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European Intellectual History from Rousseau to Nietzsche$
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Frank M Turner and Richard A. Lofthouse

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300207293

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300207293.001.0001

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Darwin and Creation

Darwin and Creation

(p.102) Chapter 7 Darwin and Creation
European Intellectual History from Rousseau to Nietzsche

Frank M. Turner

, Richard A. Lofthouse
Yale University Press

This chapter examines the issues of Darwin and creation. It explains how natural religion and naturalistic science made Darwin discontented with the concept of special creation. It considers the factors that made Darwin more rigid, more materialistic, and ultimately agnostic. It contends that Darwin's argument against the presence of an omnipotent, concerned creator was as often as not a moral rather than a scientific argument. The natural order in his mind gave evidence either of no God or of a God unworthy of human worship. The creator or deity Darwin wished to preserve was the rational, benevolent God, but he could preserve that God as a spiritual force or object only by banishing him from any direct contact with nature. Consequently, in order to justify the ways of God to man, Darwin in effect removed God from what he often found to be a morally repulsive nature.

Keywords:   Charles Darwin, religion, Anglican natural religion, natural theology, special creation, God, natural order

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