historical sciences

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The Scientific Status of Intelligent Design

Underlying Darwin's repudiation of creationist legitimacy lay an entirely different conception of science than had prevailed among earlier naturalists. Darwin's attacks on his creationist and idealist opponents in part expressed and in part established an emerging positivistic "episteme" in which the mere mention of unverifiable "acts of Divine will" or "the plan of creation" would increasingly serve to disqualify theories from consideration as science qua science. Read More ›
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The Demarcation of Science and Religion

What is science? What is religion? How do the two intersect? Historians of science address these questions by analyzing how the scientific and religious beliefs of particular scientists or cultures have interacted at specific times. Philosophers of science and religion, however, have sought to characterize the relationship between them in more general terms. Their endeavor has required defining science and religion in order to distinguish or "demarcate" them from each other by clear and objective criteria. During modern times, theologians and philosophers of science have attempted to make categorical demarcations between science and religion on various definitional grounds. Read More ›
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The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism

In a retrospective essay on Carl Sagan in the January 9, 1997 New York Review of Books, Harvard Genetics Professor Richard Lewontin tells how he first met Sagan at a public debate in Arkansas in 1964. The two young scientists had been coaxed by senior colleagues to go to Little Rock to debate the affirmative side of the question: “RESOLVED, that Read More ›