Charles Darwin and the Origin of the Species
About seven years ago, I went with the lovely Mrs. St. Thomas to our favorite city in the world, London. I love everything about London. I love how history seems to seep out of the very pores of the city. London is one of those places where the veil between the present and the past is an illusion. The ghosts of history ready to poke through that veil at any moment.
Nowhere is this more evident than at Westminister Abbey. Not only is it a working church, but it’s a vast graveyard of history. That isn’t just colorful language, as everyone knows, manyy famous kings, queens and other luminaries of English history have their final resting place in this beautiful cathedral.
As I was walking around, I saw a simple stone in the ground. I was shocked to see the name on the stone, Charles Darwin. At the time, I remember being a bit outraged. How could this man be buried here? The man who worked so hard to tear down belief in God and who, at the time, had always struck me as rather dark and sinister figure. This man, I felt, had no business being buried in a church.
As I have continued to find out more about Darwin’s life and the theory of evolution, I have changed my opinion on a lot of things. First, I realized how conflicted Darwin was during his life and how he only lost his faith after the tragic death of his daughter. But, at the same time, he still gave to the church, particiated in missions of mercy and loved his devout wife. He worried a lot about how much his theory would undermine people’s faith in God, realizing it was a good possibility.
Second, I have begun to change my mind on much of what I had believed at the time I quietly raged over Darwin’s grave. I no longer think that creation happend in a six day 24 hour period. I understand, thanks to Ken Miller, Francis Collins, Jack Collins and Denis Lamoureux, that Christians can accept evolution.
So, with all that mind, I’m now about to start reading Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species. My plan is to blog about the experience, with the hope of posting after every chapter. This should start around Monday or Tuesday.
I’m hoping this will be a great way to start discussion. I’m hoping to encourage atheists by taking science seriously and encourage Christians to see there is nothing to fear from the theory of evolution.
Pretentious? Probably, but I already blogged about that.
Update and Clairfication:
For those of your Christians who are asking, I do believe the Bible is God’s word and should be taken as such. This is what I think about creation
Gen. 1 and two were never meant to be taken as literal twenty four hour days. Therefore, God created the world over billions of years using natural proceses that He designed for such purposes. The text itself is very clear that Gen 1 and two are not to be taken as a literal time frame. One, it was designed to tell us that God created the world, two, that He is greater than the gods of nature and indeed, nature itself, Three, it must be remembered this book was written to Jews after the covenant was given to Moses. As such, the text is meant to enforce the order God established in said covenant, ie, six days you shalll work, and on the seventh you shall rest.
I believe that God at some time and place, designated Adam and Eve as our literal represenatives.