Debating Darwin: Recommended resources


• Mariano Artigas, et al. Negotiating Darwin: The Vatican Confronts Evolution, 1877–1902. Explores how the Vatican dealt with several nineteenth-century attempts, including Fr. John Augustine Zahm’s famous writings, to integrate evolution and Christian teaching. 

• John Hedley Brooke, Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives. Looks at various moments when science seemed to threaten established religious authority, including events surrounding Copernicus and Galileo as well as Darwin.

• Eve-Marie Engles and Thomas Glick, eds., The Reception of Charles Darwin in Europe. An extremely thorough study of how scientists and theologians responded to Darwin across a continent, from Russia to Finland to Italy to France to Spain.

• Frederick Gregory, Nature Lost? Natural Science and the German Theological Traditions of the Nineteenth Century. Discusses how, while many Christians remained curious about the relationship between natural science and theology, the German theological traditions that would later form the basis of much professional twentieth-century theology lost interest in the topic. But it was not lost to the majority of lay people or to the various theologians who spoke for them, from liberals to creationists.

• Edward Larson, Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate over Science and Religion. Presents the real story of the Scopes Trial—not the one from Inherit the Wind—in a readable and detailed historic narrative.

• David C. Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers, eds., God and Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounter of Christianity with Science and When Science and Christianity Meet. Companion books explore how Christianity and science have related to each other from the early church to the present, including Galileo’s trial, Newtonian physics, Noah’s Ark and geological discoveries, and Freud’s theories, as well as the debate over Darwin.

• David Livingstone, Darwin’s Forgotten Defenders: The Encounter between Evangelical Theology and Evolutionary Thought. Examines how nineteenth-century evangelicals like Hodge, Gray, and Warfield responded to Darwin, and the changing landscape as battle lines were drawn in the early twentieth century. 

• David Livingstone, D. G. Hart, and Mark Noll, eds., Evangelicals and Science in Historical Perspective. These essays on the encounters between evangelical Protestantism and science argue that questions of science have been central to the history of English-speaking evangelicalism.

• George Marsden, Fundamentalism and American Culture. A book we mentioned in the last issue of CH is back, this time because it discusses the roots of twentieth-century fundamentalism in nineteenth-century evangelical theology—discussing especially dispensationalism, evolution, and the Scopes Trial.

• Ronald L. Numbers, Darwinism Comes to America and The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design. The first book discusses broadly how Darwinism was received in America by Christians and unbelievers in fields ranging from science to literature to religion. The second gives a detailed account of the rise of the modern creationist movement in response to Darwin. See also his Science and Christianity in Pulpit and Pew, which includes a discussion of the scientific issues (including Darwin) most troubling to Christian lay people of the past few centuries. 

Magazine issues

Christian History has two past issues dealing with encounters between science and religion:

55: The Monkey Trial and the Rise of Fundamentalism

76: The Christian Face of the Scientific Revolution

Read back issues at or purchase print copies of available issues at

Related DVDs

Vision Video has many videos dealing with these topics, including Our Fascinating Universe; Philosophy, Science, and the God Debate; Reasonable Doubt; and Has Science Killed Christianity? These are available at


There is no shortage of websites dealing with creation and evolution. Here is a sampling.

• Darwin Online ( contains all of Darwin’s published and known unpublished writings, including Origin of Species and Descent of Man. The site also provides many reviews of and reactions to Darwin’s work from his own day, as well as a list of modern books about Darwin and his theories—everything from academic histories to articles in popular scientific and religious magazines.

• The Gifford Lectures ( are a famous set of lectures occurring every year in Scotland and dealing with issues of religion, science, and theology. The website links to videos, books, and essays about the topics of the lectures.

• The complete transcript of the Scopes Trial is online at (as part of a “Famous Trials in American History” series), along with information about the trial and its major players, pictures, articles H. L. Mencken wrote about the trial, other press coverage, and even a discussion about differences between the actual trial and Inherit the Wind.

• The Ellen G. White Estate ( has a searchable database of the writings of White, the founder of Seventh-day Adventism. Her visions of creation profoundly influenced famous Adventist creationist George McCready Price.

• In fact, most of the famous nineteenth- and early twentieth-century books mentioned in this issue, including (but not limited to!) What Is Darwinism?, Evolution and Dogma, The Fundamentals, Chalmers’s Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, LeConte’s Evolution, Guyot’s Creation, Paley’s Natural Theology, and Price’s Illogical Geology and The Predicament of Evolution are readable for free online through Google Books, Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive, and other sites.

• Modern Christian discussion of these issues occurs at a range of websites, all heirs to positions discussed in this issue—young-earth creationists at, old-earth creationists at, intelligent design proponents at, evolutionary creationists at, and sites like devoted to bringing differing groups together.

By The Editors

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #107 in 2013]

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