Why do Darwinists for God need to pretend that Darwin was not an atheist?
Atheists consider Darwin a hero because he was an atheist. One prominent Darwinst told UD news that explicitly.
Yet … one of the strangest characteristics of the public Darwin cult is the felt need to pretend that Darwin was some kind of believer in God. Here’s just such an attempt, on the part of Michael Bargo, Jr., in “What Darwin Said About God” at The American Thinker (September 4, 2011):
Many who are angrily anti-Darwin have not read the Origin or examined Darwin’s personal life. At Cambridge University he studied to be a minister.
Which he gave up when he became a materialist atheist – decades before he wrote Origin, as is now well known among those who can handle facts.
So why are we still hearing this feeble misdirection? It sounds a lot like Rod Dreher at the Templeton Foundation, wondering naively why people think Darwinism is allied to atheism. “Because we know the facts now, Rod, that’s why.”
Darwin often used “God” or “Creator” to avoid criticism for advancing an atheist doctrine. He told his fellow atheist friend Joseph Hooker that, and his letter – inconveniently for some – survives.
Science historian Michael Flannery, who is very familiar with this beat, comments on Bargo’s effort,
This is a fairly standard attempt (one of many) to manufacture a sanitized Darwinism making theism “safe” for his theory. This has been addressed extensively. I recommend Jonathan Wells’ “Darwin’s Straw God”, Ben Wiker’s The Darwin Myth, or my books on Alfred Russel Wallace that contrast his theistic views with those of Darwin. Those theistic views were probably the key reason that – to this day – Wallace, much the better man than Darwin, is treated with sneers by popular Darwinists.
UD News asked Flannery why people persist in these unconvincing pious tales about Darwin. He replied,
I think the specifics may vary but in general it stems from an attempt to create a perfectly noncontroversial Darwin — to place the theory itself on the same level as, say, gravity (which they typically love to equate it with). I don’t think most purveyors of this notion are lying so much as giving an expression of their faith; it’s what they want to believe and desperately want others to believe also. So they truck out some choice quotes, and unanalyzed “facts,” and put the spin on. In my experience the vast majority who believe this have not engaged in a deep or extensive reading of Darwin; certainly not his private notebooks or his letters.
But then why would they bother, so long as anyone is left to believe their pious Darwin tales? Or have them forced on them in the school system?
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