The Study of Barbour’s Solution to the Conflict between Science and Religion with Attention to Carroll’s Exposition of the Conflict

Document Type : Scientific-research


1 Faculty of Shahid Beheshti University

2 Faculty of Tehran University


In his book Religion and Science, Ian Barbour discusses the relationship between science and religion. In order to come up with a systematic view, he has surveyed the method of science and methods of religion and has explained this relationship in terms of four models: conflict, independence, dialogue and integration. It seems that he has introduced the models other than conflict to solve and remove the problems of the conflict model. He ultimately selects dialogue as the sole model which can solve the problems of the conflict model. Nowadays, the focus of a large number of scholars working on conflict between science and religion is on the solution proposed by Barbour and its extension. It is widely hoped that these models can successfully meet and explain every challenge of the era. We put serious doubt on this idea drawing on the challenges that Carroll’s views set against Barbour’s models. While Barbour wishes to remove the conflicts between science and religion by proposing a priori models, Carroll points to some a posteriori conflicts that cannot be removed by Barbour’s models. To provide solutions to the conflicts suggested by Carroll, we need new models that can explain the relation between science and religion. Although these solutions have not been discussed in detail in the present article, the conclusion is that the solutions should be a posteriori including studies dealing with history and content of science.


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