Tom is the Lecturer in Religion and Science at the University of Queensland’s School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry. His primary interests lie in contemporary religion-science discourse, with a focus on religiously motivated antievolutionism, antivaccinationism, mass persuasion, and public perceptions of science. Tom earned his doctorate at the University of Oxford, he holds an MA in religious studies from the University of Calgary, and a BSc in biological sciences from the University of Alberta.
Description: The idea that science and religion are in a constant state of warfare is a narrative that has been actively challenged by historians for several decades. Nevertheless, the conflict model persists in various academic disciplines, and it is still frequently presented to university students as the authoritative account of religion-science history. This paper examines how science-religion conflict and complexity are addressed throughout 21st century university-level textbooks and reference materials associated with a variety of fields. As will be demonstrated, many introductory publications often contain discredited conflict narrative anecdotes about the Enlightenment, as well as the scientific and Darwinian revolutions. Therefore, while historians have rejected the conflict model, there remains a conspicuous warfare plotline in contemporary university-level textbooks.