Darwin and Religion
Spring 2013 with H. Allen Orr
Part of Darwin's “Diagram of Divergence of Taxa”, the only diagram in On The Origin of Species. For the full diagram see here.
|PHL 256||218 Meliora Hall||Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:25pm to 4:40pm|
|H. Allen Orr||Professoremail@example.com||342 Hutchison Hall||Wednesdays 11:30am–12:30pm|
|Brad Weslake||Professorfirstname.lastname@example.org||519 Lattimore Hall||Tuesdays 11am–12pm|
This is a course on the interaction of science and religion, focusing, though not exclusively, on the historical background to and reception of The Origin of Species. The course will involve equal parts science, history, and philosophy. We will consider topics including the rise of modern science in Judeo-Christian culture, historical attitudes toward biblical literalism, and the challenges posed to religious culture in Europe and America by science, especially the appearance of Darwinism. We will also discuss Darwin's own evolving scientific, philosophical, and religious views and the relevance of Darwinism to ongoing debates over the relationship between science and religion. The course will be very reading-intensive and involve classroom discussion. It is required that students have taken a class in (and ideally be intending to major in) either Philosophy, Religion and Classics, or one of the natural sciences. Instructor permission is required; please contact Professor Weslake.
- Professor Weslake will be away for Meeting Four (30 January).
- Class participation.
- Weekly 1–2 page reading summaries.
- One 8–10 page research paper.
- One 10–12 page research paper.
The final grade will be determined as follows:
|First Research Paper:||25%|
|Second Research Paper:||40%|
|First Paper:||Wednesday 6 March|
|Second Paper:||Wednesday 1 May|
|Reading Summaries:||At the beginning of the first class for each section, with no exceptions|
Students must work independently on all written assignments. Also, any quoted passages must include a citation to the proper source from the literature. We expect all students to have read the College Honesty Policy, available here.
The following textbooks are required. They have not been ordered into the bookstore; please order copies from the links below:
Books placed on reserve can be seen here. Online video and audio resources can be seen here. A research guide on the history of science and religion, which will be updated as the course progresses, can be downloaded here [PDF]. For research assistance, students are encouraged to consult either with us or with Eileen Daly, philosophy subject librarian, who maintains a useful set of resources here.
Meeting One (Wednesday 16 January)
I. Historiography: Conflict and Harmony
No Class Monday 21 January
Meeting Two (Wednesday 23 January) and Meeting Three (Monday 28 January)
Wilson, David B. 2000. “The Historiography of Science and Religion,” in Gary B. Ferngren (Ed), The History of Science and Religion in the Western Tradition: An Encyclopedia, Garland Reference Library of the Humanities, Vol. 1833, Garland, 2000, pp. 2–11. [PDF]
Reprinted in Gary B. Ferngren (Ed), Science and Religion: A Historical Introduction, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore MD, 2002, pp. 13–29.
Reprinted in Ferngren (2002, pp. 3–12).
- Brooke (1991, Introduction and Chapter 1). [PDF]
- One of the following:
- Draper, John William. 1874. History of the Conflict between Religion and Science, D. Appleton and Company, New York, Chapters 1–2. [HTML] [GOOGLE] [LIBRARY]
- White, Andrew Dickson. 1898. A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, D. Appleton and Company, New York, Volume 1, Chapter 1, Section 1. [HTML] [GOOGLE] [LIBRARY]
- Hooykaas, Reijer J. 1972. Religion and the Rise of Modern Science, William B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids MI, 1972, Introduction and Chapter 1, pp. xi–28. [PDF] [LIBRARY]
- Cantor, Geoffrey. 2010. “What shall we do with the ‘Conflict Thesis’?”, in Thomas Dixon, Geoffrey Cantor, and Stephen Pumfrey (Eds), Science and Religion: New Historical Perspectives, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 283–298. [PDF]
Stark, Rodney. 2003. “God's Handiwork: The Religious Origins of Science”, in For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery, Princeton University Press, Princeton, pp. 121–200. [LIBRARY]
For a compressed presentation of this argument see also Stark, Rodney. 2003. “False Conflict: Christianity is Not Only Compatible With Science—It Created It”, in The American Enterprise, Vol. 14, October/November 2003, pp. 27–33. [PDF]
- Efron, Noah. 2009. “That Christianity Gave Birth to Modern Science”, in Ronald L. Numbers (Ed), Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, pp. 79–89. [PDF] [LIBRARY]
II. The Scientific Revolution
Meeting Four (Wednesday 30 January) and Meeting Five (Monday 4 February)
- Osler, Margaret J. 2009. “That the Scientific Revolution Liberated Science from Religion”, in Ronald L. Numbers (Ed), Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, pp. 90–98. [PDF] [LIBRARY]
- Brooke (1991, Chapter 2). [PDF]
- Osler, Margaret J. 2010. “Religion and the Changing Historiography of the Scientific Revolution,” in Dixon, Cantor, and Pumfrey (2010, pp. 87–110). [PDF]
- Henry, John. 2010. “Religion and The Scientific Revolution”, in Peter Harrison (Ed), The Cambridge Companion to Science and Religion, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 39–58. [PDF]
III. The Mechanical Philosophy and The Foster Thesis
Meeting Six (Wednesday 6 February) and Meeting Seven (Monday 11 February)
- Brooke (1991, Chapters 3–4).
