Huff Post: by Karl Giberson —
Ian Barbour, who almost single-handedly founded the scholarly study of science and religion, died over Christmas. He was 90 years old, and for the last half-century he towered over the developing field of science and religion.
Prior to Barbour’s work the interaction of science and religion was dominated by the notion that the two fields were constantly at war, have always been at war, and cannot interact in any way other than war. This “warfare metaphor,” as it is called today, was born in the 19th century, largely through the work of Andrew Dickson White, the first president of Cornell University. White, heading America’s first major secular university, was an outspoken champion of secularism and a harsh and often unreasonable critic of religion. His lively, wide-ranging and articulate book A History of the Warfare of Science With Theology Within Christendom laid out the historical evidence that Christian theology has forever been the enemy of science. White’s widely read polemic, dismissed by most scholars today as pseudoscholarly propaganda, created the near-universal belief that science and religion can only quarrel.