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20 - The Physical Sciences

from Part IV - Classical Modernity: Philosophical and Scientific Currents

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 September 2021

Michael Ruse
Affiliation:
Florida State University
Stephen Bullivant
Affiliation:
St Mary's University, Twickenham, London
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Summary

‘Scientist equals atheist’ seems a truism of popular psychology. The average person on the street appears to expect this equation to be true; scientists, people seem to think, are by necessity atheists. If not, it is cause for astonishment and mostly explained away as an exception to the rule. Conservative religious people see a direct causal relationship, fearing that science leads to atheism; fundamentalists ‘know’ this to be the case, and proponents of the so-called New Atheism agree most fervently (Young 2009).

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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References

Bibliography

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Further Reading

Brooke, J. H. 1991. Science and Religion. Some Historical Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. A thorough historical treatment of the relationship between science and religion.Google Scholar
Edis, T. 2013. ‘Atheism and the rise of science’, in Bullivant, S. and Ruse, M. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Atheism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 398413. A brief but balanced and useful overview; good to get oneself started.Google Scholar
Gillispie, Ch. C. 1959. Genesis and Geology, A Study in the Relations of Scientific Thought, Natural Theology, and Social Opinion in Great Britain, 1790–1850, 2nd edition. New York:Harper & Row. Still a good, balanced and useful introduction into the topic of geology and religion.Google Scholar
Hyman, G. 2010. A Short History of Atheism. London: I. B. Tauris. A fascinating history of theology as it pertains to atheism.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kölbl-Ebert, M. 2009. Geology and Religion: A History of Harmony and Hostility. London: Geological Society of London. A series of conference papers on the history of geology and religion, including two papers by theologians.Google Scholar
LeDrew, S. 2016. The Evolution of Atheism: The Politics of a Modern Movement. New York: Oxford University Press. An interesting and readable introduction into political and scientific atheism.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rupke, N. A. 1983. The Great Chain of History: William Buckland and the English School of Geology (1814–1849). Oxford: Clarendon Press. A history of the establishment of geology in Oxford, including ample references to its religious context.Google Scholar

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