05 April 2009

Thoughts on Darwin

"I had been lying on a sunny bank & was reflecting on the strange character of the Animals of this country as compared to the rest of the World. An unbeliever in everything beyond his own reason, might exclaim "Surely two distinct Creators must have been [at] work; their object however has been the same & certainly the end in each case is complete".— Whilst thus thinking, I observed the conical pitfall of a Lion-Ant:— A fly fell in & immediately disappeared; then came a large but unwary Ant; his struggles to escape being very violent, the little jets of sand described by Kirby (Vol. 1. P. 425) were promptly directed against him.— His fate however was better than that of the poor fly's:— Without a doubt this predacious Larva belongs to the same genus, but to a different species from the European one.— Now what would the Disbeliever say to this? Would any two workmen ever hit on so beautiful, so simple & yet so artificial a contrivance? It cannot be thought so.— The one hand has surely worked throughout the universe."

“…sublimity of the primeval forest, undefaced by the hand of man … Sublime devotion the prevalent feeling. 16th: Started early in the morning … pleasant ride and much enjoyed the glorious woods. Bamboos 12 inches in circumference. Several sorts of tree ferns. 17th: …Twiners entwining twiners — tresses like hair — beautiful lepidoptera — Silence — hosannah — …”

These words were written by a young theologian and naturalist upon his first trip to South America. I find them both beautiful and inspiring, very similar to words I would pen under similar circumstances. They cause me to wonder what happened to this young man who was so evidently inspired by creation to see and worship it’s Creator and designer. You see, this young man was Charles Darwin. As I was listening to a podcast the other day (Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippett. It’s not a Christian podcast, but it is one I enjoy and find thought provoking), I realized that I would like to know more about Charles Darwin the man. What was it that transformed him from a young man heading toward a clergy position in the Anglican church to an agnostic naturalist? What can we learn from his life? These are questions and ideas I hope to explore further at a later time.

1 comment:

  1. This is very interesting! You know, now that I am a christian I see nature more beautiful, brighter, and more colorful than I did when I wasn't a christian a few yrs back.Sometimes I wonder how anyone can't see it that way but sometimes I think their thoughts must be clouded by other things b/c no matter how much pain I am going through I can still see Gods beauty. It does make me wonder about Charles and what was he thinking and made him the way he was and the things he said. I would like to hear more of your thoughts or findings on this.