TSSP - The Discovery of Time


Like all of us, scientists are shaped by the world around them. We will explore how ideas in biology and geology were shaped by social forces, such as religious beliefs, world view, and recognized authorities. The discovery of the prehistoric world, the modern renaissance of the dinosaur, and theories of mass extinction are great examples of how science often reflects theology, philosophy and society. We will conclude with a survey of creationism and intelligent design, which remind us that philosophy can not only shape scientific theory, but replace it as well.

Class Meets:  Sat. 10-12:40 A.M.,  Science and Engineering Labs 218 (near Boggs Hall, in back of the Educational Resources Center), on Feb. 1, 15, 22

Instructor:  Dr. Bruce E. Fleury

Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Stern 4030, x8290; 865-5191 (Bio Office, 400 Boggs)
email: bfleury@.tulane.edu
home page: http://www.tulane.edu/~bfleury/

Lecture Notes


The following readings are available online: 

Futuyma, D. Hypotheses, Facts, and the Nature of Science

Gould, S.J. Velikovsky in Collision.
National Academy of Sciences. Science, Evolution, and Creationism.

Recommended reading:

Bowler, P. Evolution: The History of an Idea. University of California Press, 1989.

Desmond, A. The Hot-Blooded Dinosaurs. Dial Press, 1976.

Glen, W. (ed). Mass-Extinction Debates: How Science Works In A Crisis. Stanford University Press, 1994.

Gould, S.J. Ever Since Darwin. Norton, 1977. Ch. 17, The Reverend Thomas’ Dirty Little Planet, pp. 141-146, Ch. 18, Uniformity and Catastrophe, pp. 147-152.

Parsons, K.M. The Great Dinosaur Controversy. ABC-Clio, 2004. Ch. 2, Fearfully Great Lizards, pp. 15-31; Ch. 3, Huxley Agonistes, pp. 33-48; and Ch. 6, Cold-Blooded, Warm-Blooded, or Neither, pp. 87-104.

Raup, D.M. Extinction: Bad Genes or Bad Luck? Norton, 1991, esp. pp. 64-87.

Raup, D.M. The Nemesis Affair: A Story of the Death of Dinosaurs and the Ways of Science. Norton, 1986. Ch. 2, Catastrophism and Earth History, pp. 29-45; Ch. 4,  Gubbio and the Iridium Anomaly, pp. 61-74; Ch. 7, Enter Periodic Extinction, pp. 107-129; and Ch. 12, Belief Systems in Science, pp. 193-207.

Toulmin, S and J. Goodfield. The Discovery of Time. University of Chicago, 1965. Ch. 4, The Revival of Natural Philosophy, pp. 74-102; and Ch. 7, The Earth Acquires A History, pp. 141-170.


       Fleury's Creationism/ID Bibliography

       UCMP Berkely exhibit on the history of evolutionary thought

Andrews' creationism links and resources

National Academy of Science - Evolution resources from the National Academies

National Academy of Sciences. Science, Evolution, and Creationism (booklet)

The Wedge Document (Intelligent Design's Manifesto)

        The Fundamentals. Full text of the essays online

Return to B. Fleury's Home Page

This page was last updated on 1/17/11