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Science, God, and Nature in Victorian Canada

Science, God, and Nature in Victorian Canada: The 1982 Joanne Goodman Lectures

Copyright Date: 1983
Pages: 92
  • Book Info
    Science, God, and Nature in Victorian Canada
    Book Description:

    Professor Berger aims in this book to 'explore the rise, expression, and relative decline of the idea of natural history' in Canada, during the age of Victoria.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-5685-7
    Subjects: History, History of Science & Technology, Biological Sciences

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
  3. Picture credits
    (pp. viii-viii)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. ix-x)
    Neville Thompson

    The Joanne Goodman Lectures at the University of Western Ontario were established in 1975 to honour the memory of the elder daughter of Mr and Mrs Edwin A. Goodman of Toronto. The general theme of the series is the history of the English-speaking peoples, with particular attention being devoted to the countries of the Atlantic Triangle — Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Each year the university invites a distinguished scholar to deliver three public lectures to an audience of students, faculty, and members of the general community. The list at the front of this volume of those who...

  5. Preface
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  6. Illustrations
    (pp. xv-xx)
  7. 1 Science
    (pp. 3-28)

    NATURAL HISTORY WAS born of wonder and nurtured by greed, and it combined an intellectual fascination with the strange forms of life in northern America with an intense interest in exploiting new resources. These twin motives lay back of the earliest notices of plants, animals, and minerals that were recorded by the first explorers, missionaries, royal officials, Hudson’s Bay Company officers, and plant-hunters, usually professional gardeners, who searched out exotic species to adorn the greenhouses of their aristocratic patrons.

    These forays were initiated from metropolitan centres, and for a long time Canada remained in science what she was in economics...

  8. 2 God
    (pp. 31-50)

    NATURAL HISTORY WAS more than the collection of facts and more than societies for the promotion of science; it was also a way of seeing, a sensibility, and a medium for communicating something essential about nature and man’s place in it. Of the practical utility of science naturalists wrote much, for they were seeking support from a colonial society that was suspicious of the theoretical and ornamental and insistent on the directly useful; they spoke less frequently but no less eloquently of its pleasures and enchantments. Natural history blended scientific accuracy and a rigid factualism with a sense of wonder...

  9. 3 Nature
    (pp. 53-78)

    CHARLES DARWIN WAS the reluctant father of a revolution that ultimately destroyed traditional natural history and the amalgam of science and faith. WithThe Origin of Species, which he rushed into publication, under pressure of being anticipated, in 1859, Darwin made public a conviction that had grown in him for some twenty years. All living things, he had come to believe, had developed over a very long period from a single, primitive form of life. Despite the staggering detail and many illustrations that filled his book, the steps in Darwin’s argument were stated with simplicity, precision, and great persuasive force....

  10. Notes
    (pp. 79-88)
  11. Index
    (pp. 89-92)