The life of Charles Darwin & whether he became a Christian
Charles Darwin was not the first evolutionist! There were many prominent evolutionists who came before him. Starting in the late 1700's, there were significant evolutionary writers who influenced Charles Darwin. The list of these men includes James Hutton, Lamarck, Malthus, Dr. Erasmus Darwin, M.D. (grandfather of Charles), Sir Charles Lyell and Alfred Russel Wallace. Each of them had a profound effect on the public acceptance of evolutionary theory in the early to mid-1800's.
In order to understand the role of Charles Darwin in the scheme that would ultimately catapult him to prominence, we must first analyze his character starting from his childhood. There is an excellent (pro-Darwin, but honest) biography of Charles Darwin written by Desmond and Moore, 1991. In Darwin they quote these remembrances of his youth. "Inventing deliberate falsehoods became a regular method of seeking the spotlight . . . He would still do anything at school 'for the pure pleasure of exciting attention and surprise,' and his cultivated 'lies . . . gave [him] pleasure, like a tragedy.' He told tall tales about natural history, reported strange birds, and boasted of being able to change the colour of flowers. Once he invented an elaborate story designed to show how fond he was of telling the truth. It was a boy's way of manipulating the world."
As Darwin grew older he did not improve his character. Desmond and Moore wrote this about his adult life. "He craved recognition from his fellow geologists - approval shored up his respectability - and it drove him to finish the [HMS] Beagle reports." It was also the threat that Alfred Russel Wallace was about to publish basically the same concept as Darwin that rapidly drove him to publish his book The Origin of Species, in 1859.
Perhaps Darwin is best understood if you realize that what he accomplished was not the origination of the Theory of Evolution. His permanence came from his grasping the mood of the people in England. The great successes of the Industrial Revolution had lead people to embrace materialism. The burgeoning middle class that had barely existed only a few decades earlier, was busy convincing itself that it could pull itself up by its own bootstraps. These people were looking for an excuse that would prove that they were the captains of their own ships, the savior of their own souls.
Darwin gave these people what they wanted. He made the concept that there is no god popular and gave the people a way to make this philosophy credible. If there is no god, then all things are permissible. If there is no god, then there are no consequences. If there is no greater authority than yourself, then the rules of survival of the fittest are in effect; and, you may succeed at the cost of the life and limbs of others. The problem being that Darwin had no physical evidence to support his contention that one kind of biological life form had evolved from a previous biological life form. There was plenty of evidence for the variety of life forms on earth. His own work in the Galapagos Islands could be used to support that view. What he lacked was the evidence of transitional forms between reptiles and mammals; between single-celled organisms and multiple-celled organisms; between apes and men.
In a situation like that what does one do? One resorts to making up pretty little stories to fill in the gaps. That is what Darwin did. He even appears to have deceived himself with his own inventions. While he promoted himself as an unbiased scientist, he was really a very biased person with ample self-interest at stake. Yet, all men and women are born with two things. They have a conscience and they have a sinful nature. The word conscience means, "that by which we instantly know right and wrong." No parent has ever had to teach his or her child how to sin. There is ample evidence to show that Charles Darwin knew that the tall tales he was telling were not true; or at the very least, that he had great doubts about the evolutionary theory.
Darwin was born in 1809. Throughout his adult life he suffered continuously from severe multiple medical ailments. In 1992, The New Encyclopedia Britannica contained this description of his physical and mental health. "Some of the symptoms - painful flatulence, vomiting, insomnia, palpitations - appeared in force as soon as he began his first transmutation [evolution] notebook, in 1837. [This was the year after he returned from his five-year voyage aboard the Beagle.] Although he was exposed to insects in South America and could possibly have caught Chagas' or some other tropical disease, a careful analysis of the attacks in the context of his activities points to psychogenic origins." The term psychogenic means that the origin of these conditions was being controlled by his mind or because of his mental state. Other symptoms that he was described by others as having included: nausea, headache, sensitive stomach, spells of faintness, twitching muscles, spinning head and spots before his eyes. While I am not a medical doctor, I am sure that anyone would recognize these as symptoms of an anxiety attack. Or, to put it more accurately, he was suffering from an anxiety-caused psychoneurosis. What would cause him to have such a troubled life full of ill health? Could it be that he had no peace, because he had rejected the One who is Peace?
