Preeminent Expert on Darwinism's Effects on Education, Science and Religion
Ruse is also unafraid to boldly criticize some fellow evolutionists, such as Richard Dawkins: Ruse believes that by challenging the validity of religious beliefs, these evolutionists actually harm the public image of Darwinism. He argues, deftly, that science and religion can be harmonized.
In 1981, Michael Ruse appeared for the ACLU as an expert witness in a successful attempt to stop a bill that mandated the teaching of Genesis in Arizona's biology classrooms. He now regularly debates William A. Dempski, a known proponent of Intelligent Design.
The Evolution-Creation Struggle
More than a mere argument over science, the war of evolution vs. Creationism is really a battle between two competing worldviews. In this talk, Michael Ruse traces this battle back to the Enlightenment -- to the loss of faith in the Western world -- and reveals how these two diametrically opposed (yet, in many ways, similar) ideologies have fought for the privilege of defining human origins, moral values, and the nature of reality.
Though siding with the evolutionists, Ruse is unafraid to liken some of the more extreme proponents, such as Dawkins, to intemperate religious figures of the worst kind. With an ability to clearly explain scientific and philosophical concepts, Ruse engages the audiences in a necessary conversation, situated at the crossroads of science and religion. If Intelligent Design is a scientific dead-end, why do so many people believe in it? Why does the battle of evolution vs. Creationism loom largest in America? Ruse offers nothing less than a new and productive way of understanding this often heated discussion
The Philosophy of Human Evolution
This book provides a unique discussion of human evolution from a philosophical viewpoint, looking at the facts and interpretations since Charles Darwin's The Descent of Man. Michael Ruse explores such topics as the nature of scientific theories, the relationships between culture and biology, the problem of progress and the extent to which evolutionary issues pose problems for religious beliefs. He identifies these issues, highlighting the problems for morality in a world governed by natural selection. By taking a philosophical viewpoint, the full ethical and moral dimensions of human evolution are examined. This book engages the reader in a thorough discussion of the issues, appealing to students in philosophy, biology and anthropology.
Science and Spirituality: Making Room for Faith in the Age of Science
In Science and Spirituality: Making Room for Faith in the Age of Science, Michael Ruse offers a new analysis of the often troubled relationship between science and religion. Arguing against both extremes - in one corner, the New Atheists; in the other, the Creationists and their offspring the Intelligent Designers - he asserts that science is undoubtedly the highest and most fruitful source of human inquiry. Yet, by its very nature and its deep reliance on metaphor, science restricts itself and is unable to answer basic, significant, and potent questions about the meaning of the universe and humankind's place within it: Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the ultimate source and foundation of morality? What is the nature of consciousness? What is the meaning of it all? Ruse shows that one can legitimately be a skeptic about all of these questions, and yet why it is open for a Christian, or member of any faith, to offer answers. Scientists, he concludes, should be proud of their achievements but modest about their scope. Christians should be confident of their mission but respectful of the successes of science.
Defining Darwin: Essays on the History and Philosophy of Evolutionary Biology
Michael Ruse is one of the foremost Charles Darwin scholars of our time. For forty years he has written extensively on Darwin, the scientific revolution that his work precipitated, and the nature and implications of evolutionary thinking for today. Now, in the year marking the two hundredth anniversary of Darwin's birth and the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of his masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, Ruse re-evaluates the legacy of Darwin in this collection of new and recent essays.
Beginning with pre-Darwinian concepts of organic origins proposed by the great German philosopher Immanuel Kant, Ruse shows the challenges that Darwin's radically different idea faced. He then discusses natural selection as a powerful metaphor; Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-discoverer of the theory of evolution; Herbert Spencer's contribution to evolutionary biology; the synthesis of Mendelian genetics and natural selection; the different views of Julian Huxley and George Gaylord Simpson on evolutionary ethics; and the influence of Darwin's ideas on literature.
In the final section, Ruse brings the discussion up to date with a consideration of 'evolutionary development' (dubbed 'evo devo') as a new evolutionary paradigm and the effects of Darwin on religion, especially the debate surrounding Intelligent Design theory. Ruse offers a fresh perspective on topics old and new, challenging the reader to think again about the nature and consequences of what has been described as the biggest idea ever conceived.
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