(Minghui.org) The theory of evolution by natural selection has faced many challenges since Charles Darwin published it in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species. The theory contradicts different faiths, and modern scientific discoveries have proven that the three items evidencing evolution (namely anatomy, similarity of embryos, and archaeology) are groundless. Molecular biology and genetics have further shown that the theory of evolution is impossible. In fact, even Darwin himself was timid and doubtful when he first brought up the hypothesis of evolution.
Nonetheless, after On the Origin of Species was published in 1859, it quickly attracted much attention. Karl Marx, who had published The Communist Manifesto 11 years before, embraced it and wrote in 1860 that “Darwin’s book is very important and serves me as a basis in natural science for the class struggle in history.”
Both Darwin and Marx grew up in religious families and studied theology in their early years. However, they went on to establish the two atheistic systems, evolutionary theory and communism, respectively.
One monk in Mongla, Myanmar, said Darwin was the reincarnation of a demon king. Like Marx, he came to this world to destroy mankind. Minghui.org has published many articles, such as “Why Does the Atheistic Chinese Communist Party Require Members to Pledge Perpetual Allegiance?” that analysed Marx and communism. In this three-part series, we focus on Darwin’s life and his theory of evolution.
1. The Life of Darwin
Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, England, in 1809. Both his father and paternal grandfather were doctors. His maternal grandfather was the founder of the household goods company Wedgwood.
Lying and Vanity
Although he was baptised at a young age and often attended church with his mother, Darwin was vain from the time he was a child and often competed with his siblings for attention. To that end, he also lied a lot.
“As a little boy I was much given to inventing deliberate falsehoods, and this was always done for the sake of causing excitement,” he wrote in his autobiography of Recollections of the development of my mind & character, “For instance, I once gathered much valuable fruit from my father’s trees and hid it in the shrubbery, and then ran in breathless haste to spread the news that I had discovered a hoard of stolen fruit.”
On another occasion, he told another little boy (Leighton) that he could produce variously colored Polyanthuses and Primroses by watering them with certain colored fluids. “…which was of course a monstrous fable, and had never been tried by me,” he explained.
Darwin spent two years at the medical school of the University of Edinburgh, followed by three years at Christ’s College in the University of Cambridge. But he considered the lectures “intolerably dull” and often turned his attention to hunting and detonating explosives. Because of that he earned the nickname “Gas” and was once publicly rebuked by the headmaster.
Darwin later decided to study at the University of Cambridge and become a clergyman. “But as I had never opened a classical book since leaving school, I found to my dismay that in the two intervening years I had actually forgotten, incredible as it may appear, almost everything which I had learned, even including a few of the Greek letters,” he wrote. “I did not therefore proceed to Cambridge at the usual time in October, but worked with a private tutor in Shrewsbury, and went to Cambridge after Christmas vacation, early in 1828.”
“During the three years which I spent at Cambridge my time was wasted, as far as academical studies were concerned, as completely as at Edinburgh and at school,” he explained. He spent lots of time shooting, hunting, and riding cross-country. “I got into a sporting set, including some dissipated low-minded young men. We used often to dine together in the evening, though these dinners often included men of a higher stamp, and we sometimes drank too much.” Darwin added. “My time was sadly wasted there, and worse than wasted.”
Archives uncovered by the University of Cambridge in 2009 revealed more details of Darwin’s life in those three years. “He hired a battery of staff to help him with the daily chores, including a scullion (dishwasher), a laundress, and a shoeblack (someone who cleans shoes),” reported Reuters in a 2009 article titled “Archives shed light on Darwin’s student days.”
“A tailor, hatter, and barber made sure he was well presented, while a chimney sweep and a coalman kept his fire going. He even paid five and a half pence extra each day to have vegetables with the basic ration of meat and beer at Christ’s College,” the article continued.
His father was angry and said, “You care for nothing but shooting, dogs, and rat-catching, and you will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family.”
But Darwin ignored these words. He and his friends organised a debate against Christians, making 50 or so theology students doubtful of their belief. Darwin referred to those three years at Cambridge as “the most joyful in my happy life.”
The Theory of Evoluntion
The intelligence of the human brain, the mystery of the human body, and the precision of cosmic bodies cannot all be explained by randomness and have thus triggered intense interest in the past thousands of years. William Paley posited in Natural Theology, published in 1802, that the complicated structure of the human body, such as the eyes and joints, must have been designed by an intelligent Creator.
Although convinced by Paley’s book initially, Darwin later dismissed it. He did not believe in the existence of the Tower of Babel, or the sign of a rainbow as described in the Old Testament. Furthermore, he could not understand why God would punish people for their sins. He also believed it was unfair for animals to suffer so much… Based on this reasoning, one might consider Darwin to be an animal advocate. The reality was the opposite since Darwin had a passion for hunting and killing.
According to his autobiography, as a young boy, Darwin “beat a puppy … simply from enjoying the sense of power.” He loved shooting so much that he said, “If there is bliss on earth, that is it.” It is understandable that many people hunt for food and/or sport, but Darwin went much further. “My zeal was so great that I used to place my shooting boots open by my bedside when I went to bed, so as not to lose half-a-minute in putting them on in the morning,” he wrote.
Darwin’s wife Emma was a devout Christian. Many times she had urged Darwin to revise On the Origin of Species because, without faith, this world would be hopeless. But Darwin did not listen. In fact, even Darwin’s close friend Alfred Russel Wallace disagreed that human mental activities came from evolution.
Darwin married his cousin Emma in 1839 and they had ten children–six sons and four daughters. But most of the children faced difficulties one way or the other.
The eldest son William (born in 1839) was infertile; the second son George (born in 1845) was always nervous and liked to talk about other people’s illnesses; the third son Francis (born in 1848) suffered from depression; The fourth son Leonard (born in 1850) was infertile; the fifth son Horace (born in 1851) was always sick and relied on his mother to take care of him; the sixth son Charlie (born in 1856) died at age 2. The eldest daughter Anne (born in 1841) died of scarlet fever at the age of 10; the second daughter Mary (born in 1842) died right after birth; the third daughter Henrietta (born in 1843) was infertile; the fourth daughter Elizabeth (born in 1847) may have had some developmental issues as a child and never married.
In his later years, Darwin attributed these misfortunes to his marriage to a close relative. Emma, on the other hand, believed her children’s sufferings were a result of her husband’s disrespect for God. In fact, marriages between close relatives like theirs were not uncommon in Europe at that time. But few of them had such problems with their offspring.
Three years after Darwin started to write On the Origin of Species, he contracted a strange disease. He often suffered from nausea, vomiting, palpitations, skin inflammation, insomnia, headaches, stomach pain, mouth ulcers, and other symptoms. As a result, he could only work two or three hours a day.
When doctors arrived, however, the symptoms would be gone and no illnesses could be diagnosed. Darwin’s father was a doctor, but he had no clue either. During the several decades from the time that Darwin first exhibited those symptoms, he saw over 20 renowned doctors, but none of them could help him.
To relieve the pain, Darwin tried water treatments, soaking in cold water or sleeping under a damp, cold blanket. Occasionally, he wrapped vinegar-soaked copper wire or zinc wire around himself, hoping to divert the mental pain to physical pain. But that barely helped him. He died in 1882.
(Continued in Part 2)
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