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Illuminatio

Darwin acknowledged all creation through The Creator.

Quote:
Authors of the highest eminence seem to be fully satisfied with the view that each species has been independently created. To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes, like those determining the birth and death of the individual. When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Silurian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled. Judging from the past, we may safely infer that not one living species will transmit its unaltered likeness to a distant futurity. And of the species now living very few will transmit progeny of any kind to a far distant futurity; for the manner in which all organic beings are grouped, shows that the greater number of species of each genus, and all the species of many genera, have left no descendants, but have become utterly extinct. We can so far take a prophetic glance into futurity as to foretel that it will be the common and widely-spread species, belonging to the larger and dominant groups, which will ultimately prevail and procreate new and dominant species. As all the living forms of life are the lineal descendants of those which lived long before the Silurian epoch, we may feel certain that the ordinary succession by generation has never once been broken, and that no cataclysm has desolated the whole world. Hence we may look with some confidence to a secure future of equally inappreciable length. And as natural selection works solely by and for the good of each being, all corporeal and mental endowments will tend to progress towards perfection.

It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the external conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers,having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.



Charles Darwin, Origin of Species Chapter 14


http://www.literature.org/authors...origin-of-species/chapter-14.html
Shaker

Wrong.

The word "Creator" was inserted as a sop to the religious, including his pious baggage of a wife. Darwin himself lost any religious belief he ever had around the age of 40; around the time of TOoS he was at best a weak deist, and by the end of his life he was a self-declared agnostic, as his Autobiography demonstrates.

I can provide the quotes for you, if you wish, or you can track them down yourself. Either way, they're easy to find.


Quote:
• Sharp-eyed readers will note the lack of reference to "the Creator" in the final paragraph. This passage is taken from the first edition of the Origin, published in 1859. In that original edition, Darwin wrote

   "There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one..."

Poetic, but more to the point, clearly not theological, as asserted by some creationists, who are motivated to show that even Darwin refers to creation in the Origin.

• However, Darwin does refer to the Creator, even in this first edition:

   "To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes, like those determining the birth and death of the individual."


From this passage, it is clear that the full extent of the intervention in nature by the Creator was to establish the natural laws that govern what happens in nature. Throughout the Origin, Darwin makes it clear that it isn't necessary to ascribe any other kind of intervention into by Creator, for any reason. Therefore, the Creator cited by Darwin in this concluding passage is clearly the kind of God venerated by Deists. And Deism, as Will Provine and others have repeatedly pointed out, is functionally equivalent to atheism. A Creator that is, by His own choice, constrained to function entirely through the laws of nature (which He Himself created) is unnecessary for the creation and implementation of "secondary causes" (i.e. everything that happens after the universe and its governing laws have been created).


(from here).
Illuminatio

admin. wrote:
Wrong.

The word "Creator" was inserted as a sop to the religious, including his pious baggage of a wife. Darwin himself lost any religious belief he ever had around the age of 40; around the time of TOoS he was at best a weak deist, and by the end of his life he was a self-declared agnostic, as his Autobiography demonstrates.

I can provide the quotes for you, if you wish, or you can track them down yourself. Either way, they're easy to find.


Quote:
• Sharp-eyed readers will note the lack of reference to "the Creator" in the final paragraph. This passage is taken from the first edition of the Origin, published in 1859. In that original edition, Darwin wrote

   "There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one..."

Poetic, but more to the point, clearly not theological, as asserted by some creationists, who are motivated to show that even Darwin refers to creation in the Origin.

• However, Darwin does refer to the Creator, even in this first edition:

   "To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes, like those determining the birth and death of the individual."


From this passage, it is clear that the full extent of the intervention in nature by the Creator was to establish the natural laws that govern what happens in nature. Throughout the Origin, Darwin makes it clear that it isn't necessary to ascribe any other kind of intervention into by Creator, for any reason. Therefore, the Creator cited by Darwin in this concluding passage is clearly the kind of God venerated by Deists. And Deism, as Will Provine and others have repeatedly pointed out, is functionally equivalent to atheism. A Creator that is, by His own choice, constrained to function entirely through the laws of nature (which He Himself created) is unnecessary for the creation and implementation of "secondary causes" (i.e. everything that happens after the universe and its governing laws have been created).