- Harrison, Peter. 2002. “Voluntarism and Early Modern Science”, in History of Science, Vol. 40, No. 1, March 2002, pp. 63–89. [URI]
- Henry, John. 2009. “Voluntarist Theology at the Origins of Modern Science: A Response to Peter Harrison”, in History of Science, Vol. 47, No. 1, March 2009, pp. 79–113. [URI]
- Harrison, Peter. 2009. “Voluntarism and the Origins of Modern Science: A Reply to John Henry”, in History of Science, Vol. 47, No. 2, June 2009, pp. 223–231. [URI]
- Ashworth Jr., William B. 2003. “Christianity and the Mechanistic Universe,” in Lindberg and Numbers (2003), pp. 61–84. [PDF]
IV. Protestantism and Science: The Harrison Thesis
Meeting Eight (Wednesday 13 February), Meeting Nine (Monday 18 February) and Meeting Ten (Wednesday 20 February)
- Harrison (1998, Introduction and Chapters 1–4).
Ashworth Jr., William B. 1990. “Natural History and the Emblematic World View”, in David C. Lindberg and Robert S. Westman (Eds), Reappraisals of the Scientific Revolution, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 303–333. [PDF]
Reprinted in Hellyer, Marcus (Ed). 2003. The Scientific Revolution: The Essential Readings, Blackwell, Malden MA, pp. 130–156.
V. The Enlightenment and the Rise of Secular Culture
Meeting Eleven (Monday 25 February)
- Brooke (1991, Chapter 5).
- Outram, Dorinda. 2005. “Science and the Enlightenment: God's Order and Man's Understanding,” and “The Rise of Modern Paganism? Religion and the Enlightenment”, in The Enlightenment, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, Second Edition, pp. 93–125. [LIBRARY] [PDF]
- Broman, Thomas H. 2003. “Matter, Force, and the Christian Worldview in the Enlightenment,” in Lindberg and Numbers (2003), pp. 85–110. [PDF]
- Brooke, John Hedley. 2010. “Science and Secularization”, in Harrison (2010), pp. 103–123. [PDF]
VI. Natural Theology and Design Arguments before Darwin
Meeting Twelve (Wednesday 27 February), Meeting Thirteen (Monday 4 March), Meeting Fourteen (Wednesday 6 March)
Lectures: Design Arguments Old and New (Weslake)
Reprinted in Ferngren (2002, pp. 163–175).
- Brooke (1991, Chapter 6).
Focus on Sections 1–4, 8 and 12.
- Brooke, John Hedley and Cantor, Geoffrey. 1998. “Section III: Having Designs on Nature”, in Reconstructing Nature: The Engagement of Science and Religion, T. and T. Clark, Edinburgh, pp. 139–243. [URI]
- Bowler, Peter J. 1977. “Darwinism and the Argument from Design: Suggestions for a Reevaluation”, in Journal of the History of Biology, Vol. 10, No. 1, March 1977, pp. 29–43. [URI]
- Elliott Sober. 2008. “Intelligent Design”, in Evidence and Evolution: The Logic Behind the Science, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 109–188. [PDF]
Focus on Sections 2.1–2.13.
VII. Darwin: The Theory
Meeting Fifteen (Monday 18 March) and Meeting Sixteen (Wednesday 20 March)
Lectures: Evolutionary Theory Old and New (Orr)
Primary Reading (Darwin)
Darwin, Charles. 1859. On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, 1st Edition, John Murray, London, Chapters I-IV and Chapter XIV. [URI]
Reprinted in Secord (2008).
VIII. Darwin: The Person
Meeting Seventeen (Monday 25 March) and Meeting Eighteen (Wednesday 27 March)
- Brooke, John Hedley. 2010. “Darwin and Religion: Correcting the Caricatures”, in Science and Education, Vol. 19, No. 4–5, April–May 2010, pp. 391–405. [URI]
- “Introduction” and “Autobiographies”, in Secord (2008).
