"with one hand on The Origin of Species and the other on the new testament"

 On the Origin of Species (1859) is an important scientific work by Charles Darwin, which sets out his theory of evolution by natural selection. This theory challenged the Catholic Church's doctrine that God created all life on earth. Having one hand on Darwin's book and the other on the New Testament of the Bible was therefore a rather contradictory position to be in.

Darwin, together with Freud, fundamentally altered society in the 19th century.