When I was younger, I was a staunch young earth creationist who feverishly hated Charles Darwin. I considered him a liar, fraud, and an angry atheist. I even created a website, called “Darwin’s Deception.” Yet real story of Charles Darwin shows that he was not a villain, in fact, I would gladly call him a friend.
Darwin grew up in a religious family, went to religious schools, and even studied theology in college with the intent of being a Christian minister. He learned and accepted Creationism in his studies, and decided to take an excursion to “study God’s creation” and chronicle the evidences of God in nature. He was so immersed in Christianity that during his voyage, he would frequently quote Bible passages to the ill-mannered sailors, in hopes of leading them to repent.
During his studies of nature, he began to see that the real world did not reflect theology; there was bad design in nature, where he expected the perfect handiwork of a Creator, there was so much senseless and horrific suffering, where he expected a loving God who took care of his creation. This eventually culminated in Darwin abandoning his traditional Christian views, though he never became an atheist..
The pivotal moment in his life was his young daughter became seriously ill, and after many desperate prayers, she died. This sorrow crushed Darwin’s heart, and the hope in a God who answers prayers died in Darwin’s heart. Nonetheless for many years he continued giving alms to the poor, donating money to the church, and walking his family to their Sunday service, during which he would walk a beaten trail outdoors and contemplate the world around him.
Rather than being the angry, spiteful, God-hating atheist I expected, Darwin was a kind, humble, quiet man, whom rarely replied to the many attacks on his character; it was even said “dear Darwin never could nor would defend himself.” (1)