Richard Harries, the bishop of Oxford, and Lewis Wolpert, professor of biology as applied to medicine at University College London, locked horns last week during a debate on whether religion should provide the basis for ethics. Professor Wolpert attacked religion for being anti-democratic, while the Rt Revd Harries argued that Christian traditions have shaped the 'moral and spiritual capital' of the West. The speakers were also challenged by a lively audience in the first of a series of debates presented by The Times Higher and held at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The second debate in the Controversial Thesis series, to be held on April 22, will see Colin Blakemore, chief executive of the Medical Research Council, propose that 'two mice and a half a rat per person is a fair price to pay for medical progress'; Gill Langley, scientific adviser for the Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane Research, will oppose. Tickets: 0207 306 0055, ext. 216.