Did Charles Darwin Believe in Design? The answer may surprise you.

Steve Huffey is a residential real estate investor, specializing in multi-units. His interest in the ‘crossroad of science and faith’ has led him to focus on philology of the era during which transition from Egyptian hieroglyphs to Proto-Sinaitic script and associated Paleo-Hebrew took place. Better clarity of this era and scripts give added meaning to Biblical creation texts.

Guest Post by Steve Huffey

The last sentence of “On the Origin of Species ….” reveals a struggle.

In his book, “On the Origin of Species ….”, Darwin wrote “Creator” nine times, “God” once, and quoted a statement including “God”; all put in a positive light. But in the topic and public debate of evolution, the design of God has suffered loss. Design was honored by Darwin, but dishonored by

atheists who claim ‘randomness’ of complexity. Atheists have largely informed religion about Darwin, and for a severe lack of knowledge, religion listens. Atheistic foxes have entered the creation hen house. Atheists seem to devour discussion about design of the chicken and the egg.

C O N T E N T S

  • The last sentence of “On the Origin of Species ….” reveals a struggle
  • Revisionism in public debate – about evolution, atheism, and religion
  • A slight history of early Darwinism in the Americas
  • The Voyage Of The Beagle: amazing insight into the mind of Darwin
  • References to words ‘Creator’ and ‘God’ in “On the Origin of Species ….”
  • All references to the Creator and God, expanded for context of meaning –
  • Pictures of the closing sentence in the 1st and 5th editions [there is a 6th ed.]
  • A grand view of creation: ontology, teleology, and theodicy – a short version

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Darwin‘s famous 60 word closing statement in “Origin”, given below, is often gutted of 19 – 20 important words within quotations by atheists. It drastically changes its meaning. The seamlessly deleted part is underlined.

“There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”

The phrase “by the Creator” was not in the first edition of “Origin”. After that edition, people asked Darwin to be more specific about “originally breathed”. Why use ‘breathed’, and what was ‘original’ about it?

He referred to the key Genesis 2:7 verse, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.Thus, “by the Creator” was included in all subsequent five editions.

All five subsequent editions had revisions due to scientific discoveries, and some revisions were quite extensive, and a chapter was eventually added to later editions. But Darwin never removed any statement about the Creator or God from the book.

Stephen Gould is an example of biased atheistic journalism. Gould was formerly of Harvard University and theorist of punctuated equilibrium. He considered Darwin to be his model, in absentia.

His many essays for Nature magazine were gathered and published in a book named `Eight Little Piggies’. In those essays, Gould twice punctuated the 20 underlined words above from Darwin’s last sentence by use of an ellipsis [….], (pp. 179, 217 in `Eight Little Piggies’).

Such acts are often done to smoothly erase references to the ‘Creator’ or ‘breathed’. So Gould, the author of punctuated equilibrium, also became an author-practitioner of punctuated journalism.

Similarly, an influential Harvard socio-biologist and atheistic evolutionary spokesman, Dr. Edward O. Wilson, was invited to write several introductions to sections of an anthology of Darwin’s works entitled “From So Simple a Beginning”, such titled from Darwin’s closing sentence.

At an introduction to a major section of the book (p. 440), he quoted the last sentence from the first edition of “Origin”. Of course, that edition does not include the phrase “by the Creator”. His choice of quotation avoids five later more authoritative editions of “Origins”, including the last edition which would be considered the most authoritative of Darwin’s views.

Likewise, Dr. James Watson, co-discover of DNA, was similarly invited to provide commentary in a anthology of Darwin titled “Darwin, the Indelible Stamp” and made the same choice of a quote ‘sans the Creator’ in his comments (p. 601). This is common fare for atheist quotes of the sentence, should it be necessary.

Revisionism in public debate – about evolution, atheism, and religion

A faction of atheists have perpetrated what is possibly the greatest revisionist ‘re-visioning’ of truth to affect modern society. During the past century, it has caused unfair debate about evolution and it has engendered polarization in society. For the truth, Religion must go to the original source: Darwin, not writings of most atheists!

In 1959, an important historical intellectual watershed wrongly associated evolution to atheism. During the Darwin Centennial celebration at the University of Chicago, Julian Huxley, who was a British biologist and philosopher and also the grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley, gave these divisive opening public remarks:

“… In 1859, Darwin opened the passage leading to a new psychosocial level, with a new pattern of ideological organization of thought and belief. In the evolutionary pattern of thought there is no longer either the need or room for the supernatural. The earth was not created, it evolved. So did all the animals and plants that inhabit it, including our human selves, mind and soul as well as brain and body. So did religion. Evolutionary man can no longer take refuge from his loneliness in the arms of a divinized father figure whom he himself created.”

Design from the supernatural God was claimed not a part of evolution.

