They still distinguished between diluvial and alluvial deposits, but Sedgwick no longer thought these deposits were connected with noah's flood by the time he taught Darwin, though the debate continued. Darwin's notes show him increasingly discounting "debacles" to account for such formations. It was only later that glaciation was accepted as the source of these deposits. 31 lyell's second volume explained extinctions as a "succession of deaths" due to changed circumstances with new species then being created, but Darwin found giant fossils of extinct mammals with no geological signs of a "diluvial debacle" or environmental change, and so rejected lyell's explanation. 32 On the galápagos Islands he remained convinced by lyell's idea of species spreading from "centres of creation 33 and assumed that species had spread from the mainland rather than originating on these geologically recent volcanic islands. He failed to note locations of most of his finds, but fortunately recorded mockingbirds and plant life with more care. 5 34 In Australia, reflecting on the marsupial kangaroos and potoroos, he thought them so strange that an unbeliever "might exclaim 'surely two distinct Creators must have been at work; their object however has been the same certainly the end in each case is complete. "Now what would the disbeliever say to this? Would any two workmen ever hit on so beautiful, so simple yet so artificial a contrivance?
25 he later wrote "I do not think i hardly ever admired a book more than Paley's Natural Theology : I could almost formerly have said it by heart." 26 he read John Herschel 's new Preliminary discourse on the Study of reviews Natural Philosophy, learning. This exemplified the natural theology that Darwin had learnt in previous years. 22 27 he also read Alexander von Humboldt 's Personal Narrative, and the two books were immensely influential, stirring up in him "a burning zeal to add even the most humble contribution to the noble structure of Natural Science." 23 voyage of the beagle edit. He returned to find that his arrangements had fallen through, but was given the opportunity to join the beagle survey expedition as a gentleman naturalist and companion to captain Robert Fitzroy. 29 Before they left England Fitzroy gave darwin a copy of the first volume of Charles lyell 's Principles of geology, the subject which would be his primary work. Darwin was questioning from the outset, and in his first zoology notes he wondered why deep-ocean plankton had been created with so much beauty for little purpose as no one could see them. 30 he saw landforms as supporting lyell's Uniformitarianism which explained features as the outcome of a gradual process over huge periods of time, and quickly showed a gift for theorising about the geology he was examining. He concluded that the land had indeed risen, and referred to loose rock deposits as "part of the long disputed Diluvium". Around 1825 both lyell and Sedgwick had supported William Buckland 's Catastrophism which postulated diluvialism to reconcile findings with the biblical account of noah's ark, but by 1830 evidence had shown them that the " diluvium " had come from a series of local processes.
Henslow insisted that "he should be grieved if a single word of the Thirty-nine Articles were altered" and emphasised the need to respect authority. Darwin later wrote that he was convinced that he "could have written out the whole of the evidences with perfect correctness, but not of course in the clear language of Paley. The logic of this book and as I may add of his Natural Theology gave me as much delight as did Euclid." 23 After doing particularly well in his final exam questions on Paleys' books, darwin read Paley's Natural Theology which set out to refute. Paley saw a rational proof of God's existence in the complexity and perfect adaptation to needs of living beings exquisitely fitted to their places in a happy world, while attacking the evolutionary ideas of Erasmus Darwin as coinciding with atheistic schemes and lacking evidence. 24 Paley's benevolent God acted in nature through uniform and universal laws, not arbitrary miracles or changes of laws, and this use of secondary laws provided a theodicy explaining the problem of evil by separating nature from direct divine action, drawing directly on the ideas. For Paley, a malthusian "system of natural hostilities" of animals living on prey was strictly connected to the surplus of births keeping the world appropriately stocked as circumstances changed, and poverty showed that the world was in a "state of probation. Calculated for the production, exercise, and improvement of moral qualities, with a view to a future state even where such divine purpose was not obvious. This convinced Charles and encouraged his interest in science.
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Sedgwick gave a talk to the geological Society of London in 1831 which declared that "no opinion can be heretical, but that which is not true. Conflicting falsehoods we can comprehend; but truths can never war against each other. I affirm, therefore, that we have nothing to fear from the results of our enquiries, provided they be followed in the laborious but secure road of honest induction. In this way we may rest assured that we shall never arrive at conclusions opposed to any truth, either physical or moral, between from whatever source that truth may be derived." For these men, science could not be out of harmony with religion, and. 22 Under pressure in the fourth year, darwin worked hard at his studies, getting tuition in theology by henslow. Darwin became particularly interested in the revd William Paley 's evidences of Christianity and Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy, which were set texts. The latter was becoming outdated.
It opposed arguments for increased democracy, but saw no divine right of rule for the sovereign or the state, only "expediency". Government could be opposed if grievances outweighed the danger and expense to society. The judgement was "Every man for himself". These ideas had suited the conditions of reasonable rule prevailing when the text was published in 1785, but in 1830 they were dangerous ideas at a time when the French king was deposed by middle class republicans and given refuge in England by the tory. Paley's text even supported abolition of the Thirty-nine Articles of the Anglican faith which every student at Cambridge (and Oxford University ) was required to sign.
19 Darwin was at first uncertain, he later wrote: "from what little i had heard and thought on the subject I had scruples about declaring my belief in all the dogmas of the Church of England; though otherwise i liked the thought of being. Accordingly i read with care ' pearson on the Creed ' 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. It never struck me how illogical it was to say that I believed in what I could not understand and what is in fact unintelligible. I might have said with entire truth that I had no wish to dispute any dogma; but I never was such a fool as to feel and say ' credo quia incredibile '. 3 he was particularly convinced by the reasoning of the revd. John Bird Sumner 's evidences of Christianity which set out the logic that the unbelief of sceptics gave them the dilemma that if Christianity were untrue, then either "Jesus did not live, or he actually lived, but was not the son of God, hence.
