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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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TORSTEN RÜTING Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849-1936) 275

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Ivan Petrovich Pavlov: From Russian Orthodox Monastery to Big Science Laboratory TORSTEN RÜTING In 1904, Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849-1936) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research an the physiology of the di- gestive system. Yet Pavlov is not commonly remembered for this work. He became famous for a side effect of his feeding experiments with dogs, the so-called "conditional reflex," often mistakenly termed "conditioned reflex." Phenomena nowadays termed Pavlovian, e.g., salivation in res- ponse to familiar sounds, were described long before Pavlov made them the subject of research at the beginning of the twentieth century (Joravsky 1989, 148). But Pavlov turned his method of studying conditional re- flexes into an instrument for elucidating how the mind works. Despite the fact that few scholars recognised the fall scope of his findings, the "Pav- lovian dog" became proverbial and continues to be used to explain the biological basis of learning. Beyond biology and medicine, psychologists, pedagogues, as well as philosophers and writers such as Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), Herbert Wells (1866-1946) and Maxim Gorky (1868-1936), were attracted to Pavlov's project, which was termed Teachings an Higher Nervous Activ- ity. Russell commented that for his achievements in making psychology scientific, "Pavlov must be placed among the most eminent men of our time," and he compared him to Newton (1643-1727) and Darwin (1809- 82) (B. Russell 1931, 75). Wells once told George Bernard Shaw (1856- 1950) that if he had one lifebelt remaining and had to choose whom to...

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