ALTRUISM AND THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE UNIVERSE: KIRTLEY FLETCHER MATHER ON SCIENCE AND VALUES
Article first published online: 12 AUG 2011
© 2011 by the Joint Publication Board of Zygon.
Volume 46, Issue 3, pages 517–535, September 2011
How to Cite
Davis, E. B. (2011), ALTRUISM AND THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE UNIVERSE: KIRTLEY FLETCHER MATHER ON SCIENCE AND VALUES. Zygon, 46: 517–535. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2011.01197.x
- Issue published online: 12 AUG 2011
- Article first published online: 12 AUG 2011
- administration of the universe;
- creative evolution;
- Kirtley Fletcher Mather;
Abstract. 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.