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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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NICOLAAS A. RUPKE Introduction: Telling Lives in Science and Religion 13

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Introduction: Telling Lives in Science and Religion NICOLAAS A. RUPKE The biographical approach to science and religion The religious lives of scientists have of late become a popular topic of scholarly discourse, especially among historians of science. Entire books are being written about the religious beliefs and practices of such greats as Isaac Newton (Force and Popkin 1999), Michael Faraday (Cantor 1991) and Albert Einstein (Jammer 1995). Lesser scientific lights are receiving their fair share of attention, too, for example the "Scientist and Catholic" Pierre Duhem (Jaki 1991). Not long ago, the Maecenas of science and religion John M. Templeton published the testimonies of belief in God by ten distinguished scientists, including Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker (Templeton and Giniger 1998). Thus a veil is being lifted that has long obscured the religious lives of scientific men and women, revealing their faith, Bible study, worship and other devotional practices. Today's expos& of religiousness among scientists are not without pre- cedent. An earlier phase of popularity occurred roughly from 1880 to 1920. For the remainder of the twentieth century, science and religion as a biographical genre feil out of favour and anonymous opinion polling became the preferred way of gauging religion — or its absence — in scien- tists. Let us examine the earlier literature before proceeding with a com- parative description of what we do in this volume. The citing of instances of famous scientists who were known to have been religious believers became prevalent in the second half of the nine-...

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