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Michael Ruse

Professor, Florida State University, Tallahassee

Michael Ruse philosopher and historian of science was born on 21 June 1940 in Birmingham England. His father William (1913–1992) was a civil servant and school bursar and his mother Margaret (1918–1953) a schoolteacher who died when Michael was 13. William was a conscientious objector and after World War II the family became involved in the Society of Friends (Quakers). Ruse attended a Quaker boarding school in York and cites his association with the Junior Friends as a significant influence on his early years.

In 1962 after completing a BA in philosophy and mathematics at Bristol University Ruse emigrated to Canada and was awarded an MA in philosophy from McMaster University in 1964. He returned to Bristol for his doctoral work and was awarded a PhD in 1970 for his dissertation “The Nature of Biology.” He taught at the University of Guelph in Ontario Canada from 1965 to 2000.

Since 2000 Professor Ruse has served as Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University. He has five children two from his marriage to April Steele in 1967 which ended in 1978 and three with Lizzie Matthews to whom he has been married since 1985.

In addition to many edited volumes his books include The Philosophy of Biology (1973) Sociobiology: Sense or Nonsense? (1979; 2nd ed. 1984) The Darwinian Revolution: Science Red in Tooth and Claw (1979; 2nd ed. 1999) Darwinism Defended: A Guide to the Evolution Controversies (1982) Taking Darwin Seriously: A Naturalistic Approach to Philosophy (1986) Monad to Man: The Concept of Progress in Evolutionary Biology (1996) Can a Darwinian Be a Christian?: The Relationship between Science and Religion (2001) and Darwin and Design: Does Evolution Have a Purpose? (2003).

Brannon Hancock
University of Glasgow