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The Evolution Wars

Author: Michael Ruse
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 9780813530369
Size: 78.32 MB
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The Evolution Wars draws on history, science, and philosophy to examine the development of evolutionary thought through the past two and a half centuries. It focuses on the debates that have engaged, divided, and ultimately provoked scientists to ponder the origins of organisms—including humankind—paying regard to the nineteenth-century clash over the nature of classification and debates about the fossil record, genetics, and human nature. Much attention is paid to external factors and the underlying motives of scientists. In these pages you will meet Charles Darwin's ebullient grandfather Erasmus, the contentious Frenchmen Georges Cuvier and Etienne Geoffroy Stain-Hillaire, new creationist Phillip Johnson, the brilliant J. B. S. Haldane, outspoken Richard Dawkins, and many other stars of the debates. The Evolution Wars explores the ten greatest controversies surrounding evolution in world history, with emphasis on recent times, including the infamous Scopes trial of the 1920s: the search for human origins and speculation about the “missing link,” spurred by the discovery of “Lucy;” the debate surrounding the new theory of paleontology proposed by Stephen Jay Gould; and the rise of teaching “creation science” in public school as a subject on par with evolution. Although the author takes a strong stand on the side of evolution, he also shows respect for dissenting viewpoints. Thus, the book is intellectually rewarding not only for evolutionists but also for opponents of evolution theory, especially those who want to see how one of the great ideas of Western civilization resonates through time, both within and beyond the scientific community.

