On 30 June 1860 at the University Museum in Oxford, at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, the case was made for the new theory of the evolution of species by natural selection as had been announced in 1859 by Charles Darwin (1809-1882) and Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913).
Supporting the proposal were Thomas Huxley (1825-1895) and Joseph Hooker (1817-1911). Against it was Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford, representing the entrenched creationist traditions of the church.

The 1860 debate on evolution is often portrayed as a confrontation between religion and science. Darwin, Huxley and Hooker were professional scientists who focussed on the advance of scientific knowledge, and were resolved not to be obstructed by religious arrogance. Their approach to science was to spread and prosper as it became increasingly free from religious dogma.

Yet how is it that today, after 150 years of scientific refinement by hundreds of thousands of scientists and endless support for evolution by natural selection, the scorn and conceit of evasive and misled creationists continues to persist?
What more can scientists, atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers do to ensure that ONLY TRUTHS are taught in British schools, and that includes fundamentalist religious schools which seem to be escaping proper inspection? Standard school curricula should be imposed insisting that the false stories of creationism are expunged from school teaching completely and forever.

Tags: Darwinism, creationsim, evolution, school teaching

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Replies to This Discussion

Today is the day!

It is exactly the 150th anniversary of that great debate on the evolution of species. The first ever.

Three cheers for Charles Darwin.
Three cheers for Thomas Huxley.
Three cheers for Alfred Russel Wallace.
What more can scientists, atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers do to ensure that ONLY TRUTHS are taught in British schools

How about making sure you teach the scientific method in schools, rather than just the conclusions?
Yes that will help.

Of course, what we need are more freethinking teachers. Many of the teachers who are fanatically religious will ignore the evolutionary truths of Darwin et al. and favour religious untruths instead.
It's a spiral, isn't it? If children are not trained to think for themselves, they don't grow into freethinking adults, and then they can't train the next generation into becoming freethinkers.

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