The war between religion and science began in the nineteenth century. It did not begin in the seventeenth century with the rise of the “new physics,” when mathematical descriptions replaced qualitative descriptions of motion, nor does it exist in the same manner today as in the nineteenth century since the rise of the “new” new physics of relativity and quantum. The grounds for the persistence of this war, despite doubts about its ultimate reality, were presented in the previous chapter. While the “war” between religion and science is a metaphor, it is a war in the sense that certain social authorities, received traditions, ancient philosophies, and mere bigotry are said to be aligned in a systematic way against modern science, which includes determinism, materialism, and atheism—the inevitable consequences of hubristic science. This double stereotype continues to exist in many people’s minds, but if the apparent war was not the result of implacably aligned intellectual forces on either side, then the war is more of a perceptual effect or, as the postmodernists put it, a social construct that does not reflect basic reality. The constructors of this war were nineteenth-century intellectuals including the first President of Cornell University, Andrew White, whos influential book, A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, presented a progressive view of the advance of science overcoming challenges posed by orthodoxy. As a “Whig history,” it characterized the path of science as a series of triumphs of “science” to the detriment of “theology.” To quote White:

In all modern history, interference with science in the supposed interest of religion, no matter how conscientious such interference may been, has resulted in the direst evil, both to religion and to science … on the other hand, all untrammeled scientific investigation, no matter how dangerous to religion some of its stages may have seemed for the time to be, has invariably resulted in the highest good both of religion and of science. 1