June 21, 1940 |
|Main interests||Philosophy of biology
Philosophy of science
|Institutions||Florida State University (2000–present)
University of Guelph (1965–2000)
Michael Ruse, FRSC (born 21 June 1940 in Birmingham, England) is a philosopher of science who specializes in the philosophy of biology and is well known for his work on the relationship between science and religion, the creation-evolution controversy and the demarcation problem in science. Ruse currently teaches at Florida State University. He was born in England, took his undergraduate degree at the University of Bristol (1962), his master's degree at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario (1964), and Ph.D. at the University of Bristol (1970).
Ruse taught at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada for 35 years. Since his retirement from Guelph, he has taught at Florida State University and is the Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy (2000–present). In 1986, he was elected as a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Canada and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Bergen, Norway (1990), McMaster University, Ontario, Canada (2003) and most recently the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada (2007). He considers himself both an atheist and agnostic, but believes that "new atheism" is a disservice to science and loathes the term "Humanist."
Ruse was a key witness for the plaintiff in the 1981 test case (McLean v. Arkansas) of the state law permitting the teaching of "creation science" in the Arkansas school system. The federal judge ruled that the state law was unconstitutional.
Ruse's 1988 book Homosexuality: A Philosophical Inquiry criticizes social constructionist views of sexual orientation. Philosopher Edward Stein argues that Ruse does not succeed in showing that social constructionism is mistaken, calling his discussion of it superficial.
Along with several other scholars, Ruse delivered the 2001 Gifford Lectures in Natural Theology at the University of Glasgow. His lectures on Evolutionary Naturalism, "A Darwinian Understanding of Epistemology" and "A Darwinian Understanding of Ethics," are collected in the edited volume The Nature and Limits of Human Understanding, (ed. Anthony Sanford, T & T Clark, 2003) Ruse debates regularly with William A. Dembski, a proponent of intelligent design. Ruse takes the position that it is possible to reconcile the Christian faith with evolutionary theory. Ruse founded the journal Biology and Philosophy, of which he is now Emeritus Editor, and has published numerous books and articles.
He has been married to his second wife, Lizzie, since 1985 and they have three children, Emily, Oliver and Edward, in addition to two from his first marriage, Nigel and Rebecca.
Selected works 
- The Darwinian revolution (1979) ISBN 0-226-73164-2
- Is science sexist? and other problems in the biomedical sciences (1981) ISBN 90-277-1250-6
- Darwinism defended, a guide to the evolution controversies (1982) ISBN 0-201-06273-9
- Sociobiology, sense or nonsense? (1st ed. 1979, 2nd ed. 1985) ISBN 90-277-1798-2
- Taking Darwin seriously: a naturalistic approach to philosophy (1986) ISBN 0-631-13542-1
- Homosexuality: a philosophical inquiry (1988) ISBN 0-631-17553-9
- The Philosophy of biology today (1988) ISBN 0-88706-911-8
- The Darwinian paradigm: essays on its history, philosophy and religious implications (1989) ISBN 0-415-08951-4
- Evolutionary naturalism: selected essays (1995) ISBN 0-415-08997-2
- Monad to man: the concept of progress in evolutionary biology (1996) ISBN 0-674-58220-9
- But is it science? the philosophical question in the creation/evolution controversy (1996) (ed.) ISBN 0-87975-439-7
- Mystery of mysteries: is evolution a social construction? (1999) ISBN 0-674-00543-0
- Biology and the foundation of ethics (1999) ISBN 0-521-55923-5
- Can a Darwinian be a Christian? the relationship between science and religion (2001) ISBN 0-521-63716-3
- The evolution wars: a guide to the debates (2003) ISBN 1-57607-185-5
- Darwin and Design: Does evolution have a purpose? (2003) ISBN 0-674-01631-9
- The Evolution-Creation Struggle (2005) ISBN 0-674-01687-4
- Darwinism and its Discontents (2006) ISBN 0-521-82947-X
- Philosophy after Darwin (2009) ISBN 0-691-13553-3
- Defining Darwin: Essays on the History and Philosophy of Evolutionary Biology (2009) ISBN 1-59102-725-X
- Science and Spirituality: Making room for faith in the age of science (2010) ISBN 0-521-75594-8
- The Philosophy of Human Evolution (2012) ISBN 0-521-11793-3
- "Testimony of Dr. Michael Ruse". AntiEvolution.org. 1981. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
- Ruse, Michael (22 March 1993). "Homosexuality: right or wrong?". Free Inquiry. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
- Stein, Edward (1998). The Mismeasure of Desire: The Science, Theory, and Ethics of Sexual Orientation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Stewart, R.B. (2007). Intelligent Design: William A. Dembski & Michael Ruse in Dialogue. New York: Fortress Press.
- Ruse, Michael (2000). Can a Darwinian be a Christian?. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- "Editorial Board". Biology and Philosophy (Springer Netherlands). ISSN 0169-3867.
- Michael Ruse's Homepage at Florida State
- Michael Ruse on Charles Darwin: Evolution Is No Monkey Business
- Can a Christian be a Darwinian? Lecture given in 2007 at The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion
- Speech by Michael Ruse 1993 to American Association for the Advancement of Science
- Biography and summary of Gifford Lectures (2001, University of Glasgow), by Dr Brannon Hancock