Re: [asa] Denomenational Change

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Fri Oct 23 2009 - 09:02:00 EDT

This matter of the Orthodox view of evolution is very interesting. I know
almost nothing about current views on this. However one of the people I've
done research on, Columbia physicist Michael Idvorsky Pupin, a leading
scientist from the early 20th century, was also a leading public
intellectual at the time. And, he used his platforms to advance a subtly
Orthodox and loudly orthodox position on religion and science.

Pupin was president of the AAAS in 1925, the year of the Scopes trial, and
he was absolutely a TE. He was also the only scientist of his stature from
that period that I have yet found, who was genuinely orthodox theologically
and also an evolutionist. (The fact that he wasn't a Protestant could be a
factor here, since the rest of the people I've looked at were all

His colleague at Columbia, Dobzhansky, was likewise (obviously) an
evolutionist and also an Orthodox believer, but I don't think he counts as
orthodox theologically.

Details on Pupin's beliefs and attitudes are found in "Cosmic Beauty,
Created Order, and the Divine Word: The Religious Thought of Michael
Idvorsky Pupin (1858-1935).” In Nicolaas Rupke (ed)., Eminent Lives in
Twentieth-Century Science and Religion (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang,
2007), pp. 197-217. An abstract is at A slightly revised
version has just appeared in the second edition of this book, which is still
probably not yet in American libraries; the first edition is hard enough to
get ahold of but ought to be available by ILL from a good library.


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Received on Fri Oct 23 09:03:22 2009

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