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Sparks Of Life

Author: James E Strick
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674044081
Size: 53.52 MB
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How, asks James E. Strick, could spontaneous generation--the idea that living things can suddenly arise from nonliving materials--come to take root for a time (even a brief one) in so thoroughly unsuitable a field as British natural theology? No less an authority than Aristotle claimed that cases of spontaneous generation were to be observed in nature, and the idea held sway for centuries. Beginning around the time of the Scientific Revolution, however, the doctrine was increasingly challenged; attempts to prove or disprove it led to important breakthroughs in experimental design and laboratory techniques, most notably sterilization methods, that became the cornerstones of modern microbiology and sped the ascendancy of the germ theory of disease. The Victorian debates, Strick shows, were entwined with the public controversy over Darwin's theory of evolution. While other histories of the debates between 1860 and 1880 have focused largely on the experiments of John Tyndall, Henry Charlton Bastian, and others, "Sparks of Life" emphasizes previously understudied changes in the theories that underlay the debates. Strick argues that the disputes cannot be understood without full knowledge of the factional infighting among Darwinians themselves, as they struggled to create a socially and scientifically viable form of "Darwinian" science. He shows that even the terms of the debate, such as "biogenesis," usually but incorrectly attributed to Huxley, were intensely contested.

Reading Darwin In Arabic 1860 1950

Author: Marwa Elshakry
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022600144X
Size: 23.46 MB
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In Reading Darwin in Arabic, Marwa Elshakry questions current ideas about Islam, science, and secularism by exploring the ways in which Darwin was read in Arabic from the late 1860s to the mid-twentieth century. Borrowing from translation and reading studies and weaving together the history of science with intellectual history, she explores Darwin’s global appeal from the perspective of several generations of Arabic readers and shows how Darwin’s writings helped alter the social and epistemological landscape of the Arab learned classes. Providing a close textual, political, and institutional analysis of the tremendous interest in Darwin’s ideas and other works on evolution, Elshakry shows how, in an age of massive regional and international political upheaval, these readings were suffused with the anxieties of empire and civilizational decline. The politics of evolution infiltrated Arabic discussions of pedagogy, progress, and the very sense of history. They also led to a literary and conceptual transformation of notions of science and religion themselves. Darwin thus became a vehicle for discussing scriptural exegesis, the conditions of belief, and cosmological views more broadly. The book also acquaints readers with Muslim and Christian intellectuals, bureaucrats, and theologians, and concludes by exploring Darwin’s waning influence on public and intellectual life in the Arab world after World War I. Reading Darwin in Arabic is an engaging and powerfully argued reconceptualization of the intellectual and political history of the Middle East.

Evolution And The Spontaneous Generation Debate

Author: H. Charlton Bastian
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 9781855068728
Size: 62.90 MB
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'Carefully selected by James Strick, this comprehensive collection of primary source materials resurrects the forgotten man of evolutionary theory, Henry Charlton Bastian, and opens a new window on controversies which divided the ranks of evolutionary naturalists. The hostile reaction of Thomas Henry Huxley and his allies to Bastian's challenge - that they accept the theory of spontaneous generation and the materialism connected with it - shows just how far they were willing to go to sanitize evolutionary theory for public consumption while maintaining their own respectability. Strick's collection is a vivid reminder of the volatile politics of evolution and the importance of not losing sight of "the losers" in scientific controversy.' - Bernard Lightman 'Strick garners all the backbiting documents to show how crucial aspects of the Darwinian orthodoxy were made. The knock-down fight in the 1870s between Huxley and Tyndall, and the brilliant pathology professor Henry Bastian, was over the inclusion of spontaneous generation. Bastian's initial success in justifying it and picking up rival medical support reveals that Huxley's evolutionary view was not an inevitable outcome. The sparring in Strick's volumes proves that it took all of Huxley's and Tyndall's scientific, rhetorical and darker skills to establish their version of Darwinism.' - Adrian Desmond 'An invaluable resource for the understanding of the controversies on the origin of life on earth.' - Dr Iris Fry 'Everybody knows that life's creation was the last redoubt of natural theology in the nineteenth century and spontaneous generation the atheists' siege-weapon for destroying it. Strick's authoritative collection breaks new ground by showing how unbelievers themselves came to blows over the origin of life - even Darwin's followers. Their contest for the Victorian moral heights is a case study of the politics of science and a timely reminder that arguments among 'public scientists' are never simply about "the facts".' - Dr James Moore Evolution and the Spontaneous Generation Debate collects the rare primary works on the origin of life by Henry Charlton Bastian (1837--1915), one of the brightest young rising Darwinian stars of the time. It contains all Bastian's key works on this subject, from his very first in 1871, The Modes of Origin of Lowest Organisms, through to one of his last, The Evolution of Life in 1907. The set also includes contemporary reviews and responses to Bastian's work which illustrate how emotive this theory was during the 1870s and why the likes of T. H. Huxley and John Tyndall went to extraordinarily great lengths to oppose Bastian. In the first two decades after the publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species (1859), a lively, often heated debate broke out about what the implications of Darwin's theory were for understanding the origin of life from non-living matter. Nowhere was the debate more acrimonious than among the Darwinians themselves. The response to Bastian's work was uniformly negative in Christian religious circles, and created a tremendous response, both negative and positive, from the Darwinians. One faction, including medical doctors and scientific journals, strongly supported Bastian's ideas, another, including Huxley, Tyndall and the powerful X Club, fiercely attacked Bastian, eventually declaring him vanquished by 1878. This set contains examples of both reactions, including Huxley's famous 'Biogenesis and Abiogenesis' address. This set is crucial to understanding the genesis of today's ideas about the origin of life. Much of the broad outlines of modern Darwinian ideas took shape in the debate over Bastian's work and have remained with us since. Featuring an introduction by James Strick, Assistant Professor of Biology and Society, Arizona State University, Evolution and the Spontaneous Generation Debate will amply reward study by scientists, physicians, historians of science, and all in the modern scientific world, who wish to better understand public controversy in science. --contains important writings by nineteenth-century scientists on the spontaneous generation debate --important case study of a Victorian debate on evolution --crucial to understanding the development of the origin of life theory in the nineteenth century

