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Since the early nineteenth century, science—reputedly based on method, objectivity, and reason—has increasingly and widely been regarded as a separate culture from the rest of society, especially religious institutions. Some scientists and their outspoken advocates have even tried to protect science from alleged meddling by Christians, particularly the Catholic Church. In opposition to this view, many Christians, Protestant and Catholic, have defended religion against the perceived threats of a secular, atheistic culture associated with scientists. Both sides of the debate, therefore, consider science and religion as completely separate and opposite entities.
In academic circles, this dichotomy has been dismissed as inaccurate. Most historians and sociologists of science have come to appreciate the intricate relationship between science and religion. In fact, in recent years David Lindberg, Edward Grant, Peter Harrison, John Heilbron, Stephen Gaukroger, and many others, have compiled...