Fw: The role of debates and wedges

From: Michael Roberts <michael.andrea.r@ukonline.co.uk>
Date: Wed Jun 29 2005 - 17:08:32 EDT

----- Original Message -----
From: Michael Roberts
To: Jack Haas
Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2005 2:15 PM
Subject: Re: The role of debates and wedges

The response after Darwin was very varied. Relatively few scientists accepted evolution and these tended not to be physicists - Kelvin, Joule etc, or geologists - Sedgwick, Phillips etc. Those who initially accepted D on evolution were mostly biologists and varied in faith p[erspective from Babbington and Tristram - evangelicals to Huxley et al. Clergy varied in their response, most were against but were OE, some sat on the fence others were more accepting. There was no simple polarisation of "church" vs scientists, that came in in the 1890s.

Initially Darwin was happy to convince a few as he thought that would be enough, as so got Huxley Hooker and others on side. Lyell disappointed him and took a few years to be convinced. Perhaps we ought to note how slow were North american geologists were to accept platetectonics/ continental drift in the 1960s. My lecturers almost mocked them for being wilful! eg Tuzo Wilson who spent the 60s denying it.

So D et al did use a wedge and hoped newer naturalists would accept evolution - which they did.

If you select 19th century responses to Darwin you can make any case out you wish.(except that Christians were YEC as only a few educated ones were)

Why shouldnt Huxley help Dallinger and still push for his humanistic wedge? After all many of us have friends with a non-christian agenda or who are active in pushing a humanist/athesitic line.

Also very human factors come in -like Huxley's loathing of Owen, a good pal of Wilberforce. Wilberforce bore no ill will to Huxley and Charles Kingsley was friendly with both Wilberforce and Huxley - hence his lampoon of both in The Water Babies.

This is long enough.

One thing we should ask is why evangelicals, especailly american, turned away from evolution after 1890 or so, with the result of the attitudes of the 1920s. (We can then ask why so many have gone YEC in recent decades)


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Jack Haas
  To: D. F. Siemens, Jr.
  Cc: TDavis@messiah.edu ; SteamDoc@aol.com ; asa@calvin.edu
  Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2005 1:33 PM
  Subject: Re: The role of debates and wedges


  Nothing that I or Bowler said would disagree with you. He (and we) have the advantage of 14 more years of literature as well.



    -------------- Original message --------------

> On Tue, 28 Jun 2005 15:55:36 -0400 Jack Haas
> writes:
> >
> > Yet Huxley and Tyndall would use the scientific work of theistic
> > evolutionist Rev. W. H. Dallinger for their own purposes and
> > reward him with membership in the Royal Society and the chance to
> > write
> > papers in the leading scientific Journals. A key factor that Ted
> > mentions is the 'professionalizing' and 'institutionalizing' of
> > science
> > - Amateurs such as Dallinger were soon shut out of the action.
> > Peter
> > Bowler, /Reconciling Science and Religion: the Debate in Early
> > Twentieth Century Britain, /2001, p. 11 notes :
> >
> > " / /There was tension in the Victori an era, of course. Religious
> > thinkers at first found the new scientific theories difficult to
> > assimilate, and to some scientists - of whom Huxley is the best
> > example
> > - went out of their way to present science as a source of knowledge
> > that
> > would supplant religious superstition. But the latter policy was at
> >
> > least as much a tactic employed by professional scientists seeking
> > recognition as it was the product of real antipathy, and many
> > commented
> > on the religious tone of Huxley's own pronouncements on the moral
> > character of agnosticism."
> >
> > Jack.
> >
> Bowler has his point of view, but the impression I got from David N.
> Livingstone, Darwin's Forgotten Defenders (Eerdmans, 1987), is that
> evangelicals had less trouble than most others in accepting evolution.
> Livingstone seems to have read all the relevant publications that have
> survived.
> Dave
Received on Wed Jun 29 17:11:45 2005

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