There is a very curious feature about the portrayal of scientists in these magazines. The most fulsome praise is to be found in the more religious publications. What then of any supposed conflict between science and religion? In Good Words Kelvin was, as we have seen, noble, pure and reverent, Aitkin courageous and indefatigable, but elsewhere we can also read of the labours of Lister, the philanthropy of Perkin, the fearlessness and resource of Ramsay, the perseverance and determination of Edison, and the love of truth and patience of Newton.1 Even Darwin, of all people, is admired for having ‘sound judgement, unwearied industry, absence of prejudice, a passionate love of truth, and withal abounding charity, all different aspects of real religion’.2 Courage, patience, modesty, selflessness, the moral efficacy of scientific practice made scientists ideal material for that genre of moralistic literature that had been so common earlier in the nineteenth century.
KeywordsGerminal Gall Microbe Fishing Nism
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- 5.Mona Caird, ‘Scientific popery’, Clarion, 29 December 1894, p. 6. Caird was calling for scepticism over the claims for a new anti-toxin treatment for diphtheria. The rejection of a new scientific priesthood and the abandonment of the Christian faith left many like Sidgwick, Myers and Butler ‘between science and religion’. See Frank M. Turner, Between Science and Religion: The reaction to scientific naturalism in late Victorian England (London, 1974).Google Scholar
- 8.Richard D. French, Anti-vivisection and Medical Science in Victorian Society (London, 1975), p. 230.Google Scholar
- 9.Owen Chadwick, The Victorian Church (London, 1966), pt II, p. 35.Google Scholar
- Frank M. Turner, Between Science and Religion: The reaction to scientific naturalism in late Victorian England (London, 1974), and ‘The Victorian conflict between science and religion: a professional dimension’, Isis, 69 (1978), pp. 356–76.Google Scholar
- See also Susan Budd, Varieties of Unbelief: Atheists and agnostics in English society, 1850–1960 (London, 1977).Google Scholar
- 16.F. le Gros Clark, Paley’s Natural Theology: Revised to harmonize with modern science (London, 1885).Google Scholar
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- 35.Henry Drummond, Natural Law in the Spiritual World (London, 1883).Google Scholar
- 44.A.M. Thompson, preface to Robert Blatchford, My Eighty Years (London, 1931), p. ix.Google Scholar
- 51.John Kent, From Darwin to Blatchford: The role of Darwinism in Christian apologetics, 1875–1910 (London, 1966).Google Scholar
- 52.Blatchford’s position has much in common with German evolutionary socialism. See Alfred Kelly, The Descent of Darwin: The popularisation of Darwinism in Germany, 1860–1914 (Carolina, 1981), andGoogle Scholar
- Hugh MacLeod, ‘Religion in the British and German labour movements, c. 1890–1914’, Bulletin of the Society for the Study of Labour History, vol. 51 (1986), pt 1, pp. 25–35.Google Scholar
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