3quarksdaily: What the Bishop said to the biologist; a Victorian scandal revisited

I don’t think I agree with Paul.

There were no young earthers there, so there was no question about geological time.

Wilberforce is better than he comes over as his review in the quarterly Review showed. He was good on geology.

I would suggest there was no ID present either.

In 1860 Darwin’s was the first GOOD argument for evolution and it was very novel so many good scientists were not ready to accept it – especially if they were not biologists.


In fact botanists were most likely to accept evolution eg the evangelical Charles Babington. Also numbers of clergy accepted evolution. Geologists were liable to opposed as they tend to assume few gaps in the geological record.

Back to Wilberforce, he had attended geology lectures by Buckland every year at Oxford in the 1820s . He knew his science and was close to Owen, thus transcendental rather than mechanical natural selection


Enjoy and raise questions


Source: 3quarksdaily: What the Bishop said to the biologist; a Victorian scandal revisited

1 thought on “3quarksdaily: What the Bishop said to the biologist; a Victorian scandal revisited

  1. Paul Braterman

    Point well taken (and Darwin spoke respectfully of Wilberforce’s review). But my aim was not to scoff at the fixists because their position has sice then become untenable, but rather to draw attention to how the creationists’ issues were already raised, and to some extent dealt with, at this very early stage.

    I certainly didn’t want to suggest there was anything YECish about Wilberforce; but maintain that he did make a mistake still echoed by many stripes of creationist today, and most explicitly by the YECs, in attacking Darwin’s arguments as not meeting some definition of scientific method, which is, I maintain, a separate and less important question from whether the arguments are convincing.



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