Sorry for the delay. I have finally found the info I was thinking of regarding Darwin and religion during last Tuesday’s class. It was from the November 2004 issue of National Geographic, in the article “Was Darwin Wrong?”, by David Quammen. According to this article, Darwin had done some studying to become a clergyman during his undergrad at Cambridge, but realized that science suited him better. Quamman even exposed the idea that the delay in the release of Darwin’s work was partially due to him not wanting to publish something that was so contrary to conventional Christian beliefs; he was especially worried about offending his wife. Darwin’s wife, Emma, was a seemingly devout Christian and “prayed for his soul” when her husband chose an agnostic belief structure.

It is interesting to note that there exists two very distinct categories that some naturalists fit into. Those that are skeptical of a God’s work in nature, like Darwin, and those that undoubtedly believe that no force other than God could have created something as magnificant, perfect and sacred as the natural world (like John Muir for instance). I’m not saying that all naturalists must fit into one or the other, just these are two categories that do exist.

3 Responses to “Darwin”

  1. Henry Balen says:

    Even in Darwin’s time I suspect people would have been more sophisticated than having a literal interpretation of the bible (and there are two creation stories in Genesis…).

  2. Garry Peterson says:

    The Evolution education wiki has fairly clear discussions of Darwin, his times, and various controversies over evolution.

    I Darwin’s time many biologists were Christians and evolutionists. An example was Darwin’s main US supporter Asa Gray.

  3. jennifer says:

    Yes, there probably were people in Darwin’s time who restrained from the literal interpretation of the bible, but that’s not to say that there weren’t people who didn’t. Even today, here in Canada, there are many people who take the bible for its literal meaning. So who’s to say that mrs. darwin wasn’t one of those people back then? who would want to crush their wife’s beliefs based on “souvenirs from a trip”?