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CHARLES DARWIN AND GENESIS


CHARLES DARWIN AND GENESIS

I had a Methodist upbringing as a child and teenager and had a good knowledge of Genesis and the Bible. We had a wide variety of finches in our birdcage. As a result, I became very interested in Darwin’s writings when I read of his discovery that there are 14 different species of finches on the Galapagos Islands, all of which originated from a common ancestor. 

For me, Darwin was qualified to express his theories because he had studied medicine, theology, botany, geology and taxidermy. He was appointed a naturalist on HMS Beagle and sailed to many locations including South America, Australia and the South Pacific. During his travels he reasoned that instead of being immutable, the species had gradually evolved from earlier simpler species in an unbroken descent from mono-cellular life. For me, Darwin’s most important factor was natural selection which, at its core, is the survival of the fittest. 

Darwin’s writings incited great anger among the clergy and others, an example being that Man and the Anthropoid Apes must have a common ancestor. 

In researching this book, I would take a statement of Darwin and see if I could cross reference it in the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. When there was a match I would write what Darwin said, and state what the Bible said in agreeance. Darwin’s explanation of how evolution occurs is a considerable contribution to Science. 

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ISBN: 978-0-6482780-4-7
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 156
Genre: Non Fiction

Cover: Clive Dalkins


Author
-
Eric Barnett
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published:  2018
Language: English


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Dedication 

To Shanan, Rachael and Danielle

who bring light into my life

 

About the Author 

Eric Barnett was born at Gosford, on the Central Coast of New South Wales, the youngest of four sons.

When he was six years of age, the family moved to live at Newtown in Sydney. Eric played first-grade Rugby League with the Newtown Club at 17 years of age as a goal-kicking centre. He then went to England where he played three seasons with the prestigious Huddersfield first-grade team in Yorkshire and during this time he was also a cricket professional at Leeds, also in Yorkshire.

He returned to Sydney where he played first-grade Rugby League with the Balmain Club.

Eric was also a player/coach of Rugby League in Darwin and Port Moresby where he was captain/coach of the Papua team. He also played League in Christchurch, New Zealand.

He later played Rugby Union with the Wasps Club in London, the Nomads team in Toronto and the Wanderers team in New York. He played cricket in Toronto and with the Staten Island team in New York.

While living in New York, Eric studied television production and was dux of that year, which allowed him to work with the American NBC Network in St Paul, Minnesota, where his eldest daughter, Shanan, was born. He later returned to Sydney to work for Channel 10.

Eric then joined the Regular Army with the rank of Captain and saw war service in Vietnam, serving in various regions there. While Eric was serving at Army Headquarters in Canberra his second daughter, Rachael, was born.

From 1968 to 1995 Eric was a financial member of the Australian Journalists’ Association.

Eric is a multi-instrumentalist, playing the guitar, the Japanese harp, the Hawaiian pedal-steel guitar and drums. He has performed in Ireland, New Zealand, Fiji, the Solomon Islands and New Guinea.

Eric is also a songwriter, playwright and author.

 

CHARLES DARWIN AND GENESIS - read a part sample....

 

Professor Brandon Priestly gives a television talk on Darwinian evolution pre a discussion by the other five participants in another television interview on the same subject matter.

Professor Brandon Priestly of Dewsbury University, England is a well-preserved man in his early sixties with long, white, dishevelled hair slightly receding at the side of the forehead. He wears a light brown and navy polka-dot bow tie.

Professor Priestly is sitting in his seat in the television studio when the director’s voice comes into the studio.

‘Commencing in five seconds, Professor. Five, four, three, two, one. Cue.’

‘Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury on 9 February 1809. His father, Robert, was a prosperous country physician, and his mother, Susannah, was the daughter of the famous Staffordshire potter, industrialist and writer, Josiah Wedgwood.

