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Published on March 31, 2009

Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths About Science and Religion

Numbers and 24 other contributors debunk falsehoods about the relationship between science and religion.


Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths About Science and Religion Book Coveredited by Ron Numbers
Harvard University Press, 2010

[Book, 2009] On this publication, BioLogos Fellow Ted Davis writes, “In effect, this book delivers a public obituary for the warfare view, which has been dead among historians for decades–though many scientists, journalists, and others who know far less about the topic apparently missed the funeral. In fact, the real history of religion and science is too complex, with too many important subtleties and significant mutual interactions, to be captured by any simple metaphor–not conflict, not harmony, nor any other single word that comes to mind. The people who actually lived through the events–those we historians call the ‘actors’ themselves – very often saw things quite differently from the ways in which we’ve usually been told they saw them, or must have seen them.”


“An illuminating study of the relationship between science and religion…This book features the contributions of a team of 25 scholars that includes agnostics, atheists, and Christians. Their collective objective is to dispel the “hoary myths” of the supposedly bellicose relationship between religion and science. Readers will be fascinated by the evidence that for advocating Copernicanism, Galileo was not imprisoned (as commonly thought) but interrogated–albeit under the threat of torture–and set up in an apartment. Other misconceptions concern the connection between Darwinian thought and Nazi biology, Einstein’s belief in God, and Islam’s alleged hostility toward scientific enquiry.”
– C. Brian Smith, Library Journal