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Private Doubt, Public DilemmaReligion and Science since Jefferson and Darwin$
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Keith Thomson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300203677

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300203677.001.0001

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Mr. Darwin’s Religion

Mr. Darwin’s Religion

(p.65) Chapter Five Mr. Darwin’s Religion
Private Doubt, Public Dilemma

Keith Thomson

Yale University Press

This chapter deals with how Charles Darwin suffered from chronic anxiety while working on his evolution theory, which can largely be attributed to the conflict between religion and evolution. His On the Origin of Species was more than just an exposition of a new theory, Darwin had to rebut the conventional views of nature, including natural theology and prevailing Creationist views. However, not once did he deny the existence of a Creator, only that the Creator was a mere instigator of the laws of matter. Darwin's Beagle voyage led him to dig deep into geology, and with Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology at hand, began questioning his previous learnings from the clerical teachers at Cambridge. The chapter also cites Reverend Edward Pusey's negative critique on Darwin's concept, which stressed two points: the divine and miraculous initial creation of life and the exceptionalism of human origins.

Keywords:   Charles Darwin, evolution theory, On the Origin of Species, laws of matter, Beagle voyage, Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology, Edward Pusey

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