Monday, October 18, 2010

Science Vs. Religion in Darwin's Victorian era

In the Victorian era, Science and Religion were closely intertwined. In fact, a sort of harmony existed between the two subjects and they generally complimented one another in theories and understanding. However, during the mid 1800’s radical scientific views started being used in political schemes and by the time Darwin published his Origin of Species, religion had only just begun being questioned by scientific discovery (particularly in the area of Geology).
The Origin of Species subtly proposed that, instead of being created by some higher power, man actually evolved from a lower species. He proposed that all living beings were involved in the same struggle for existence- the exact same struggle for reproductive success. In this sense, humans are no more successful or evolutionarily superior than slugs, and undoubtedly this perspective wouldn’t have been easily accepted by academics and religious characters of the Victorian era. These two posits jeopardized what was known as religious history and also was likely to jeopardize the respect and interest of those pious and self-righteous. The publication of The Origin of Species during the Victorian era was possibly the greatest catalyst in the Science vs. Religion debate and largely responsible for them both becoming autonomous.

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