Zombie History — Using Galileo to Whack Intelligent Design

Alison Abbott, Andrew Dickson White, Catholic Church, Christianity, climate change, creationism, Discovery Institute, Faith & Science, Galileo Affair, Galileo and the Science Deniers, Galileo Galilei, Heresy, historicity, Inquisition, Intelligent Design, John William Draper, Jonathan Wells, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Mario Livio, Michael Keas, Nature (journal), Nicolaus Copernicus, public schools, religion, science denialism, science deniers, Tychonian model, Unbelievable?, Urban VIII, Warfare Thesis, Zombie Science
A useful myth is hard to put down. The Galileo myth gives a premiere illustration. Ever since John William Draper and Andrew Dickson White fostered the “warfare thesis” of “science vs religion” in the late 19th century, appealing to the Galileo affair as the example par excellence, historians have had little luck convincing the scientific establishment that their version of the Galileo story is flawed. Fortunately, we have the new book by Michael Keas to help set the story straight: Unbelievable: 7 Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion. Keas traces the development of the warfare thesis through the 19th century. Despite being largely discredited by historians, the warfare thesis lives on into our time. For instance, Mario Livio has a new book out, Galileo and the…
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Himmelfarb and Her Haters

10 Books That Screwed Up the World, Adrian Desmond, Alfred Russel Wallace, Andrew Dickson White, Bea Kristol, Benjamin Wiker, Borneo, Bridgewater Treatises, Charles Darwin, Charles Gillispie, Charles Kingsley, City University of New York, Cornell University, Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution, Darwinists, Darwin’s Sacred Cause, Dyak headhunters, Edward T. Oakes, Encounter (journal), Ernst Mayr, Eugenics Record Office, Evolution, Francis Galton, George Will, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Harry Bruinius, history, Jacques Barzun, James D. Watson, James Moore, Jeffrey Shallit, Jewish Women, John William Draper, Julian Huxley, Leo Strauss, Mein Kampf, P.Z. Myers, Panda's Thumb, Uaupés River Valley, Victorian England
Editor’s note: Historian and Darwin skeptic Gertrude Himmelfarb died on Monday, December 30, 2019. While mourning the passing of this great scholar, we are pleased to republish Professor Flannery’s 2009 essay, below. See also Flannery’s tribute, ‘Farewell to Gertrude Himmelfarb, Brutally Honest Historian of the “Darwinian Revolution.’” “If you have no enemies, it is a sign fortune has forgot you.” — Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732  Noted physician Thomas Fuller was an expert on “eruptive fevers,” and so it seems fitting to open this essay with his wry but telling observation on enemies in public life, for perhaps no contemporary historian has spawned more “eruptive fever” over an analysis of the reigning secular creation myth demigod, Charles Darwin, than has the present subject of this essay. If Fuller is any judge,…
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