Denis Alexander, director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, and historian of science Ron Numbers have edited a new book of essays, Biology and Ideology: From Descartes to Dawkins. They’ll be at Heffers bookstore in Cambridge tomorrow to officially introduce the book, in which experts look at the various ways that interest groups have used science to serve their social and political agendas, from the 15th century to today.
That’s the question that thirteen thinkers, including both scientists and theologians, respond to in a new booklet of short essays published by the Templeton Foundation as part of its “Big Questions” series.
Their answers? In short:
Michael Gazzaniga: Not really.
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein: Yes and no, happily.
Aref Ali Nayed: No, it does not!
Alfred Mele: Only if we’re free.
Stanley Fish: It depends …
Christine Korsgaard: Yes, if …
Joshua Greene: Less than it should.
Jonathan Sacks: Reason isn’t enough.
John Kihlstrom: Yes, within limits.
Jonah Lehrer: Not so much.
Jean Bethke Elshtain: Not entirely.
Antonio Damasio: Yes and no.
Robert George: Yes, by nature.
In his new book, The Language God Talks, Jewish American author Herman Wouk—who turns 95 next month—draws on conversations with scientists like Richard Feynman, Murray Gall-Mann, Freeman Dyson, and Steven Weinberg, as well as key events of the 20th century, to produce a “grand summation of a lifetime of thought on science and religion.”
Want it? It can be yours, for free. Sign up for our daily news feed (top right side of our homepage)—or get a friend to sign up— then send us your email address, and we’ll enter your name into a drawing (though, unfortunately, we can only ship to U.S. and Canadian residents). The deadline is April 19 at 5 p.m., and we’ll contact the winner by email.