- Sloan, Phillip R. 2001. “ “The Sense of Sublimity”: Darwin on Nature and Divinity”, in Osiris, Vol. 16, Science in Theistic Contexts: Cognitive Dimensions 2001, pp. 251–269. [URI]
- Brooke, John Hedley. 2009. “Darwin and Victorian Christianity”, in Jonathan Hodge and Gregory Radick (Eds), The Cambridge Companion to Darwin, 2nd Ed, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 197–218. [URI]
IX. Darwin: The Reception
Meeting Nineteen (Monday 1 April)
- Brooke (1991, Chapter 8).
- Roberts, Jon H. 2010. “Religious Reactions to Darwin”, in Harrison (2010, pp. 80–102). [PDF]
- Moore, James R. 1979. “Part I: Historians and Historiography”, in The Post-Darwinian Controversies: A Study of the Protestant Struggle to Come to Terms with Darwinism in Britain and America, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 17–122. [LIBRARY]
- Turner, Frank M. 2010. “The late Victorian conflict of science and religion as an event in nineteenth-century intellectual and cultural history,” in Dixon, Cantor, and Pumfrey (2010, pp. 87–110). [PDF]
X. Darwin: Evolution, Naturalism and Chance
Meeting Twenty (Wednesday 3 April) and Meeting Twenty One (Monday 8 April) and Meeting Twenty Two (Wednesday 10 April)
- Elliott Sober. 2011. “Evolution without Naturalism”, in Jonathan L. Kvanvig (Ed), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion, Oxford University Press, Oxford, Vol. 3, pp. 187–221. [PDF]
- Elliott Sober. forthcoming. “Evolutionary Theory, Causal Completeness, and Theism—the Case of “Guided” Mutation”, in Denis M. Walsh and P. Thompson (Eds), Essays in Honor of Michael Ruse, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. [PDF]
- Beatty, John. 2006. “Chance Variation: Darwin on Orchids”, in Philosophy of Science, Vol. 73, No. 5, December 2006, pp. 629–641. [URI]
- Darwin-Gray correspondence, letters 2125, 2129, 2136, 2704, 2855, 2930, 2998, 3176, 4056, 4196, 4234, 6167 and 6206.
- Beatty, John. 2006. “Replaying Life's Tape”, in Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 103, No. 7, pp. 336–362. [PDF]
XI. Darwin: Evolutionary Debunking Arguments
Meeting Twenty Three (Monday 15 April) and Meeting Twenty Four (Wednesday 17 April) and Meeting Twenty Five (Monday 22 April)
- Barrett, Justin L. “Cognitive Science of Religion: What Is It and Why Is It?”, in Religion Compass, Vol. 1, No. 6, September 2007, pp. 768–786. [URI]
- Mason, Kelby. 2010. “Debunking Arguments and the Genealogy of Religion and Morality”, in Philosophy Compass, Vol. 5, No. 9, September 2010, pp. 770–778. [URI]
- Boyer, Pascal. 2005. “Gods and the Mental Instincts That Create Them”, in James D. Proctor (Ed), Science, Religion, and the Human Experience, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 237–259. [PDF]
- Griffiths, Paul E. and John S. Wilkins. forthcoming. “When Do Evolutionary Explanations of Belief Debunk Belief?”, in Phillip R. Sloan, Gerald McKenny, and Kathleen Eggleson (Eds), Darwin in the 21st Century: Nature, Humanity, and God, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame. [URI]
- Kelly James Clark and Justin L. Barrett. 2011. “Reidian Religious Epistemology and the Cognitive Science of Religion”, in Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 79, No. 3, Sept. 2011, pp. 639–675. [URI]
XII. Darwin: One Hundred and Fifty Years Later
Meeting Twenty Six (Wednesday 24 April) and Meeting Twenty Seven (Monday 29 April) and Meeting Twenty Eight (Wednesday 1 May)
- Brooke (1991, Postscript).
- Kitcher, Philip. 2007. “A Mess of Pottage”, in Living with Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 117–166. [PDF] [LIBRARY]
- Lipton, Peter. “Science and Religion: The Immersion Solution”, in Andrew Moore and Michael Scott (Eds), Realism and Religion: Philosophical and Theological Perspectives, Ashgate, Aldershot, pp. 31–46. [PDF]
Reprinted in Dixon, Cantor, and Pumfrey (2010, pp. 23–49).
Updated: 25 April 2013