Thursday, October 28, 2010
Darwin at Cambridge Cnt'd
While at Cambridge, Darwin joined the natural history of John Steven Henslow and became interested in natural theology. Some of Darwin's colleagues such as Adam Sedgwick and George Peacock valued science as a mean to explore nature laws. Although, Sedgwick and Peacock were clerics of Church of England, they believed that study of nature is the study of God's design and science did not have any conflicts with their religious views. Also, Darwin enjoyed reading William Paley's Evidencec of Christianity and Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy and admired his ideas. In his book, Paley proposed freedom of religion and abolition of the Thirty-nine Articles, which every student at Cambridge was required to sign. In addition, Paley believed in existence of God and rejected Erasmus Darwin's evolutionary ideas. All of these notions about religion and God influenced Darwin's outlook, but yet kept him a theist and persuaded in Christianity.