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Charles Darwin Options
Daemon
Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2015 12:00:00 AM
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Charles Darwin

Darwin was an English naturalist who developed the modern theory of evolution. Along with naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, he proposed the principle of natural selection: the mechanism by which advantageous variations are passed on to later generations and less advantageous traits slowly disappear. Darwin's intensely controversial theory of evolution aroused widespread argument and debate among scientists and religious leaders. How did Darwin view religion and God? More...
ChristopherJohnson
Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2015 2:10:01 AM

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Strange coincidence, February 12 is my birthday too.Great honour for me indeed to be born on the same day as such renowned and influential scientist!
striker
Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2015 12:39:02 PM
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my favorie writer of all times
monamagda
Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2015 1:43:40 PM

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Darwin's views of religion:

I cannot pretend to throw the least light on such abstruse problems. The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic.

Science has nothing to do with Christ, except in so far as the habit of scientific research makes a man cautious in admitting evidence.


In "Religion," the eighth chapter of The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, his son Francis claims that “in his published works he was reticent on the matter of religion — something not quite accurate because, as we shall see, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871) does explicitly discuss this subject in relation to human eveolution. But, as Francis points out, Darwin willingly explained his belief (or unbelief) in private letters and in the autobiography he wrote for his children. Thus, when asked about his views of religion by J. Fordyce, Darwin responded “my judgment often fluctuates . . . In my most extreme fluctuations I have never been an Atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God.” He then uses the term coined by T. H. Huxley, his follower and fierce advocate, when he continued, “I think that generally (and more and more as I grow older), but not always, that an Agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind.” Similarly, when discussing the origins of the universe, he admitted, "I cannot pretend to throw the least light on such abstruse problems. The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic."


http://www.victorianweb.org/science/darwin/religion2.html
NeuroticHellFem
Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2015 3:11:49 PM

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I've always been daunted to actually read any of his works, but I enjoyed Darwin & the Barnacle by Rebecca Stott.

When you make an assumption, you make an ass of u & umption! - NeuroticHellFem
thar
Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2015 3:19:17 PM

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Influenced by the book The Principles of Geology, which Charles Lyell gave him to read on his voyage on the Beagle, and included Hutton's theory of uniformitaranism that the Earth was extremely old, and that massive changes can happen from very slow processes, simply because they operate over such long timescales. And Wallace, a paleontologist who reached similar conclusions about evolution from his study of fossils. Scientific collaboration at its best. And a religious man who saw no problem with both believing in God and investigating nature - quite the opposite. He only postponed publishing because it was troubling to established religion, not to his faith. A pity [some] religion has lost its faith since then, and resorted to teaching people to hate other people, instead of loving nature the way Darwin did!
Dr WWWW
Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2015 4:47:14 PM

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Alfred Russell Wallace -- Co-originator of the idea of "natural selection"

From Wikipedia
He is best known for independently conceiving the theory of evolution through natural selection; his paper on the subject was jointly published with some of Charles Darwin's writings in 1858.[1] This prompted Darwin to publish his own ideas in On the Origin of Species. Wallace did extensive fieldwork, first in the Amazon River basin and then in the Malay Archipelago, where he identified the faunal divide now termed the Wallace Line, which separates the Indonesian archipelago into two distinct parts: a western portion in which the animals are largely of Asian origin, and an eastern portion where the fauna reflect Australasia.

Letters exchanged between Darwin and his close friends, Joseph Dalton Hooker and Charles Lyell, show that Darwin, who had worked on the theory for twenty years, was very upset at the prospect of losing priority to Wallace, while at the same time wanting [quite graciously] to acknowledge Wallace’s contribution fully. The initial presentation of the theory through joint papers at the Linnean Society of London, and presided over by Lyell and Hooker, reveals much about the social structure of Victorian science. Wallace would become one of Darwin’s most valued correspondents and their relationship was one of strong mutual respect and support despite important theoretical, political, and religious differences.

Darwin, C. R. to Lyell, Charles, (25 June 1858)
Darwin writes to Lyell saying that everything in Wallace’s sketch also appears in his sketch of 1844. A year ago Darwin sent a short sketch of his views to Asa Gray. Can Darwin honourably publish his sketch now that Wallace has sent an outline of his views? He concludes: “I would far rather burn my whole book than that he or any man shd. think that I had behaved in a paltry spirit.” He does not believe Wallace originated his views from anything Darwin wrote to him.


"To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting." -- Edmund Burke
Dr WWWW
Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2015 4:52:54 PM

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NeuroticHellFem wrote:
I've always been daunted to actually read any of his works, but I enjoyed Darwin & the Barnacle by Rebecca Stott.


A great novel which brings in Darwin is Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Love, Pray. A long book (500 pp) but worth the read.

"To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting." -- Edmund Burke
Halster
Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2015 5:50:22 PM

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I find your choice of honored personage on this date inexcusable. Today is Abraham Lincoln's birthday, February 12, 1809. The man that saved the union of our nation, and essentially abolished slavery. Conversely, Charles Darwin was, and continues to be a divisive and unproven ideology to our nation.
azbnb
Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2015 6:49:29 PM

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Halster wrote:
I find your choice of honored personage on this date inexcusable. Today is Abraham Lincoln's birthday, February 12, 1809. The man that saved the union of our nation, and essentially abolished slavery. Conversely, Charles Darwin was, and continues to be a divisive and unproven ideology to our nation.


Couldn't agree more, thank you for standing up for a truly awesome POTUS!

The Mountains are CALLING And I must go - John Muir
Dr WWWW
Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2015 10:12:39 PM

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Certainly President Lincoln is most worthy but each day of the year has many possible honorees; for example, the Catholic Church has a list of 19 Saints for this day, see: Catholic Saints for February 12. With a few exceptions, the official Saint to be celebrated rotates among those listed for the day. Other examples could be introduced as well. I don't doubt that Abraham Lincoln has been mentioned in years past, but now it is Darwin's turn. Whether you agree with his data and conclusions or not, you can't deny his importance as an influence on today's civilization.

"To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting." -- Edmund Burke
thar
Posted: Friday, February 13, 2015 9:34:05 AM

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Halster wrote:
I find your choice of honored personage on this date inexcusable. Today is Abraham Lincoln's birthday, February 12, 1809. The man that saved the union of our nation, and essentially abolished slavery. Conversely, Charles Darwin was, and continues to be a divisive and unproven ideology to our nation.


TFD has been running for several years - just because one day is one person's birthday, it does not have to feature them on that day.

Since you already know about Lincoln, maybe you could learn some more about Darwin today.

Chill, it is a database in an online dictionary forum, not a personal attack on you!
thar
Posted: Friday, February 13, 2015 9:34:05 AM

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Halster wrote:
I find your choice of honored personage on this date inexcusable. Today is Abraham Lincoln's birthday, February 12, 1809. The man that saved the union of our nation, and essentially abolished slavery. Conversely, Charles Darwin was, and continues to be a divisive and unproven ideology to our nation.


TFD has been running for several years - just because one day is one person's birthday, it does not have to feature them on that day.

Since you already know about Lincoln, maybe you could learn some more about Darwin today.

Chill, it is a database in an online dictionary forum, not a personal attack on you!

I see that is your one post. If you signed up expressly to spew your hate, may I suggest this is not a site you want to be associated with.
will
Posted: Friday, February 13, 2015 10:27:15 AM
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Silenced
Fredric-frank Myers
Posted: Saturday, February 14, 2015 8:05:44 PM

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A good man, no, a great man and much maligned by the very narrow minded Christian right.
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