Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I see no good reason why the views given in this volume should shock the religious feelings of any one. It is satisfactory, as showing how transient such impressions are, to remember that the greatest discovery ever made by man, namely, the law of the attraction of gravity, was also attacked by Leibnitz, "as subversive of natural, and inferentially of revealed, religion." A celebrated author and divine has written to me that "he has gradually learnt to see that it is just as noble a conception of the Deity to believe that He created a few original forms capable of self-development into other and needful forms, as to believe that He required a fresh act of creation to supply the voids caused by the action of His laws.
-Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species
Darwin seems quite uninterested in the religious aspects of his theory which has thrown so many into a religious tailspin. It seems off the radar of his religious scope altogether. And in a way that is as it should be. A scientific discussion regarding those measurable things can be held in good faith between those who believe God created all and those who believe rather that there is no supernatural at all, but only things measured. "Good faith" meaning both parties believe in the measuring of things.
"The Origin of Species" in a way is no different than "Facebook" or a baseball game. Too much time playing "Farmville" or 3rd base, without spiritual exercise, is like too much time studying fossils. We are all under the eyes of God and in the heart of God. If we ignore God, we will find ourselves the worse for it. But just as Facebook and 3rd base are not unholy things, neither is "The Origin of Species." A beautiful and thorough writing, it makes a very good case. But Darwin's spirituality seems rather stunted or at least restrained, as he strives to limit himself to scientific language whereas the the source of all truth, and the ultimate origin of all is God. Read it with thanksgiving and prayer as you should do all things.
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