“The most pestilential book ever vomited from the jaws of hell”

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5th July 2016

“The most pestilential book ever vomited from the jaws of hell”

By Sylvia Nickerson Radicalism and science at the publisher John Chapman In the latter nineteenth century several British doctors, philosophers and naturalists embraced scientific principles as the ones upon which society should best form itself for the future. The theory of evolution, the atomic theory of matter and the theory of the conservation of energy were the core theories upon which this new group hoped to reshape society for the…

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3rd May 2016

What’s the best way to think about creationists?

By Jeffrey Guhin Michelangelo, The Fall and Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, Sistine Chapel What’s the best way for non-creationists to think about creationists?  Some view them, unhelpfully, as inescapably anti-modern, utterly unwilling to face facts.  This unwillingness is often supposed to be linked to religion itself, with religious belief understood as diametrically opposed to the scientific process.  Science, we are told, is about facing facts, being open to…

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25th November 2015

Science and Secularisation

In November 2015 the celebrated historian of science, Professor John Hedley-Brooke gave a seminar at Newman University (UK) on the chequered history of science and religion. Professor Hedley-Brooke, a former Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre at the University of Oxford, presented a skilful overview of the history of science and religion, challenging the thesis…

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11th August 2015

Edward Burnett Tylor and the Evolution of Religion

By Efram Sera-Shriar Edward Burnett Tylor (1832-1917) may not be a household name today, but during the second half of the nineteenth century the Victorian anthropologist and scientific naturalist was a figurehead for anthropology throughout the British Empire. At his seventy-fifth birthday in 1907, his former student and friend Andrew Lang (1844-1912) argued that ‘he who would vary from Mr. Tylor’s ideas…

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14th July 2015

Why I am not a Christian: Bertrand Russell on Science and Religion

By Sylvia Nickerson The philosopher, logician and peace activist Bertrand Russell lived for almost a century, with his life spanning from the late-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. He grew up in Britain at the height of its empire, and lived through much of the twentieth century’s major upheavals including two European world wars, the rise of communism, women’s emancipation, America’s rising imperialism and the cold war. By the age…

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