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This is the reason for this thread:

For I am well aware that scarcely a single point is discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I have arrived. A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.

I used this quote to show that Darwin questioned his own theory. Segnasaur challenged my comment and said he did not. And he posted his own quote by Darwin.

So I got to TalkOrigin (highly recommended site by Segnasaur) and posted both our quotes. In full.

But his quote and explanation did not change my position. In fact, reading both quotes....I could still see Darwin questioning his theory....although he is bravely determined to pursue and prove it right.

There was no strong conviction in his words. He sounded more like he is rallying himself, trying to bolster himslef...trying to convince himself that he is right.

So I did some research. I've found some interesting evidences that not only show that he was no doubt questioning his own theory.....but also he considered "design" or "God". He wavered! He capitulated at one point and agreed, and later recanted.

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I don't read any wavering in his statement. He seems to be saying that he has not been able to support his theory with absolute proof and that critics could very well - and correctly so - use the few examples he provides to criticize his theory.

But lets assume you're correct and Darwin wavers. So what? Is it a weakness in his theory that he may not be 1000% positive of its correctness? or that others may actually find means of criticizing his theory? Is doubt proof that the theory is incorrect?

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Why are you searching for the `right' one? Darwin wrote that from the vast mindspace between `right' and `wrong'. It was a humble human's admission of uncertainty.

Darwin was a thinker, not a Binar.

He offered himself up to peer review.

Edited by Radsickle

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I don't read any wavering in his statement. He seems to be saying that he has not been able to support his theory with absolute proof and that critics could very well - and correctly so - use the few examples he provides to criticize his theory.

But lets assume you're correct and Darwin wavers. So what? Is it a weakness in his theory that he may not be 1000% positive of its correctness? or that others may actually find means of criticizing his theory? Is doubt proof that the theory is incorrect?

Questioning his own theory suggests that he himself is not sure about it. Of course that doesn't prove that it is incorrect.

BUT, when other scientists - including modern-day scientists - not only question it too, but refute it. Then there's the fossil record....well just like law - you know- when circumstantial evidence(s) start piling up....

Edited by betsy

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Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, KT, FRS (14 November 1797 – 22 February 1875) was a Scottish lawyer, geologist, and proponent of uniformitarianism. He was the foremost geologist of his day, and an influence on the young Charles Darwin.

Lyell first became aware of the ideas of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck when he was 26, in 1827. A letter to Mantell reads, in part, as follows:

"I devoured Lamark... his theories delighted me... I am glad that he has been courageous enough and logical enough to admit that his argument, if pushed as far as it must go, if worth anything, would prove that men may have come from the Ourang-Outang. But after all, what changes species may really undergo!... That the Earth is quite as old as he supposes, has long been my creed..."[10]

Later, Darwin became a close personal friend, and Lyell was one of the first scientists to support On the Origin of Species, though he did not subscribe to all its contents. Lyell was also a friend of Darwin's closest colleagues, Hooker and Huxley, but unlike them he struggled to square his religious beliefs with evolution. This inner struggle has been much commented on. He had particular difficulty in believing in natural selection as the main motive force in evolution.[14][15][16]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Lyell

CHARLES DARWIN TO C. LYELL. Ilkley Wells, Yorkshire, November 23 [1859].

My dear Lyell,

You seemed to have worked admirably on the species question; there could not have been a better plan than reading up on the opposite side. I rejoice profoundly that you intend admitting the doctrine of modification in your new edition (It appears from Sir Charles Lyell's published letters that he intended to admit the doctrine of evolution in a new edition of the 'Manual,' but this was not published till 1865. He was, however, at work on the 'Antiquity of Man' in 1860, and had already determined to discuss the 'Origin' at the end of the book.); nothing, I am convinced, could be more important for its success. I honour you most sincerely. To have maintained in the position of a master, one side of a question for thirty years, and then deliberately give it up, is a fact to which I much doubt whether the records of science offer a parallel. For myself, also, I rejoice profoundly; for, thinking of so many cases of men pursuing an illusion for years, often and often a cold shudder has run through me, and I have asked myself whether I may not have devoted my life to a phantasy. Now I look at it as morally impossible that investigators of truth, like you and Hooker, can be wholly wrong, and therefore I rest in peace. Thank you for criticisms, which, if there be a second edition, I will attend to. I have been thinking that if I am much execrated as an atheist, etc., whether the admission of the doctrine of natural selection could injure your works; but I hope and think not, for as far as I can remember, the virulence of bigotry is expended on the first offender, and those who adopt his views are only pitied as deluded, by the wise and cheerful bigots.

