More on the Science-n-religion question

Thomas Dixon commented on one of the recent posts on this issue, and I thought it only fair to make his comment more visible, since that post is now oldish, and I also hope he will comment further.

Dixon’s comment:

I’ve been dismayed by some of the misinformation going around in the wake of the recent BBC Four programme I presented and a related online article I wrote for the BBC News magazine. Just for the record, I am a historian, not a theologian (although my first degree was indeed in Theology and Religious Studies), and membership of ISSR is open to anyone who has made a scholarly study of relations between science and religion, as I have. As I explain in the Preface to my ‘Very Short Introduction’, my aim is to use the history and philosophy of science to shed light on this topic, and not to try to persuade anyone to become either religious or atheistic. My own approach is entirely agnostic.

I hope I didn’t give any misinformation; I don’t think I did. I quoted the OUP page that said Dixon is a Lecturer in History at Queen Mary, University of London, which I assumed would imply that he’s a historian, not a theologian. I further quoted that page that said he is a member of ISSR, and I then went on to give further information about what ISSR is. I think ISSR is a bit of a stealth organization in the usual Templeton fashion, but that doesn’t mean that its members are necessarily tainted or to blame or anything like that – that’s part of the point of the stealth: people don’t always know what agendas may be in play. People may also be aware of the agenda and simply think it’s harmless, and/or an ordinary academic agenda like any other.

In case Thomas Dixon would like to comment again, here’s the question I would like to ask. I never thought the goal was to persuade anyone to become either religious or atheistic; I think Templeton’s goal is to persuade more or less everyone that there is no conflict between religion and science. Is your approach to that entirely agnostic?

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