Bavinck on Darwin

Bavinck writes of Darwin:

Darwin was led to his agnostic naturalism as much by the misery which he observed in the world as by the facts which scientific investigation brought under his notice. There was too much strife and injustice in the world for him to believe in providence and a predetermined goal. A world so full of cruelty and pain he could not reconcile with the omniscience, the omnipotence, the goodness of God. An innocent and good man stands under a tree and is struck by lightning. “Do you believe,” asks Darwin of his friend Gray, “that God slew this man on purpose? Many or most people believe this; I cannot and will not believe it.” The discovery of the so-called law of “natural selection” brought him accordingly a real feeling of relief, for by it he escaped the necessity of assuming a conscious plan and purpose in creation. Whether God existed or not, in either case he was blameless. The immutable laws of nature, imperfect in all their operations, bore the blame for everything, while at the same time guaranteeing that the world is not a product of chance and is progressing as a whole towards a better condition.

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