This week Associate Professor John Stenhouse (University of Otago) will present an illustrated talk about the 19th century conflict that erupted between Science and religious faith, looking at NZ scientists of the time.
In Britain, Europe and the U.S. during the second half of the nineteenth century, some influential men of science and historians claimed that Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859) triggered the latest battle in the perennial warfare between science and religion. This talk explains why this ‘warfare thesis’ has largely been abandoned by historians of science. It explains why warfare is particularly misleading in the case of the New Zealand scientific community. It makes this case by exploring the ideas, beliefs and practices of leading New Zealand men of science such as James Hector, F.W. Hutton, Julius von Haast, Walter Buller, and T.J. Parker.