…The clergyman had probably been educated, as Darwin himself had been, in that school of Christian apologetics known as “Rational Christianity,” of which the work of Darwin’s neighbor in death and fame, Isaac Newton, had been the chief inspiration. Rational Christianity, and its close but more radical partner, deism, represented a kind of compromise, a consciously created solution to the problems raised by an earlier conflict between religion and science; that earlier conflict was less overt but more insidious than the one of which the focal point was to be Darwin’s Origin of Species, and it was profoundly disturbing to seventeenth-century Christian apologists like Pascal who saw in the rise of experimental science a potential threat to belief.
The crisis was overcome, at least in England, at a cost of some sacrifice of the miraculous and emotional elements of Christianity. A house of intellect was established in the eighteenth century in which men odf widely differing views could conduct their arguments and all feel more or less at home, though of course there were always a few defiant atheists who refused to come in out of the cold.
The England to which Charles Darwin was born in 1809 was in most respects a rougher and more dangerous society than the one in which he died, more vulnerable to organized and haphazard violence, to the social effects of callous indifference, and to the accidents of nature. Intellectually, however, the world was a far cozier and more reassuring plce than it was later to become, and the chief, though not the only, agent of the change was to be that peaceable Victorian family man, Charles Darwin. ( to be continued)…
(see link at end)…Darwin was arguing that the Creator’s input into a few life forms was not life, but the laws of natural selection. So it remains an open question whether or not and how God created life. It should be noted that Origin is called The Origin of Species, not The Origin of Life.
While Darwin, in the passages where he referred to the Creator, did not state that God created life , he did state that the Creator was there at the beginning, and “breathed” the laws of natural selection into early forms of life, to enable them to adapt to changing climates, etc. Why did Darwin leave the question of whether God created life open? A plausible explanation is that Darwin wanted to leave the specific correlation between God and the beginning of life unanswered so that those who believe in God could follow their beliefs, and those who did not could follow theirs. This leaves the laws of natural selection as a research field to be pursued by the naturalist, which is what Darwin felt the theory of natural selection should be.
The argument over whether or not God exists is hotly debated today, and perhaps always will be. Darwin did not want to make his biologically based arguments dependent upon a person’s belief in God. (But it should be added that by placing the “Creator” at the start of life, Darwin did take a somewhat ambiguous stand on the issue).
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/09/what_darwin_said_about_god.html#ixzz2EnMSz3rj