Who Rules In Science

Author: James Robert BROWN
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674028876
Size: 29.32 MB
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What if something as seemingly academic as the so-called science wars were to determine how we live? This eye-opening book reveals how little we've understood about the ongoing pitched battles between the sciences and the humanities--and how much may be at stake. James Brown's starting point is C. P. Snow's famous book, Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution, which set the terms for the current debates. But that little book did much more than identify two new, opposing cultures, Brown contends: It also claimed that scientists are better qualified than nonscientists to solve political and social problems. In short, the true significance of Snow's treatise was its focus on the question of who should rule--a question that remains vexing, pressing, and politically explosive today. In Who Rules in Science? Brown takes us through the various engagements in the science wars--from the infamous "Sokal affair" to angry confrontations over the nature of evidence, the possibility of objectivity, and the methods of science--to show how the contested terrain may be science, but the prize is political: Whoever wins the science wars will have an unprecedented influence on how we are governed. Brown provides the most comprehensive and balanced assessment yet of the science wars. He separates the good arguments from the bad, and exposes the underlying message: Science and social justice are inextricably linked. His book is essential reading if we are to understand the forces making and remaking our world. Table of Contents: Preface Acknowledgments 1. Scenes from the Science Wars 2. The Scientific Experience 3. How We Got to Where We Are 4. The Nihilist Wing of Social Constructivism 5. Three Key Terms 6. The Naturalist Wing of Social Constructivism 7. The Role of Reason 8. The Democratization of Science 9. Science with a Social Agenda Afterword Notes Bibliography Index Reviews of this book: Meaty and challenging are the words to describe Brown's treatment of the arguments that go on over the nature and social impact of science. "The battleground in the current round of the science wars," he writes, "is epistemology (What is evidence? Objectivity? Rationality? Could any belief be justified?)...The stakes are political, however; social issues are constantly lurking in the background. How we structure and organize our society is the consequence. Whoever wins the science wars will have an unprecedented influence on how we are governed. Brown, professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto, gives a rich and closely reasoned discussion of the issues in the science wars. --Scientific American Reviews of this book: Brown ably takes on many of the claims proffered by the antiscience camp and argues that the logic in those claims is faulty. Brown's engaging style makes accessible complex issues central to the philosophy of science. --Publishers Weekly Reviews of this book: While what has been known as "the science wars" seems to have finally played itself out--not, so much as I can tell, that distrust between the sciences and humanities has been settled, but that interest on the part of spectators has pretty well waned--the issues that animated the debate, and their practical importance in everyday life, may not have been successfully clarified for the general public. James Robert Brown's Who Rules in Science? is the clearest, most accessible book on the subject for the general reader that I have come across during the many years of this bickering. --Tom Bowden, TechDirections Reviews of this book: In Who Rules in Science, James Brown...warns that there's much more at stake here than people realize. This is not just a battle between postmodernist philosophers and working scientists over whether an electron is real or merely a social construction. It's about who gets to define reality, truth and rationality. --Sheilla Jones, Globe and Mail Reviews of this book: The latest and perhaps most comprehensive attempt at rescuing the pro-science "hard" Left from the anti-science cons Left is James Robert Brown's Who Rules in Science. Like Sokal, Chomsky, Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Lewontin, and others he believes that clear thinking is the Left's best weapon, and that good science is a powerful engine of social justice. Thus, constructivism, which undermines the authority of science and reason, is not only wrong-headed but also socially irresponsible. --Kevin Shapiro, Commentary Magazine Reviews of this book: James Brown...details in this very readable book the Great Divide between the humanities and science, and between constructivist and empirically oriented camps...For those who are quite comfortable with the standard approach in science, Who Rules exposes a very unpleasant underbelly of science, in which scientists can be influenced by personal or political motivations. --Keith Harris, Metapsychology Reviews of this book: A close analysis of the 'science wars' examines the link between politics and epistemology. Brown does an admirable job of engaging the general reader in such issues as the role that science plays in creating or changing the social order and the role of social factors in the creating or changing of scientific theories...The author takes readers through a whirlwind course in the philosophy of science in the 20th century, focusing on the concepts of realism, objectivity, and values. He acknowledges that social constructivists are right in seeing social factors at work in science, but he insists that reason and evidence play a dominant role. Brown sees the democratization of science as one of the central themes of the science wars, and he takes the position that when participants are drawn from every affected social group, more objective science will result. He argues that knowledge grows through comparative theory assessment, and that the way to ensure the optimal diversity of rival theories is by having a wide variety of theorists from diverse backgrounds; thus the political act of affirmative action leads to more objective science. Brings the science wars home for the lay reader by identifying the combatants, examining their goals, and exposing the strengths and weaknesses of their arguments. --Kirkus Reviews Reviews of this book: Brown...here provides a cheerful gloss on some philosophical issues arising from the currently fashionable "science wars." The result is a readable survey of the history of the analytic philosophy of science and the sociology of knowledge from positivism to constructivism, with the positions of the usual suspects characterized and criticized. --P. D. Skiff, Choice Reviews of this book: Many readers will finish James Robert Brown's Who Rules in Science? Feeling that this "war" is more than a little phoney...The idea that these two schools are at "war" serves only to deflect attention away from their furtive collaboration. Who Rules in Science? sheds overdue light on this dark and secret liason. --David Hawkes, Times Literary Supplement Reviews of this book: In Who Rules in Science?, philosopher James Robert Brown argues cogently for public accountability for science--and public funding for scientists. He points out that debates about what science is, its control and its funding are not esoteric; they are the essence of the politics of science. --New Scientist This is a wonderful book: funny, learned, intelligent, strong-minded. In a clear and understanding fashion, James Robert Brown introduces us to the battles over the nature of science. He is never afraid to make judgements, yet always with appreciation of people's positions, however extreme. If you read only one book on the "Science Wars," read this. My only regret is that Who Rules in Science? is not longer. --Michael Ruse, Florida State University This book is a lively, engrossing overview of the philosophical and political issues at stake in the current debates about science. Brown doesn't pull any punches in stating his own views, but he always takes care to present fairly even those arguments with which he disagrees. And he's an equal-opportunity debunker: scientists, sociologists and his fellow philosophers all come in for (mostly justified) criticism. --Alan Sokal, co-author of Fashionable Nonsense A breath of commonsense, lucidly and wittily argued. --Robin Dunbar, author of Gossip, Grooming, and the Evolution of Language and The Trouble with Science Who Rules in Science? restores the image of the scientist as a rational actor, capable of generating reliable knowledge and defending the public interest. The book is wonderfully written and should be read as widely as possible. --Ullica Segerstrale, author of Defenders of the Truth

The Creationist Debate Second Edition

Author: Arthur McCalla
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1623567912
Size: 61.35 MB
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Whereas scholarly study of Creationism usually places it in the context of religion and the history or philosophy of science, The Creationist Debate, here revised and completely updated in its second edition, has been written in the conviction that creationism is ultimately about the status of the Bible in the modern world. Creationism as a modern ideology exists in order to defend the authority of the Bible as a repository of transhistorical truth from the challenges of any and all historical sciences. It belongs to and is inseparable from Protestant Fundamentalists' desire to resubject the modern world to the authority of the inerrant Bible. Intelligent Design creationism, to the extent that it distinguishes itself from reactionary biblicism, is a program advocating a supernaturalist, providentialist understanding of the world. Accordingly, The Creationist Debate situates Creationism and Intelligent Design in relation to the rise, from the early modern period onwards, of historical thinking in various scientific and scholarly disciplines (including theories of the earth, chronology, civil history, geology, biblical criticism, paleontology, evolutionary biology, and anthropology) in their complex relationship to the status of the Bible as an historical authority. It argues that the debate over Creationism is at bottom a debate over how to interpret the biblical text rather than over how to interpret the world.

Human Evolution

Author: Brian Regal
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 1851094180
Size: 22.72 MB
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Arranged in chronological order, traces the history of debates surrounding theories of human evolution from the first natural philosophers to the present day.

