Charles Darwin

[Untitled]In existographies, Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882) (IQ:180|#107) (Cattell 1000:116) [RGM:19|1,500+] (Murray 4000:17|CS / 1|B) (Gottlieb 1000:7) (Glenn 20:10) (EvT:15|21+) [CR:514] was an English naturalist, evolutionist, and anti-chance philosopher, grandson of Erasmus Darwin and grandfather of C.G. Darwin, known for his theory of evolution, which states that all species of life have evolved over time from one or a few common ancestors through the process of natural selection.

Origin of Species
In 1837, Darwin notebooks (the precursors to his famous 1859 book) were given the provisional title The Transmutation of Species, which is said to have meant to convey a type of chemical language. [6]


In 1859, Darwin published the finalized version of his draft theory along with scientific evidence in his On the Origin of Species - by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, in which he cites three people as having been forerunner theorists to his own evolution theory:
Johann Goethe (1784), Erasmus Darwin (1791), and Etienne Saint-Hilaire (1833). [1]

Elective Affinities | Natural selection
Darwin was born the year of publication of Goethe’s Elective Affinities; he later became aware of Goethe's work on evolution.

In 1861, in the third edition of Origin of Species, Darwin added the following concerning criticism raised about the term ‘natural selection’: [8]

“Several writers have misapprehended or objected to the term ‘natural selection’ . Some have even imagined that natural selection induces variability, whereas it implies only the preservation of such variations as occur and are beneficial to the being under its conditions of life. No one objects to agriculturists speaking of the potent effects of man's selection; and in this case the individual differences given by nature, which man for some object selects, must of necessity first occur. Others have objected that the term selection implies conscious choice in the animals which become modified; and it has even been urged that as plants have no volition, natural selection is not applicable to them!

In the literal sense of the word, no doubt, natural selection is a misnomer; but who ever objected to chemists speaking of the elective affinities of the various elements ? — and yet an acid cannot strictly be said to elect the base with which it will in preference combines.

It has been said that I speak of natural selection as an active power or deity; but who objects to an author speaking of the attraction of gravity as ruling the movements of the planets? Every one knows what is meant and is implied by such metaphorical expressions; and they are almost necessary for brevity. So again it is difficult to avoid personifying the word ‘nature’; but I mean by nature, only the aggregate action and product of many natural laws, and by laws the sequence of events as ascertained by us. With a little familiarity such superficial objections will be forgotten.”

English two cultures literature scholar Gillian Beer notes that the issue here is that the term “selection” implies or imbues nature with “conscious agency”, and that Darwin, aware of German polymath Johann Goethe’s previous usage of the term—as the title of his grand 1809 metamorphology theory of form change (chemical to plant to animal to human)—whom he cited in his original 1859 edition as being one of three forerunners of evolution theory (along with Erasmus Darwin and ) brought the science of affinity chemistry here into the discussion to deflect the attack. [10]

Darwin wasp feeding quote
A photo (Ѻ) of a Tomato Hornworm caterpillar victimized by the rice-like eggs of the wasp larvae, overlaid with Charles Darwin's famous 1860 "wasp feeding quote", which worked to teeter him away from theism; and with which Richard Dawkins, in the 1970s and 1980s, admixtured with "selfish genes" + "Hamilton rule" + "blind forces", has used as his main atheism fuel, in the new atheism era, to promote a purposeless universe ideology as his modus operandi.
Religion
The following are representative statements concerning Darwin's religious views:

Science has nothing to do with Christ, except insofar as the habit of scientific research makes a man cautious in admitting evidence. For myself, I do not believe that there ever has been any revelation. As for a future life, every man must judge for himself between conflicting vague probabilities.”
— Charles Darwin (1879), “Letter to German student” [14]

(add discussion; e.g. Richard Dawkins)


Warm little pond
See main: Warm pond model
In 1871, Darwin wrote a famous letter to English botanist Joseph Hooker, wherein he attempted to address the life from non-life issue:

“[The original spark of life may have begun in] a warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, lights, heat, electricity, etc. present, so that a protein compound was chemically formed ready to undergo still more complex changes.”

This postulate, together with the 1953 Miller-Urey experiment which showed that sparks ignited in a chemical broth over several days could make amino acids, combined with recent fossil records indicated that bacterial existed on the earth about 3.85 billion years ago, have led to the belief that once upon a time, three or four billion years ago, lightning struck a puddle of water containing a kind of warm chemical chicken broth and triggered the formation of amino acids, the building blocks of life. This type of logic, however, is inconsistent with standard molecular evolution tables that show a continuous build up and lineage of molecular structure, a table that cannot be divided by a certain hypothetical day. In other words, the laws of chemistry don't simply stop on a particular day and give their powers over to the laws of biology. The reverse is true, the laws of chemistry and thermodynamics are what define evolution and the laws of biology are only approximations. [4]
Darwin family
The deeply rooted 158-year genius of the Darwin family: from Erasmus, Charles' grandfather, who posted that humans all originated from one living filament; to Charles Darwin, who introduced a working mechanism of evolution; to his grandson C.G. Darwin, who proposed the logic that in order to study and predict the future course of evolution, the subject of "human thermodynamics", the investigation of systems of human molecules, needs to be developed and pursued.

