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Biology and Ideology from Descartes to Dawkins - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Biology and Ideology from Descartes to Dawkins

Denis R. Alexander and Ronald L. Numbers


Over the course of human history, the sciences in general and biology in particular have often been manipulated to cause immense human suffering. For example, biology has been used to justify eugenic programs, forced sterilization, human experimentation, and death camps—all in an attempt to support notions of racial superiority. By investigating the past, including studies of René Descartes and Richard Dawkins, this book hopes to better prepare us to discern ideological abuse of science when it occurs in the future. It brings together fourteen experts to examine the varied ways science has bee ... More

Keywords: human suffering, biology, eugenics, forced sterilization, human experimentation, death camps, racial superiority, abuse of science, evolution

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780226608402
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226608426.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Denis R. Alexander, editor

Ronald L. Numbers, editor

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