Here is an excellent article: http://biologos.org/blog/the-heart-of-a-great-scientist. I set myself the task to maintain an attitude more like that held by Boyle.

“Christian love is no less evident in Boyle’s attitude toward individual persons in ordinary discourse. As Burnet said, “When he differed from any, he expressed himself in so humble and so obliging a way, that he never treated Things or Persons with neglect, and I never heard that he offended any one Person in his whole Life by any part of his Deportment” (Robert Boyle: By Himself and His Friends, pp. 50-51).  Boyle’s approach to intellectual opponents was identical, going out of his way on several occasions to treat their positions fairly and their persons graciously, while avoiding gratuitous ad hominem comments. Early in his scientific career, in a pioneering book devoted partly to the philosophy of science, he blazed a noble path in unambiguous prose: “I love to speak of Persons with Civility, though of Things with Freedom.” Concerning “the (very much too common) Practice of … railing at a mans Person,” as if it were “necessary to the Confutation of his Opinions, … I think such a quarrelsome and injurious way of writing does very much mis-become both a Philosopher and a Christian” (Certain Physiological Essays, in The Works of Robert Boyle, vol. 2, p. 26).”

http://biologos.org/blog/series/the-faith-of-a-great-scientist-robert-boyles-religious-life-attitudes-and-v

Ted Davis

 

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