The Cycle of Life:
An History of Experimental Ecology

Divinity Library
Sterling Memorial
Kline Sciences
Medical Historical
Exhibit Map

The concept of the cycle of life in the laboratory sciences has often been closely associated with religious ideas. Concepts such as rejuvenation, reincarnation, and the life cycle reflect a similar holistic view of the universe that included spiritual realms. The relationship between these religious concepts and those in science require the historian to examine a scientist's own beliefs and how that person expressed those ideas in both theory and experimental programs.

Case 1
  William Paley, Natural Theology, 1794
  Carl Linnaeus, Nemesis Divina, 1758
  George Gregory, The Economy of Nature, 1804
 Case 2
  Vladimir Vernadsky, Biosphere and Noosphere, 1939
  Pierre Teilard de Chardin, Human Energy, 1969
  Pierre Teilard de Chardin, The Heart of Matter, 1978
Case 3
  John Neale Dalton, The Book of Common Prayer, 1920
  Joan Halifax, The Fruitful Darkness, 1993
  Hans Dirk van Hoogstraten, Deep Economy, 2001
  Lynn Margulis and Dorian Sagan, The Garden of Microbial Delights, 1993
  Nina Witoszek and Andrew Brennan, eds., Philosophical Dialogues, 1999
  Roger S. Gottlieb, ed., This Sacred Earth, 2004




Lloyd Ackert
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Yale University
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