Charles Darwin Christianity | Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution by natural selection

Charles Darwin Christianity

Was Darwin a Christian? Did he believe in God? Did he recant evolutionism when he died?

William Paley portrait.Charles Darwin's thinking and writing on the subject of evolution and natural selection caused him to reject the evidence for God in nature and ultimately to renounce the Bible, God, and the Christian faith.

Darwin's Early Religious Influences and Thoughts

Darwin did not lack religious influences in his youth. Baptized an Anglican and steeped in his mother's Unitarianism, young Charles was brought up to pray. He used to run the mile or so from home to school, concerning which he wrote,

Charles Darwin - elderly photograph."I often had to run very quickly to be on time, and from being a fleet runner was generally successful; but when in doubt I to God to help me, and I well remember that I attributed my success to the prayers and not to my quick running, and marvelled how generally I was aided."

He had dropped out of medical studies after two years at Edinburgh, and his father suggested to him the calling of an Anglican clergyman. Charles wasn't sure whether he could accept everything in the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England. However, he later wrote,

"I liked the thought of being a country clergyman. Accordingly I read with care Pearson on and a few other books on divinity; and as I did not then in the least doubt the strict and literal truth of every word in the Bible, I soon persuaded myself that our Creed must be fully accepted."

Charles Darwin - young man.During his three years of theological studies at Christ's College, Cambridge, he was greatly impressed by Paley's Evidences of Christianity and his Natural Theology (which argues for the existence of God from design). He recalled,

William Paley

“I could have written out the whole of the ‘’ with perfect correctness, but not of course in the clear language of Paley, ” and, “I do not think I hardly ever admired a book more than Paley's ‘.’ I could almost formerly have said it by heart.”

Charles Darwin photograph.In a letter of condolence to a bereaved friend at that time, he wrote of “so pure and holy a as the Bible affords, ” compared with “how useless the sympathy of all friends must appear.”

His intention to enter the ministry, he wrote, was never “formally given up, but died a ” when, on leaving Cambridge, he joined HMS Beagle as an unpaid naturalist. However, the religious influences in his life did not abate. His official position was that of gentleman companion to the captain, and for the next five years Darwin heard the Bible read and expounded on a regular basis.

Captain Robert FitzRoy was a deeply religious man who believed every word in the Bible and personally conducted divine service every Sunday, at which attendance by all on board was compulsory.

Charles Darwin portrait Charles Darwin—elderly photograph.



Charles Darwin to receive apology from...

by Celluloid_Hero

...the Church of England for rejecting evolution
The Church of England is to apologise to Charles Darwin for its initial rejection of his theories, nearly 150 years after he published his most famous work.
The Church of England will concede in a statement that it was over-defensive and over-emotional in dismissing Darwin's ideas. It will call "anti-evolutionary fervour" an "indictment" on the Church".
The bold move is certain to dismay sections of the Church that believe in creationism and regard Darwin's views as directly opposed to traditional Christian teaching

Vatican admits Darwin was right!

by Cracoucass

The Vatican claims Darwin's theory of evolution is compatible with Christianity
The Vatican has admitted that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution should not have been dismissed and claimed it is compatible with the Christian view of Creation.
Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said while the Church had been hostile to Darwin's theory in the past, the idea of evolution could be traced to St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas.
Father Giuseppe Tanzella-Nitti, Professor of Theology at the Pontifical Santa Croce University in Rome, added that 4th century theologian St Augustine had "never heard the term evolution,...

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