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Darwinism quotes

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Criticisms

For example, Richard Milner wrote regarding Darwin in the 2002 issue of Scientific American in an article entitled, "Putting Darwin in his Place" [1] that

clipped, catalogued and indexed hundreds of offprints, about 350 reviews and 1,600 articles, as well as satires, parodies and Punch caricatures, with which he filled hefty scrapbooks...

It appears as if the criticism of his work may have troubled Darwin. Milner in the aforementioned article, wrote that after Charles Lyell published a very weak endorsement of Darwin's Antiquity of Man,

Darwin's disappointment brought on 10 days of vomiting, faintness and stomach distress.

Also when anatomist St. George Mivart made a strong attack on The Descent of Man, Milner wrote that it.

triggered two months of "giddiness" and inability to work...

Darwin's doubts

Yet Darwin clearly had some degree of emotional doubt in February of 1860, in which Darwin wrote to ASA Gray the following,

About the weak points I agree. The eye to this day gives me a cold shudder, but when I think of the fine known gradations, my reason tells me I ought to conquer the cold shudder.

Similarly Darwin wrote to ASA Gray in April of 1860,

I remember well the time when the thought of the eye made me cold all over, but I have got over this stage of the complaint, and now small trifling particulars of structure often make me feel uncomfortable. The sight of a feather in a peacock's tail, whenever I gaze at it, makes me sick!

In April of 1860, Darwin also wrote to Charles Lyell that,

For the life of me I cannot see any difficulty in natural selection producing the most exquisite structure, IF SUCH STRUCTURE CAN BE ARRIVED AT BY GRADATION, and I know from experience how hard it is to name any structure towards which at least some gradations are not known (As an aside, it should be noted that the eye still causes trouble for those who hold the evolutionist position. For example, I cite the following: “It’s one of the oldest riddles in evolutionary biology: How does natural selection gradually create an eye, or any complex organ for that matter? The puzzle troubled Charles Darwin, who nevertheless gamely nailed together a ladder of how it might have happened—from photoreceptor cells to highly refined orbits—by drawing examples from living organisms such as mollusks and arthropods. But holes in this progression have persistently bothered evolutionary biologists and left openings that creationists have been only too happy to exploit.” Virginia Morell, “Placentas May Nourish Complexity Studies,” Science, Vol. 298, 1 November 2002, p. 945.)

Subsequent to 1860 Darwin's writing apparently expresses no emotional doubt about his evolutionary ideas. In his 1876 biography Darwin wrote the following: "The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble to us; and I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic."[1]

However, Creation Ministries International provides some information that points strongly to Darwin being actually being a materialist:

Ernst Mayr’s recent book on Darwin, One Long Argument: Charles Darwin and the Genesis of Evolutionary Thought, Harvard, 1991, also acknowledges that Darwin’s references to purpose were to appease both the public and his wife. His early, private notebooks show his materialism well established. For instance, in one of them he addresses himself as, ‘O, you materialist!’ and says, ‘Why is thought, being a secretion of brain, more wonderful than gravity as a property of matter?’ He clearly already believed that the idea of a separate realm of the spirit was nonsense, as is further shown when he warns himself not to reveal his beliefs, as follows:

‘to avoid saying how far I believe in materialism, say only that emotions, instincts, degrees of talent which are hereditary are so because brain of child resembles parent stock.’[2]

On the other hand, in 1885, the Duke of Argyll recounted a conversation he had had with Charles Darwin the year before Darwin's death:

In the course of that conversation I said to Mr. Darwin, with reference to some of his own remarkable works on the Fertilisation of Orchids, and upon The Earthworms, and various other observations he made of the wonderful contrivances for certain purposes in nature—I said it was impossible to look at these without seeing that they were the effect and the expression of Mind. I shall never forget Mr. Darwin's answer. He looked at me very hard and said, "Well, that often comes over me with overwhelming force; but at other times," and he shook his head vaguely, adding, "it seems to go away." (Argyll 1885, 244).[2]

References

  1. http://www.update.uu.se/~fbendz/library/cd_relig.htm
  2. http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/1877
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