Like strands of steel wool forming a larger pad, many false claims from atheists have gathered force. Together, they knowingly scrub out the phrase ‘breathed by the Creator’ from the last sentence of the Darwin’s seminal book. They avoid the larger general usage of ‘Creator’ and ‘God’, avoiding the forthright respect of Darwin to God.

Religion responded to the atheistic assault upon God, but without informed grandeur. We must always go to original sources, but far too often have only listened to atheists as bearers of truth.

Today, hypotheses about evolution begin to better approach the honor of God and Design through the most recent adjustment to evolution understanding, named Extended Evolutionary Synthesis [EES].

A slight history of early Darwinism in the Americas

In the mid 1800’s, Darwin’s friend and defender of his theory on the U.S. side the ‘big pond’ was Asa Gray. He was a Harvard Professor of Botany and considered the most important American botanist of the 19th century. He was instrumental in unifying the taxonomic knowledge of the plants of North America.

The most popular of Gray’s many works on botany is his manual known today simply as ‘Gray’s Manual’ and which remains a standard in the field. He was also a Presbyterian, devoted to a faith expounded by the Nicene Creed. He felt evolution was guided by the Creator.

When ‘On the Origin of the Species ….’ was published, Asa Gray wrote a positive yet critical review in The American Journal of Science. He ended it with the caution that Darwin’s theory could be misused to support an atheistic view of Nature, but that indeed, any scientific theory could also be misused!

In the U.S. debate, Asa Gray was pulled two ways. For example, his Harvard colleague, Louis Agassiz, claimed that evolution was nonsense and that God independently created each animal species, and also Black and White races.

But, other people attempted to fanaticize Darwin as a devil, claiming that evolution would remove God from the equation. Gray wrote articles to challenge religious anti-Darwinists, agnostics, and atheists.

Gray had no use for the extremes espoused by non-evolutionists or hyper-interventionists of ‘kinds’. He wished to show a God who had designedly evolved nature. [Some thoughts of this topic are taken from //uh.edu/engines/epi1975.htm ].

Thomas Henry Huxley, Julian Huxley’s grandfather, was more humble and thoughtful than his grandson. As a scientist contemporary to Darwin, he promoted Darwin’s evolution on the British side of the pond.

Yet, he was neither satisfied with God nor with the claims and definition of atheism. In 1869, he newly coined the word ‘agnostic’ – ‘not known’ to better define his skepticism. Its definition was much in common with what was then called ‘freethinker’ philosophy.

The Voyage Of The Beagle: amazing insight into the mind of Darwin

Darwin’s roots and spirit in life is well exemplified from his book ‘The Voyage Of The Beagle’. A quote from it relates his experiences from his 1831 – 1836 voyage. It was published in 1839. Darwin was an eloquent writer. Near the closing of the book, chapter 21, Mauritius to England, he movingly wrote [boldface mine]:

Among the scenes which are deeply impressed on my mind, none exceed in sublimity the primeval forests undefaced by the hand of man; whether those of Brazil, where the powers of Life are predominant, or those of Tierra del Fuego, where Death and Decay prevail. Both are temples filled with the varied productions of the God of Nature:–no one can stand in these solitudes unmoved, and not feel that there is more in man than the mere breath of his body”.

Temples, God of Nature, and more in man than mere breath …? Darwin was interested in visioning the God of Nature, but many atheists re-vision Darwin by ‘non-random selective’ bias in journalism. This discussion is over 150 years old and it continues. Answers to the questions of life is a huge scientific endeavor. It should be more fairly promulgated in society.

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References to words ‘Creator’ and ‘God’ in “On the Origin of Species ….”

References below are to the sixth [ final ] edition. The book is past copyright and available to read for free, on-line at //www.literature.org/authors/darwin-charles/the-origin-of-species/index.html .

Page references are to the on-line book at the above website. The listed Preface and accompanying four chapters contain all occurrences of Creator’ and ‘God’ in the book. The book tally is: Creator – 9, God – 1, and a quotation using God – 1.

For full quotations and contexts, see the section following this section.

Preface – Page 4 of 8 – quote from ‘Vestiges of Creation’, which includes ‘God’

Chapter 5 – Page 9 of 26 – God

Chapter 6 – Page 9 of 26 – Creator

Page 11 of 26 – Creator

Page 11 of 26 – Creator, again

Page 21 of 26 [ not in the first edition ] Creator

Chapter 14 [ – is chapter 13 in the first edition. The sixth edition of Origin has an extra chapter ] –

Page 2 of 31 – Creator

Page 2 of 31 – Creator, again

Page 16 of 31 – Creator

Chapter 15 [ – is chapter 14 in the first edition. The sixth edition of Origin has an extra chapter ] –