http://charles-darwin.classic-literature.c...ook-page-12.asp

Edited by betsy

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So I did some research. I've found some interesting evidences that not only show that he was no doubt questioning his own theory.....but also he considered "design" or "God". He wavered! He capitulated at one point and agreed, and later recanted.

clarification request: are you suggesting the "recant" as a recant of "design/God"... or a "recant" of the theory? That is to say, do you subscribe to Darwin's alleged, so-called, death-bed recantation?

in terms of the widely accepted self-doubt, this Darwin quote offers a representative account:

“With me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?

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Questioning his own theory suggests that he himself is not sure about it. Of course that doesn't prove that it is incorrect.

BUT, when other scientists - including modern-day scientists - not only question it too, but refute it. Then there's the fossil record....well just like law - you know- when circumstantial evidence(s) start piling up....

In my opinion, it's obvious which shore you're paddlin' for. You want to refute Darwin. Yee Haw. I thought this forum topic might've been more than propaganda from one side.

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Why are you searching for the `right' one? Darwin wrote that from the vast mindspace between `right' and `wrong'. It was a humble human's admission of uncertainty.

Darwin was a thinker, not a Binar.

He offered himself up to peer review.

Don't get me wrong, I admire Darwin. More so that I've researched a bit about him. You're right, it is a humble admission of uncertainty. I'm not attacking him. It is his theory that is on center-stage here.

A theory that's being pushed and passed up for a fact. When in fact it's far from that!

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clarification request: are you suggesting the "recant" as a recant of "design/God"... or a "recant" of the theory? That is to say, do you subscribe to Darwin's alleged, so-called, death-bed recantation?

in terms of the widely accepted self-doubt, this Darwin quote offers a representative account:

“With me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?

No, not recant in theory. Recant in his capitulation about design/God.

Why, was there a deathbed recant? I didn't know about that.

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The way I see it, this is crucial. Just think about it....

That Darwin even considered the idea of a design/God .....what a boost for the ID camp!

Dawkins and followers might as well just throw in the towel.

And I do believe Darwin was conflicted, and I do believe that he truly meant his capitulation at the time.

Even though he recanted and swung right back into the atheist position....just the fact that he considered it....something prodded him to consider it.

It gives a lot of weight to the ID theory. Especially when philosopher Antony Flew (considered a hardcore legend among atheist) suddenly embraced deism....stating that ID is more convincing.

I have something to back up my argument, but I'm out of time right now. And will be quite busy for the next couple of days. Sorry....but I'll be back.

Edited by betsy

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A theory that's being pushed and passed up for a fact. When in fact it's far from that!

oooh! You mean - like - the opposite of a fact?! Sounds fascinating!

Edited by Radsickle

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...just the fact that he considered it....something prodded him to consider it.

A number of religious quacks were prodding him with pitchforks.

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Excerpts from....

Charles Darwin and Asa Gray Discuss Teleology and Design

Sara Joan Miles*

Eastern College

From: PSCF 53 (September 2001): 196-201.

If Thomas Huxley earned the title of "Darwin's bulldog," then Asa Gray should be remembered as "Darwin's dove." Whereas Huxley enjoyed a good fight in his defense of Darwin's theory, Gray sought to mediate and bring sides together around a common understanding of "good science." As Darwin's strongest and most vocal scientific ally in the United States, Gray recognized the scientific importance of Darwin's efforts for the growing professionalism of biological researchers. But as an orthodox Christian, a Presbyterian firmly devoted to the faith expressed in the Nicene Creed, he saw in Darwin's theory both evidence for his philosophical commitment to natural theology and support for his opposition to the idealism advocated by Louis Agassiz and the naturphilosophers in both Europe and America. Indeed, Agassiz's advocacy of Platonic forms as a basis of biological understanding (e.g., "A species is a thought of the creator"1 would be a major source of American opposition to Darwin's theory.

