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

Relatives of Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin: Family Man, Scientist and Skeptic

Though often depicted as an old man, this photograph shows Charles Darwin in the 1850s.

The new film "Creation, " starring Paul Bettany as Charles Darwin, opens Jan. 22. The film premiered at last year's Toronto International Film Festival, but was slow to find a U.S. distributor because, according to the film's producer Jeremy Thomas, Darwin's theory of evolution was too much of a "hot potato" in America.

Darwin has indeed been a polarizing figure, especially among some fundamentalist Christians and "intelligent design" creationists who believe that his theory of evolution makes God irrelevant.

The film focuses on Darwin writing "On the Origin of Species, " and on his deeply religious wife, Emma, and their torment over the death of their daughter, Annie.

Charles Darwin is of course best known as an evolutionary scientist, but there is a lesser-known side to the man. Steeped in the ways of science, Darwin was also a skeptic who demanded good evidence for extraordinary claims. His skepticism — along with that of his father — would also make for a compelling movie plot.

Darwin's correspondence to friends, family, and colleagues reveals he held very skeptical views about psychics, the paranormal, and alternative medicine. For example, in a Sept. 4, 1850, letter to his second cousin Rev. William Darwin Fox, Darwin was scathingly dismissive of psychic powers (clairvoyance) and homeopathy:

"You speak about Homeopathy; which is a subject which makes me more wrath, even than does Clairvoyance: clairvoyance so transcends belief, that one’s ordinary faculties are put out of question, but in Homeopathy common sense & common observation come into play, and both these must go to the Dogs, if the infinetesimal doses have any effect whatever." (Here Darwin is referring to the illogical homeopathic premise that tiny amounts of a drug are more effective than larger doses.)

Darwin then notes that in order for homeopathy to be scientifically tested, it would need to be studied against a control group: "How true is a remark I saw the other respect to evidence of curative processes, viz that no one knows in disease what is the simple result of nothing being done, as a standard with which to compare Homeopathy & all other such things. It is a sad flaw, I cannot but think in my beloved Dr. Gully, that he believes in everything..."

SAS Publishing SPike's 'Origin of Relatives'
eBooks (SAS Publishing)

The complete works of Charles Darwin online

by pelon

This site currently contains more than 50,000 searchable text pages and 40,000 images of both publications and handwritten manuscripts. There is also the most comprehensive Darwin bibliography ever published and the largest manuscript catalogue ever assembled. More than 150 ancillary texts are also included, ranging from secondary reference works to contemporary reviews, obituaries, published descriptions of Darwin's Beagle specimens and important related works for understanding Darwin's context.
Most of the editions provided here appear online for the first time such as the first editions of Journal of Researches [or Voyage of the Beagle] (1839), The descent of Man...

H.M.S. Beagle, the famous ship that

by garyd777

Took Charles Darwin on his 1831-1836 voyage around the world, had a rather mundane history following her return to England.
She was transferred by the British Navy to the Customs and Excise Department and was used to catch smugglers along the southeast coast of England.
The Beagle was finally sold for scrap in 1870 after 50 years of service.


by GodAlmighty

Charles Darwin confesses evolution is a hoax: We received an E-mail in 2003-SEP which said that evolution is a hoax. Darwin just "thought it up" and presented it as truth even though he knew it had no evidence to back it up. It is doubtful that anyone reading Darwin's books (On the origin of species, The descent of man, The voyage of the Beagle: Charles Darwin's Journal of Researchers, Charles Darwin's Zoology Notes and Specimen Lists from H.M.S. Beagle, and his autobiography) could come to this conclusion. His finding that evolution happened and happens through natural selection is based on a massive number of observations of nature

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