In “Did Darwin believe in God” (The American Thinker, September 18, 2011), history prof Richard Weikart (who specializes in Darwin and society) responds to the by-now tiresome claim that Darwin was in some important way, a theist (claims like thisone). According to Weikart,
We should also note that Darwin’s statement about a Creator breathing life into one or a few organisms did not really reflect his private views. We know this, because later in his correspondence he expressed regret about including this statement, explaining that he had added it to deflect criticism of his theory. Darwin also speculated in his private correspondence that life had arisen without divine intervention by purely material processes.
As Darwin explained in his autobiography, after writing Origin, his residual belief in a deistic God faded. He soon became an agnostic, which is the term he often used to describe his religious position. In his autobiography, he stated: “I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic”.
By the time Darwin wrote Descent of Man in 1871, he had clearly abandoned belief in God. He even provided a completely naturalistic explanation for the origin of religion. He claimed that religion arose because people feared unknown natural forces and wrongly ascribed life to them. Darwin thought religion was a psychological mistake.
Does anyone truly understand the pathology, rampant among Christian Darwinists, to pretend that Darwin was a Christian or theist of some kind, or that it matters?
None of these points is good news for those trying to refashion Darwin into a religious believer whose evolutionary theory is no threat to religion, especially to traditional forms of Christianity.
Follow UD News at Twitter!