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Ian Hesketh. Of Apes and Ancestors: Evolution, Christianity, and the Oxford Debate

Assenza, Sebastian (2010) Ian Hesketh. Of Apes and Ancestors: Evolution, Christianity, and the Oxford Debate. Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science, 4 (1). pp. 262-265. ISSN 1913-0465

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Abstract

In Of Apes and Ancestors, Ian Hesketh attempts to de-mythologize the famous Oxford debate between Samuel Wilberforce, the bishop of Oxford, and Charles Darwin’s friends, Thomas Huxley and Joseph Hooker. Hooker and Huxley clashed publicly with Wilberforce at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS) in June of 1860. At issue was the scientific content and general implication of Darwin’s Origin of Species. Hesketh argues that this event is best understood as a minor episode in a complex web of personal and professional rivalries between two generations of naturalists. He further argues that Huxley aggressively reinterpreted the actual events of the debate for years afterwards, turning them into a “Galileo moment” for the nineteenth century, a moment in which science bravely stood up to religious authority and refused to back down. While his treatment of the debate and its context is well supported, the connection Hesketh draws between Huxley’s narrative and modern historiography is somewhat tenuous.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Assenza, Sebastian
Keywords: Scientific Realism; Epistemic Issues; Epistemology of Science
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Technology
General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Jordan Miller
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2021 03:09
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2021 03:09
Item ID: 17917
Journal or Publication Title: Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science
Publisher: The University of Toronto
Official URL: https://spontaneousgenerations.library.utoronto.ca...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.4245/sponge.v4i1.12020
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Technology
General Issues > Values In Science
Date: 30 August 2010
Page Range: pp. 262-265
Volume: 4
Number: 1
ISSN: 1913-0465
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17917

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