The Theological Foundations of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution

Part of the The University of Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science book series (WONS, volume 58)


Allen Debus has striven to demonstrate that religion, in the early modern period, was not a foreign agent that bent science away from its true course, nor even an extrinsic force that benignly pushed thinkers more quickly along a path they would have otherwise trod. Allen has tried to show that religion was enmeshed within the interstices of scientific thought, that only from our contemporary perspective can we pick out those strands that unrolled toward modern science and those that folded around the Bible. Under this conception it would be foolish to sift out religion from our understanding of early modern science. Among recent historians, some would concede Allen’s historiographic axiom, but they would undoubtedly confine its use to the time when Paracelsus commanded attention. I think, however, that Allen’s perspective can be useful in trying to understand even that science which was believed to replace religion during the last half of the nineteenth century, namely Darwin’s theory of evolution.


Natural Selection Evolutionary Theory Artificial Selection Foreign Agent Paradise Lost 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1997

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