Charles Darwin grew up in a rapidly changing society. His home was one in which he received Christian religious influence; not so much because it was a believed in faith, but because the culture still required that people of influence had to wear the outward trappings of piety and show their respect for religion by church attendance, whether they believed or not. The religion of that time was often Pharisaical.
As a young man Darwin read the book Natural Theology (1802) by the great Biblical Scientific Creationist William Paley. In that book Paley correctly argued that if there is a watch, there must be a watchmaker. This is the classical argument for the existence of God from design. If there is design, there must be a Designer. Interestingly enough, during his twenties this book was Charles Darwin's favorite book. There was more to the religious atmosphere of his early adult life. His wife, Emma, read the Bible to his children. But, something happened to him internally as he continued to dwell on his thoughts about life, death and evolution. Some time after the unfortunate early death of his oldest daughter he remarked, "I never gave up Christianity until I was forty years old."
Darwin was an intelligent man, even though his parents once described him as being a little slow (mentally). He was fully aware that the concepts that he was dealing with, and making up pretty little stories to rationalize, would be the foundation of pure atheistic materialism. He fully understood that his writings would undermine Christianity. He fully realized that his writings were completely anti-Bible, anti-Church and anti-God. When he was a student at Cambridge, Darwin met the greatest geologist of his day, Adam Sedgwick (another Biblical Scientific Creationist). In 1861, Dr. Sedgwick read The Origin of Species (1859) and wrote a commentary on it. He stated, "From first to last it is a dish of rank materialism cleverly cooked and served up . . . And why is this done? For no other reason, I am sure, except to make us independent of a Creator."
Charles Darwin would probably have only been a footnote to history if it had not been for the support given to him by the aggressively anti-Christian, Dr. Thomas Henry Huxley, MD. Dr. Huxley was nicknamed "Darwin's Bulldog" [British, you know!] for his tenacious hatred of religion, Christians and creation. If it had not been for him dogmatically promoting Darwin we might not even think of the name.
To prove this point, let us look at two of Dr. Huxley's grandsons, Aldous and Julian. You will know the tree by looking at its fruit. Aldous Huxley was a promoter of the modern drug culture and probably the leading atheistic philosopher of the Twentieth Century. Sir Julian addressed the permeating influence of evolutionism after the promotion of it by his grandfather: "The concept of evolution was soon extended into other than biological fields. Inorganic subjects such as the life-history of stars and the formation of the chemical elements on the one hand, and on the other hand subjects like linguistics, social anthropology, and comparative law and religion, began to be studied from an evolutionary angle, until today we are enabled to see evolution as a universal and all-pervading process."
Sir Julian was the first Director-General of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). He set the tone and philosophy for UNESCO development. He stated: "It is essential for UNESCO to adopt an evolutionary approach . . . the general philosophy of UNESCO should, it seems, be a scientific world humanism, global in extent and evolutionary in background. . . . Thus the struggle for existence that underlies natural selection is increasingly replaced by conscious selection, a struggle between ideas and values in consciousness." In 1959, in a keynote address celebrating the centennial of the publication of The Origin of the Species, Sir Julian said: "Darwin's real achievement was to remove the whole idea of God as the creator of organisms from the sphere of rational discussion."
This was the mental state of the men that promoted Darwinism. But, what about the man? Charles Darwin became a man torn between the writings of Paley in Natural Theology, a brilliant work defending design, and his own desire to escape from the consequences of a personal God. Try to imagine the mental gymnastics that Darwin had to go through in order to try to persuade others that the obvious design seen in nature did not, in fact, require a Designer.
Perhaps the single greatest defender of Darwin was the late Marxist, Dr. Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard University. He clearly stated Darwin's purpose in writing Origin: "Darwin constructed the theory of natural selection in large measure as a direct refutation of the argument from design." From his internal conflict and struggle with these issues, Darwin manifested guilt. His guilt brought with it psychological problems; problems that Darwin understood philosophically.