The Depth Of The Human Person

Author: Michael Welker
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
ISBN: 0802869793
Size: 75.49 MB
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This volume brings together leading theologians, biblical scholars, scientists, philosophers, ethicists, and others to explore the multidimensionality and depth of the human person. Moving away from dualistic (mind-body, spirit-flesh, naturalmental) anthropologies, the book's contributors examine human personhood in terms of a complex flesh-body-mind-heart-soul-conscience-reason-spirit spectrum. The Depth of the Human Person begins with a provocative essay on the question "Why is personhood conceptually difficult?" It then rises to the challenge of relating theological contributions on the subject to various scientific explorations. Finally, the book turns to contemporary theological-ethical challenges, discussing such subjects as human dignity, embodiment, gender stereotypes, and human personhood at the edges of life. Contributors: Maria Antonaccio Warren S. Brown Philip Clayton Volker Henning Drecoll Markus Hfner Origen V. Jathanna Malcolm Jeeves Isolde Karle Eiichi Katayanagi Andreas Kemmerling Stephan Kirste Bernd Oberdorfer John C. Polkinghorne Jeffrey P. Schloss Andreas Schle William Schweiker Gerd Theissen Gnter Thomas Frank Vogelsang Michael Welker

An Elusive Victorian

Author: Martin Fichman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226246154
Size: 17.65 MB
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Codiscoverer of the theory of evolution by natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace should be recognized as one of the titans of Victorian science. Instead he has long been relegated to a secondary place behind Darwin. Worse, many scholars have overlooked or even mocked his significant contributions to other aspects of Victorian culture. With An Elusive Victorian, Martin Fichman provides the first comprehensive analytical study of Wallace's life and controversial intellectual career. Fichman examines not only Wallace's scientific work as an evolutionary theorist and field naturalist but also his philosophical concerns, his involvement with theism, and his commitment to land nationalization and other sociopolitical reforms such as women's rights. As Fichman shows, Wallace worked throughout his life to integrate these humanistic and scientific interests. His goal: the development of an evolutionary cosmology, a unified vision of humanity's place in nature and society that he hoped would ensure the dignity of all individuals. To reveal the many aspects of this compelling figure, Fichman not only reexamines Wallace's published works, but also probes the contents of his lesser known writings, unpublished correspondence, and copious annotations in books from his personal library. Rather than consider Wallace's science as distinct from his sociopolitical commitments, An Elusive Victorian assumes a mutually beneficial relationship between the two, one which shaped Wallace into one of the most memorable characters of his time. Fully situating Wallace's wide-ranging work in its historical and cultural context, Fichman's innovative and insightful account will interest historians of science, religion, and Victorian culture as well as biologists.

Confronting Contagion

Author: Melvin Santer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199356378
Size: 77.90 MB
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Throughout history, humankind's working theories regarding the cause of infectious disease have shifted drastically, as cultures developed their philosophic, religious, and scientific beliefs. Plagues that were originally attributed to the wrath of the gods were later described as having nothing to do with the gods, though the cause continued to be a mystery. As centuries passed, medical and religious theorists proposed reasons such as poor air quality or the configuration of the planets as causes for the spread of disease. In every instance, in order to understand the origin of a disease theory during a specific period of history, one must understand that culture's metaphysical beliefs. In Confronting Contagion, Melvin Santer traces a history of disease theory all the way from Classical antiquity to our modern understanding of viruses. Chapters focus on people and places like the Pre-Socratic Philosophers, Galen and the emergence of Christianity in Rome, the Black Death in fourteenth-century Europe, cholera and puerperal sepsis in the nineteenth century, and other periods during which our understanding of the cause of disease was transformed. The cause of contagious disease was demonstrated to be a general biological phenomenon; there are contagious diseases of plants, animals, and bacteria, with causes identical to causes of human diseases. These issues are uniquely included in this book. In each case, Santer identifies the key thinkers who helped form the working disease theories of the time. The book features many excerpts from primary sources, from the Hippocratic Corpus to the writings of twentieth-century virologists, creating an authentic synthesis of the Western world's intellectual and religious attitude toward disease throughout history.

Library Journal

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Includes, beginning Sept. 15, 1954 (and on the 15th of each month, Sept.-May) a special section: School library journal, ISSN 0000-0035, (called Junior libraries, 1954-May 1961). Also issued separately.