Hodge on Darwinism

Here’s a dated but helpful book on the issue of evolution and Christianity: What is Darwinism? by Charles Hodge.  In just over 100 pages, Hodge talks about different theories of the beginning of the universe and its existence.  He specifically hones in on Darwinism, including Darwin’s view of natural selection and teleology.  Hodge also explains other Darwinists’ positions and those who opposed Darwin’s evolutionary theory.  Hodge clearly studied the matter in detail; you can tell by reading this booklet that he knew the issues well.  It’s not the easiest read since it is over 100 years old, but it is worthwhile (and free on Kindle).  Here are a few random excerpts – which should be read in light of the entire booklet, of course.

“Scientific men must come to recognize practically, and not merely in words, that there are other kinds of evidence of truth than the testimony of the senses. They must come to give due weight to the testimony of consciousness, and to the intuitions of the reason and conscience. They must cease to require the deference due to established facts to be paid to their speculations and explanations. And they must treat their fellow-men with due respect.”

“The man who is trying to be an atheist is trying to free himself from the laws of his being. He might as well try to free himself from liability to hunger or thirst.”

“This, as the whole context [of this part of the discussion] shows, means that a man in order to be entitled to be heard on the evolution theory, must be willing to renounce his faith not only in the Bible, but in God, in the soul, in a future life, and become a monistic materialist.”

“We have thus arrived at the answer to our question, What is Darwinism? It is Atheism. This does not mean, as before said, that Mr. Darwin himself and all who adopt his views are atheists; but it means that his theory is atheistic…. The conclusion of the whole matter is, that the denial of design in nature is virtually the denial of God. Mr. Darwin’s theory does deny all design in nature, therefore, his theory is virtually atheistical….”

Charles Hodge, What is Darwinism? (New York: Scribner, Armstrong, and Company, 1874).

shane lems
hammond, wi

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