Darwin family
In 1952, Darwin's grandson English physicist C.G. Darwin (Charles Galton Darwin) published his The Next Million Years, wherein the "Introduction" chapter of which he defined the science of "human thermodynamics" as the statistical mechanical study of conservative dynamical systems of human molecules, a science through which, in his view, would be able to "predict" the next million years of human evolution. [5] C.G. Darwin is thus classified as one of the founders of human thermodynamics.

Thermodynamics
In the years 1843 and 1865, coincidentally, the science of energetics (thermodynamics) was assembling. Bold statements deriving out of this new energy science, coming from respected physicists such as William Thomson and Rudolf Clausius, had declared as physical laws of the world that the "energy of the universe is constant" and the "entropy (or dissipation of energy) of the universe tends to a maximum". [2]

Clausius and Darwin cannot both be right.”
Roger Caillois, Coherences Aventureuses (1973), [9]

English natural philosopher Herbert Spencer is one to have made one of the first attempts to reconcile the two theories: natural selection and thermodynamics.

Final words
In 1882, in the last letter Darwin is known to have dictated and signed, he wrote: [7]

“I believe that I have somewhere said (but I cannot find the passage) that the principle of continuity renders it probable that the principle of life will hereafter be shown to be part or consequence of some general law.”

(add)

Quotes | On
The following are Darwin-related quotes:

“A completely mad book.”
— Anons (1860), two German colleagues of Ernst Haeckel on reading Darwin’s On the Origin of Species [12]

Darwin is the ‘new Newton’ who has explained the origin of organisms strictly via mechanical causes.”
Ernst Haeckel (1868), History of Creation [13]

Quotes | By
The following are noted quotes:


“Avoid stating how far, I believe, in materialism, say only that emotions, instincts, degrees of talent, which are hereditary re so because brain of child resembles parent stock.”
— Charles Darwin (1827), reflection on his friend atheist radical materialist Walter Browne (1805-1885) (Ѻ) having his materialist perspective paper on life and mind ‘expunged’ from the minutes of the Plinian Society meeting [15]

“Origin of man now proved. Metaphysics must flourish. He who understands the baboon would do more towards metaphysics than Locke.”
— Charles Darwin (1838), personal notes (Ѻ)

“The monkeys understand the affinities of man better than the boasted philosopher himself.”
— Charles Darwin (1838), personal notes (Ѻ)

“Love of the ‘deity effect’ of organization, oh you materialist! Why is thought being a secretion of brain, more wonderful than gravity a property of matter? It is our arrogance, our admiration of ourselves.”
— Charles Darwin (c.1850), Transmutation Notebook [15]

“We can allow satellites, planets, suns, universe, nay whole systems of universes, to be governed by laws, BUT the smallest insect, we wish to be created at once by special act.”
— Charles Darwin (c.1860) (Ѻ)

“I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of natural selection.”
— Charles Darwin (c.1860) (Ѻ)

“Man is descended from a hairy, tailed quadruped, probably arboreal in its habits.”
— Charles Darwin (c.1860) (Ѻ)

“A moral being is one who is capable of reflecting on his past actions and their motives - of approving of some and disapproving of others.”
— Charles Darwin (c.1860) (Ѻ)

“It is mere rubbish, thinking at present of the origin of life; one might as well think of the origin of matter.”
— Charles Darwin (1863) (Ѻ); cited by Lawrence Krauss (2012) in A Universe from Nothing (pg. #)

“You have made a convert of an opponent in one sense [of your Hereditary Genius], for I have always maintained that, excepting fools, men did not differ much in intellect, only in zeal and hard work.”
— Charles Darwin (c.1869), “Letter to Francis Galton” [16]

“My theology is a simple muddle. I cannot look at the universe as the result of ‘blind chance’, yet I can see NO evidence of a beneficent design, or indeed or design of any kind.”
— Charles Darwin (1870), “Letter to Joseph Hooker” (Ѻ), Jul 12

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
— Charles Darwin (1871), Descent of Man [1]

“Man is descended from a hairy, tailed quadruped, probably arboreal in its habits, and an inhabitant of the Old World. This creature, if its whole structure had been examined by a naturalist, would have been classed amongst the Quadrumana, as surely as the still more ancient progenitor of the Old and New World monkeys. The Quadrumana and all the higher mammals are probably derived from an ancient marsupial animal, and this through a long line of diversified forms, from some amphibian-like creature, and this again from some fish-like animal.”
— Charles Darwin (1871), The Descent of Man, Part 3 (§21:609) [17]

“I have steadily endeavored to keep my mind free (see: free thinker), so as to give up any hypothesis, however much beloved (and I cannot resist forming one on every subject), as soon as facts are shown to be opposed to it.”
— Charles Darwin (1877), on his own intelligence and ability (Ѻ)(Ѻ)

“To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact.”
— Charles Darwin (1879), “Letter to Wilson” (Ѻ), Mar 5

“My judgment often fluctuates. In my most extreme fluctuations, I have never been an ‘atheist’ in the sense of denying the existence of a god. I think that generally – and more and more as I grow older, but not always – that ‘agnostic’ would be the most correct description of my state of mind.”
— Charles Darwin (1879), “Letter to John Fordyce” (Ѻ), Jul 7

“It seems to me (rightly or wrongly) that direct arguments against Christianity and theism hardly have any effect on the public; and that freedom of thought will be best promoted by that gradual enlightening of human understanding which follows the progress of science. I have therefore always avoided writing about religion and have confined myself to science.”
— Charles Darwin (1880) (Ѻ)

References
1. Darwin, Charles. (1859). On the Origin of Species: by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. London: John Murray.
2. (a) Thomson, William (Lord Kelvin), "On a Universal Tendency in Nature to the Dissipation of Mechanical Energy" (Google Books) (URL), Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh for April 19, 1852, also Philosophical Magazine, Oct. 1852, also Mathematical and Physical Papers, vol. i, art. 59, pp. 511.
(b) Clausius, R. (1865). The Mechanical Theory of Heat – with its Applications to the Steam Engine and to Physical Properties of Bodies. London: John van , 1 Paternoster Row. MDCCCLXVII.
3. Von Baeyer, H.C. (1998). Warmth Disperses and Time Passes – the History of Heat. New York: The Modern Library.
4. (a) Gladyshev, Georgi, P. (1997). Thermodynamic Theory of the Evolution of Living Beings. Commack, New York: Nova Science Publishers.
(b) Avery, John (2003). Information Theory and Evolution. New Jersey: World Scientific.
5. Darwin, Charles G. (1952). The Next Million Years (pg. 26). London: Rupert Hart-Davis.
6. Hitchens, Christopher. (2007). God is Not Great (pg. 269). Twelve Books.
7. (a) Darwin, Charles. (c.1882). “Letter to George Wallich.” Publication
(b) Avery, John (2003). Information Theory and Evolution (pg. viii). World Scientific.
8. (a) Darwin, Charles. (1861). The Origin of Species (3rd edition) (pg. 85). Murray.
(b) Peckham, Morse. (1959). The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin: A Variorum Text (pg. 163). University of Pennsylvania Press.
9. (a) Caillois, Roger. (1976). Coherences Aventureuses. Paris: Gallimard.
(b) Thaxton, Charles B., Bradley, Walter L., Olsen, Roger L. (1992). The Mystery of Life’s Origin: Reassessing Current Theories, (ch. 7: “Thermodynamics of Living Systems”, ch. 8: “Thermodynamics and the Origin of Life”). Lewis and Stanley.
(c) Bushev, Michael. (1994). Synergetics: Chaos, Order, Self-organization (pg. 130). World Scientific.
(d) Prigogine Ilya, (1981). From Being to Becoming: Time and Complexity in the Physical Sciences. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Co.

(e) Prigogine, Ilya. (1984). Order Out of Chaos – Man’s New Dialogue with Nature (alternative translation: “Can Carnot and Darwin both be right?” , pg. 128). New York: Bantam Books.
10. Beer, Gillian. (1998). “Has Nature a Future?” in: The Third Culture: Literature and Science (§1, pgs. 15-27; quote, pg. 24). Walter de Gruyter.
11. (a) Darwin, Charles. (1871). Descent of Man. Publisher.
(b) Lebo, Lauri. (2008). The Devil in Dover: an Insider’s Story of Dogma v. Darwin in Small-Town America (pg. 199). The New Press, 2013.
12. (a) Richards, Robert J. (2008). The Tragic Sense of Life: Ernst Haeckel and the Struggle over Evolutionary Thought. University of Chicago Press.
(b) Smith, Peter D. (2008). “Review: The Tragic Sense of Life”, Times Literary Supplement (pg. 12), Jul 25.
13. (a) Haeckel, Ernst. (1868). (History of Creation) Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte (pg. 95). Reimer, 1889.
(b) Cornell, John F. (1986). “Newton of the Grassblade? Darwin and the Problem of Organic Teleology” (Ѻ), Isis, 77:405-21.
(c) McGrath, Alister E. (2015). Dawkins’ God: from the Selfish Gene to the God Delusion (pg. 114). John Wiley & Sons.
14. (a) Darwin, Charles. (1879). “Letter to German student”, in: The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Including an Autobiographical Chapter (editor: Francis Darwin) (pg. 307) (Ѻ). John Murray, 1887.
(b) Religious views of Charles Darwin – Wikipedia.
15. (a) Gould, Stephen J. (1977). Ever Since Darwin (pgs. 25-26). Norton.
(b) Hecht, Jennifer M. (2003). Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas (pg. 404). HarperOne.
16. Gould, Stephen. (2006). The Mismeasure of Man (pg. #). Publisher.
17. Jacoby, Susan. (2004). Freethinkers: a History of American Secularism (pg. 128). Henry Holt and Co.

External links
Charles Darwin – Wikipedia.

TDics icon ns



More pages