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11:30am Sunday 18th March 2012 in Letters
I FAIL to understand the notion of any controversy regarding the Church of England deciding to hold a debate upon Darwin’s evolutionary theories.
Like his Welsh colleague Alfred Russell Wallace, Darwin was a very humble man who saw no contradiction at all between his own ideas and that of a Creator. For most of his life he remained a Christian, whose refusal to attend church was out of deference to the opposing sentiments of his fellow parishioners. Many of his closest friends and admirers were amongst the most eminent theologians and clergymen of his age, including Rev Dr Randall Davidson, later to become Archbishop of Canterbury.
His ultimate atheism was brought about following the death of his daughter Annie at the age of only 10 in 1851.
I find it ridiculous, not to mention insulting, that Charles Darwin has become a symbol of atheist sentiment in recent decades. Neither he nor Wallace ever intended their ideas to stand in opposition to spiritual belief – on the contrary, they hoped their evolutionary proposals would add to the complex matrix of the wonder of life and its ultimate origins.
One can attempt to explain the origins of the universe and all that has followed its creation with biochemical explanations to do with the action of cosmic rays upon free-floating electrons, and other similar theories. I do not argue that these may be true, but the question remains – what created these? Go back and back attempting to find material explanations for the origin of life, but this question will always remain an inconvenient truth for those who would seek to deny the truth of a Creator behind it all.
In recent years, posters of Darwin have appeared on bedroom walls and wine bars as a somewhat stupid statement of the incumbent’s atheist convictions.
If they must continue in their blinkered beliefs, can I suggest they replace his image with those such as Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking and Steve Jones?