Friday, February 05, 2016

How Darwin lost his faith

As Mitchell Stephens points out in his excellent book Imagine There’s no Heaven: How Atheism Helped Create the Modern World (2014), what undermined Darwin’s faith were the observations he made, as a kind of amateur anthropologist, of the diversity of religions around the world and the sincerity of their devotees, and his reading of the works of Shelley, the philosopher David Hume, and various other skeptical thinkers. Stephens quotes E.O. Wilson: “The great naturalist did not abandon” religion because of his work on natural selection, but rather “The reverse occurred. The shedding of blind faith gave him the intellectual fearlessness to explore human evolution wherever logic and evidence took him.”

1 comment:

  1. So in summary Darwin rejected God's Word and authority in favor of man's word and autonomy.

    That sad tune has been played over and over throughout mankind's sorry history.