A distinguished scholar urges scientists and religious thinkers to become colleagues rather than adversaries in areas where their fields overlap
Each age has its own crisis-our modern experience of science-religion conflict is not so very different from that experienced by our forebears, Keith Thomson proposes in this thoughtful book. He considers the ideas and writings of Thomas Jefferson and Charles Darwin, two men who struggled mightily to reconcile their religion and their science, then looks to more recent times when scientific challenges to religion (evolutionary theory, for example) have given rise to powerful political responses from religious believers.
Today as in the eighteenth century, there are pressing reasons for members on each side of the religion-science debates to find common ground, Thomson contends. No precedent exists for shaping a response to issues like cloning or stem cell research, unheard of fifty years ago, and thus the opportunity arises for all sides to cooperate in creating a new ethics for the common good.
Keith Thomson, professor emeritus of natural history at the University of Oxford and Executive Officer, American Philosophical Society, is an author, biologist, and historian of science. He has written extensively on the history of evolutionary ideas, on Charles Darwin, and most recently on Thomas Jefferson's interests in science and nature. He lives in Philadelphia, PA.