Tuesday, 22 December 2009

And the Pope knew then the Church was doomed...

The Vicky era (as I've decided to affectionately term 1800 - 1900, in every country in the world) was a time of great worry for the Christian clergy.  Everyone knows of Darwin now, but he wasn't the only threat.  Men like geologist Charles Lyell, the strongest opponent of the Diluvial position, argued strongly against the Church's statement of facts. 

Charles Lyell was born in Scotland, and moved to London to become a barrister.  He couldn't because of poor eyesight.  There is more information on him at Wikipedia: Charles Lyell.  Then there was the guy who published the Theory of Natural Selection.  No, it's not Charles Darwin. It was Alfred Russel Wallace, whose publication prompted Darwin to publish his own paper.

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck believed in evolution.  He thought men came from orang-outangs.  William Buckland proved that Kirkdale Cave was a prehistoric Hyena den and found elephant and hippopotamus bones.  In Yorkshire. Buckland was also a member of the clergy.

So, with all this science abounding, its no wonder the clergy began to shake in its foundations, shakes which reverberated right up through the church.  And that's when the Pope knew the Church was doomed...

Or at least, that's modern theory.  In fact, 47% of Americans believe the world is no more than 10,000 years old and that sometime in those 10, 000 years, Man was created looking as he does now.  The Church wasn't that worried.  Indeed it had its own internal problems with Young Creationists and the Old Earth Theorists. 

Next History Post (Next Tuesday, I'm sticking to post planning) will look at Church attitudes to these theories at the time, with more information on Buckland - he's fascinating.

 And I'll use the desktop so I can include pictures, yay!

Charles Darwin's Origin of Species, 150th Anniversary Edition is available at Amazon, for $6.95, if you're interested.  If not, I doubt the world will end.

The Origin Of Species: 150th Anniversary Edition

Who's your favourite Victorian scientist?
  1. Darwin
  2. Lyell
  3. Buckland
  4. John Snow
  5. Professor Challenger
  6. Dr Moreau
  7. Dr Jekyll
  8. Dr Frankenstein
  9. Lamarck
  10. Huxley
Let me know...

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