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 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.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 448
Weight: 612 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 28 mm
"These fascinating, well-referenced, discussions, covering such causes celebres as Paley, Lysenko, and Dawkins, will surely be of value to the teacher and student, to practicing scientist and those interested in the relationship between science and society."
--David E. Packham "Metascience "