Darwin discussion forum

Lectures and events
Publication Date
Professor Steve Jones
Professor Richard Holloway FRSE

Video details

Two centuries after the birth of Charles Darwin, and 164 years after the publication of his book On the Origin of Species, there is still debate about his theory of evolution.

Recordings from a discussion forum organised by the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Young People’s Committee, offering opportunities for young people to engage in debate and allowing them to draw their own conclusions.

Evolution is one of the few processes described by scientists which is challenged not just on the details and accuracy of the theory using experiments and observation, but also on the basis of religious views. When Darwin eventually worked out his theory of evolution through natural selection, his concern for the views of the church seriously influenced how long it took him to discuss his big ideas in public.

Religion in its many forms is just as crucial to some people now as it was in Darwin’s time. This debate and workshop aimed to separate out scientific evidence from religious beliefs, enabling students to openly discuss the issues and make up their own minds about where they fit in the spectrum of views on how evolution and religion can co-exist.

One of the speakers, Richard Holloway, brought his religious perspective to the debate, having devoted much of his life to religious thinking and having been the Bishop of Edinburgh. He is also someone who takes seriously the ethical issues faced by everyone with the big advances in technology, genetics and medicine. He has written numerous books and been involved in radio and TV.

Our second speaker was Steve Jones a professor of genetics, author and broadcaster, who is an outstanding researcher in evolutionary biology and ecological genetics and who understands the scientific process of using experiments and collecting evidence to test theories. Steve is also an excellent communicator, taking his ideas and views to more general audiences through writing, radio and TV.





Professor Steve Jones
Professor of Genetics at UCL, author and broadcaster
Former Bishop of Edinburgh, and author

Discussion reports