"Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution interacted with non-empirical factors including a range of theological concerns. The influence of these theological concerns is typically modeled as secondary to that of empirical evidence. In both Darwin’s thought and later development of the theory of...www.mdpi.com
"Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution interacted with non-empirical factors including a range of theological concerns. The influence of these theological concerns is typically modeled as secondary to that of empirical evidence. In both Darwin’s thought and later development of the theory of evolution, theological concerns have been viewed as serving in a range of possible roles."
A curious article in the usual manner of creationists thinking that if they trash Darwin, then evolution will be magically refuted. How poorly they understand science!
Quotes from the paper.
Darwin’s theology is sometimes seen as secondary to his science for the purported reason that he accepted and discovered the scientific hypotheses of the transmutation of species and natural selection, respectively, prior to the emergence of his religious views that were sympathetic and supportive of his theory of evolution.
I would say it is secondary because we do not care so much about it. Even if his reasons were theological, his argument was not, and it is his argument that he is famous for and that became science.
We have a similar example in Isaac Newton. His motivations were also theological, though in his case pro-Christianity. Science does not care. All science cares about is the argument, and if the argument is good, then it is science.
Another common claim is that Darwin’s theological passages in the Origin, while providing interesting insights and perhaps targeted at religious readers, did not play a role in Darwin’s confirmation of his theory of evolution.
I wonder if that is true? The author provides no evidence that that is a common claim.
However, after this long exposition of detailed biological facts, Darwin introduced his first major theological claim: the evidence contradicts the traditional view that the species were independently created:
Creationism was the prevalent view, and it should be no surprise that Darwin spent much of his book arguing against it. Now the situation is reversed, and creationism spends most of its time arguing against evolution. The difference, of course, is the Darwin was able to put together a convincing positive argument for evolution.
Bateson echoed Darwin’s theological arguments. Evolution had not been proved or demonstrated in a positive sense. The most that Bateson could summon was that Darwin’s theory of descent was “at least not contrary to observation.” Nonetheless, it was the clear winner, for the alternative hypothesis of “Separate Creation” was clearly “absurd.” What was succeeding was not Darwin’s mechanism of natural selection but his theological perspective.
This is a little misleading, I feel. Evolution was competing against the leading theory of the day - that happened to be a theological claim. It was only natural that it would therefore address theological claims, and in no way makes the theory any less science.
At the end of the day, Darwin proposed what he believed was true because of the evidence. And over a century and a half later, a huge amount of science has confirmed that he was broadly right.
Whether he was religiously motivated does not matter at all. Evolution is good science that has stood the test of time.