Daily Archives: 28/05/2013
One of the celebrated incidents of the science v religion myth is the debate of Thomas Huxley with Samuel Wilberforce at Oxford in 1860. It’s presented as the clash of enlightened science with biblical obsurantism. There was no contemporary record of the debate, though, and even the famous quip of Huxley about preferring to be descended from an ape than a bishop is likely to be, at best, exaggerated. But we do have access to Wilberforce’s review of Origin of Species in the Quarterly Review, which is quite an illuminating counterbalance to the myth. It shows, once more, how much one can learn by not taking received wisdom as fact.