Wolves in sheep's clothing
Defamation is the communication of a false statement that harms the reputation of an individual or a group. With the rise of materialism comes the decline of morality. 19th century naturalists spread lies in order to promote their belief in naturalism and attack all other worldviews.

The idea of a supposed conflict between science and religion gained in popularity in the 19th century. At the same time when naturalists seized power within the world of mainstream science. This was no coincidence because powerful leading naturalists invented this lie and spread it into the world.

Another lie they invented was the Flat Earth Myth which is the modern misconception that the prevailing cosmological view during the Middle Ages saw the Earth as flat, instead of spherical. But for example historian Jeffrey Burton Russell said: No one before the 1830s believed that medieval people thought that the earth was flat.* Also David Lindberg and Ronald Numbers wrote that There was scarcely a Christian scholar of the Middle Ages who did not acknowledge [Earth's] sphericity.*

These were fabricated lies to defame people with other worldviews. Key people involved in spreading these falsehoods were John Tyndall, Andrew Dickson White and John William Draper. They were advocates of Darwin's evolution and naturalism...
John Tyndall is described as a member of a club that vocally supported Darwin's theory of evolution and sought to strengthen the barrier, or separation, between religion and science. Tyndall was a proponent of spontaneous generation.* Spontaneous generation refers to the unscientific theory of abiogenesis.

Andrew Dickson White is known because he exhaustively documented the battle between science and religion in matters of creation versus evolution.

John William Draper was an English-born American scientist, philosopher, physician, chemist, historian and photographer. ... He was also the first president of the American Chemical Society (1876–77) and a founder of the New York University School of Medicine. One of Draper's books, the History of the Conflict between Religion and Science, popularised the conflict thesis proposing intrinsic hostility in the relationship between religion and science.*

Here's some reality about these people and the books they wrote...

White's Warfare apparently did not sell as briskly as Draper's Conflict, but in the end it proved more influential, partly, it seems, because Draper's strident anti-Catholicism soon dated his work and because White's impressive documentation gave the appearance of sound scholarship.

This book [A History of the Warfare of Science With Theology in Christendom] has become something of a running joke among historians of science and it is dutifully mentioned as a prime example of misinformation in the preface of most modern works on science and religion. ... The flat Earth is discussed in chapter 2 and one can almost sense White's confusion that hardly any of the sources support his hypothesis that Christians widely believed in it. He finds himself grudgingly admitting that Clement, Origen, Ambrose, Augustine, Isodore, Albertus Magnus and Aquinas all accepted the Earth was a globe - in other words none of the great doctors of the church had considered the matter in doubt.*

Andrew Dickson White, the founding president of Cornell University, vowed that this institution would "afford an asylum for Science" where truth shall be sought for truth's sake, where it shall not be the main purpose of the Faculty to stretch or cut sciences exactly to fit 'Revealed Religion'. It was not so much that university intellectuals were giving up the idea of a deity, but that for at least some influential voices, the deity was now defined as scientific method. The problem was rather that evolution as a grand scientific scheme was being used increasingly to undermine, rather than to support, traditional views of God and his design of the world.

White's impressive documentation gave the "appearance" of sound scholarship. It wasn't sound scholarship, it was an example of misinformation. Although much criticism of Catholicism and organized religion in general is justified they fabricated lies and spread those in their books and universities. They intentionally lied or fabricated false ideas in order to damage other worldviews. These people were frauds from the world of naturalistic mainstream science.

Tyndall once said: The heart of man is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. White once said: Nothing can be more comical than the suppressions of truth, evasions of facts, jugglery with phrases, and perversions of history. Draper once said: What can be better than absolute truth? Are mysteries, miracles, lying impostures, better? It was these that stood in the way! These liars and hypocrites occupied powerful positions within the world of mainstream science and had a lot of influence. The fact that these people are still venerated in the world of mainstream science shows that this same breed of naturalists still runs the world of mainstream science today...
The new atheists
But now, why did the false accounts of Letronne and Irving become melded and then, as early as the 1860s, begin to be served up in schools and in schoolbooks as the solemn truth? The answer is that the falsehood about the spherical earth became a colorful and unforgettable part of a larger falsehood: the falsehood of the eternal war between science (good) and religion (bad) throughout Western history. This vast web of falsehood was invented and propagandized by the influential historian John William Draper (1811-1882) and many prestigious followers, such as Andrew Dickson White (1832-1918), the president of Cornell University, who made sure that the false account was perpetrated in texts, encyclopedias, and even allegedly serious scholarship, down to the present day. A lively current version of the lie can be found in Daniel Boorstin's The Discoverers, found in any bookshop or library. ... The reason for promoting both the specific lie about the sphericity of the earth and the general lie that religion and science are in natural and eternal conflict in Western society, is to defend Darwinism. The answer is really only slightly more complicated than that bald statement. The flat-earth lie was ammunition against the creationists. The argument was simple and powerful, if not elegant: "Look how stupid these Christians are. They are always getting in the way of science and progress." These people who deny evolution today are exactly the same sort of people as those idiots who for at least a thousand years denied that the earth was round. How stupid can you get?*

Jeffrey Burton Russell wrote a book called Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus and Modern Historians in which he looks for the reason why we allow this error to persist. Do we prefer to languish in a comfortable and familiar error rather than exert the effort necessary to discover the truth? James Hannam said that despite a developing consensus among scholars that science and Christianity have not been at war, the notion of conflict has refused to die.* Although these ideas have been rejected, they remain popular among many ignorants until this day. The error persists because the same kind of naturalists and atheists still dominate the world of mainstream science today. These kind of fanatics of evolution disguise as scientists and deliberately miseducate the world. The conflict is not between science and religion but between two worldviews: naturalism and supernaturalism.