Today is Charles Darwin’s birthday, also known as Darwin Day. Darwin is know for the theory of evolution by natural selection, which Alfred Russel Wallace also came up with. This theory gave us a new understanding of our place in the universe and showed us that we humans are part of the natural world. Darwin became an agnostic, but believed that theism and evolution were compatible.
Thank you for this Darwin quote. In the last couple of years I finished reading “The Origin of Species”, which I started many years ago. I know, it took too long, but this wasn’t required reading for a computer scientist . I did not see anything antagonistic toward theism in it. I like the famous concluding sentence:
There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.
Late in his life, perhaps Darwin had an idea that humanity would extrapolate evolution to imply all kinds of things for which it was never intended.
Yes, it’s very poetic. Not what you usually find in a science book. And it’s been inspirational-- The late Stephen Jay Gould wrote a series for
Natural History Magazine called “This View of Life.”
And Sean Carroll wrote a book about “evo-deve” called “Endless Forms Most Beautiful.”
He would not have been happy to learn that his theory had been misapplied.
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