Friday, December 3, 2010

Huxley on the limits of science

T.H. Huxley (1825-1925) coined the term agnostic and was known for his antagonism towards Christian orthodoxy. Hence, I found it surprising to come across the following quote which I read in a report of John Hedley Brooke's talk at the 2010 London Conference of Christians in Science.
The antagonism between science and religion, about which we hear so much, appears to me to be purely factitious — fabricated, on the one hand, by short-sighted religious people who confound a certain branch of science, theology, with religion; and, on the other, by equally short-sighted scientific people who forget that science takes for its province only that which is susceptible of clear intellectual comprehension; and that, outside the boundaries of that province, they must be content with imagination, with hope, and with ignorance. 
The interpreters of Genesis and the interpreters of Nature (1885)
For more on Huxley and the famous non-debate with Wilberforce in Oxford see this earlier post.

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