Abstract and Keywords
Although this chapter acknowledges the scientific contributions made by Quakers, it principally addresses the broader question of how Quakers have engaged with the sciences. It begins with a discussion of the religiously motivated attitudes towards nature—and the study of nature—by Edward Burrough, William Penn, and other early Quakers. Friends have subsequently been especially active in the fields of botany, astronomy, anthropology, and, more recently, the study of the environment. Science has featured prominently in Quaker schools and many Friends have pursued careers in science. A major theme in this chapter is whether the pursuit of science is justifiable on ethical grounds; while Quakers have generally been enthusiastic about science, including the theory of evolution, it has also been subjected to various Quaker-based criticisms.
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