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Sputnik

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How did the Civil War and the Cold War affect the acceptance of evolution in the United States? Tune in to today’s program to find out. This is the second episode in a three-part series on the history behind the evolution-intelligent design controversy.

First guest essay – Caitlin McShea, “Atomic Bombs and Evolutionary Mushroom Clouds

  • Caitlin McShea is a sophomore majoring in biology and philosophy at Southwestern University. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in bioethical law.

Second guest essay – Kate Peteet, “Evolution Is Not a Dirty Word”

  • Kate Peteet is a sophomore studying art history, architecture, and design at Southwestern University. She plans to attend graduate school as well, perhaps to study pre-Columbian South American art.
  • Additional voices in the essay provided by fellow students Jennifer Pitzen and Marco Duran.

For further reading:

On the Shelf:

Audio credits:

All music on this program courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network, except where noted.

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Susan Epperson, an Arkansas teacher who challenged her state's anti-evolution law in 1968Listen to this episode.

This episode inaugurates our series on the history behind the evolution-intelligent design controversy. Today, we examine the deep history of scientific method, and how the rules evolved to the point where intelligent design cannot follow them.

Guest essay – John Burchfield and Shalane Giles, “The Evolution of Scientific Method”

  • for further reading:
    • A. J. Ayer, Logical Positivism (Free Press, 1959).
    • William A. Dembski, Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions about Intelligent Design (InterVarsity Press, 2004).
    • William A. Dembski and Michael Ruse, eds., Debating Design: From Darwin to DNA (Cambridge UP, 2004).
    • Barry Gower, Scientific Method: A Historical and Philosophical Introduction (Routledge, 2002).
    • Malachi Haim Hacohen, Karl Popper, the Formative Years, 1902-1945: Politics and Philosophy in Interwar Vienna (Cambridge UP, 2000).
    • David C. Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers, eds., When Science and Christianity Meet (University of Chicago Press, 2003).
    • Ronald L. Numbers, The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design (Harvard UP, 2006).
    • Michael Ruse, The Evolution-Creation Struggle (Harvard UP, 2006).
    • Sergio Sismondo, Introduction to Science and Technology Studies (Blackwell, 2004).
    • The TalkOrigins Archive: an online collection of articles on the evolution-intelligent design controversy, including documents from the McLean v. Arkansas case.

  • John Burchfield and Shalane Giles are both seniors at Southwestern University. John is studying political science and has ambitions of becoming a writer. Shalane is studying religion and biology; after graduation, she plans to travel and may attend graduate school.

On the Shelf:

Audio credits:

All music on this program courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network, except where noted.

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Caracol - “The Observatory” in Chichén Itzá

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This month, guest essayist Scott Lough concludes his exploration of time’s strange behavior, this time focusing on how early human societies understood and measured it.

Guest essay – Scott Lough, “The Weirdness of Time” (part 2)

  • for further reading:
    • Abel, K. Drum Songs: Glimpses of Dene History. Montreal and Kingston: McGill and Queen’s UP, 2005.
    • Aveni, A. F. “Old and new world naked eye astronomy.” In Brecher, K., Feirtag, M., (eds.), Astronomy of the Ancients (pp. 61-89). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1979.
    • Aveni, A. F. Empires of Time: Calendars, Clocks, and Culture. New York: Basic Books, 1989.
    • Aveni, A. F. Conversing with the Planets: How Science and Myth Invented the Cosmos. New York: Times Books, 1992.
    • Barbour, J. B. The End of Time. New York: Oxford UP, 1999.
    • Cobo, Bernabé. Inca Religion and Customs. Hamilton, R. (ed. and trans.), Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990.
    • Ferris, T. Coming of Age in the Milky Way. New York: Doubleday, 1988.
    • Galison, P. L. Einstein’s Clocks, Poincaré’s Maps: Empires of Time. New York: W. W. Norton, 2003.
    • Gleick, J. Faster. New York: Vintage, 2000.
    • Hawking, S. W. A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes. New York: Bantam, 1998.
    • Hesiod. Works and Days. Tandy, D. W., Neale, W. C. (eds. and trans.). Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.
    • Krupp, E. C. In Search of Ancient Astronomies. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1978.
    • Krupp, E. C. Echoes of the Ancient Skies. New York: Meridian, 1983.
    • Krupp, E. C. Beyond the Blue Horizon: Myths and Legends of the Sun, Moon, Stars, and Planets. New York: Harper Collins, 1991.
    • MacDonald, J. The Arctic Sky: Inuit Astronomy, Star Lore, and Legend. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum/Nunavut Research Institute, 2000.
    • Massie, P. “Time and Contingency in Duns Scotus.” The Saint Anselm Journal 3, no. 2 (2006): 17-31.
    • Smith, A. A., II. “Time and the Medieval World.” Philosophy Now Magazine 62 (July/Aug. 2007): 18-20.
    • Smolin, L. The Life of the Cosmos. New York: Oxford UP, 1997.
    • Staley, K. M. “Omniscience, Time, Eternity: Is Aquinas Inconsistent?” The Saint Anselm Journal 3, no. 2 (2006): 9-16.
    • Urton, G. At the Crossroads of the Earth and the Sky: An Andean Cosmology. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981.
  • Scott Lough is a husband, father, Montessori teacher trainer, educational consultant, science writer, lay preacher and resident of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, in Canada.

