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
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
newsJohn Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
News
i100
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?

Some couples are allowed emergency hospital weddings, others are denied the right. Kate Hilpern reports on the growing case for a compassionate cutting of the red tape
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit