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The war between science and religion

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The historian Michael Taylor looks back at the past tug of war between religion and science, and how the discovery of ancient bones challenged religious orthodoxy. Impossible Monsters: Dinosaurs, Darwin and the War Between Science and Religion is the story of a group of people whose insights tested beliefs about creation and cosmology, and ushered in the secular age.

But Nick Spencer from the thinktank Theos dismisses the idea that science has rightly relegated religion to the margins. In his new book Playing God: Science, Religion and the Future of Humanity (co-authored with Hannah Waite) he argues that religious belief is uniquely placed to help people navigate a world dominated by scientific breakthroughs – from AI to aliens, gene editing to the treatment of mental health.

Professor Frances Flinter has been at the forefront of innovations in the treatment of genetic conditions for decades in her role at Guy’s & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust. She is also a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and says that medical decisions are rarely based purely on science, but involve thinking about what it means to be human.

Producer: Katy Hickman

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