Evolution

Portfolio: Richard Bailey

Tom Lehrer's spring isn't complete without poisoning them in the park; Dick Dastardly dratted and double-dratted himself to near-oblivion chasing one. For the rest of us, it's become all too easy to vilify them as "rats with wings".

More headlines

Don't mention dinosaurs: New York raises the bar for

Parents of children in New York are doubtless grateful to the bureaucrats huddled at the city's Department of Education, labouring to protect them from the real world beyond the school fence. Heaven forbid that their young minds should be sullied by such notions as crime, death or birthdays.

Two existential heavyweights in a gentle contest for your very soul

Oxford University held its first debate on the subject of evolution in 1860, just months after the publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species. Then, the Bishop of Winchester, Samuel Wilberforce, famously enquired of the biologist Thomas Henry Huxley whether it was through his grandmother or his grandfather that he traced his descent from a monkey.