On the Shelf:

Audio credits:

All music on this program courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network, except where noted.

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Xhosa cattle

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This episode explores two cases when we have realized that what we thought was common sense – well – wasn’t.

Guest essay – Scott Lough, “The Weirdness of Time” (part 1)

Host essay – “Quantity vs. Quality”

On the Shelf:

Audio credits:

All music on this program courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network, except where noted.

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Bertrand Russell reading the Russell-Einstein Manifesto in Caxton Hall, London, 9 July 1955

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When did the sciences become so technical that the general public saw them as beyond its grasp? What impact does that have on the scientists’ moral obligations?

This episode transports us to two conferences that can help us answer these questions. First, you will tag along with me to the History of Science Society (HSS) annual meeting that took place recently in Washington, DC. I’ll share with you some excerpts from Ted Porter’s fascinating lecture on “How Science Became Technical.”

Then, we’ll travel back a half-century to the first Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs, a remarkable event at which 21 eminent scientists – including Leo Szilard, Joseph Rotblat, and Herman Muller – met to discuss the threat posed to world peace by thermonuclear weapons.

Segment 1 – “How the Sciences Became Technical” at the History of Science Society meeting in Washington

Segment 2 – Pugwash: Cold War Scientists and Nuclear Disarmament

On the shelf:

Jim Endersby, A Guinea Pig’s History of Biology (Harvard UP, 2007).

Audio credits:

All music on this program courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network, except where noted.

Other links:

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typhoid1.jpg

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This episode considers some of the animals – big and small, welcome and unwelcome – that have accompanied us humans on our journeys through the history of scientific and medical discovery. Of course animals have been the subject of scientific study for centuries, but what we often forget is that they aren’t simply passive subjects. Animals have their own agenda, which sometimes does and sometimes doesn’t harmonize with the agendas of the people they live with.

(You also get to hear what the host sounds like when microbes’ agendas get the better of her immune system.)

Host essay: “The Dog Who Would Be Naturalist”

Host essay: “No Flies on Me”

Audio credits:

All music on this program courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network except where noted.

Other links:

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section of berin wall painted with double helixListen to this episode.

On today’s show, we embark on the first of what I hope will be many virtual excursions together. This time we visit Berlin, Germany. This beautiful city is famous for its political and cultural past, but also has a fascinating history in science and medicine.

There is so much to examine, but this episode will focus on Charité — an institution founded as a plague hospital that ended up treating soldiers, training medical students, hosting the founding work of modern pathology, and most recently housing a history of medicine museum — and the Berlin Phonogram Archive, a founding institution for ethnomusicology and a key voice in early twentieth century evolutionary arguments about race.

Host essays: “I Feel Your Pain” and “Evolution in Four-Part Harmony”

  • for further reading/viewing/listening:
    • Eric Ames, “The Sound of Evolution,” Modernism/Modernity 10 (2003): 297-325.
    • Lazare Benaroyo, “Rudolf Virchow and the Scientific Approach to Medicine,” Endeavour 22, no. 3 (1998): 114-116.
    • Der Himmel über Berlin, aka Wings of Desire, dir. Wim Wenders (1987)
    • Arthur E. Imhof, “The Hospital in the 18th Century: For Whom?” Journal of Social History 10 (1977): 448-470.
    • Music! The Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv, 1900-2000 (Wergo, 2000).
    • Konrad Obermann, “Materialised Medical History,” The Lancet 359 (2002): 361-362.
    • Alexandra Richie, Faust’s Metropolis: A History of Berlin (New York: Carroll & Graf, 1998).
    • Londa Schiebinger, “Maria Winkelmann at the Berlin Academy: A Turning Point for Women in Science,” Isis 78 (1987): 174-200.

Audio credits:

All music on this program courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network except where noted.

Other links:

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