Darwin's deathbed confession
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04-06-2011, 05:06 PM (This post was last modified: 04-06-2011 05:09 PM by ghostexorcist.)
Darwin's deathbed confession
I just started to read The Darwin Legend (1994) by James Moore. It traces the origin of the common legend that Darwin recanted his theory of evolution and accepted the truth of the bible on his death bed. The author, who is a theologian and historian, gives an example of how the legend is commonly related to him by interested parties at his lectures:

Quote:"Did you know that Charles Darwin became a Christian before he died? It's true. I read about it once in a book--or was it a magazine? I forget. Anyway, my father told me about it first, when I was studying biology in school. He said that Darwin gave up his theory of evolution on his deathbed and put his faith in the Bible. No, I can't remember where Dad learned about it. I think he said it was in a tract he picked up at a church. But I've asked other folks and they know about Darwin's conversion, too. They say that a lady heard about it from his own mouth. Her name was 'Hope,' I think. Isn't it wonderful? Darwin spent his whole life fighting against creation, then at the last moment he read the Bible and believed. What a testimony to the power of God's Word!" (p. 21)

Moore mentions, "Some inquirers are perplexed, others persuaded, but all devoutly hope that as a historian I can prove the story true." He continues in the next paragraph, "The conversion story was an obvious myth, just like so many deathbed tales--manufactured, malicious" (Ibid).

This myth is a clear cut case of creationists stooping to low levels to disprove evolution because they don't have any credible alternative to argue in favor of. I guess you could say this was THE original propaganda against evolution. I'll post the evidence against the myth as I read further.
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04-06-2011, 06:21 PM
 
RE: Darwin's deathbed confession
It's tragic the depths to which creationists, especially young earthers, will stoop just to remain alive in a myth to their satisfaction. Thinking as they do that the whole world should abide there too.

The Lady Hope Story
A Widespread Falsehood
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04-06-2011, 07:08 PM
RE: Darwin's deathbed confession
There are all kinds of legends along these lines and they cut both ways. For example, after he recanted his writings on the Copernican view of the world, legend has it that, as he was leaving the site of the Inquisition, Galileo said "and yet it moves", referring of course to the Earth. It's a great story but, in all likelihood, he said no such thing. He was literally lucky to get out of their with his head still in tact so I simply don't believe he took a last swipe at the church on his way at the door.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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04-06-2011, 07:14 PM
RE: Darwin's deathbed confession
Now many theists are not saying you will convert on your deathbed, but that you will convert after you die, so after all the great thinkers die, they can call them their own.

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." - Voltaire
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04-06-2011, 07:31 PM
RE: Darwin's deathbed confession
Whatever he said or didn't say, the theory and truth still exist.
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04-06-2011, 07:58 PM
 
RE: Darwin's deathbed confession
I'd like to see an urban legend born from the death of a famous televangelist. Jerry Falwell for example. He renounced his faith on his deathbed and became an atheist after having a near death experience and being brought back after being resuscitated by Paramedics. The family kept it secret for the sake of the mini$try that would have to survive after he did finally succumb, but one of the Paramedics on scene at the time made the fact public, after she retired. Tongue
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04-06-2011, 08:02 PM
RE: Darwin's deathbed confession
(04-06-2011 07:58 PM)GassyKitten Wrote:  I'd like to see an urban legend born from the death of a famous televangelist. Jerry Falwell for example. He renounced his faith on his deathbed and became an atheist after having a near death experience and being brought back after being resuscitated by Paramedics. The family kept it secret for the sake of the mini$try that would have to survive after he did finally succumb, but one of the Paramedics on scene at the time made the fact public, after she retired. Tongue

Haha, maybe thats your calling in life GK, start a false rumour of a deathbed denouncement of faith from a leading creationist and actually get it widely heard as the Darwin rumour lol

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04-06-2011, 09:36 PM
 
RE: Darwin's deathbed confession
Well, it's a start. Wink Think of the bots that pick up on the keywords in that post.

Imagine how many hits will highlight on just the words, Jerry Falwell renounces Christ and turns atheist on deathbed after paramedics revive him from near death experience.

Angel
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04-06-2011, 10:36 PM
RE: Darwin's deathbed confession
(04-06-2011 07:31 PM)LadyJane Wrote:  Whatever he said or didn't say, the theory and truth still exist.

I'm with Lady Jane. If Darwin denounced the theory, the science still would prove it. If Hitler was an atheist, it wouldn't suddenly mean there was a God. If Al Gore was burning gas in barrels to heat his mansion, global warming would still have a human-cause. Post hoc, appeal to authority, and tu quoque are called fallacies for a reason.
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05-06-2011, 04:11 AM
RE: Darwin's deathbed confession
(04-06-2011 07:08 PM)BnW Wrote:  There are all kinds of legends along these lines and they cut both ways. For example, after he recanted his writings on the Copernican view of the world, legend has it that, as he was leaving the site of the Inquisition, Galileo said "and yet it moves", referring of course to the Earth. It's a great story but, in all likelihood, he said no such thing. He was literally lucky to get out of their with his head still in tact so I simply don't believe he took a last swipe at the church on his way at the door.

So true. Moore states:

Quote:"For centuries religious have not only prayed for, but preyed upon famous freethinkers. Spinoza, Voltaire, Tom Paine, Pierre Laplace, Emma Martin, Emile Littre, Thomas Huxley, Lurther Burbank, and Bertrand Russel were all rumored to have seen the light before they died. Lesser reprobates suffered worse indignities. Clergymen would break into their death chambers, struggling past the family to the bedside in hopes of extracting a repentance. This unholy meddling made godless dying an ordeal. Burly unbelievers were summoned to keep vigil at deathbeds, while scribes stood by, pens poised, to take down profane last words. These heroic scenes were then recounted in cheap tracts to ward off the religious vultures--titles like Infidel Death-beds and Death's Test, or, Christian Lies about Dying Infidels. The Darwin deathbed story was, I felt sure, just one more dastardly fib" (p. 22)
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