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Eminent Lives in Twentieth-Century Science and Religion

With chapters on: Rachel Carson, Charles A. Coulson, Theodosius Dobzhansky, Arthur S. Eddington, Albert Einstein, Ronald A. Fisher, Julian Huxley, Pascual Jordan, Robert A. Millikan, Ivan P. Pavlov, Michael I. Pupin, Abdus Salam, Edward O. Wilson

Edited By Nicolaas A. Rupke

Can science and religion coexist in harmony? Or is conflict inevitable? In this volume an international team of distinguished scholars addresses these enduring yet urgent questions by examining the lives of thirteen eminent twentieth-century scientists whose careers were marked by the interaction of science and religion: Rachel Carson, Charles A. Coulson, Theodosius Dobzhansky, Arthur S. Eddington, Albert Einstein, Ronald A. Fisher, Julian Huxley, Pascual Jordan, Robert A. Millikan, Ivan P. Pavlov, Michael I. Pupin, Abdus Salam, and Edward O. Wilson. The richly empirical studies show a diversity of creative engagements between science and religion that defy efforts to set the two at odds.

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Preface 7

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Preface Can science and religion coexist in harmony, perhaps even in symbiosis? Or is conflict inevitable and are the two, in essence, mutually exclusive? The authors of this volume take a biographical approach to addressing these enduring yet topical questions. They examine the lives of a number of eminent twentieth-century biologists, chemists and physicists whose careers were marked by the interaction of science and religion: Rachel Carson, Charles A. Coulson, Theodosius Dobzhansky, Arthur S. Edding- ton, Albert Einstein, Ronald A. Fisher, Julian Huxley, Pascual Jordan, Robert A. Millikan, Ivan P. Pavlov, Michael I. Pupin, Abdus Salam and Edward 0. Wilson. In the past, telling the lives of religious scientists has proved a suc- cessful genre of apologetic science and religion literature. The first phase of its popularity occurred around 1900 when, in refutation of atheistic and materialist claims that the scientific study of nature leads away from a belief in God, several leading theologians and other defenders of the Christian faith compiled biographical miniatures of mainly nineteenth- century scientists who were known for their religiousness. Now, a century or so later, a revival of this biographical genre is un- derway. Here we present an array of science and religion profiles from the twentieth century, continuing where the first generation of biogra- phers left off. By contrast to the accounts of some one hundred years ago, however, the portraits we paint are considerably more intricate, reflecting recent advances in the art of scientific biography. Moreover, unlike our predecessors, whose primary purpose...

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