(from here).



You are discrediting his truthfulness as a scientist and writer.  He stated what he truly believed in the last two paragraphs of his greatest work.


He may well have turned agnostic, but not atheist.

To clarify, are you declaring one of the best scientists to have lived, to have pandered to the 'religious brigade' ?  In effect you are calling him a liar ?
Shaker

Quote:
You are dicrediting his truthfulness as a scientist and writer.  He stated what he truly believed in the last two paragraphs of his greatest work.

Which was chopped and changed throughout the six editions he saw through the press in his lifetime.

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He may well he turned agnostic, but not atheist.

Big deal.

Quote:
To clarify, are you declaring one of the best scientists to have lived, to have pandered to the 'religious brigade' ?

Exactly. The insertion of "the Creator" in the very last paragraph of the Origin, for instance, only appears (IIRC) from the thrd edition onwards. Janet Browne's magnificent two-volume biography actually reveals that in private he was very much harder on religion than his public persona allowed for. In fact he was so upfront about this that his descendants didn't publish his Autobiography until 1958 - 76 years after his death. And, of course, his family suffered the ignominy of the scurrilous lies by certain scumsucking bottomfeeders about his alleged deathbed conversion to Christianity.
Illuminatio

admin. wrote:
Quote:
You are dicrediting his truthfulness as a scientist and writer.  He stated what he truly believed in the last two paragraphs of his greatest work.

Which was chopped and changed throughout the six editions he saw through the press in his lifetime.

Quote:
He may well he turned agnostic, but not atheist.

Big deal.

Quote:
To clarify, are you declaring one of the best scientists to have lived, to have pandered to the 'religious brigade' ?

Exactly. The insertion of "the Creator" in the very last paragraph of the Origin, for instance, only appears (IIRC) from the thrd edition onwards. Janet Browne's magnificent two-volume biography actually reveals that in private he was very much harder on religion than his public persona allowed for. In fact he was so upfront about this that his descendants didn't publish his Autobiography until 1958 - 76 years after his death. And, of course, his family suffered the ignominy of the scurrilous lies by certain scumsucking bottomfeeders about his alleged deathbed conversion to Christianity.



So you are stating he was a liar?  He compromised?

If you truly believe that you know what my next question will be ?

:)
Shaker

Quote:
So you are stating he was a liar? He compromised?

No, I'm stating - as any half-way decent book on Darwin would tell you, and which you would know if you'd read any - that his views changed over time.
Quote:
If you truly believe that you know what my next question will be ?

Amaze me.
Illuminatio

admin. wrote:
Quote:
So you are stating he was a liar? He compromised?

No, I'm stating - as any half-way decent book on Darwin would tell you, and which you would know if you'd read any - that his views changed over time.
Quote:
If you truly believe that you know what my next question will be ?

Amaze me.



Admin, your supposition that I am wrong is absurd.  I have quoted Darwin's own words to back my original statment up.  Anything else is subjective and pure opinion.


Please try and be more scientific and objective about your arguments.  Also you may find this video helpful (from 3 mins in).


Link
Shaker

Quote:
Admin, your supposition that I am wrong is absurd.  

No supposition.
Quote:
I have quoted Darwin's own words to back my original statment up.  Anything else is subjective and pure opinion.


And here are some more words of Darwin - twenty years later, however:

Quote:
I do not believe in the Bible as a divine revelation, & therefore not in Jesus Christ as the Son of God", and at other times was more guarded, telling a young count studying with Haeckel that "Science has nothing to do with Christ; except in so far as the habit of scientific research makes a man cautious in admitting evidence. 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.

...

"I never gave up Christianity until I was forty years of age." He agreed that Christianity was "not supported by the evidence", but he had reached this conclusion only slowly.

...

By further reflecting that the clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported, — that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible, do miracles become, — that the men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost incomprehensible by us, — that the Gospels cannot be proved to have been written simultaneously with the events, — that they differ in many important details, far too important as it seemed to me to be admitted as the usual inaccuracies of eyewitness; — by such reflections as these, which I give not as having the least novelty or value, but as they influenced me, I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation. The fact that many false religions have spread over large portions of the earth like wild-fire had some weight with me.

...

