The Christian Darwin You Don’t Know

darwin2.jpgAt least in Amer­i­ca, Charles Dar­win has become the favorite whip­ping boy for many fun­da­men­tal­ists on the right. In one neat pack­age, you get in Dar­win all things deplorable. A god­less “sec­u­lar human­ist” who denied the sanc­ti­ty of human­i­ty, God’s prov­i­dence, and the integri­ty of the Bible. What more could you love to hate?

Some­where lost in today’s cul­ture wars is the real Charles Dar­win. Aired first in Octo­ber, this pro­gram, pro­duced by Amer­i­can Pub­lic Medi­a’s Speak­ing of Faith (MP3iTunesFeedWeb Site), revis­its Dar­win’s life & thought with James Moore, a Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty schol­ar who has writ­ten Dar­win: The Life of a Tor­ment­ed Evo­lu­tion­ist. And here’s the pic­ture that we get. Like many impor­tant sci­en­tists who came before him — Galileo, Coper­ni­cus and New­ton — Dar­win believed that sci­ence could help explain the laws of nature cre­at­ed by God. Fur­ther, he saw his Ori­gin of Species as describ­ing the forms of life that owed their exis­tence to God’s law — a law that expressed itself in nat­ur­al selec­tion. Read­ers will find that Dar­win’s text is lit­tered with ref­er­ences to cre­ation. And Dar­win, him­self, was not­ed for say­ing that when he wrote the book, his faith in God was as strong as that of a bish­op, although his faith did wane lat­ter in life. Sim­ply put, Dar­win was hard­ly the ene­my of reli­gion that many con­sid­er him today.

Again, you can access this pro­gram with the fol­low­ing links: (MP3iTunesFeedWeb Site). Addi­tion­al­ly, you can access a free e‑text of On the Ori­gin of Species here, along with a free audio­book ver­sion here.

You may also want to check out a relat­ed pro­gram by Speak­ing of Faith: Ein­stein and the Mind of God

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.