Thursday, 3 March 2011

Charles Darwin: "Let theory guide your observations”

Charles Darwin seems to have admitted that his approach was not entirely objective. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

Many would believe that Charles Darwin observed nature and this led him to discover evolution and publish his famous theory. The truth is a lot more complicated, however.

In June 1863 Darwin wrote a letter to John Scott, a young geologist, giving interesting advice:

Let theory guide your observations, but till your reputation is well established be sparing in publishing theory. It makes persons doubt your observations.”

Theory guided Charles Darwin in his observations. According to his theory, there was no need of God in the creation work. He assumed that natural selection would make the Creator unnecessary.

Now we know that natural selection cannot create. It only selects from existing genetic information. While it might explain the preservation of species, it does not explain the origin of species.

Darwin’s views are outdated and need to be replaced by ideas that actually work.


Darwin Correspondence Project Letter 4206 — Darwin, C. R. to Scott, John, 6 June [1863],