Dealing with Darwin
Place, Politics, and Rhetoric in Religious Engagements with Evolution
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
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This book has been more than a dozen years in the making. In a conversation one afternoon in March 1999 in Berkeley, California, my good friend Ron Numbers talked me into writing two books. One was on the history of the idea of humans before Adam. It eventually saw the light of day in 2008 under the title...
1. Dealing with Darwin: Locating Encounters with Evolution
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Thoughts travel. But as they journey around the world they do not move effortlessly from place to place, from site to site, from setting to setting. In different venues they mean, and are made to mean, different things. This is because the circulation of ideas is not simply about transference...
2. Edinburgh, Evolution, and Cannibalistic Nostalgia
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Robert Rainy (1826 –1906) was the undisputed leader of the Free Church of Scotland and, for more than a quarter of a century, widely acknowledged as its elder statesman. In 1874 he was appointed principal of New College in Edinburgh—the Divinity Hall of the Free Church—where he had already...
3. Belfast, the Parliament of Science, and the Winter of Discontent
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Josias Leslie Porter was deeply troubled. As he surveyed the intellectual landscape of his day, he could only discern “melancholy proofs that science and philosophy” were no longer “safe guides in the education of a people.” What disturbed him most was the widely circulated “dogma that life is evolved...
4. Toronto, Knox, and Bacon’s Bequest
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On Monday, 9 June 1884, the pages of the Toronto World were host to a spat between a certain Dr. Wild and an anonymous correspondent writing under the signature “Evolutionist.” Dr. Joseph Wild, a theological controversialist and, since 1880, firebrand minister of the Bond Street Congregational...
5. Columbia, Woodrow, and the Legacy of the Lost Cause
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Woodrow Wilson’s uncle, James Woodrow (1827–1907), was a staunch Presbyterian, a firm believer in the “divine inspiration of every word” in the Bible, and a self-proclaimed advocate of its “absolute inerrancy.”1 Ironically, it was also his fate to find himself immortalized...
6. Princeton, Darwinism, and the Shorthorn Cattle
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For a month or two in 1873, just before he entered Princeton Theological Seminary in September to train for the ministry, Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1851–1921) acted as livestock editor for the Farmer’s Home Journal of Lexington, Kentucky.1 In many ways, Warfield, who would later assume...
7. Darwinian Engagements: Place, Politics, Rhetoric
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Charles Darwin had an acute sense of place. Reflecting on what she calls the “special resonance between the man and his domestic setting,” Janet Browne insists that without it “Darwin could hardly have hoped to bring his work on natural selection and the origin of species to completion...
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Page Count: 320
Publication Year: 2014
Series Title: Medicine, Science, and Religion in Historical Context
Series Editor Byline: Ronald L. Numbers, Consulting Editor