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Private Doubt, Public DilemmaReligion and Science since Jefferson and Darwin$
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Keith Thomson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300203677

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300203677.001.0001

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Debates and Academics

Debates and Academics

(p.107) Chapter Seven Debates and Academics
Private Doubt, Public Dilemma

Keith Thomson

Yale University Press

This chapter considers the debates on Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Darwin's theory was first introduced to the public at the Linnean Society of London in 1858, as part of a joint presentation with naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace. The “Darwin debate” held at Oxford in June 1860 is perhaps one of the most well-known, with several participating British scholars, including Bishop Samuel Wilberforce, Thomas Henry Huxley, and Joseph Hooker. This Oxford debate, however, is not as crucial as it seems, since the issue of Darwinism and the origin of new species had already been debated in the United States. The latter part of the chapter focuses on these debates involving botanist Asa Gray, geologist William Barton Rogers, and zoology professor Louis Agassiz, with Gray and Rogers opposing Agassiz's defense of the Special Creations theory.

Keywords:   theory of evolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, Darwin debate, Samuel Wilberforce, Thomas Henry Huxley, Joseph Hooker, Asa Gray, William Barton Rogers, Louis Agassiz, Special Creations theory

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