Page 19 of 20 – Creator

Page 20 of 20 – [ not in the first edition ] Creator

……………………………

All references to the Creator and God, expanded for context of meaning –

Preface

Page 4 of 8 pages in the preface

The “Vestiges of Creation” appeared in 1844. In the tenth and much improved edition (1853) the anonymous author says (page 155): “The proposition determined on after much consideration is, that the several series of animated beings, from the simplest and oldest up to the highest and most recent, are, under the providence of God, the results, FIRST, of an impulse which has been imparted to the forms of life, advancing them, in definite times, by generation, through grades of organisation terminating in the highest dicotyledons and vertebrata, these grades being few in number, and generally marked by intervals of organic character, which we find to be a practical difficulty in ascertaining affinities; SECOND, of another impulse connected with the vital forces, tending, in the course of generations, to modify organic structures in accordance with external circumstances, as food, the nature of the habitat, and the meteoric agencies, these being the ‘adaptations’ of the natural theologian.” The author apparently believes that organisation progresses by sudden leaps, but that the effects produced by the conditions of life are gradual. He argues with much force on general grounds that species are not immutable productions. But I cannot see how the two supposed “impulses” account in a scientific sense for the numerous and beautiful coadaptations which we see throughout nature; I cannot see that we thus gain any insight how, for instance, a woodpecker has become adapted to its peculiar habits of life. The work, from its powerful and brilliant style, though displaying in the early editions little accurate knowledge and a great want of scientific caution, immediately had a very wide circulation. In my opinion it has done excellent service in this country in calling attention to the subject, in removing prejudice, and in thus preparing the ground for the reception of analogous views.

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Chapter 5

Page 9 of 26 pages in the chapter

He who believes that each equine species was independently created, will, I presume, assert that each species has been created with a tendency to vary, both under nature and under domestication, in this particular manner, so as often to become striped like the other species of the genus; and that each has been created with a strong tendency, when crossed with species inhabiting distant quarters of the world, to produce hybrids resembling in their stripes, not their own parents, but other species of the genus. To admit this view is, as it seems to me, to reject a real for an unreal, or at least for an unknown cause. It makes the works of God a mere mockery and deception; I would almost as soon believe with the old and ignorant cosmogonists, that fossil shells had never lived, but had been created in stone so as to mock the shells now living on the sea-shore.

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Chapter 6

Page 9 of 26

He who believes in separate and innumerable acts of creation may say, that in these cases it has pleased the Creator to cause a being of one type to take the place of one belonging to another type; but this seems to me only restating the fact in dignified language.

Page 11 of 26

Have we any right to assume that the Creator works by intellectual powers like those of man?

Page 11 of 26

Let this process go on for millions of years; and during each year on millions of individuals of many kinds; and may we not believe that a living optical instrument might thus be formed as superior to one of glass, as the works of the Creator are to those of man?

Page 21 of 26 [ not in the first edition ]

The foregoing remarks lead me to say a few words on the protest lately made by some naturalists against the utilitarian doctrine that every detail of structure has been produced for the good of its possessor. They believe that many structures have been created for the sake of beauty, to delight man or the Creator (but this latter point is beyond the scope of scientific discussion), or for the sake of mere variety, a view already discussed. Such doctrines, if true, would be absolutely fatal to my theory.

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Chapter 14 [ – is chapter 13 in the first edition. The sixth edition of Origin has an extra included chapter ]

Page 2 of 31

The ingenuity and utility of this system are indisputable. But many naturalists think that something more is meant by the Natural System; they believe that it reveals the plan of the Creator; but unless it be specified whether order in time or space, or both, or what else is meant by the plan of the Creator, it seems to me that nothing is thus added to our knowledge. Expressions such as that famous one by Linnaeus, which we often meet with in a more or less concealed form, namely, that the characters do not make the genus, but that the genus gives the characters, seem to imply that some deeper bond is included in our classifications than mere resemblance.

Page 16 of 31

On the ordinary view of the independent creation of each being, we can only say that so it is; that it has pleased the Creator to construct all the animals and plants in each great class on a uniform plan; but this is not a scientific explanation.

The explanation is to a large extent simple, on the theory of the selection of successive slight modifications, each being profitable in some way to the modified form, but often affecting by correlation other parts of the organisation.

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Chapter 15 [ – is chapter 14 in the first edition. The sixth edition of Origin has an extra included chapter ]

Page 19 of 20

Authors of the highest eminence seem to be fully satisfied with the view that each species has been independently created. To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes, like those determining the birth and death of the individual. When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Cambrian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled. Judging from the past, we may safely infer that not one living species will transmit its unaltered likeness to a distinct futurity.

Page 20 of 20

There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone circling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.

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Pictures of the closing sentence in the 1st and 5th editions [there is a 6th ed.]

