Cambridge English Prose Texts consists of volumes devoted to
substantial selections from non-fictional English prose of the late
sixteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries. The series provides
students, primarily though not exclusively those of English
literature, with the opportunity of reading significant prose
writers who, for a variety of reasons (not least their generally
being unavailable in suitable editions) are rarely studied, but
whose influence on their times was very considerable. This volume
contains selections from nineteenth-century writers involved in the
debate about the relation of science and religion. It centres on
the Darwinian controversy, with extracts from The Origin Of Species
and The Descent of Man, and from opponents and supporters of
Darwin. This controversy is placed in the wider context of the
earlier debates on geology and evolution; the relation of science
to Natural Theology; the effect of Biblical Criticism on the
interpretation of Genesis; and the professionalisation of science
by aggressively agnostic scientists.
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