Article ID: CBB342590447

Altruism and the Administration of the Universe: Kirtley Fletcher Mather on Science and Values (2011)


Few American scientists have devoted as much attention to religion and science as Harvard geologist Kirtley Fletcher Mather (1888–1978). Responding to antievolutionism during the 1920s, he taught Sunday School classes, assisted in defending John Scopes, and wrote Science in Search of God (1928). Over the next 40 years, Mather explored the place of humanity in the universe and the presence of values in light of what he often called “the administration of the universe,” a term and concept he borrowed from his former teacher, geologist Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin. Human values, including cooperation and altruism, had emerged in such a context: “the administrative directive toward orderly organization of increasingly complex systems transcends the urge for survival.” He was also active in the early years of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science, an organization created by his good friends Ralph Wendell Burhoe and Harlow Shapley.

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Authors & Contributors
Bill Mesler
Cleaves, H. James, II
Stuart Mathieson
Wollen, Amos
D'Agostino, Salvo
Parsons, Keith M.
Science and Education
Public Understanding of Science
Physis: Rivista Internazionale di Storia della Scienza
Journal of the History of Biology
Jewish History
Oxford University Press
W. W. Norton & Co.
Prometheus Books
Harper Collins World
Science and religion
Controversies and disputes
Philosophy of science
Darwin, Charles Robert
Thomas Aquinas, Saint
McCosh, James
Laudan, Larry
Haeckel, Ernst
Time Periods
19th century
21st century
20th century
20th century, early
18th century
17th century
United States
Galapagos Islands
London (England)
Victoria Institute
Panepistēmio Athēnōn
National Science Foundation (U.S.)
Princeton University

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