April 1989
volume 1 (1)




Oliver R. Barclay
Pages: 1-2


The Conflict Metaphor and its Social Origins

Colin A. Russell
Pages: 3-26


The origins of the widespread myth of an endemic conflict between science and religion are principally to be located in a sustained campaign last century by T. H. Huxley and the scientific naturalists for hegemony in Victorian Britain. In this the members of the X-Club played a prominent role. A main part of their strategy to liberate science from clerical control (as they saw it) was to portray the Darwinian debacle as characteristic of the relations between science and religion in general. Their efforts were aided by highly polemic, Whiggish attempts at historiography in the USA by J. W. Draper and A. D. White.


In What Sense can a Computer ‘Understand’?

Donald M. MacKay
Pages: 27-39


Computers can in principle carry out many and perhaps all of the functions of the brain. This does not mean that they can think or understand. In debate with behaviourism and with J. Searle it is maintained that brains do not understand. Understanding is something that agents do. It is however possible to devise artificial agents embodied in a computer, but it is the agent and not the computer that understands. This gives no reason for claiming that such artificial agents can think, or are conscious centres of awareness as we are.


New Ideas of Chaos in Physics

J. T. Houghton
Pages: 41-51


Chaotic behaviour in physical systems is described and examples given. Some implications for the limits of scientific prediction in areas where this applies are discussed–especially in weather prediction. Its bearing on a reductionist approach to such areas, its possibly constructive uses and its relevance to the debates about physical determinism are explored briefly.


Capra on Eastern Mysticism and Modern Physics: A Critique

Robert K. Clifton Marilyn G. Regehr
Pages: 53-74


Fritjof Capra’s The Tao of Physics, one of several popularizations paralleling Eastern mysticism and modern physics, is thoroughly critiqued and his implicit claim that science validates an Eastern mystical world view is challenged.


Book reviews

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Science and Creation

John Polkinghorne (C. A. Russell)
Pages: 75-77

The Bible in The British Museum

T. C. Mitchell (D. J. Wiseman)
Pages: 77-78

Water into Wine?

Robert A. H. Larmer (Gordon E. Barnes)
Pages: 78-81

The Primeval Universe

Jayant V. Narlikar (R. L. F. Boyd)
Pages: 81-83

Ideas of Human Nature

Roger Trigg (Paul Helm)
Pages: 83-84

Being and Relation

Carver Yu (John H. Chamberlayne)
Pages: 84-86

Manufacturing Humans

D. Gareth Jones (Barrie Britton)
Pages: 86-87

In The Name of Eugenics

Daniel J. Kevles (Caroline Berry)
Pages: 87-88

Medicine in Crisis

Ian L. Brown and Nigel M. de S. Cameron (eds.) (R. K. M. Sanders)
Pages: 88-89


R. Higginson (E. C. Lucas)
Pages: 90-91

The Open Mind and Other Essays

Donald M. MacKay (Richard H. Bube)
Pages: 91-93

Ecological Imperialism

Alfred W. Crosby (J. H. Paterson)
Pages: 94-95

The Idea of Prehistory

Glyn Daniel and Colin Renfrew (Norma Emerton)
Pages: 95-96