Sunday, August 25, 2013

Slaying the Dragons (book)

Slaying the Dragons: Destroying Myths in the History of Science and FaithSlaying the Dragons: Destroying Myths in the History of Science and Faith by Allan Chapman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this lively and often surprising study, Chapman examines popular misunderstandings about key events in the history of science-faith relations. For those interested in science-faith relations, this important study examines popular misunderstandings about key events in history. It covers the major episodes such as Galileo's trial, the Wilberforce-Huxley debate, and the Scopes trial of 1925, but also looks further back through the medieval period to the Classical age, revealing how these events have acquired mythical and misleading statuses. Chapman exposes the facts that have been forgotten and the contemporary opinions that have been supplanted by modern propaganda. Slaying the Dragons is an important book that strips away layers of misunderstanding and misinterpretation. (Amazon)

Very interesting, enjoyable, intelligent, well-written book. Combined with the author's obvious professional mastery of history his witty, passionate, and rhetorically sophisticated (in the positive sense) survey of the alleged conflict between science and religion is potent and entirely believable. Raises serious questions about the alleged war between science and Christianity - a myth held by both atheists and fundamentalist Christians. The best parts of the book are those in which the author stays with exploring the past and antecedents for the present. When he turns to the future and where we need to 'go from here' I found the book a little less engaging. Overall, though, a must read for any atheist or Christian who is willing to revisit their possible distorted myths about the "war" between science and religion.

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