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The Christian B. Anfinsen Papers

Title:
Letter from Henry Margenau to Christian B. Anfinsen pdf (89,071 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Henry Margenau to Christian B. Anfinsen
Description:
This is the first in a series of four letters exchanged between Henry Margenau (1919-1997), a professor of physics at Yale University, and Anfinsen. In this letter, Morgenau asked Anfinsen to respond to a series of six questions on the scientist's views regarding the relationship between science and religion.
Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (89,071 Bytes)
Date:
1988-06 (June 1988)
Creator:
Margenau, Henry
Recipient:
Anfinsen, Christian B.
Rights:
Reproduced with permission of Liesel Margenau.
Subject:
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Religion and Science
Relation:
Metadata Record Letter from Christian B. Anfinsen to Henry Margenau (June 28, 1988) pdf (108,317 Bytes) transcript of pdf
/ps/access/KKBBHF.pdf
Metadata Record Letter from Henry Margenau to Christian B. Anfinsen (March 13, 1989) pdf (49,349 Bytes) transcript of pdf
/ps/access/KKBBHG.pdf
Metadata Record Letter from Christian B. Anfinsen to Henry Margenau (March 28, 1989) pdf (44,241 Bytes) transcript of pdf
/ps/access/KKBBHH.pdf
Box Number: 12
Folder Number: 4
Unique Identifier:
KKBBHD
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Language:
English
Format:
application/pdf
image/tif
Physical Condition:
Good
Series: Correspondence, 1965-1999
SubSeries: Chronological Files, 1965-1999
Folder: 1989 March-May
Transcript:
As you are well aware, the history of science has periodically been punctuated by fierce battles between scientists and theologians. Several modern scientists and scientific theories, however, have been surprisingly sympathetic to religious issues. I recall that my late teachers/colleagues/friends, Einstein, Schroedinger and Heisenberg, who were all distinguished scientists, had a passionate interest in religious questions. Theories like the Big Bang, black holes, quantum theory, relativity, and the Anthropic Principle have introduced science to a world of awe and mystery that is not far removed from the Ultimate Mystery that drives the religious impulse. These twentieth century trends seem to call for a new metaphor in describing the relationship of science and religion.
Nowhere is the tension between science and religion more pronounced than in the origin issues: the origin of the universe, the origin of life and the origin of homo sapiens. As a scientist and a philosopher of science for over forty years, I have reflected on these questions in my books FOUNDATIONS OF PHYSICS, THE NATURE OF PHYSICAL REALITY and THE MIRACLE OF EXISTENCE.
These issues have now drawn me to an even more extensive exploration. I would like to map modern scientific perspectives on these issues. To this end, I am working on an origins anthology project with a science journalist. This project entails a compilation of views on the three main origin issues from the most noted scientists of the present day.
You would honor me greatly by responding to the questions I have outlined below before October 1988. Your responses will be included in the anthology I will be editing to be titled ORIGINS: SCIENTIFIC PERSPECTIVES. Sir John Eccles, the Nobel Prize winning neurophysiologist who has been described as one of the greatest brain scientists of the century, has kindly agreed to write the foreword to ORIGINS.
These are the questions to which I would like you to respond:
1. What do you think should be the relationship between religion and science?
2. What is your view on the origin of the universe: both on the scientific level - and if you see the need - on a metaphysical level?
3. What is your view on the origin of life: both on a scientific level - and if you see the need - on a metaphysical level?
4. What is your view on the origin of homo sapiens?
5. How should science - and the scientist - approach origin questions, specifically the origin of the universe and the origin of life?
6. Many prominent scientists - including Darwin, Einstein and Planck - have considered the concept of God very seriously. What are your thoughts on the concept of God and on the existence of God?
I look forward to hearing from you. With many thanks.
Sincerely,
Henry Margenau
Metadata Last Modified Date:
2009-03-12
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