Many people, notably Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, argue – or are taken to argue – that the chief effect of The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin was to finish off Christianity. I shall argue that the story is more complex – and interesting – than this. Darwin’s chief achievement was to show how the design-like nature of organisms – the hand, the eye, the heart – can be explained by unbroken law, without direct need of a reference to a Designer, a deity like the Demiurge in Plato’s Timaeus. Having offered up such an explanation, the way was opened for sound non-belief, although almost always non-believers – agnostics and atheists – take their stance less on science and more on grounds of theology and philosophy.
Not what they usually say themselves.
The lecture is sponsored by Center for Religious Studies at Central European University.