Arts and Entertainment

Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill, London

Last Night's TV: The Genius of Charles Darwin, Channel 4<br/>First Cut: Being Maxine Carr, More4 <br/>The Hairy Bakers, BBC2

Never mind the Olympic Games, The Genius of Charles Darwin last night offered a display of mental and verbal gymnastics the equal of anything seen on the pommel horses and asymmetric bars of Beijing, culminating in a head to head between the vast intellect of Professor Richard Dawkins and the similarly impressive mind of Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury. It was absorbing stuff, perhaps more evocative of the judo than the gymnastics, with Dawkins assuming a position of absolute certitude about evolutionary theory, and the Archbish unable to floor him even with some ingenious manoeuvring on the Virgin Birth.

Jason Byrne, Fringe Festival, Edinburgh<br/>Tim Minchin, Fringe Festival, Edinburgh

Hurrah for that scathing, embittered edge

Paperbacks: Black Mass, by John Gray

Bracing in its iconoclasm, John Gray's cyclical view of world history fuels a bleak but plausible polemic. He believes that the replacement of millenarianism by

The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing, ed. Richard Dawkins

A fine workout for agile minds

Is anybody up there?, By Paul Arnott

The only subject of this amiable but pointless work is the author himself

Evolutionists at war over altruism's origins

An intellectual war of words has broken out between two of the world's leading evolutionists. Oxford University's Richard Dawkins and Harvard's Edward Wilson have gone head to head over the evolution of altruism in the animal kingdom, and whether it can have come about as a result of something called group selection.

Review: Parky's predictability can be relaxing but what the Dickens have they done to young Twist?

Parkinson: the Final Conversation, ITV1; Oliver Twist, BBC1; Liverpool Nativity, BBC3; Make Me a Muslim, Channel 4

Virginia Ironside's Dilemmas: A grave situation

Dear Virginia, my father has only weeks to live. The problem is, he wants to take over the funeral. He has already lined up someone to give a talk and wants to vet it. All the hymns are chosen, he's even designed the headstone. My sister and I want to make some contribution, but he won't hear of it. She says once he's dead we can do what we like, but I feel uneasy. He's always been a control freak. What should we do? Yours sincerely, Helen

Aviation chief attacks oil firms over $3bn losses

The head of the world's aviation industry launched a savage attack on oil companies yesterday, blaming them for the fact that global airline losses this year are set to reach $3bn (£1.6bn).

Is 'Gerin oil' the root of all evil?

A professor blames this drug for history's major atrocities... clever readers will spot the anagram

Matthew Norman's Media Diary

How to keep everybody happy

The story of an accidental bike star

Dealing with fatal accidents hasn't deflected one paramedic from his ambition, says Tim Luckhurst
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee