Chapter 1. Charles Darwin's Confessions Regarding His Theory
In 1859, Charles Darwin first published The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection Or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. In this book, which he described as a "long argument," he sought, in his opinion, to explain the origin of life in terms of evolution.
But Darwin had no means of discussing scientific evidence in his book, because The Origin of Species was the work of a time when the biro had not yet been invented, when the cell was unknown and when all research was carried out under primitive microscopes. As a matter of fact, for that reason throughout his book, he dealt with the subject matter very amateurishly, not based on any experiment, relying upon conjecture and hypothesis.
Later, Darwin set out his ideas regarding human evolution at the same scientific level in his book The Descent of Man. Yet in both books, he admitted the weaknesses and inconsistencies in his theory and frequently reiterated his doubts concerning the truth of these hypotheses in question.
The British physicist H.S. Lipson makes this comment about these fears of Darwin's:
In addition, Darwin made similar confessions that were later collected in the book Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, edited by his son, Francis Darwin. Most of the letters written by Darwin to close friends or eminent scientists of his time are full of his confessions regarding his theory. Indeed, Darwin had no qualms about expressing his ignorance of the relevant subjects.
Yet even though the founder of this theory had strong doubts about its accuracy and his own level of scientific knowledge, and admitted as much in the very plainest language, today's evolutionists still remain utterly convinced by his theory.
This chapter will examine only Darwin's own general confessions concerning the theory of evolution and also, confessions regarding his state of mind in making these claims. Darwin was concerned that his theory was actually contradictory, inconsistent and unrealistic:
From his letter to E. Haeckel:
From a letter to his second cousin William Darwin Fox:
From a letter to his friend and botanist Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker:
From a letter to Charles Lyell, the British geologist:
Darwin saw that the greatest dilemma facing his theory was the absence of any transitional forms. That is why he wrote in 1859, 150 years ago, in the chapter “Difficulties on Theory” in his book The Origin of Species:
6- H. S. Lipson, "A Physicist's View of Darwin's Theory," Evolution Trends in Plants, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1988, p. 6.
7- Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, Chapter 6 - "Difficulties on Theory."
8- Ibid., Chapter 14 - "Recapitulation and Conclusion."
9- Francis Darwin, The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. I, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1888, p. 315.
10- Ibid., p. 395.
11- N.C. Gillespie, Charles Darwin and the Problem of Creation, University of Chicago, 1979, p. 2.
12- Francis Darwin, The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. II, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1888, p. 358.
13- Francis Darwin, The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. I, p. 413.
14- Ibid., p. 430.
15- Francis Darwin, The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. II, p. 152.
16- Francis Darwin, The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. I, p. 439.
17- Francis Darwin, The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. II, p. 117.
18- Ibid., p. 501.
19- Ibid., p. 388.
20- Ibid., p. 25.
21- Robert B. Downs, Books that Changed the World, Revised edition (March, 2004), New York: Signet Classics; p. 286.
22- Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, pp. 172, 280