Charles Darwin's Religious Beliefs

2647 Words Jun 24th, 2018 11 Pages
Term Paper: Throughout history, many have inquired into Charles Darwin’s religious beliefs and have come up with a wide variety of answers. Why are his personal beliefs important when dealing with a matter of science that Darwin researched? Darwin excluded the question of a Creator from his works because it was irrelevant to his scientific research, and the debate regarding Darwin’s faith arises due to his conflicting accounts of his personal faith as well as the way his early childhood and teenage years shaped his religious views at different times and provided a foundation for his revolutionary research. The source of much controversy in Darwin’s faith arises in his account of his upbringing. Charles Darwin was born February 12th, …show more content…
57). Through statements like these, it is clear that while at one point Darwin clearly held strong religious beliefs, but those changed.
As part of the university curriculum, he read a few books on divinity as well as three of William Paley’s works, including Natural Theology. In his comments on reading Paley’s work, he writes, “the logic of this book [Evidences] and as I may add of his Natural Theology gave me as much delight as did Euclid” and goes on to explain “I did not at that time trouble myself about Paley’s premises; and taking these on trust I was charmed and convinced by the long line of argumentation” (Darwin, p. 59). From these statements, it is clear that Darwin appreciated Paley’s “line of argumentation” and “logic” and might therefore try to use similar techniques when writing his own theories in the future.
Throughout his university career, both at Edinburgh and at Cambridge, Darwin continued to receive offers to explore and go on expeditions with various mentors, colleagues, and teachers. On these trips, he collected marine animals from tidal pools (Darwin, p. 50), worked stuffing birds as an apprentice (Darwin, p. 51), and went on a voyage documenting fossils with Adam Sedgwick (Darwin, p. 70), among other excursions. He also developed an extensive collection of beetles and developed a system of capturing and documenting
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