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Witches, Spirits & Science, by Dr. Richard Olson
Witches, Spirits and Science: Experimental Science and the Paranormal
in 17th Century England
“No witches, no Satan. No, Satan, no God!”
We all know about the paranormal belief in witches among commoners in Early Modern England. But did scientists also believe in witches, witchcraft, and spirits? How did they react to the social and cultural pressures to find evidence of the spiritual world? Just how far did scientists go in their investigations? Historian of science Richard Olson explores the fascinating connections between experimental science and the belief in witches and spirits in the transitional age between medieval superstitions and modern scientific methodology.
Dr. Olson is the author of the highly acclaimed Science Defended, Science Defined, a magisterial history of science and its effects on culture and religion from Babylonia to the 18th century. He is best know for his interdisciplinary talents in drawing connections between people and ideas through the sweep of science, culture, and history. Olson is professor of History of Science at Harvey Mudd College, Claremont Graduate School, CA.
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