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Why do “Darwinists for God” need to pretend that Darwin was not an atheist?

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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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4 Replies to “Why do “Darwinists for God” need to pretend that Darwin was not an atheist?

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Here is a pretty good short summary of the descent into darkness of Charles Darwin’s faith:

    Was Darwin a Christian? Did he believe in God? Did he recant evolutionism when he died?
    http://www.christiananswers.net/q-aig/darwin.html

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Recent Video of Dr. Kirk Durston – Opening Argument – Is God Necessary for Morality?
    http://vimeo.com/21298262

    ==================

    Here is a gem of a video of Dr. Durston from a few years ago:

    Intelligent Design – Kirk Durston
    http://vimeo.com/1775160

  3. 3
    forests says:

    This is not something that can ever be worked out, theres evidence that Darwin was an agnostic, an atheist, but others say theres evidence he was a deist, we also have this quote here from Darwin himself in a letter:

    “This follows from the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting, I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist.”

    In reality, It does not make any difference what his religious beliefs were the bottom line is that Darwin was a downright dirty materialist, and infact stole many of his ideas from others. Even more is that Darwin was ofen confused about his own beliefs and what he was saying, he had hesitations, doubts, and uncertainties about his thesis, he was a confused man, in poor mental health. Read the book “evolution without evidence: Charles Darwin and the origin of the species” by Barry Gale to see all evidence for this.

    Somewhere down the line Darwins name came synonymous with atheism.

    Infact the majority of atheists consider Darwin alone evidence for atheism, On a school trip last year I happened to visit Darwin’s house. In the book shop they were selling Richard Dawkins books on stands all over the place,the book shop is how you enter Darwins House at the reception point, so it’s almost the first thing you see when you get there ie “the God delusion”.

    People just need to forget about Darwin, the real man was Alfred Wallace. Michael Flannery has written an excellecent book about Wallace, and his theory of “Intelligent” evolution as opposed to Darwins.

  4. 4
    News says:

    forests, this is something that does not need to be worked out because now that all Darwin’s private papers are available, we know the facts. He was a materialist atheist who didn’t want to frighten the old ladies or the horses. He used “God” as a seasoning to throw people off the scent. And why not? It sure worked.

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