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 from and how it arose. Nor can I overlook the difficulty from the immense amount of suffering through the world. I am, also, induced to defer to a certain extent to the judgment of many able men who have fully believed in God; but here again I see how poor an argument this is. The safest conclusion seems to me to be that the whole subject is beyond the scope of man's intellect; but man can do his duty.

...

Formerly I was led... to the firm conviction of the existence of God and the immortality of the soul. In my Journal I wrote that whilst standing in the midst of the grandeur of a Brazilian forest, 'it is not possible to give an adequate idea of the higher feelings of wonder, admiration, and devotion, which fill and elevate the mind.' I well remember my conviction that there is more in man than the mere breath of his body. But now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions and feelings to rise in my mind.

...

I am a strong advocate for free thought on all subjects, yet it appears to me (whether rightly or wrongly) that direct arguments against Christianity & theism produce hardly any effect on the public; & freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men's minds which follows from the advance of science. It has, therefore, been always my object to avoid writing on religion, & I have confined myself to science. I may, however, have been unduly biased by the pain which it would give some members of my family, if I aided in any way direct attacks on religion.

...

I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.

...
   
At the present day the most usual argument for the existence of an intelligent God is drawn from the deep inward conviction and feelings which are experienced by most persons. But it cannot be doubted that Hindoos, Mahomadans and others might argue in the same manner and with equal force in favor of the existence of one God, or of many Gods, or as with the Buddists of no God...This argument would be a valid one if all men of all races had the same inward conviction of the existence of one God: but we know that this is very far from being the case. Therefore I cannot see that such inward convictions and feelings are of any weight as evidence of what really exists.

Nor must we overlook the probability of the constant inculcation in a belief in God on the minds of children producing so strong and perhaps as inherited effect on their brains not yet fully developed, that it would be as difficult for them to throw off their belief in God, as for a monkey to throw off its instinctive fear and hatred of a snake.

...

The old argument of design in nature, as given by Paley, which formerly seemed to me so conclusive, fails, now that the law of natural selection had been discovered. We can no longer argue that, for instance, the beautiful hinge of a bivalve shell must have been made by an intelligent being, like the hinge of a door by man. There seems to be no more design in the variability of organic beings and in the action of natural selection, than in the course which the wind blows. Everything in nature is the result of fixed laws.
...

Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but at last was complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct ... I think that generally (and more and more as I grow older), but not always, that an Agnostic would be a more correct description of my state of mind.


Subjective and pure opinion - not mine, but that of Mr C. Darwin, Esq.

Will that do, or do you want some more?
Lexilogio

The only person who really knew what Darwin believed was Darwin himself.

I suspect the passage discussed was in and out of the book more due to the consideration of the public who would read the book, than the view of Darwin himself.

I understand that Darwin suggested, and this is backed up by the passage concerned, that it was not incompatible to believe in a Creator, and accept the veracity of his theory.
Shaker

It matters not, Lexi, since it appears to be another hit-and-run by Ant, who probably won't be back to see the latest.
SusanDoris

Just posting to say I have read with interest.
Shaker

Lexilogio wrote:
The only person who really knew what Darwin believed was Darwin himself.

I suspect the passage discussed was in and out of the book more due to the consideration of the public who would read the book, than the view of Darwin himself.

Exactly! Darwin was a great man, but a rather diffident if not downright timid one: he abhorred confrontation of any kind and was, in my estimation, a little too keen to defer to the opinions of others out of a noble but misguided over-estimation of their feelings, real or imagined.

Quote:
I understand that Darwin suggested, and this is backed up by the passage concerned, that it was not incompatible to believe in a Creator, and accept the veracity of his theory.

Absolutely spot on in evey respect. There's absolutely nothing whatever incompatible about evolution and deism or even theism. Whether evolution and Christianity are compatible is another matter, however.
Shaft2101

It's compatible with a severely pared-down (to the point of it bordering on the unrecognisable) version of Christianity, or any other set of theistic doctrines, but for the most part it's surprisingly difficult to square ALL beliefs in such schools of thought with evolutionary science.

Still, I prefer to simply tell hesitant theists that they are compatible and not push the issue ... I'd rather they accepted scientific consensus and ham-fistedly rationalised and reconciled the two rather than rejecting science outright because of theological issues.
Shaker

I've arrived at the conclusion that evolution is entirely compatible with deism: furthermore, it is entirely compatible with theism (poly/mono/whichever version).