Professor of botany at Harvard during most of the middle half of the nineteenth century, Gray was one of the few members of the scientific community to whom Darwin revealed his theory before the publication of On the Origin of Species, and, from what I can tell, the only American. Gray and Darwin met briefly in January 1839 during one of Gray's visits to England. Later, during the 1850s, Darwin wrote Gray on several occasions requesting information--a practice that Darwin frequently employed. In 1854, Darwin's friend and confidant, Joseph Hooker, showed Darwin Gray's review of Hooker's Flora of New Zealand, in which Gray had argued strongly against Louis Agassiz's idealism and had raised questions from his own work on the stability of species. Gray was not yet ready to deny their permanence, but hybrids and other observations were beginning to trouble him.

Darwin, however, saw in both Gray's review of Hooker's book and in his comments on De Candolle's tome that Gray was troubled by some of the same empirical data that had been bothering him. In April 1855, Darwin wrote Gray to urge that Gray update his Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States first published in 1848, and especially to address the issue of the range of Alpine plants in the United States. Specifically, he said: "Now I would say it is your duty to generalise as far as you safely can from your as yet completed work."3 Behind this request was Darwin's desire to test his impression that Gray could make a good ally. Gray passed the test, and finally, in July 1857, Darwin let Gray in on his theory of the transmutation of species. Gray was never an uncritical supporter, and there are many evidences in the correspondence between these two scientists that Gray was willing to challenge Darwin and disagree with some of his conclusions. Nevertheless, Gray saw the importance of Darwin's work and the ways in which it provided answers to the troublesome issues that he had confronted in his own botanical efforts.

As all good historians of science and of Christian thought know, evangelical Christians in the nineteenth century were generally not biblical literalists, nor did they believe in a young earth. In other words, the religious opposition to Darwin did not arise from perceived problems between Darwin's theory and a literal reading of Genesis. Rather, following the publication of Origin of Species, it centered on what seemed to be the randomness of natural selection, the appearance of new organisms by chance, and therefore the exclusion of divine purpose or design in Nature.7

It was the teleological question that Gray addressed in his review and about which he and Darwin corresponded over many years.

Darwin's response to Gray's review, a copy of which he received prior to its publication, was very positive. Darwin even hoped that it could become a preface in a second American edition of On the Origin of Species on which Gray worked. In a letter later in the year to James Dwight Dana, Darwin said: "No one person understands my views & has defended them so well as A. Gray;--though he does not by any means go all the way with me."8 The "all the way" included teleology, and Darwin wrote this to Gray concerning his attempt to retain design:

“It has always seemed to me that for an Omnipotent & Omniscient Creator to foresee is the same as to preordain; but then when I come to think over this I get into an uncomfortable puzzle something analogous with "necessity & Free-will" or the "Origin of evil," or other subject quite beyond the scope of the human intellect”.9

Three months later he picked up the discussion with these comments:

With respect to the theological view of the question; this is always painful to me.--I am bewildered.--I had no intention to write atheistically. But I own that I cannot see, as plainly as others do, & as I shd wish to do, evidence of design & beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent & omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice. Not believing this, I see no necessity in the belief that the eye was expressly designed. On the other hand I cannot anyhow be contented to view this wonderful universe & especially the nature of man, & to conclude that everything is the result of brute force.

I am inclined to look at everything as resulting from designed laws, with the details, whether good or bad, left to the working out of what we may call chance. Not that this notion at all satisfies me .... But the more I think the more bewildered I become; as indeed I have probably shown by this letter.10

Shortly after this letter to Gray, Darwin wrote Charles Lyell on the same subject and said:

I have said that nat. Selection is to the structure of organised beings, what the human architect is to a building. The very existence of the human architect shows the existence of more general laws; but no one in giving credit for a building to the human architect, thinks it necessary to refer to the laws by which man has appeared. No astronomer in showing how movements of Planets are due to gravity, thinks it necessary to say that the law of gravity was designed that the planets shd pursue the courses which they pursue.--I cannot believe that there is a bit more interference by the Creator in the construction of each species, than in the course of the planets.--It is only owing to Paley & Co, as I believe, that this more special interference is thought necessary with living bodies.11

In mentioning "Paley & Co," Darwin was referring to William Paley and other natural theologians, who had argued that nature--through the organization and adaptations of living organisms--demonstrated the existence of an intelligent creator. Darwin had studied Paley while in university, and Gray had also been influenced by the work of Paley, whose eighteenth-century opus Natural Theology was an important component of nineteenth-century American philosophy and was still used as a text at Harvard when Gray began teaching there in 1842.

For Paley, Nature provided the evidence for the existence of God, but Darwin had difficulty with this argument. His difficulty centered on what might best be referred to as issues surrounding theodicy, i.e., are natural selection and its results consistent with design by a benevolent God or do they imply that, if designed, God is capable of malevolent intent. In a July 3, 1860, letter to Gray, Darwin explicitly raises the issue. He writes:

One word more on "designed laws" & "undesigned results." I see a bird which I want for food, take my gun & kill it, I do this designedly.--An innocent & good man stands under tree & is killed by flash of lightning. Do you believe (& I really shd like to hear) that God designedly killed this man? Many or most person do believe this; I can't & don't.--If you believe so, do you believe that when a swallow snaps up a gnat that God designed that that particular swallow shd snap up that particular gnat at that particular instant? I believe that the man & the gnat are in same predicament.--If the death of neither man or gnat are designed, I see no good reason to believe that their first birth or production shd be necessarily designed. Yet, as I said before, I cannot persuade myself that electricity acts, that the tree grows, that man aspires to loftiest conceptions all from blind, brute force.12

What Darwin wanted was Design without suffering, teleology without agony, purpose without pain.

This issue becomes the focus of discussion following the third article of a series that Gray published in The Atlantic Monthly in July, August, and October of 1860. When these articles were reprinted as a chapter in Gray's Darwiniana, the chapter was titled "Natural Selection not Inconsistent with Natural Theology."

The passage that focused the discussion for Darwin was this: "We should advise Mr. Darwin to assume, in the philosophy of his hypothesis, that variation has been led along certain beneficial lines."13

After stating that the article was "admirable," Darwin responded to Gray in these words:

But I grieve to say that I cannot honestly go as far as you do about Design .... [Y]ou lead me to infer that you believe "that variation has been led along certain beneficial lines."--I cannot believe this; & I think you would have to believe, that the tail of the fan-tail was led to vary in the number & direction of its feathers in order to gratify the caprice of a few men.14

In September, Darwin responded to a question from Gray and informed him of his correspondence with Lyell on the subject of Design. In a lengthy passage, he wrote:

Your question of what would convince me of Design is a poser. If I saw an angel come down to teach us good, & I was convinced, from others seeing him, that I was not mad, I shd believe in design. If I could be convinced thoroughly that life & mind was in an unknown way a function of other imponderable forces, I shd be convinced .... I have lately been corresponding with Lyell, who, I think, adopts your idea of the stream of variation having been led or designed. I have asked him (& he says he will hereafter reflect & answer me) whether he believes that the shape of my nose was designed. If he does, I have nothing more to say. If not, seeing what Fanciers have done by selecting individual differences in the nasal bones of Pigeons, I must think that it is illogical to suppose that the variations, which Nat. Selection preserves for the good of any being, have been designed. But I know that I am in the same sort of muddle (as I have said before) as all the world seems to be in with respect to free will, yet with every supposed to have been foreseen or preordained.15

Finally, in December, Darwin sent up the white flag, conceding that "f anything is designed, certainly Man must be; one's 'inner consciousness' (though a false guide) tells one so; yet I cannot admit that man's rudimentary mammae ... & pug-nose were designed .... I am in thick mud;--the orthodox would say in fetid abominable mud."[/1]16

From this point on, the topic is not as central in their correspondence.

Following the publication of Darwin's book on orchids, however, he asked Gray to look at the last chapter, since Darwin believed that it bore on the design question. Gray's response was found in both his review of the book and in a letter to Darwin. In his review, he praised Darwin for having "brought back teleological considerations into botany." He concluded:

We faithfully believe that both natural science and natural theology will richly gain, and equally gain, whether we view each varied form as original, or whether we come to conclude, with Mr. Darwin, that they are derived:--the grand and most important inference of design in nature being drawn from the same data, subject to similar difficulties, and enforced by nearly the same considerations, in the one case as in the other.17

Gray may have believed that Darwin "brought back teleological considerations into botany," and Darwin may have swung that way in his book on orchids, but by 1867 Darwin had definitely swung back to the other side.

http://www.asa3.org/aSA/PSCF/2001/PSCF9-01Miles.html

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The way I see it, this is crucial. Just think about it....

That Darwin even considered the idea of a design/God .....what a boost for the ID camp!

Dawkins and followers might as well just throw in the towel.

Excuse me... he was spoon-fed the Xtian creation myth as the only explanation to the same degree that everyone else of his age/time/place was.

His theory did not spring, fully-formed, to his conciousness, upon his birth. He pulled together tenuous strings of evidence, to come to a radical, completely revolutionary conclusion.

How could anyone rationally expect him to never have marvelled at, and doubted, his own conclusions?!

What's more, his conclusions are not in conflict with the notion of the existence of a creator, except to the degree that SOME devotees to particular creation myths invent one.

Certainly feel free to explore any aspect of the man and his ideas that you wish... or any other danged thing that tickles your fanny... but for the life of me, I don't understand what you get out of this single-minded, no-holds-barred windmill hunt.

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That Darwin even considered the idea of a design/God .....what a boost for the ID camp!

Dawkins and followers might as well just throw in the towel.

At least Darwin, Dawkins and other scientists in the feild admit they do not have all the answers. And they admit there are possibilities of a god. That does not prove god is real outright at all. Creationistst and ID'ers claim they already have the answers. Real scientists check the 'faith' at the door.

I await your 4th thread on this topic.

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At least Darwin, Dawkins and other scientists in the feild admit they do not have all the answers. And they admit there are possibilities of a god.

I'm glad you finally see my point. You agree with me that they considered/consider the possibility of a god...."or Design"....or ID.

The conclusion: between the two theories, ID is far more convincing.

Edited by betsy

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I'm glad you finally see my point. You agree with me that they considered/consider the possibility of a god...."or Design"....or ID.

The conclusion: between the two theories, ID is far more convincing.

I would not go that far. I don't find ID being convincing at all. Not from what I have seen anyways. Science at least can say there is a possibility. But nothing concrete yet. IDers simply don't play on the other side of the fence, not even to ponder the thought. That would be blasphemy. To them, there is no possibility of evolution being valid.

And that is a huge problem with this debate. Science had admitted to the possibility, and the IDers take that as science as not being valid at all. They discount it outright because of these gaps we can't fill in yet. Most IDers throw loaded questions at evolution and science, and when 'i do not know' comes up, it is taken as proof that ID is the right choice.

Science has wiggle room.

ID has no wiggle room.

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I would not go that far. I don't find ID being convincing at all. Not from what I have seen anyways.

But we're not talking about you. We're talking about the big honchos!

Science at least can say there is a possibility.

Yes. Darwin. Dawkins. Other scientists. The main guys admitted about the possibility of ID!

But nothing concrete yet.

But it surely is more concrete than evolution!

If Darwin and Dawkins both admitted to the possibility of ID....and legendary atheist Antony Flew compounded that by suddenly abandoning atheism and embracing deism....and stating that ID is more convincing....well, what more can we say? :lol:

IDers simply don't play on the other side of the fence, not even to ponder the thought. That would be blasphemy. To them, there is no possibility of evolution being valid.

