Anti-Darwinism in France: Science and the Myth of Nation

Abstract: 

It is difficult to comprehend how France could have reacted so negatively to the much anticipated arrival of Darwin's theories. France had been a pioneer. Lamarck had staked a claim early in the century. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire had followed in Lamarck's footsteps, and his debates with Georges Cuvier had garnered the attention of the intellectual community as well as the public at large. Auguste Comte had added philosophy and method. Claude Bernard and Pasteur had kept France at the forefront of the international scientific community with their all-important findings. In reality, a host of factors contribute to dolorous rejection. A tainted translation of The Origin of Species, the very institution of French bureaucratic science, aging and inflexible French scientists, and even Pasteur's own discoveries bolster an effort to preserve both the national myth and the church. (FH)

Author: 
Henry, Freeman G
Release Year:
Volume: 
1999 Spring-Summer; 27(3-4): 290-304