Science Versus the Bible: Debating T.H. Huxley
Gladstone debated T.H. Huxley on two separate occasions in the British review Nineteenth Century. The disputes eventually became part of the lore in the modern war between science and religion. Americans were divided both about Gladstone’s attempts to harmonize the Bible with modern science and about his methods of biblical interpretation. For Catholics and conservative evangelicals alike, he emerged as an effective defender of the faith. Unitarian and progressive-orthodox opinion, however, considered his efforts a setback to the cause of faith. Theological liberals shared neither his explanations nor his belief that the Bible contained revealed truth about science. Peterson makes it clear that Gladstone was no biblical fundamentalist, but also reveals that his views had become passé in elite academic circles. The era of the amateur naturalist was over.