Darwin's daughter

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cr1t (April 13, 2012, 12:19:52 PM):

New Scientist has an interesting article on Darwin's Daughter and a diary of her that has been donated to the DCP. I must admit I don't know much about her and I actually would like to read the Diary.

LJGraey (April 14, 2012, 00:14:25 AM):
It would certainly be an interesting point of view on the man himself.
Brian (April 15, 2012, 09:30:36 AM):
....and debunk the popular misconception that Darwin rejected his own theories and accepted creationism and god on hie deathbed!
cr1t (April 16, 2012, 08:29:10 AM):
....and debunk the popular misconception that Darwin rejected his own theories and accepted creationism and god on hie deathbed!

I think that has been very well debunked, I usually take it if somebody brings that up they have heard a lot of propaganda and
i usually just point out that they will find it is a urban myth if they research it, and then change the subject because I know
anything else will be a waste of time.

I found extracts of the diary at http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/hed-diary-1871

March 26th/71

Had a long talk w Sno^7^ on education first in which Sno quoted G. Eliot apropos of fanaticism—that the question was the certainty of results.^7^ Then I emboldened myself to discover m. of Sno’s creed than I ever have done before. Her faith in God comes entirely from her inner nature— Now she can trace him in the character of others—but other than in herself she shd be hopeless of finding him first. The difficulty is to trace his influence in the world around— this to her is lessened by Development Theory. The making it in one whole far from making God recede brings him into an ever present attitude to the world. Sno holds that the influence of God is akin to that wh. one character exerts on another & therefore that to show the essential unity of mind & matter does not influence her views—as the influence wh. one character exerts on another may be looked at in a purely physical point of view so may God’s influence. I suppose both are forces acting & reacting. It appears to be no difficulty to Sno to believe that each particular life is ordered for its particular good although the Universe is governed by fixed laws—granted omniscience & she holds that God may make the same law work for the good of each individual. Free will she has to give up in many regions & wd be prepared to give it up entirely. The questions I wish to ask are: Is another life necessary for her conception of our life on earth? How can she shake off the bonds of reason— reason tells us plainly that each life is not ordered for its own good. The most striking example of wh. are those diseases which cause certain demoralisation. That they may be necessary consequences of general laws would be my explanation—but how if we are consider human reason as in the least worth cultivating—& if we are to believe that we have ever so faint a conception of goodness can we allow this to be for the good of the sufferer? If we say my conviction of God’s watchfulness over me is so profound even this fact cannot shake it, then if we hold to this particular good of each individual we are reduced to the dilemma—either God does not care for others, or my moral sense is given me to delude me— If goodness is known to us we must be able to recognise evil— & if Goodness is not known to us how can we recognise God— So absolutely to confound the laws of reason casts me hopelessly adrift.

If we cannot kno goodness how can we recognise in which part of our nature God is revealed— If our judgement is totally at fault in the outer world, how can we know that it is m trustworthy in the inner world. This view seems to cast what few convictions I have to the winds. What are my convictions is hard to say—but that goodness is what we ought to live for—that patience & action & a constant sense of the gt. unknowable must be our props—not v. supporting ones it will be said—but eno’ to prevent despair— one other conviction I have forgotten the worship of humanity—this I hope is only in its bud— I cd conceive a life wh. was filled & made happy by a sense of boundless love & honour & tender pity for humanity. I have in a chaotic state the feeling that this world is not created by omnipotent malevolence. I have not yet thought out on what this is founded— Can blessedness justify sin? Can happiness justify misery? What evidence have we of a future world? If there is how can virtue exist without sin? & then how is the difficulty ever to be solved.

I feel that we must act as if our wills were free— must we judge as if our wills are free? If these questions are hopeless Huxleys^8^ advice is good—turn our eyes from them—but do not less the preachers of science try to conceal that they are taking away what they have no equivalent for.

Hermes (April 18, 2012, 13:55:06 PM):
....and debunk the popular misconception that Darwin rejected his own theories and accepted creationism and god on hie deathbed!
Such an event would merely affect Darwin's reputation, but have no bearing on the validity of his work. You cannot undiscover gold on the Witwatersrand.


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