To Darwin, evolution eliminated any plan and any purpose. If there is no plan and no purpose, then there are no rules, no roles and no laws. Under this worldview, people are only thinking animals. Darwin was proposing that we are the result of a solely naturalistic mechanism. To him there could be no outside guiding force of any kind. For him there could not be any Greater Intelligence, Designer or Creator. He knew that this concept would be faith destroying. He knew that he might be wrong. Worse, what if he were wrong? He thought about the effect that evolution theory would have on others and whether or not he could live with the consequences. The stress on him was crushing and the effect long lasting. At different times he broke out in boils; contemplated that he might be the "Devil's Chaplain"; and, referred to Origin as "my accursed book." He postponed publishing his volume for 20 years, 20 years of anguish. Only when he was faced with the imminent publishing of the same concept by Alfred Russel Wallace did he finally commit to publish his own work first.
Wallace wrote to Darwin outlining his thoughts in June of 1858. Feverishly Darwin swung into action, but he could not write for more than 20 minutes at a time before stomach pains overtook him. The day he finished the proofs, October 1, 1859, he immediately started vomiting. He wrote to a friend during this time: "I have been very bad lately; having had an awful 'crisis' one leg swelled like elephantiasis - eyes almost closed up - covered with a rash and fiery boils: but they tell me it will surely do me much good. . . . it was like living in Hell."
Desmond and Moore plainly state that Darwin was filled with "self-doubt, his nagging, gnawing fear that 'I . . . have devoted my life to a phantasy.'" He was too sick to attend the sale of his first book; too sick to attend the great debate between Thomas Huxley and Bishop Wilberforce at Oxford (June 30, 1860); and, too sick to attend the ceremony when he received the Copley Medal (November, 1864).
Darwin published Origin just before some of the greatest scientific findings of the Nineteenth Century were made known. Had he been aware of these, it is unlikely that he would have published his book.
The two single greatest questions concerning observations made in Science are: "What is there (what is present)?" and, "What is not there?" With this in mind then, let us ask the great question: "What did Darwin not know?" Darwin did not know about the discoveries of the Austrian Monk, Gregor Mendel. Mendel proved that there were laws of heredity and genetics. Mendel demonstrated that chance and randomness were not the norm, but that there was mathematical precision and accuracy in genetics. Darwin had no concept of genetics and considered that offspring came from "Blended inheritance." Darwin did not know about the Laws of Thermodynamics, only then being described by Joule, Clausius, Lord Kelvin and Pasteur. He did not know that the First Law of Thermodynamics proves that the universe cannot be the reason for its own existence. He did not know that the Second Law of Thermodynamics proves that evolution cannot happen. He did not know that the Third Law of Thermodynamics proves that evolution did not happen. Darwin did not know about the 270+ Geochronometers that we know about, proving that the earth and universe are young, much too young for evolution to be true. Darwin did not know about the incredible complexity of living cells, which were thought in his time to be nothing more than Jello on the inside. He did not know that the laws of probability could be used to show that evolution was impossible. He did not know that living cells have irreducible complexity, proving the necessity of a Designer. While it may seem unthinkable today, Darwin did not have the facts about the fossil record that we have. In his time the fossil record had only been scratched on the surface. He thought that the missing links, which were obvious in his day, would be filled in over time by others who would follow him. Today, we have more missing links than he knew about.
Knowing any one of these things would have stopped Darwin dead in his tracks. Scientific knowledge today, when taken as a whole, makes evolution theory an impossibility. But, men will defend their positions, even when untenable, if they are defending a worldview that they want to be true. In 1986, the evolutionist, Dr. Michael Denton, wrote: ". . . today it is perhaps the Darwinian view of nature more than any other that is responsible for the agnostic and skeptical outlook of the Twentieth Century."
What more can we say about Charles Darwin after noting all the things that he did not know? Those things that show that evolution could not take place, and those things that show that evolution has never taken place? Today we have an abundance of evidence that counters the various theories of evolution. Yet there are those who claim to be rational scientists and are willing to modify any piece of information in order to further promote evolutionary thinking and to circumvent the evidence.
Why do they do this? They do it because the acceptance of evolution is no longer based in science. It is based in philosophy. They do it because they want it to be true, whether or not it is true. They do it because if evolution is not true, then there are consequences, which they wish to do away with having to face.
