Oracles, Prophets and the Exoteric Circles of Science and Religion

Jaume Navarro



Drawing upon Karl Giberson and Mariano Artigas’ joint book The Oracles of Science, I discuss the limits of an emphasis on so-called philosophical bridges in the relationship between science and religion. Epistemological and metaphysical analyses of the claims by scientists and religious people are indeed necessary to avoid illegitimate extrapolations; but a clear separation between scientific and religious statements is problematic. Following Ludwig Fleck’s characterisation of the esoteric and the exoteric circles of science, I argue that popularization of science is always embedded in scientific cultures and ideological agendas and that one cannot expect a clear demarcation criterion between pure science and pure popularization. I also consider Lyda Walsh’s rhetorical analysis of the scientists as prophets to understand the oracles’ public portrayal of science in pseudo-religious terms.


Popularization of science; Mariano Artigas; Ludwig Fleck; science and religion; demarcation criteria; conflict thesis

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