ERIC Number: EJ973098
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 76
The Moral Dignity of Inductive Method and the Reconciliation of Science and Faith in Adam Sedgwick's "Discourse"
Science & Education, v21 n7 p937-958 Jul 2012
Science's inductive method required patient, humble and self-controlled behavior; Christian revelation demanded the same virtues. The discoveries of science and the truths of scripture would always harmonize as long as both men of science and men of faith conducted themselves in scrupulous accordance with their duty. So ran a central argument in "A Discourse on the studies of the university" (1833; 5th ed, 1850) by Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873), the longtime professor of geology at the University of Cambridge. This sanctification of the inductive method provided the foundation for a theistic science which (in theory) did not subordinate scientific theory to religious doctrine. This vision provided the foundation for Sedgwick's lifelong crusade against all forms of evolutionary theory. Evolution's impiety, he insisted, resulted from (and exacerbated) a failure to behave inductively. The fact that Sedgwick (in principle if not always in practice) elevated norms of behavior above systems of belief had an important and paradoxical consequence. Even though his personal hatred of evolution never cooled, his "Discourse" nonetheless provided a dominant model for younger theists to reconcile faith with Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory.
Descriptors: Evolution, Geology, Males, Behavior, Universities, Foreign Countries, Logical Thinking, Scientific Methodology, Theories, Science Education, Cognitive Processes, Beliefs, Science Instruction
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Cambridge)