Darwin was " . . . quite conscious that my speculations run beyond the bounds of true science . . . " He visualized his "speculations" as " . . . a mere rag of an hypothesis with as many flaw[s] and holes as sound parts." His speculations were really just pretty little stories that he made up (his usual practice) to try and make his theory sound plausible. Here is one example from an early edition of Origin of the Species. This section was removed from later editions after Darwin was criticized by his fellow evolutionists for obvious reasons:
"In North America the black bear was seen by Hearne swimming for hours with widely opened mouth, thus catching, like a whale, insects in the water. Even in so extreme a case as this, if the supply of insects were constant, and if better adapted competitors did not already exist in the country, I can see no difficulty in a race of bears being rendered, by natural selection, more and more aquatic in their structure and habits, with larger and larger mouths, till a creature was produced as monstrous as a whale."
Such "pretty little stories" did not stop with things as innocent as bears, either. Darwin and Huxley used these stories to promote their views in favor of white supremacy, human racism and extreme sexism. In 1871, Darwin published his second most famous book, The Descent of Man. In it he wrote concerning his concepts of non-whites and women:
"At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes [those from which man supposedly evolved] . . . will no doubt be exterminated. The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla."
"It is generally admitted that with women the powers of intuition, of rapid perception, and perhaps of imitation, are more strongly marked than in man; but some, at least, of these faculties are characteristic of the lower races, and therefore of a past and lower state of civilization. The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shown by man attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than woman can attain - whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands."
In response to Darwin's comments, Huxley echoed these statements with his own: "No rational man, cognizant of the facts, believes that the average Negro is the equal, still less the superior, of the white man. And if this be true, it is simply incredible that, when all his disabilities are removed, and our prognathous relative has a fair field and no favor, as well as no oppressor, he will be able to compete successfully with his bigger-brained and smaller-jawed rival, in a contest which is to be carried on by thoughts and not by bites."
Indeed, basically all nineteenth century evolutionary believing scientists were racists. They viewed African-Americans as being unredeemable, unchangeable and irrevocably inferior. In his book Outcasts from Evolution, John Haller concluded that these evolutionists believed that no artificial process of education or forced evolution would ever enable the blacks to catch up. Early twentieth century evolutionists fostered the same position. The anthropologist, Henry Fairfield Osborn, director of the American Museum of Natural History, wrote in Natural History, 1926: "The Negroid stock is even more ancient than the Caucasian and Mongolian, as may be proved by an examination not only of the brain, of the hair, of the bodily characters, such as the teeth, . . . , the sense organs, but of the instincts, the intelligence. The standard of intelligence of the average adult Negro is similar to that of the eleven-year-old youth of the species Homosapiens." Today such thinking is absurd in the highest!
Modern evolutionists fall in-line with the same method that they have learned from their famous forbearers. For example, there is the made-up story that the fossil record is in the "right order" thus proving that evolution is true. It isn't true. The fossil bearing sedimentary layers are upside down, out of order, interlaced and/or missing at any one location anywhere on the surface of the earth. Modern-day evolutionists sometimes have a problem swallowing their own stories at times about this myth.
Dr. Niles Eldridge of the American Museum of Natural History drew attention to the problem of circular reasoning used by evolutionists to date and arrange the fossil record with the following statement made in 1986: "And this poses something of a problem: if we date the rocks by their fossils, how can we then turn around and talk about patterns of evolutionary change through time in the fossil record?"
Yet, Darwinian thinking has come to permeate not only science, but also all fields of human endeavor. Following closely the implementation of an evolutionary worldview by Darwin and Huxley came men like the Russian geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky and the professor emeritus of science and the National Education Association, Ernst Mayr of Harvard. Dobzhansky stressed that evolution was to be considered a complete worldview: "Evolution comprises all the stages of the development of the universe: the cosmic, biological, and human or cultural developments. Attempts to restrict the concept of evolution to biology are gratuitous. Life is a product of the evolution of inorganic nature, and man is a product of the evolution of life."
Mayr concurred with the evolutionary worldview premise: "Man's world view today is dominated by the knowledge that the universe, the stars, the earth and all living things have evolved through a long history that was not foreordained or programmed. I am taking a new look at the Darwinian revolution of 1859, perhaps the most fundamental of all intellectual revolutions in the history of mankind. It not only eliminated man's anthropocentrism, but affected every metaphysical and ethical concept, if consistently applied."
