Skepticism of Science

At the time of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, and other scientific revelations, there was a general distrust of science, seeing as it refuted most things that religion taught. New ideas and theories were received poorly and often ridiculed. For going against normative and comfortable beliefs at the time. In Huxley’s “Agnosticism and Christianity” he wrote, “It has been insinuated that they have adopted a new name in order to escape the unpleasantness which attaches to their proper denomination.” This line illuminates the sentiment held by many people about people who were agnostic, in that it shows how negatively they were seen since it insinuates that Agnostics were merely “infidels” under a different name. This relates to the excerpt from Edmond Gusse’s Father and Son, in the way that Gusse wrote about the rejection and ridicule his father received for postulating new scientific theories. Huxley’s analysis of popular sentiment helps to give historical context to Gusse’s writings.

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