Jesus's religion was "wonderfully suitable. To our ideas of happiness in this the next world" and there was "no other way. Of explaining the series of evidence probability." 20 The university was essentially tied into the Church of England, with virtually all of the college heads and most of the professors and fellows having been ordained. About half of the undergraduates were destined for the church, like darwin hoping for a comfortable parish. During Darwin's second year, the harmony was disturbed when Cambridge was briefly visited by the radicals Richard Carlile and the revd Robert taylor on an "infidel home missionary tour causing a stir before being banned. Taylor would be remembered by darwin as "the devil 's Chaplain a warning example of an outcast from society who had challenged Christianity and had been imprisoned for blasphemy. 21 In his third year, he joined John Stevens Henslow 's natural history course and was introduced to the cambridge version of natural theology, part of the liberal Christianity of colleagues such as Adam Sedgwick, george peacock and William Whewell who all had strong views. Study of nature was study of the work of the lord, and scientists who were ordained clerics of the Church of England, such as themselves, could follow their enquiries without theological difficulties.
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Darwin mattress was astonished, but had recently read the similar ideas of his grandfather Erasmus and remained indifferent. 18 Natural history had grown from the idea that the different kinds of plants and animals showed the wonder of God's creation, making their study and cataloguing into species worthwhile. In Darwin's day it was common for clergymen to be naturalists, though scientific findings had already opened up ideas on creation. The desk established churches (of England and Scotland) and the English universities remained insistent that species were divinely created and man was distinct from the "lower orders but the Unitarian church rejected this teaching and even proclaimed that the human mind was subject to physical law. Erasmus Darwin went further and his zoönomia asks. Would it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament, which the great First cause endued with animality. Possessing the faculty of continuing to improve by its own inherent activity, and of delivering down these improvements by generation to its posterity, world without end!, anticipating Lamarckism. Cambridge theology and geology edit When Darwin proved unable to persevere at medical studies, his father sent him to Christ's College, cambridge, for a bachelor of Arts degree as the first step towards becoming an Anglican parson.
After her death when he was only eight he became a boarder at the Shrewsbury School, an Anglican public school. 1 Edinburgh medical studies and Lamarckian evolution theory edit The two universities in England namely Oxford and Cambridge, were under the Church of England and required students to sign the Thirty-nine Articles of the Anglican faith, so many English Non-conformists sent their children to the. 16 Charles initially attended the University of Edinburgh, and while he was put off medicine he took an active interest in natural history at the Plinian Society. One of his proposers for the society was the radical William. Browne, and on Browne argued that mind and consciousness were simply aspects of brain activity, not "souls" or spiritual entities separate from the body. A furious rap debate ensued, and later someone struck out all mention of this materialist heresy from the minutes. This was the first time that Darwin was exposed to militant freethought and the arguments it aroused. 17 On one occasion Robert Edmund Grant discussed Lamarck's evolutionary ideas.
he was convinced of the existence of God as a first cause and. This view subsequently fluctuated, 12 and he continued to explore conscientious doubts, without forming fixed opinions on certain religious matters. 7 Darwin continued to play a leading part in the parish work of the local church, 13 but from around 1849 would go for a walk on Sundays while his family attended church. 14 Though reticent about his religious views, in 1879 he responded that he had never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a god, and that generally "an Agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind.". For myself, i do not believe that there ever has been any revelation. As for a future life, every man must judge for himself between conflicting vague probabilities." 15 Contents Darwin's religious background edit Charles Darwin was born during the napoleonic Wars and grew up in their aftermath, a conservative time when Tory -dominated government closely associated with. His Whig supporting extended family of Darwins and Wedgwoods was strongly Unitarian, though one of his grandfathers, Erasmus Darwin, was a freethinker, and his father was quietly a freethinker but as a physician avoided any social conflict with his wealthy Anglican patrons. While darwin's parents were open enough to changing social pressures to have charles baptised in the Church of England, his pious mother took the children to the Unitarian chapel.
2 3, on the essay voyage of the, beagle he remained orthodox and looked for "centres of creation" to explain distribution, but towards the end of the voyage began to doubt that species were fixed. 4 5, by this time he was critical of the bible as history, and wondered why all religions should not be equally valid. Following his return in October 1836, he developed his novel ideas of geology while speculating about transmutation of species and thinking about religion. Following Darwin's marriage to, emma wedgwood in January 1839, they shared discussions about Christianity for several years, Emma's views being Unitarian like much of her family. 7, the theodicy of Paley and Thomas Malthus vindicated evils such as starvation as a result of a benevolent creator's laws which had an overall good effect. To darwin, natural selection produced the good of adaptation but removed the need for design, 8 and he could not see the work of an omnipotent deity in all the pain and suffering such as the ichneumon wasp paralysing caterpillars as live food for its. E followed Paley in viewing organisms as perfectly adapted with only a few imperfections, and only partly modified that view by 1859.
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Charles Darwin's views on religion have been the subject of much interest. His pivotal work in the development of modern biology and evolution theory played a prominent part in debates about religion and science at the time, then, in the early 20th century became a focus of the creation-evolution controversy in the United States. Charles Darwin had a non-conformist, unitarian background, but attended a, church of England school. With the aim of becoming a clergyman he gpa went to the. University of Cambridge for the required ba degree, which included studies. He took great interest in natural history and became filled with zeal for science as defined. John Herschel, based on the natural theology of, william Paley which presented the argument from divine design in nature to explain adaptation as God acting through laws of nature.