So, Darwin's fears were well justified. His personal trauma and his psychosomatic diseases were just that; he was a man who was diseased (not at ease). His theory would cause men to lose their faith in a divine Creator, in particular the Creator of the Bible. As Darwin lost any faith in the Bible at 40 years of age, he also promulgated the same loss in the others who were to follow him.
One question remains to be asked. Did Charles Darwin become a Christian on his deathbed? This story has been circulated in the Christian community for decades. But, is it true, or is it Christian mythology; like the story that Madelyn Murray O'Hare is trying to get the Federal Communications Commission to close down all Christian radio and TV broadcasts?
Christian Mythology has a life of its own, just as any mythology does. The story that Charles Darwin became a Christian on his deathbed was supposedly first published in an American publication called The Watchman Examiner. No search of the issues of this publication has ever turned up such a story or its original source. The story was also republished in various forms in other publications including Gospel Publications, Golden, Colorado.
Let us look at the facts surrounding Darwin's death versus the story. The story published, and so often repeated, says that a "Lady Hope" is writing a personal and autobiographical account of her encounters with Charles Darwin just prior to his death. Lady Hope supposedly wrote that she had met Darwin "on one of those glorious autumn afternoons." She describes Darwin as "almost bedridden for some months before he died." She makes other references to the summerhouse and fall being the time of their meeting. She supposedly saw him reading his Bible prior to his death, even stating that "he was always studying" it.
Charles Darwin died on April 19, 1882. A large compilation of the personal correspondence was edited by his son, Francis, and published in 1919, under the title The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin. Certainly his own letters would give us the best insight into his thoughts and beliefs. He wrote the following excerpts. In response to a letter asking him about his own view of religion, Darwin wrote in 1879: "What my own views may be is a question of no consequence to any one but myself. But, as you ask, I may state that my judgment often fluctuates . . . In my most extreme fluctuations I have never been an Atheist in the sense of denying the existence of God. I think that generally (and more and more as I grow older), but not always, that an Agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind."
Darwin's colleague Thomas Huxley first coined the word agnostic. The word basically means "without knowledge." Huxley wanted to rule out any definitive role for God. Therefore, he believed that if there were a God, you could not know Him. In essence, Huxley said, "I don't know. You don't know. We don't know. If we can't know, then we don't care." A God that we cannot know is of no consequence to us. Darwin and Huxley reasoned that if there were a God, then he started the universe with the inherent ability to become more complex by itself, and then He went home to read the newspaper and was no longer interested in us.
On April 2, 1873, Darwin had written to a Dutch student in response to a similar question: "But I may say that the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God; but whether this is an argument of real value, I have never been able to decide. I am aware that if we admit a first cause, the mind still craves to know whence it came, and how it arose. . . . The safest conclusion seems to me that the whole subject is beyond the scope of man's intellect; but man can do his duty."
Within weeks of his death, Darwin wrote these additional excerpts. On February 8, 1882: " . . . no doubt the sudden appearance of perfect Trilobites and other organisms in the oldest known life-bearing strata would be fatal to evolution. But I for one and many others, utterly reject any such belief." [This was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Today we know of many fully formed multiple-celled creatures that have been found fossilized in strata that are, according to evolutionists, only supposed to contain the fossils of single-celled organisms. The fatal blow spoken of by Darwin has already been struck.]
On February 28, 1882: "Though no evidence worth anything has as yet, in my opinion, been advanced in favor of a living being, being developed from inorganic matter, yet I cannot avoid believing the possibility of this will be proved some day in accordance with the law of continuity [a veiled reference to evolution] . . . . If it is ever found that life can originate on this world, the vital phenomena will come under some general law of nature. Whether the existence of a conscious God can be proved from the existence of the so-called laws of nature is a perplexing subject, on which I have often thought, but cannot see my way clearly."
What are the discrepancies between the supposed account of Lady Hope and the facts of the last six months of Charles Darwin's life? He died in the spring, not the fall. He was not bedridden during the last months of his life. He led a fairly active life, for a man with health problems, right up to the end. In August of 1881, he and his wife had visited his brother, Erasmus [named for their famous grandfather], in London. After this trip, he wrote two short scientific papers for presentation before the Linnean Society. He continued to write large quantities of correspondence until early March 1882. On March 7, 1882, while on a short walk, he suffered a seizure. Less than eight weeks later he was dead. He was not bedridden for six months.