The Creationist Debate

Author: Arthur McCalla
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1441190384
Size: 10.15 MB
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This book places the present Creationist opposition to the theory of evolution in historical context by setting out the ways in which, from the seventeenth century onwards, investigations of the history of the earth and of humanity have challenged the biblical views of chronology and human destiny, and the Christian responses to these challenges. The author's interest is not primarily directed to questions such as the epistemological status of scientific versus religious knowledge or the possibility of a Darwinian ethics, but rather to the problems, and various responses to the problems, raised in a particular historical period in the West for the Bible by the massive extension of the duration of geological time and human history.

On The Origin Of Species

Author: Charles Darwin
Publisher: Broadview Press
ISBN: 1460401530
Size: 11.34 MB
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Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, in which he writes of his theories of evolution by natural selection, is one of the most important works of scientific study ever published. This unabridged edition also includes a rich selection of primary source material: substantial selections from Darwin's other works (Autobiography, notebooks, letters, Voyage of the Beagle, and The Descent of Man) and selections from Darwin's sources and contemporaries (excerpts from Genesis, Paley, Lamarck, Spencer, Lyell, Malthus, Huxley, and Wallace).

Darwin S Dreampond

Author: Tijs Goldschmidt
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262571210
Size: 42.44 MB
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Goldschmidt skillfully blends a masterful discussion of the principles of neo-Darwinian evolution and speciation with a history of Lake Victoria's ecosystem. The science unfolds in the context of the engaging first-person narrative of Goldschmidt's adventures and misadventures as a field researcher. 30 illustrations.

The Caveman Mystique

Author: Martha McCaughey
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135952086
Size: 16.77 MB
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Has evolution made men promiscuous skirt chasers? Pop-Darwinian claims about men's irrepressible heterosexuality have become increasingly common, and increasingly common excuses for men's sexual aggression. The Caveman Mystique traces such claims about the hairier sex through evolutionary science and popular culture. After outlining the social and historical context of the rise of pop-Darwinism's assertions about male sexuality and their appeal to many men, Martha McCaughey shows how evolutionary discourse can get lived out as the biological truth of male sexuality. Although evolutionary scientists want to use their theories to solve social problems, evolutionary narratives get invoked by men looking for a Darwinian defense of bad-boy behaviors. McCaughey argues that evolution has nearly replaced religion as a moral guide for understanding who we are and what we must overcome to be good people. Bringing together insights from the fields of science studies, body studies, feminist theory and queer theory, The Caveman Mystique offers a fresh understanding of science, science popularization, and the impact of science on men's identities making a convincing case for deconstructing, rather than defending, the caveman.

Sex From Plato To Paglia A L

Author: Alan Soble
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780313334245
Size: 14.86 MB
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More than 150 alphabetically arranged entries on topics, thinkers, religions, movements, and concepts locate sexuality in its humanistic and social contexts.

Defenders Of The Truth

Author: Ullica Christina Olofsdotter Segerstråle
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780198505051
Size: 54.39 MB
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For the last twenty-five years, sociobiologists have come under continuous attack by a group of left-wing academics, who have accused the former of dubious and politically dangerous science. Many have taken the critics' charges at face value. But have the critics been right? And what are their own motivations? This book strives to set the record straight. It shows that the criticism has typically been unfair. Still, it cannot be dismissed as "purely politically motivated". It turnsout that the critics and the sociobiologists live in different worlds of taken-for-granted scientific and moral convictions. The conflict over sociobiology is best interpreted as a drawn-out battle about the nature of "good science" and the social responsibility of the scientist, while it touches on such grand themes as the unity of knowledge, the nature of man, and free will and determinism. The author has stepped right into the hornet's nest of claims and counterclaims, moral concerns, metaphysical beliefs, political convictions, strawmen, red herrings, and gossip, gossip, gossip. She listens to the protagonists - but also to their colleagues. She checks with "arbiters". She plays the devil's advocate. And everyone is eager to tell her the truth - as they see it. The picture that emerges is a different one from the standard view of the sociobiology debate as a politically motivated nature-nurture conflict. Instead, we are confronted with a world of scientific and moral long-term agendas, for which the sociobiology debate became a useful vehicle. Behind the often nasty attacks, however, were shared Enlightenment concerns for universal truth, morality and justice. The protagonists were all defenders of the truth - it was just that everyone's truth was different. Defenders of the Truth provides a fascinating insight into the world of science. It follows the sociobiology controversy as it erupted at Harvard in 1975 until today, both in the US and the UK. But the story goes more deeply, for instance in its account of the circumstances surrounding W.D. Hamilton's famous 1964 paper on inclusive fitness, and in the connections of the sociobiology debate to the Human Genome project and the Science Wars. General readers and academics alike will find much to savour in this book.