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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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EDWARD B. DAVIS Michael Idvorsky Pupin (1858-1935) 295

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Michael Idvorsky Pupin: Cosmic Beauty, Created Order, and the Divine Word EDWARD B. DAVIS If this terrestrial cosmos, this creation of simple law and beautiful order, is the re- sult of accidents in our solar system, as some astronomers suggest, then let us pray to divine providence that such accidents occur a countless number of times in the galaxies of the heavenly stars. (Pupin 1931a, 85) ... Science and Religion are the offsprings of the same fundamental belief that there is an eternal truth which is intelligible, and that the longing is deeply planted in the soul of man to search for the morsels of this truth in every nook and corner of the physical as well as of the spiritual universe. Without this longing the life of man would lose most of its beautiful meaning; it would certainly lose the knowl- edge of its Creator. (Pupin 1931b, xi) Columbia University physicist Michael Idvorsky Pupin (1854-1935) is usually remembered today for his discoveries of secondary X-rays and the mathematical theory of loaded transmission In his own day, however, his life story was widely publicized in the United States as an example of a successful immigrant from Eastern Europe, and his many writings an science and religion were well known. As a devout Serbian Orthodox believer, Pupin's theology of nature emphasized a central idea of the Eastern Orthodox religious tradition: the presence of beauty and order in the universe as manifestations of the transcendent divine Word (the A6yoS of John's gospel) that...

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