Society • Most of Europe went through a period of rapid industrialization and urbanization, and the conditions of the poor in the cities was the cause of much concern. The works of the novelist Charles Dickens often exposed the wrongs of nineteenth century society. • In response to these hardships, many charities were born in the nineteenth century. • But it has to be said that, in an era when most people still professed to be Christians, they must also have been the owners of factories, mines and land who employed workers, amongst them women and young children, for long hours at low wages. Most of those who exploited and mistreated their servants, must also have been religious believers. • "Victorian values" were often repressive and hypocritical, and there was much intellectual reaction against them. Science • The most influential publication of the nineteenth century was Charles Darwin's Origin of Species. • Published in 1859, it described evolution by natural selection over millions of years and confirmed what many had suspected, that the Genesis creation story was not literally true. • Many people became agnostics when they learnt how life on earth evolved and realized that there was no need for a god to have created it and that Earth and all the life forms on it were not created in six days, though others continued to prefer the biblical account. Religion • it was a period of doubt and loss of faith for many thoughtful people. • Humanist thinking developed rapidly in the nineteenth century because it was closely associated with new scientific thinking and discoveries. Darwin's ideas, and new biblical research and scholarship coming from Germany, provoked a crisis of faith in many Victorian intellectuals, movingly evoked in Matthew Arnold's famous poem Dover Beach. Darwin's defender T H Huxley, coined the word "agnostic" to describe his belief that there were things that we could not possibly know. • The German theologian and philosopher Feuerbach attacked conventional Christianity in a book translated by Mary Ann Evans / George Eliot asThe Essence of Christianity (1854), and suggested that religion was "the dream of the human mind", projecting onto an illusory god our own ideals and nature. German scholarship also demonstrated that the books of the Bible were fallible human constructions, not divine revelation. Philosophy • Moral philosophy became increasingly detached from religion. • Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill developed a "Utilitarian" definition of and basis for goodness. • Friedrich Nietzsche attacked Judeo-Christian morality. • The American psychologist William James speculated about the roots and varieties of religious experience.