“I am Inclined to Look at Everything as Resulting from Designed Laws”: Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species as a Specimen of Natural Theology

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Abstract

In the description of Darwin’s life and work, a common assumption is that he gradually lost all belief in God, eventually becoming an atheist. In this article we demonstrate that, while Darwin became more and more sceptical of some aspects of traditional Christian beliefs, he nevertheless saw himself as standing in the natural theology tradition, a prominent theological stream of thought in the Victorian age.1 Furthermore, he recognized the existence of God as creator of the universe and as author of the laws which govern it. We propose, therefore, that Charles Darwin is not to be regarded as an atheist and that his theory of evolution by means of natural selection does not spell the end of theistic belief.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-37
Number of pages13
JournalChristian Scholar's Review
Volume50
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2020

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