Darwin had first started his personal writings about "transmutation" [evolution] at the age of 28, in 1837. His first public presentation on his thoughts about evolution occurred at the Linnean Society meeting in 1858. He published Origin of the Species, in 1859, at the age of 50. From 1859 to 1872, he would publish six revised editions of his most famous book. Nowhere is Darwin seen as recanting his belief in evolution.
Was there ever a Lady Hope? Perhaps there was. Burke's Peerage, the main resource on English peerage, does list the existence of Elizabeth Reid Stapleton-Cotton, born about 1841. She married Admiral Sir James Hope, in 1877. After his death, she remarried T. A. Denny, in 1893. She died in 1922. The existence of a Lady Hope, whether the one of the story or not, however, does not make the story of Darwin's deathbed conversion true.
We do have an eyewitness account of Darwin's death. His daughter, Henrietta, wrote an account of his death, published on February 23, 1922, to refute the story of any such "Lady Hope" account. "I was present at his [Darwin's] deathbed. Lady Hope was not present during his last illness, or any illness. I believe he never even saw her, but in any case she had no influence over him in any department of thought and belief. He never recanted any of his scientific views, either then or earlier. We think that the story of his conversion was fabricated in the USA. In most of her versions [the many different versions ascribed to Lady Hope] hymn singing comes in and a summerhouse where the servants sang hymns to him. There is no such summerhouse and no servants or villagers ever sang hymns to him. The whole story has no foundation whatsoever."
What is the truth about Darwin's conversion? Did he recant his long-held belief in evolution? Did he recant his belief on his deathbed? Most assuredly not! Those who continue to distribute this story do the Name of Christ a great harm. They hold on to the story because they wish it to be true - no different than evolutionists. They think that it will help us in witnessing to others and perhaps lead to the salvation of some. Quite the opposite reality is true. If we distribute falsehoods in order to lead people to Christ, are we not guilty of using the same method used by evolutionists to prove their theory to be true? The cause of Christ is not served by the distribution of unfounded accounts; but upon the true account of His life, death, burial and resurrection! Worse, our claims are easily disproved, more easily than the claims for the validity of evolution. This being true, by what mental gymnastics can anyone hold on to such a false position?
If you know of anyone who is continuing to repeat this story, I ask that you go to him or her in the Christian spirit of correcting a brother in Christ and explain the truth of this story to him or her.
We have looked at Charles Darwin, the man. Now, let us look at his work. Prior to the publication of Origins, evolution was already a rapidly growing philosophy of The Industrial Revolution. After the publication of Origins, evolution theory would start to dominate not only dinner conversations but also the physical, social and political sciences.
Did Darwin include any undisputed facts in his book? Did he have any evidence to support his statements? Did Darwin use the Scientific Method of Proof in order to substantiate his conclusions? No!
As noted before, Darwin was basically a teller of tall tales. His methods were shoddy and lacked integrity. He would quote a single source of information and then consider this total justification for his position. This is totally inconsistent with acceptable practice in the scientific community. Or, he would cite examples in one field and apply the same statements to totally unrelated fields without advising the reader that this is what he was doing. For example, when he wrote about the sterility of hybrid crosses in animals, i. e., most mules; he reasons almost entirely from observations done with plants. His opening statement on the subject is: "Although I know of hardly any thoroughly well-authenticated cases of perfectly fertile hybrid animals, I have reason to believe that . . . " His reasoning is so convoluted and confused that his own brother, Robert, wrote to him saying: " . . . the a priori reasoning is so entirely satisfactory to me that if the facts won't fit in, why so much the worse for facts is my feeling."
Talk about being vague. These are excerpts from his Introduction to Origins. He wrote that his book was only an "abstract" of his thoughts and that he could not "here give references and authorities" in support of his position and that he "must trust the reader for reposing some confidence in my accuracy." He stated that he hoped to publish, ". . . in detail all the facts, with references" ". . . in a future work." Yeah, right! He never published any such work, nor did he even attempt to do so. He left his readers with the distinct thought that he had an entire body of work to support his statements, but he had left them out "due to a lack of space." This is a funny statement for a book that ran over 200,000 words.