I have grave doubts, however, that it's compatible with Christianity, which makes certain very specific claims about reality which, IMHO, make it and evolution incompatible.
Shaft2101

TBH it's as true for most things as it is with evolutionary science - the more complicated and demanding you make your axiomatic doctrines (those which are simply not up for revision/liberalising) the more difficult it is to reconcile them with other concepts, ideas, facts or beliefs. There's nothing inherent in monotheism which makes it more hardline, in the same way that there is nothing inherent in polytheism which makes it more easygoing (I've known some very hardline Hindus ...), but it does seem that by happenstance the adherents of monotheism are, for the most part, more doctrinal/conservative than their non-monotheistic counterparts.
Shaker

David Hume said exactly that a couple of centuries ago. But then, that's probably why you mentioned it, of course ;-)
Shaft2101

Hume is my boy, and I borrow Occam's razor to shave with every 3 days.
Shaker

They've been making a movie on the life of Darwin, called Creation, starring Paul Bettany as the great man and his real-life wife Jennifer Connelly as his wife Emma. It's slated for release on September 25th, but they've released a trailer:


Link


Looks a bit melodramatic - it is Hollywood after all - but I can't wait to see it.
Illuminatio

admin. wrote:
I've arrived at the conclusion that evolution is entirely compatible with deism: furthermore, it is entirely compatible with theism (poly/mono/whichever version).

I have grave doubts, however, that it's compatible with Christianity, which makes certain very specific claims about reality which, IMHO, make it and evolution incompatible.



Evolution is entirely compatible with Traditional Christianity.


Darwin was correct - it is survival of the fittest !


The strongest / richest / most selfish...survive and win.  The poor and weak die.........


There is one thing that turns that on its head...


LOVE +
Shaker

Quote:
Evolution is entirely compatible with Traditional Christianity.

So you've no beef with the alleged Jesus being an evolved primate of the species H. sapiens sapiens, with two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents of the same?
Quote:
Darwin was correct - it is survival of the fittest !

That phrase was coined by Herbert Spencer.
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The strongest / richest / most selfish...survive and win.  The poor and weak die.........

Possibly the most mangled summary of evolution I've seen since the last one. I don't know where you think "strongest" and "richest" and "most selfish" come into it ... where in Darwin's work is the "richest" organism mentioned?  :roll:
Leonard James

Illuminatio wrote:
Evolution is entirely compatible with Traditional Christianity.


Darwin was correct - it is survival of the fittest !


The strongest / richest / most selfish...survive and win.  The poor and weak die.........


There is one thing that turns that on its head...


LOVE +

Will that be the 'LOVE+' he showed when setting up a life system in which predators mercilessly hunt and devour (sometimes alive) their prey in order to live?

Will it be the 'LOVE+' he showed when he cursed and punished the whole of his creation for Adam's one disobedience?

Will it be the 'LOVE+' he showed when he drowned thousands of innocent babies and children in his flood?

Thank goodness human love is nobler and more compassionate than that one, even without the +.
Rocca Vagges

Leonard James wrote:

Will that be the 'LOVE+' he showed when setting up a life system in which predators mercilessly hunt and devour (sometimes alive) their prey in order to live?

Will it be the 'LOVE+' he showed when he cursed and punished the whole of his creation for Adam's one disobedience?

Will it be the 'LOVE+' he showed when he drowned thousands of innocent babies and children in his flood?

Thank goodness human love is nobler and more compassionate than that one, even without the +.


Sir Leonard of James I didn't know you were a believer and an ardent follower of the book, has you and imindoors taken to the religion
Leonard James

Rocca Vagges wrote:
Sir Leonard of James I didn't know you were a believer and an ardent follower of the book, has you and imindoors taken to the religion

Nah, man. But when in Rome....!

It might surprise you to know that I have no idea what Hugh really believes, even though we have lived together for nigh on 50 years. He has always steadfastly refused to discuss anything deeper than what time the next meal is and what he is going to wear for the next social gathering.

Now that makes him sound very superficial, but he isn't in the least. I suppose the answer is that he's Irish, and that explains everything.  :twisted:

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