Área Filología y Filosofía Influence of religion on science Kelvin's religious and physical insights Thermodynamics and the age of the earth Scientific controversies in 19th century
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Sánchez-Cañizares, J. (Javier). "The impact of religion on Kelvin's physical insights. Thermodynamics and the age of the earth". Forum. 4, 2018, 103 - 122
Thermodynamics developed as a new branch of physics in the 19th century helping to go beyond a purely mechanistic understanding of nature. Among its founding fathers, it is William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) who offers a most promising perspective in order to highlight the influence of religious views in the improvement of science. In this article, I will focus on the controversy about the age of the Earth which confronted Kelvin with many geologists and defenders of the theory of evolution and I will explain the connections between Kelvin s credo and his scientific attack on uniformitarianism. Kelvin s contribution, even if ultimately proven wrong, was right in spirit and served the transition from qualitative to quantitative geology.