It happened on DECEMBER 8

1864

George Boole died at age forty-nine in Ballintemple (Ireland). A mathematician and philosopher, he invented Boolean algebra and introduced the intersection, union, and complement operators habitually used in logic.
 

1865

The mathematician Jacques Hadamar was born in Versailles. He developed topology, the differential equations for partial derivatives, and integral equations, providing the fundamentals for the theory of functional analysis. We are indebted to him also for an important theorem about prime numbers.
 

1975

Theodosius Dobzhansky died in Davis (California). He was a biologist, geneticist, and philosopher of biology and was among the major 20th century scientists who studied evolutionary biology. He authored the important work Genetics and the Origin of Species (1937), in which he synthesized Mendel’s genetics with Darwin’s evolutionary theory. His philosophical thought tended toward the idea of human nature as subject to transformations and mutations, which he used to challenge the racial outlooks of his time (it should be noted that the term “nature,” as used here, does not primarily refer to the metaphysical nucleus that individuates the human being as person). Dobzhansky’s philosophical reflections on evolution are developed from the point of view of a believer, a point of view to which he remained, albeit discreetly, faithful. His work, The Biology of Ultimate Concern, published in 1967 a few years before his death, testifies to this.

2008

Peter E. Hodgson died. Born in 1928, he was a nuclear physicist who was committed to promoting dialogue between science and faith. Best known for his teaching and research at Oxford, Hodgson delved into various aspects of the history of science, particularly the seminal role of Christian revelation in the development of Western scientific thought. He was a member of numerous international associations and institutions such as the Pax Romana, of which he served as president for several years, and the scientific council to which he belonged with Jean Ladrière and Lucien Morren. Among his books are Nuclear Physics in Peace and War (1961), Christianity and Science (1990), The Philosophy Behind Physics (with T.A. Brody and L.I. de la Peña, 1993), Nuclear Power, Energy and the Environment (1999), and Theology and the New Physics (2005).

INTERS.org

Theories of Evolution: the Roots of Recent Developments

Interdisciplinary Encyclopedia of Religion and Science

The Encyclopedia, published by the Centro di Documentazione Interdisciplinare di Scienza e Fede operating at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, provides new, scholarly articles in the rapidly growing international field of Religion and Science (ISSN: 2037-2329).

Anthology and Documents

In order to make some relevant documents better known in the scientific community, the section provides key materials for study and reflection concerning the dialogue among science, philosophy, and theology.

Special Issues

We offer here a selection of Comments and Documents on special issues on Religion and Science, collected for anniversaries and/or for the relevance of the topics.