Another one of his tricks was to "name drop" a specific prominent scientist as the source for this or that information. Yet, he almost never quoted a single scientific publication in support of his theory. Thus, it became difficult to check any of his "facts" by doing a search of the scientific literature. Then there is the highly hypothetical nature of his writings. It would take pages to list the number of times he used the following statements, but Origins is full of such references. He repeatedly wrote:
"I can see no insuperable difficulty in believing that" "might have been" "probably" "may perhaps" "but if this has occurred" "it is conceivable that"
Or, when nothing else were available to him, he resorted to: "Let us take an imaginary example . . . " Darwin simply suggested a possible series of events that could have led to his desired result and then claimed that he had proved his point. And, he built one layer upon another in his own work. Once having written about a particular thought in an earlier chapter, he would cite himself in a later chapter by saying: "As we have already demonstrated previously . . . " How convenient it is to quote yourself - no royalties!
Perhaps one of his more telling trademarks was the use of a technique whereby he would expend much of his writing space trying to suggest possible explanations for why the facts that he would need to support his theory were not found. He used this technique to explain away the missing links, the gaps in the fossil record. These gaps were well known in his day, although there are far more known gaps today than when he lived. For example: he said that the fossil bearing layers were only fragmentary records of the ancient past; or, that new species had evolved in remote locations where little preservation had occurred, and that they were now known only from their abundance in layers that had been deposited "later" in time.
Darwin could easily be found guilty of being devious. His motto could well have been: "If you can't win them over with your smile - baffle them with baloney." Certainly one eminent historian, Gertrude Himmelfarb, had the same opinion. In her excellent biography of Darwin (1959) she concluded: "The points were so intricately argued that to follow them at all required considerable patience and concentration - an expenditure of effort which was itself conducive to acquiescence."
In writing about Darwin's place in Victorian England, W. Irvine wrote this about Darwin and he included observations about Darwin made by his sons: "He was a slow reader, particularly in foreign languages. He could not draw. He was clumsy and awkward with his hands, and despite his interest and belief in experiment, he was in some ways oddly careless and inefficient. . . . 'He used to say to himself that he was not quick enough to hold an argument with anyone,' and his conversation was an adventure of parentheses within parentheses which often produced a stammer and sometimes terminated in unintelligibility and syntactical disaster. He wrote fairly clear and interesting English only by slowly and painfully improving the impossible, and when he took pen in hand laughingly grumbled that 'if a bad arrangement of a sentence was possible, he should be sure to adopt it.'"
Lest my readers think that I "doth protest too much." Please try reading this one sentence from Chapter V of Origins: "In these remarks we have referred to special parts or organs being still variable, because they have recently varied and thus come to differ; but we have also seen in the second chapter that the same principle applies to the whole individual; for in a district where many species of a genus are found - that is, where there has been much former variation and differentiation, or where the manufactory of new specific forms has been actively at work - in that district and amongst these species, we now find, on an average, most varieties." (Huh?)
As I, and many other Creation Scientists, routinely point out, evolutionists use circular reasoning in an attempt to prove that they are right. Darwin used the terminology, developed long before his time, of "the survival of the fittest" and "natural selection" as the forces pushing progressive evolution. Please define "the fittest" for me. When seals attack a school of fish - is it survival of the fittest, or survival of the luckiest? Isn't it a more correct statement to say, "Those who survive to leave the most offspring are those who leave the most offspring"?
When Dr. W. R. Thompson, F. R. S., wrote the introduction to the 1956 reissue of Origins, he made these honest appraisals: "The success of Darwinism was accompanied by a decline in scientific integrity." This is already evident in the reckless statements of Haeckel and in the shifty, devious and histrionic argumentation of T. H. Huxley. "To establish the continuity required by theory, historical arguments are invoked even though historical evidence is lacking. Thus are engendered those fragile towers of hypotheses based on hypotheses, where fact and fiction intermingle in an inextricable confusion."
Question: Just how many people have ever read Origins? It is seldom quoted, or even cited, by evolutionists in their modern writings. Why? Because it is not a book of science, it is a book of pure propaganda.
Charles Darwin was not a scientist. In his day he was called a Natural Philosopher; he looked at nature and made up pretty little stories about it. He was a Sophist (one who uses clever false arguments intended to deceive).