction to it. Flynn also explains his own views on the conflict between science and religion, and how science may be continuous with social progress.