Darwin, C. R. 1859. On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. London: John Murray. 1st edition, 1st issue. [page] 490, CONCLUSION. CHAP. XIV.

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Darwin, C. R. 1869. On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. London: John Murray. 5th edition. Ten thousand.

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I do not have a picture of the sixth final edition. Darwin, C. R. 1872. The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. London: John Murray. 6th edition; with additions and corrections. Eleven thousand.

A grand view of creation: ontology, teleology, and theodicy – a short version

It is helpful to understand Darwin’s personal deep concern about theodicy. He was first affected by the death of a niece, cutting short his honeymoon to attend the funeral. Later in life, he was tremendously affected by the death of his young daughter. He was a devoted family man. As a result of these events, he died an agnostic.

Theodicy is the most egregiously considered fundamental doctrine. As such, it terribly affects people who would reason about God from views of their life situations, justice, and salvation. Key questions about suffering and goodness have not been well answered in religion. But there is good reasoning for why an omnipotent loving God allows evil and suffering. There is a dilemma, and the solution to it is in process.

The solution considers time: from before creation when one of the three archangels, Satan, fell with a third of the angels – continuing through the six days of the of creation which progressively separated order from the chaos – to the seventh day in which we live and in which our works are separated like wheat heads and tares heads bearing fruit – to the final order of evil separated to hell and goodness separated to heaven; completing order forever.

It ascribes value to the creation and for its progression to the all-important seventh day in which we live. The Genesis 1;31 ‘very good’ creation gives value to humanity and nature, for the purpose of God; to do His will ‘on earth as it is in heaven’.

The plan is bigger than us and the Garden fall. Separation progresses to final unity. We are central to the progression process. We are made as representative figures and shadows of His image, and are considerably His agents. Our works are separate things. So, develop proper habits, in the image of the Creator. It has eternal consequences.

Six days are not disconnected from the seventh. Consider Hebrews 4:9, for it is the only use of the Greek Sabbatismos in the Bible, connected to Gen. 2:4 Shabbat – ‘rest – ceasing’ which was begun on the seventh creation day, a day both sanctified and blesssd at Gen. 2:2 – 3. In Hebrews, there yet remains a Sabbatismos; the final fulfilled end of creation purpose.

Six days of creation progressively separated order from the chaos. Six creation days connect to and support the purpose of the seventh day. The seventh day is in same process of separation unto higher order, but without the completing phrase of ‘evening and morning’ of the first six days. The seventh day continues.

Activities of the seventh day are like the second parable of eight found in two parts at Matthew 13:24 – 30, and 37 – 43 [stated in two parts – the second part after parable 4 is done as a literary devise]. Therein, goodness and evil are intertwined at their roots, but separated like wheat and tares heads.

Each person has goodness and evil intertwined in them. We bear fruited heads, of one type or the other, and separated at the final ordering of the seventh day: evil separated to hell – and goodness separated to heaven; forever. Separation is the process unto higher and ultimate perfect ordering of goodness; begun at creation day 1 and continuing until final separation to heaven and hell. We are central agents of the separation process, made in His image and after His likeness, to do His will on earth as it is in Heaven.

Creation is for separation, of which the Garden and Fall was a part. Hebrews 4:9 refers to the end of this seventh day sabbatismosShabbat. Creation serves the process. We separate goodness and evil, as is the will of God on earth as it is in heaven.

God is omniscient and knew before the creation of the world what would transpire, viz., Ist Peter 1:19 – 20. He knew, but such does not connotate that he controlled choice; given as our responsible part in the grand separation process.

It is this for which creation and we exist – unto ultimate separated order at the end of the of the seventh day – age. That is a ‘very good’ plan, as alluded in Genesis 1:31. The phrase ‘very good’ is often erroneously implied as ultimate perfection. No, the ‘very good’ approbation about the six creation days refers to their full ability to function within the plan of God.

All six days progressively lead to the seventh day in which we live. In the Garden, Satan entered in, within the foreknowledge of God. God expected the Fall, but did not cause it. The battlefield of earth staged its first human actions in the Garden. But it was not a ‘new’ story limited to the seventh day. It is the full story of separation of goodness from evil, and it continues.

God ceased from creation, but continues to separate goodness from evil unto ultimate order, within this ongoing final seventh day. It is the plan. Creation serves such purpose. We are to join and serve Him well in His righteous work.

We must know His very good purpose, and His very good end. Therein, we can better serve as part of the process, with full purpose, and in His image and after His likeness; all to do His will.

Shalom,

Steve Huffey

One Response

  1. Walter Sampson says:

    I am about to finish reading Eight Little Piggies. I also recently read Evolution: A View from the 21st Century by James A. Shapiro. It is good Gould is dead because it looks as if in the present century Gould is going to come to be seen as equally mistaken as the people he wrote about in his essays.

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