ABSTRACT

When the word 'philosophy' in each of the two apparently contradictory sentences is given the appropriate sense, then both express plain and entirely compatible truths, truths which are both in their different contexts important. This chapter begins with a consideration of a recent onslaught upon the theory of evolution by natural selection, an onslaught based primarily on philosophical misconceptions of the narrower kind. In 1980 and 1981 both Nature and New Scientist —the two journals which circulate most widely within the British scientific community —published editorial comments on and a deal of correspondence about a newly organized exhibition in the great national Natural History Museum in South Kensington, London. The chapter considers how Darwin's scientific work and personal experience affected his views about religion. It inquires what evolutionary biology does and does not imply with regard to creation, design, and the uniqueness of man.