St. Mark’s Adult Education Meeting Summary
Faith, Science, and Understanding by John Polkinghorne
Discussion Led By Prof. George John
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Science and Religious Fundamentalism in the 1920s, by Edward B. Davis
1. Controversy and questions raised concerning role and public image of
science in a religious society
2. Religion and science in schools from 18th century to now.
3. Intent of the Scopes trial and its subversion by Darrow
4. Author’s goal: pamphlets written by American scientists.
5. “Fundamentalist” early definition compare with current usage
6. William Jennings Bryan’s image, philosophy, and fears
7. Rise of Social Darwinism and eugenics
8. Influence of WW I on fundamentalist’s opposition to teaching evolution
9. Bryan’s editorials in NY Times and response of scientists
10.Birth of pamphlets ‘
11.Distribution of pamphlets
12. Content of pamphlets
a. Samuel Schmucker, Through Science to God
i. concept of God
ii. eugenics to further God’s purposes for humanity
b. Eugenics supporters: Harry Emerson Fosdick, Edwin Grant
Conclin, Henry Fairfield Osborn
c. Robert Millikan, Evolution in Science and Religion,. A Scientist
Confesses His Faith
i. compatibility of science and religion testimonials from
ii. his definitions of science and religion
d. Arthur Holly Compton, Life After Death
e. Shailor Mathews–theologian
f. Kirtley Mather influenced by Mathews
i. Sunday School teacher
ii. concept of God
g. Conklin echoed Mather in talk titled “The Religion of Science”
13. Commentary by historian James Gilbert
14.A Question of Compatibility
a. Asa Gray
b. Failure of pamphlets
c. Current spectrum of response to teaching evolution
Science and Religious Fundamentalism in the 1920s, by Edward B. Davis
a brief synopsis…
Edward B. Davis is Distinguished Professor of the History of Science at Messiah College. He received his Ph.D. in the history and philosophy of science in 1984 from Indiana University. Best known for his work on Robert Boyle and early modem science, his current research focuses on the religious beliefs of American scientists in the 1920s. Address: Messiah College, Box 3030, One College Avenue, Grantham, PA 17027. Internet: email@example.com
> Controversies over teaching of evolution have raised fundamental …questions about science, its public image and its role in, a religious society.
> Issues are broader than constitutional disestablishment of religion
> How is science related to religion and morality?
> Can scientists and religious authorities cooperate in educating the public about the content and limits of scientific knowledge, or are they separated by contrary views of what knowledge is?
> What are the role and responsibility of religious scientists in such conversations?
> Scopes trial and Clarence Darrow’s role discussed.
> Pamphlets written by prominent American scientists in efforts to convince readers of the compatibility of religion and science are an important part of the story of science and religion in America.
> Conservative Protestantism
> William Jennings Bryan objection to evolution
> Social Darwinism and eugenics
> Reform-minded scientists-embrace eugenics
> World War I stirred Bryan and fellow fundamentalists to believe
that German militarism linked to natural selection and the Bible
is literary text rather than the Word of God
> Bryan editorial in New York Times
> Many scientists felt a response was necessary
> Pamphlets widely published over next 10 years
1. Physics, Philosophy, and Scientific Progress, Albert Einstein
In this 1950 speech to the International Congress of Surgeons in Cleveland, Ohio,
Einstein argued that the 19th-century physicists’ simplistic view of nature, illusory
as it was, gave biologists the confidence to treat life as a purely physical
2. Diagonal Considerations, Jim Foorman, Sightings, 6/2/05, Martin Marty
Center, University of Chicago Divinity School
Questions concerning domains of science, theology, philosophy, history braring
on nature of our existence, what we know about it” what it means, reality
3. Design of the Times, Richard A. Rosengarten, Sightings, 7/21/05, Martin
Marty Center, University of Chicago Divinity School
Comments on Catholic Church’s position on “Intelligent Design”
4. Finding Design in Nature, Christopher Schonborn, Cardinal, Archbishop
of Vienna, New York Times, 7 July, 2005
Cardinal’s opinion or interpretation of Pope John Paul il’s position on evolution.
This created a significant response by several scientists, including Lawfence M.
Kraus, who wrote a letter to the new pope, Benedict, XVI, Francisco Ayala of UC
Irrvine, and biologist Kenneth Miller, of Brown University.
5. Krauss-Letter to Pope Benedict XVI
Comments on Pope John Paul’s statement about the Church’s position on
Evolution; criticizes Cardinal Schonborn’s letter to New York Times in
which’ he gives his understanding of Pope John Paul’s position; asks
Pope Benedict reaffirm Pope John Paul’s statements.
