Biology and Ideology from Descartes to Dawkins
Over the course of human history, the sciences, and biology in particular, have often been manipulated to cause immense human suffering. For example, biology has been used to justify eugenic programs, forced sterilization, human experimentation, and death camps—all in an attempt to support notions of racial superiority. By investigating the past, the contributors to Biology and Ideology from Descartes to Dawkins hope to better prepare us to discern ideological abuse of science when it occurs in the future.
Denis R. Alexander and Ronald L. Numbers bring together fourteen experts to examine the varied ways science has been used and abused for nonscientific purposes from the fifteenth century to the present day. Featuring an essay on eugenics from Edward J. Larson and an examination of the progress of evolution by Michael J. Ruse, Biology and Ideology examines uses both benign and sinister, ultimately reminding us that ideological extrapolation continues today. An accessible survey, this collection will enlighten historians of science, their students, practicing scientists, and anyone interested in the relationship between science and culture.
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2 Biology atheism and politics in eighteenthcentury France Shirley A Roe
3 Eighteenthcentury uses of vitalism in constructing the human sciences Peter Hanns Reill
Paley Darwin and the Bridgewater Treatises Jonathan R Topham
5 Race empire and biology before Darwinism Sujit Sivasundaram
6 Darwins choice Nicolaas Rupke
7 Biology and the emergence of the AngloAmerican eugenics movement Edward J Larson
10 Evolution and the idea of social Progress Michael Ruse
11 Beauty and the beast? Conceptualizing sex in evolutionary narratives Erika Lorraine Milam
12 Creationism intelligent design and modern biology Ronald L Numbers
13 The ideological uses of evolutionary biology in recent atheist apologetics Alister E McGrath
8 Genetics eugenics and the Holocaust Paul Weindling
9 Darwinism Marxism and genetics in the Soviet Union Nikolai Krementsov