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Autobiography Of Charles Darwin, The

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From the Life and Letters of Charles Darwin

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When I left the school I was for my age neither high nor low in it; and I believe that I was considered by all my masters and by my father as a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard in intellect. To my deep mortification my father once said to me, "You care for nothing but shooting, dogs, and rat- catching, and you will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family."

From the Publisher
Those who read this reissue of Charles Darwin's AUTOBIOGRAPHY (1876), first published in 1887, will surely benefit from this great naturalist's own recollections of the development of his scientific theory of organic evolution. Furthermore, the included letters, edited by his son Francis Darwin, offer salient insights into the personal life and scientific research of this famous Victorian geobiologist. Within these pages, one reads about Darwin's fortuitous global voyage on the HMS Beagle and subsequent productive life at Down House (despite chronic illness). Five chapters focus on the preparation, publication, and critical reviews of ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES (1859), the naturalist's major contribution to evolutionary thought.

Unfortunately, his wife, Emma Wedgwood Darwin, had deleted the references to God and Christianity from the posthumously published AUTOBIOGRAPHY. Not until 1958 did an unexpurgated version of this work appear in print!

Fortunately, Chapter 3 does include some of Darwin's final ideas on religion and theology. It is clear that this evolutionist was always an agnostic reticent to express or publish his thoughts on religion and theology. Even so, his personal beliefs neither verify nor falsify the evolved claims of religionists and theologians. It suffices that Darwin's theory of evolution is atheistic, both in principle and intent.



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