And that is a huge problem with this debate. Science had admitted to the possibility, and the IDers take that as science as not being valid at all. They discount it outright because of these gaps we can't fill in yet. Most IDers throw loaded questions at evolution and science, and when 'i do not know' comes up, it is taken as proof that ID is the right choice.

Irrelevant.

Darwin and Dawkins and Flew definitely saw the possibility of ID. Admitted to it.

Science has wiggle room. ID has no wiggle room.

It means IDers are confident about their theory that's why there is no "wiggling" around.

And yes, science showed it has wiggle room. Darwin and Dawkins and other scientists "wiggled" over to the ID theory.

Edited by betsy

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But it surely is more concrete than evolution!

If Darwin and Dawkins both admitted to the possibility of ID....

Given that the pseudo scoince of ID didn't exist when Darwin was alive, it is impossible that he admitted there was a possibility. You have misinterpreted his statement to suit your own agenda. He basically said..his conclusions brought him to natural selection as being the mechansim of how evolution works, but other looking impartially (something you certainly aren't doing) may come up with other conclusions.

There are certainly more than one theory about how evolution works, but there is no doubt that evolution works one way or another. ID and other fairy tales aren't incl;uded in those theories....

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Given that the pseudo scoince of ID didn't exist when Darwin was alive, it is impossible that he admitted there was a possibility. You have misinterpreted his statement to suit your own agenda. He basically said..his conclusions brought him to natural selection as being the mechansim of how evolution works, but other looking impartially (something you certainly aren't doing) may come up with other conclusions.

There are certainly more than one theory about how evolution works, but there is no doubt that evolution works one way or another. ID and other fairy tales aren't incl;uded in those theories....

Darwin did not say Intelligent Design (ID)....but he did refer to "design."

On the other hand I cannot anyhow be contented to view this wonderful universe & especially the nature of man, & to conclude that everything is the result of brute force.

I am inclined to look at everything as resulting from designed laws, with the details, whether good or bad, left to the working out of what we may call chance. Not that this notion at all satisfies me .... But the more I think the more bewildered I become; as indeed I have probably shown by this letter.10

"if anything is designed, certainly Man must be; one's 'inner consciousness' (though a false guide) tells one so; yet I cannot admit that man's rudimentary mammae ... & pug-nose were designed .... I am in thick mud;--the orthodox would say in fetid abominable mud."[/1]16
Following the publication of Darwin's book on orchids, however, he asked Gray to look at the last chapter, since Darwin believed that it bore on the design question. Gray's response was found in both his review of the book and in a letter to Darwin. In his review, he praised Darwin for having "brought back teleological considerations into botany." He concluded:

We faithfully believe that both natural science and natural theology will richly gain, and equally gain, whether we view each varied form as original, or whether we come to conclude, with Mr. Darwin, that they are derived:--the grand and most important inference of design in nature being drawn from the same data, subject to similar difficulties, and enforced by nearly the same considerations, in the one case as in the other.17

Edited by betsy

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After Darwin recanted and swung back, he still waivered.

But Darwin still had to explain beauty and goodness, so he continued to waiver.

In 1874 Gray wrote an article for Nature that was essentially a tribute to Darwin. After discussing his contributions, Gray said:

Apropos to these papers, which furnish excellent illustrations of it, let us recognise Darwin's great service to Natural Science in bringing back to it Teleology: so that, instead of Morphology versus Teleology, we shall have Morphology wedded to Teleology.19

Darwin's response showed pleasure. He wrote: "What you say about Teleology pleases me especially, and I do not think any one else has ever noticed the point. I have always said you were the man to hit the nail on the head."20

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And near the end of his life, Darwin wrote to his friend T. H. Farrer these words: "if we consider the whole universe, the mind refuses to look at it as the outcome of chance--that is, without design or purpose. The whole question seems to me insoluble, ...."21

http://www.asa3.org/aSA/PSCF/2001/PSCF9-01Miles.html

Edited by betsy

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Atheists love to banter the name Darwin about - but - I could never find a statement by Darwin saying their is no intelligence in the design of nature or there is no God. It's easy to put words into a dead mans mouth. It's called revisionism.

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