Re: [asa] on science and meta-science

From: Schwarzwald <>
Date: Wed Nov 11 2009 - 16:50:34 EST


First of all, your speculations about Darwin's desires don't speak to
whether or not Darwin intended to weaponize science for atheism. I say it's
evident if you read his writings and letters that he was not concerned
simply with science, but with metaphysics and philosophy. When he did give
his reasons for doubting God, they hardly involved evolution itself - he
relied on the problem of evil, with some pretty weak arguments in that vein.

But if we want to play that game, well, we do have the famous quotes: Darwin
saying he considers it "absurd to doubt that a man might be an ardent theist
and an evolutionist", and his insistence that "I have never been an atheist
in the sense of denying the existence of a God. – I think that generally ...
an agnostic would be the most correct description of my state of mind."

So, Bernie, if you're going by Darwin's words.. not just the "evidence" of
evolution but the full blown assumed fact of evolution had no need to make a
man an atheist by his view. And Darwin claims he never denied the existence
of God, but was at most an agnostic on the matter. Me, I have no problem
with any of this - I think the evidence shows that Darwin wasn't enthralled
with Christianity early on, and he was more concerned with presenting
himself as a believer than really being one. But if you want to argue that
Darwin thought evolution was only compatible with atheism, or that he denied
God (not just Christianity, but God, period), you're likely going to have to
call him a liar. Have fun with that.

I see it totally backwards for you. I consider the point that Darwin WANTED
> to be a believer. He just couldn’t believe, based on the evidence. I read
> that when Darwin started on the Beagle voyage, he was a preacher to the
> crew! It is not at all like he wanted to reject God and developed evolution
> for that reason. I believe Darwin was intellectually fulfilled, and it is
> evident in his writings.

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Received on Wed Nov 11 16:50:45 2009

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