Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Br J Hist Sci. 2012 Mar;45(164 Pt 1):29-56.

Charles Darwin's use of theology in the Origin of Species.

Author information

  • 1Department of Philosophy, St Edward's University, Austin, TX 78704, USA. stephend@stedwards.edu

Abstract

This essay examines Darwin's positiva (or positive) use of theology in the first edition of the Origin of Species in three steps. First, the essay analyses the Origin's theological language about God's accessibility, honesty, methods of creating, relationship to natural laws and lack of responsibility for natural suffering; the essay contends that Darwin utilized positiva theology in order to help justify (and inform) descent with modification and to attack special creation. Second, the essay offers critical analysis of this theology, drawing in part on Darwin's mature ruminations to suggest that, from an epistemic point of view, the Origin's positiva theology manifests several internal tensions. Finally, the essay reflects on the relative epistemic importance of positiva theology in the Origin's overall case for evolution. The essay concludes that this theology served as a handmaiden and accomplice to Darwin's science.

PMID:
22702030
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk