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6.30 – 8.00pm | Wednesday 21 January 2009
Room U8, Tower One, LSE
John Worrall, Professor of Philosophy of Science, LSE
Galileo was put under house arrest by the Inquisition for defending Copernicus. If religious fundamentalists had their way, Darwinian theory would (at best) be taught as one theory among many with no greater claim to rational assent than the theory that God created the universe essentially as it now is in roughly 4004 BC. More sophisticated thinkers hold that such direct clashes between science and religion are quite unnecessary: that one can be a religious believer without coming into the slightest conflict with science. John Worrall examined various ways in which this compatibility view has been defended. This examination showed that while religion and science can indeed avoid direct conflict, there is ineliminable conflict between religion and the general scientific approach – an approach based on the axiom that it is reasonable to believe only what evidence gives you reason to believe.