Gary Chiang

Developing an Integrative Approach
to Science and Christianity

Friday, December 02, 2005

"Like confessing a murder"

click to enlarge 'skulls' by Gary Chiang
This phrase is found in a letter written by Darwin to Hooker in January 1844. In the ListenUp TV program called By Design or Chance, it was used by a Darwinian historian as proof of the inner turmoil that Darwin was going through, an inner turmoil that was occurring as the scientific evidence forced Darwin to recant his faith in Christianity.
This historian is absolutely WRONG!
Darwin was not going through any internal turmoil at the time of this letter. He was living a care-free life of a happily married man with lots and lots of money to spare.
If this historian cared to read the actual letter, in this letter Darwin was happy and excited about his work, and not depressed and worried that he was challenging Christian theology. The comment was directed to Hooker, and Hooker alone, and it was to warn Hooker (a casual acquaintance that Darwin barely knew) that Darwin had some ideas that were considered lame by everyone else he had shared them with.
This letter was not a confession of the soul, but was a light-hearted way to get Hooker to take Darwin's idea seriously.
Moreover, Darwin had no solid evidence for evolution, so the evidence would not have caused any inner conflict for him. That this evidence was missing, and is still missing, can be read about in Overcoming Prejudice in the Evolution/Creation Debate, as well as in The Christian's Guide to Defeating Evolution.


At 11:16 AM, Blogger stmarys said...

The 11 January 1844 letter to Joseph Dalton Hooker is in The correspondence of Charles Darwin Volume 3: 1844-1846 (Cambridge University Press 1987)

Amazon shows the long letter starting at


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