Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Darwin's religious views on the Voyage of the Beagle

At the beginning of Voyage of the Beagle Darwin was supporting the Uniformitarianism view. "In the philosophy of naturalism, uniformitarianism assumes that the same natural laws and processes that operate in the universe now, have always operated in the universe in the past and apply everywhere in the universe. "It holds that all things continue as they were from the beginning of the world. Darwin believed that landforms had been created based on Uniformitarianism view. Also, for reconciling the formation of landforms to Biblical account of Noah's ark, Darwin and Sedgwick both supported Diluvialism. "Diluvium is a term in geology for superficial deposits formed by flood-like operations of water. The term was formerly given to the boulder clay deposits, supposed to have been caused by the Noachian deluge." Darwin's notes shows that he rejected the connection of formation of lands with Noah's flood.
On the Galapagos Islands Darwin affirmed Charles Lyell's idea of species spreading from centers of creation. In his later autobiography, Darwin wrote "Whilst on board the HMS Beagle (October 1836-January 1839) I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers (though themselves orthodox) for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality. I suppose it was the novelty of the argument that amused them. But I had gradually come, by this time, to see that the Old Testament; from its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rainbow as a sign, etc., etc., and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos, or the beliefs of any barbarian."

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