One of our readers, Russell, is studying Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, and finding it less than compelling:
I’m halfway through “On the Origin of Species” So far, it’s been junk science. I’m serious, multiple times now he’s said something along of the lines of “I totally have super-solid proof, but I don’t have room in the book to share it. Any of it. Ever. But believe me, it’s totes awesome.” And “Let’s say evolution could possibly do X.” Then a few sentences later, “Since evolution does X, it does Y.” No proof offered, nothing but assertions and denial of actual data.
So far, he’s done one experiment with bees, gave up in the middle of it, and then declared it was a success!
How this became as popular as it did baffles me. How it became a cornerstone of scientific thought confuses me to no end.
If people, especially scientists, actually read his book with the same skepticism they use for just about anything else, I’m sure they’d toss out Darwin’s evolution and start over.
For me, as a believing Christian, Darwin’s book has only strengthen my conviction that the Bible’s account of creation is more accurate in description than the theory of evolution.
This is why you should always go to the source, and not take anyone’s word for what an author said or meant.
As for why the book became so popular, my guess is that it’s mostly to do with Thomas Huxley, aka Darwin’s Bulldog. Huxley latched onto Darwinian evolution as a way to undermine Christianity, even though he was aware of its scientific shortcomings. It’d be difficult to quantify, but he was at least modestly successful in that regard. Huxley’s most profound achievement, however, was to undermine scientific advancement in the field of biology and to erode public trust in science in general. If he had known that this would be the cost of attacking Christianity, I wonder if he still would have promoted Darwin’s idea.