Friday, November 18, 2011, 4pm
"Religion and Science in Modern America", Public Forum with Edward Davis
Tucson Room, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, 2401 Ridge Road, Berkeley, CA
This talk, illustrated with numerous images, shows how Americans have debated the religious meaning of science from the 1920s (the period of the famous Scopes “Monkey trial”) right up to the present day. Dr. Davis begins with the concerns of William Jennings Bryan and the Protestant fundamentalists of the Scopes era, using cartoons about evolution to show why they so strongly opposed teaching it in public schools. Then he surveys how liberal Protestants responded to Bryan’s claims, focusing on popular pamphlets about science and religion that were written by leading scientists of the time, such as Robert Millikan, Arthur Holly Compton, and Edwin Grant Conklin. This is followed by a short look at the current situation, pointing out what has changed and what has not changed since the 1920s.