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
PETER J. BOWLER Julian Huxley (1887-1975) 215
Julian Huxley: Religion without Revelation PETER J. BOWLER At first sight it might seem incongruous to include Julian Huxley (1887- 1975) in a volume on science and religion. Apart from his ancestry (grandson of "Darwin's bulldog" Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-95), he was himself an active Opponent of organized religion who rejected the idea of a personal God. A longstanding member of the Rationalist Press Association, he wrote extensively in support of a philosophy of scientific humanism in which all values were to be defined without reference to the transcendental. He wrote a successful popular account of modern biology in conjunction with that arch Opponent of formal religion, H. G. Wells (1866-1946). And yet, as many scholars have pointed out, Huxley was never a materialist, and his sense of values was shaped by themes that were widely assumed to be congruent with the more liberal forms of Christianity. He knew, interacted with, and was influenced by, many religious thinkers. His vision of evolutionism was driven by a sense of progress which allowed him to believe, in the end, that the universe did advance toward a goal defined by what humanity had become, and could become in the future. As the title of one of his books put it, what he wanted was Religion without Revelation. lt was not, perhaps, what the orthodox would consider religion, but in his eyes it was a replacement for that older belief-system that would respect the emotions which had always driven people to look for a...
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