Blogging through Darwin (3): Darwin admits his difficulties


Chapter 6: Difficulties of the Theory

Darwin is very honest about some difficulties in his theory: if species have descended from other species, then why do we not see evidence of this in the fossil record (80)?  He does attempt an answer along the lines of the following:

1) These varieties would have been rare to begin with (81).

2) New varieties are slowly formed

There is no proof for (1).  He could be correct, but it’s a supposition either way.  

(2) is more interesting. It seems that between A and B there is A1 A2, A3, A4….Az, then B.  This doesn’t remove the problem.  Now we have to find evidence for A1 A2, A3, A4….Az.  Therefore, between A1 and A2, we need to find the following schema: A1, A1α, A1β, A2., and so on.  But the question remains:  why isn’t this really evident in the fossil record?

I really do appreciate that Darwin lists the main problems with his theory.  Not only does he mention the fossil record, but he mentions the problem of the eye.  Darwin:

“To suppose that the eye with all of its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances….could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree” (85).  

So how does he get around it: each gradation of the eye offers a small advantage to the species. But this simply isn’t how the eye works. Every piece not only needs to be there, but needs to be there simultaneously.

Other problems:  Darwin really didn’t understand the complexity of a cell.  Scientists then, Huxley in particular, thought it was just a blob of goo that had electricity shot through it.  Furthermore, this problem is only worse when we consider the information encoded in DNA.

Darwin ends this chapter on a rather strange note.  If the diversity in creation is due to one species not getting killed better than another, then how does one explain beauty in creation?  Darwin says beauty is subjective and only exists for man. Further, man is what imparts beauty, and since even on biblical accounts, creation preceded man, there could have been no beauty.

This ignores the fact that creation is primarily for God’s glory, not man.  And in any case, Darwin is unaware of the mathematical ratios in the cosmos.


About J. B. Aitken

Interests include patristics, the role of the soul in the human person, analytic theology, Reformed Scholasticism, Medievalism, Substance Metaphysics
This entry was posted in Apologetics, Philosophy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Blogging through Darwin (3): Darwin admits his difficulties

  1. Pingback: Charles Darwin: Origin of Species (Review) | Blog of the Wars of the Lord

  2. Pingback: Schepping, intelligent design, evolutie (3) – Godsbewijzen van heidense filosofen en horlogemakers | Stepping Toes

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