1860 June 30: 150th anniversary of the first public debate on Darwin's theory of evolution

Coming up soon is the 150th anniversary of the first public debate on natural selection between Bishop Wilberforce, Thomas Huxley and Joseph Hooker.

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 traditions of the church.

Hundreds of web sites discuss the importance of this debate, among them
http://en.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/8920154

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, and to become largely independent of religious dogma.

How sad it is that today, despite all the supporting evidence from hundreds of thousands of scientists, the arrogance and disdain of creationists still persists?—especially in the wonderfully-advanced, scientific and technological country that is America?
Only the truths of science should be taught in schools. The fictions of creationsim should be expunged at once: now and forever.

Tags: 1860 debate, Darwin, Huxley, Oxford

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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.

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