Saturday, January 28, 2006

Charles Darwin: Evolution of a Scientist

Newsweek article [for complete article, click on title of this post]:

By Jerry Adler, with Anne Underwood and William Lee Adams

A few excerpts:

“He had planned to enter the ministry, but his discoveries on a fateful voyage 170 years ago shook his faith and changed our conceptions of the origins of life.”

“His own life exemplifies the painful journey from moral certainty to existential doubt that is the defining experience of modernity.”

“To a world taught to see the hand of God in every part of Nature, he suggested a different creative force altogether, an undirected, morally neutral process he called natural selection.”

The authors conclude:

“For all his nets and guns and glasses, Darwin never found God; by the same token, the Bible has nothing to impart about the genetic relationships among the finches he did find. But it is human nature to seek both kinds of knowledge. Perhaps after a few more cycles of the planet, we will find a way to pursue them both in peace.”

TonySeb: “Human nature”—perhaps.

See:

Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon,
by Daniel C. Dennett, Penguin Group, 2006

Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory,
by Edward J. Larson, Random House, 2004

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