6. Bush Remarks Roil Debate on Teaching of Evolution, Elisabeth Bumiller,
New York Times, 3 August 2005
Reaction and commentary on President Bush’s statement that both ill and
Darwin’s theory of evolution should be taught
7. Evolution or Intelligent Design? Science and Faith Meet School Policy, i Glenn Cook, Managing Editor, National School Boards Association, American School Board Journal, 2005
Response of school boards and members in Pennsylvania and Kansas to teaching
ID with evolution.
8. Undoing Darwin, Chris Mooney and Mathew C. Nisbet, 2005 Columbia
Journalism Review at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
The failure of the media to present adequate details of the ill vs Evolution
A. Politicized Scholars Put Evolution on the Defensive, Jodi Wilgoren, August 21 2005, The New York Times.
The Discovery Institute-Conservative Think Tank based in Seattle-leaders in the nation’s “culture wars” championing ill.
B. In Explaining Life’s Complexity, Darwinists and Doubters Clash, Kenneth Chang, August 22, 2005, The New York Times
A discussion of the contenders, featuring ill promoters Dr. Michael Behe and Dr William A. Dembski and various contenders
C. TEACHING EVOLUTION: ill Foes on Trial This Month in Pennsylvania School Case, Constance Holden, Science, Vol 309, No. 5742, Issue of 16 Sept. 2005
Parents sue school board
D. School Boards Want to ‘Teach the Controversy,’ What Controversy?, Lawrence M Krauss, May 17, 2005, The New York Times
Krauss argues that there is no controversy among those who support the theory of evolution. There is a controversy, though, between ill believers and scientists.
E. AAPT Statement on the Teaching of Evolution and Cosmology,.
Statement adopted by the Executive Board of The American Association of Physics Teachers on April 24, 2005
F. Let fact and faith coexist outside schools Alan I. Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of. Science and executive publisher of the journal Science., 9 May 2005
G. Neo-Creo, William Safire, August 21, The New York Times
Safire’s inimitable style uncovers the language and origin of the ill, creationism, evolutionism debate
HI. Teaching of Creationism is Endorsed in New Survey, Laurie Goodstein, 31 Aug The New York Times
The poll found that 42 percent of respondents held strict creationist views, agreeing that “living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.” –
In contrast, 48 percent said they believed that humans had evolved over time. But of those, 18 percent said that evolution was “guided by a supreme being,” and 26 percent said that evolution occurred through natural selection. In all, 64 percent said they were open to the idea of teaching creationism in addition to evolution, while 38 percent favored replacing evolution with creationism
JK. Challenged by Creationists, Museums Answer Back, Cornelia Dean, 20 September 2005, The New York Times
Fundamentalists and’ Biblical Literalists visit museums and challenge docents as they present information on exhibits relating to evolution, origins of life, and cosmology. Museums respond by training docents.
L. Two Realms and Their Relationships, A review by Craig B. Anderson,
Science, Vol. 286, No. 5441, Issue of 21 Oct 1999, pp. 907-908
Rocks of Ages Science and Religion in the Fullness of Life
Stephen Jay Gould
Library of Contemporary Thought (Ballantine), New York, 1999.250 pp. $18.95,
C$26.50. ISBN 0-345-4300,9-3.
Seduced by Science How American Religion Has Lost Its Way
New York University Press, New York, 1999.230 pp. $27.95. ISBN 0-8147-3104-X.
The Sacred Depths of Nature
Oxford University Press, New York, 1998.219 pp. $24. ISBN 0-19-512613-6.
“Three recent books add to the growing interest in the relationship between
science and religion. Two of these share a common premise: Given science’s task
of defining the natural world and religion’s goal of providing a moral universe,
science and religion should coexist peacefully and respectfully in separate
spheres. The third volume illustrates this premise. “
M. Gould’s Separate ‘Magisteria’: Two Views-Book reviews, Mark
W. Durm has one view, and Massimo Pigliucci presents
N. The Holes in Gould’s Semipermeable Membrane ‘Between Science and
Religion, Ursula Goodenough
A fair and clear critique of Gould’s Non-Overlapping Magisteria (NOMA)
O. Do the Magisteria of Science and Religion Overlap?, Steve Hansen
They do says this critic
PQ. Science and Religion: Conflict or Conciliation,
Commentary by Norman Hall on the Skeptical Inquirer Special Issue on Science
and Religion, July-August 1999-
R. Evolution Under Fire, Rudy Baum, Editor-in-chief of Chemical and
Engineering News, August 29,2005
Editors comments on his editorial on ill and evolution with samples of many
letters sent in response. Good cross section of belief from chemists and
engineers who read C&E News