Skip to main content

Inaugural Lecture: Professor Mark Harris, Chair in Natural Science and Theology

The creation-evolution debate is often taken as representative of the conflict between science and religion in modern society. For sure, it is the noisiest and most attention-grabbing manifestation of such conflict. But its tendency to polarise between either Genesis or evolution obscures many of the nuanced questions which have arisen in the historical reception of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection.

Natural Selection at New College

Edinburgh’s New College has been the academic home to some prominent scientists and theologians who have grappled with these questions since the early days of evolutionary science. Most obviously, this activity was focused through the decision to create a Chair in Natural Science in 1845 which would be occupied by a recognised scientist. The Chair became ‘extinct’ in the 1930s, but its holders made some important assessments of evolution along the way.

This lecture will outline the contributions made by the individuals who have occupied this chair, as well as some more recent figures in the evolution of science and theology at New College.

There will be a wine reception after the lecture.

All welcome.


Register to attand with Eventbrite

Professor Harris's profile