Charles Darwin Category

Huxley, Agnosticism, and the X-Club

In assessing the “climate of opinion” in Victorian Britain, and more specifically the context of the evolution debates and narratives of conflict between science and religion that bolstered them, I have been engaging with a number of articles and books about prominent nineteenth-century dramatis personae, including Charles Darwin, Richard Owen, Thomas Henry Huxley, John Tyndall, […]

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Darwin’s Rhetoric of Positive Theology in the Origin of Species

In his Of Apes and Ancestors: Evolution, Christianity, and the Oxford Debate (2009), Ian Hesketh stresses that the Origin, “far from being the secular text it is often presented as, establishes the theory of evolution from within the Christian framework.” Indeed, “Darwin was very careful to at least appear to be writing from within the […]

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Geographies of Scientific Knowledge: Site, Region, Circulation (Part 2)

In his first chapter on “Site,” Livingstone demonstrated that science embraces a huge range of activities carried out in many venues. In heterogeneous spaces, nature is differently experienced, objects are differently regarded, claims to knowledge are adjudicated in different ways. It is only when the practices and procedures that are mobilized to generate knowledge are […]

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Thinking about Evolution – Early Evolutionism and Darwinism

A post in April discussed the connection between the “revolution” in biology and its often neglected metaphysical underpinnings. In this post I want to briefly discuss the development of early theories of evolutionism and the full implications of Darwinism. Following on from the impact of geological and paleontological discoveries in the early nineteenth century, evolutionary […]

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A Prolegomena to A History of Evolution: Taking Biology from Metaphysics

A little learning is a dang’rous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, And drinking largely sobers us again. Fir’d at first sight with what the Muse imparts, In fearless youth we tempt the heights of Arts, While from the bounded level of our mind Short views […]

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