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Darwin and Darwinism 150 Years Later: Biblical Faith and the Christian Worldview

By Ian McNaughton
November 2009 | Review by Stephen Holland
  • Publisher: Day One Publications
  • ISBN: 978-1-84625-162-7
  • Pages: 103
  • Price: £15.48
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Book Review

Whatever you think of Charles Darwin and his ideas, no one can doubt the influence this man has had upon the world of science and the public at large. We are all accustomed to hearing comments like, ‘Darwin has proved the evolution of man.’

Yet most who dare to make comments about Darwin or his theories know little of him and even less of his discoveries. There are plenty of books seeking to answer the false claims made by Darwin and those who have built on his theory.

This book, however, takes a look at the man himself, his motives, and the futile attempts made by some within the Christian community to reconcile the biblical account of origins with the Darwinian version.

Of Darwin himself we learn that whilst he had a religious background, his mother being a Unitarian and his father an Anglican, no real gospel influence can be detected and certainly no signs of true religious conversion.

This needs to be noted, as the claim is often made that he once had true Christian beliefs but turned his back on them due to his scientific findings and the personal tragedies in his own life.

Although he was at one time heading for the Christian ministry and had studied theology, we need not read too much into it, as like many in his day a career in the church was simply that - just a career. In his case he hoped it would leave plenty of spare time to pursue other interests.

Darwin’s life was blighted by tragedy; he lost three of his ten children in childhood. The death of Annie, said to be his favourite daughter, affected him especially deeply. We cannot attribute his loss of faith to these tragedies though, as he never really had any true faith to begin with.

His loss of confidence in biblical truth began with doubts over Old Testament history and this resulted in his abandonment of Christianity. Although his discoveries were not widely accepted at first, even by his peers, many of his own generation like ours today were more than ready to join him in throwing out the claims of divine revelation.

This is not a book aimed at those with a scientific background, so the reader need not worry about grappling with complicated theories. It is easy to read and the authors are to be commended for their adherence to a literal reading of the creation account given in Genesis.

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