‘Charles was the grandson of Erasmus Darwin who had won for himself a major reputation as a doctor and a free-thinking radical speculative biologist. For his time, Erasmus was the stand-out exponent of evolutionary thinking, explaining organic life according to evolutionary principles, which anticipated later theories. Charles later repudiated Erasmus’ theory, insisting his own theories had been conceived independently. It would be logical to assume that his grandfather’s strong prejudice for biological change helped to shape Darwin’s own thinking.

‘In 1825, at the age of 16, Darwin’s father enrolled him at the Edinburgh University to study medicine. Darwin, the medical student, found the lectures boring but it laid the foundations for his future achievements. He had a diversification of reading and eagerly pursued the study of natural history. After dredging expeditions in the Firth of Forth, Darwin dissected the marine specimens he had found. Darwin also learnt the art of taxidermy, a skill that would stand him in good stead during his later voyage.

‘Darwin made friends with the Edinburgh zoologist, Robert Grant, who agreed with the conceived idea of organic evolution of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, the French botanist and zoologist. Lamarck stated that characteristics acquired by organisms in response to changed conditions of life, etc, can be inherited by their offspring. This probably reinforced for Darwin his grandfather’s theory of biological transformation.

‘Perhaps the most significant sea voyage in the history of Western mankind was the five-year cruise by Charles Darwin as official naturalist on board The Beagle from 1831 to 1836. This voyage commenced Darwin on a long career of accumulating, assimilating and calculating data culminated in the formulation of his idea of organic evolution.

‘Darwin’s journey on The Beagle was a thought-provoking, five-year journey that unchained him from the shackling control of Genesis. The voyage of The Beagle is also symbolic of a much greater journey which mankind en masse made from the confined fundamentalism of Darwin’s time, through to the questioning, doubting and uncertainty of the 20th century. Darwin’s experiences and thinking during his five years on board The Beagle became the experience of the whole world.

‘In 1859, Darwin set forth the framework of his theory in the brilliantly structured Origin of Species, supplemented and detailed in his many later books of which the stand-out was The Descent of Man, published in 1871.

‘Darwin’s evolution theory suggests that all the diverse forms of life on Earth were the result of natural and random processes, and not by the creation of God. The acceptance of Darwin’s theory played a major role in the secularisation of the Christian Western world.

‘For Darwin, the crucial process in evolution was geographical isolation.

‘The Galapagos Islands were about 500 miles from the west coast of South America, possessing unique flora and fauna. Moreover, some species vary greatly from island to island.

‘Since the Galapagos Islands are volcanic and of geologically recent origin, their isolation from the South American mainland, together with surrounding swift-running currents and deep waters, led Darwin to see how a new species could evolve. The animals Darwin discovered were unique, but nonetheless related to those on the South American mainland. Darwin’s research also found minor differences between animals of the same species on different islands. Geographical isolation prevents the dilution of mutant genes which occur within the isolated group, but the potential is there to subject the group to new environmental conditions, where different variations are favoured.

‘Darwin found the natural history of the Galapagos Archipelago ‘eminently curious and well deserves attention’ for he found the Islands populated by an extraordinary number of exceptional and distinctive flora and fauna species.

‘Darwin recorded in his journal in excess of 100 species of flowering plants, dozens of insect species and close to 30 species of birds.

‘Darwin was very interested in the – found only on the Archipelago – giant tortoise and two closely related lizards, one terrestrial, and the other, the unusual marine iguana with partly webbed feet and that fed on seaweed, also possessed the ability to remain submerged for extended lengths of time.

‘Darwin was enthralled by the way many of the organisms, such as the iguana, tortoises and mocking thrushes, together with a variety of the plants, varied from island to island. In some cases the variation was so considerable that individual island configurations appeared to be quite distinct species.

‘These distinct, yet closely related species, dispersed on the islands of this Archipelago, resulted in the emergence of organic evolution in Darwin’s thinking. Darwin noted in his journal: ‘The distribution of the tenants of this archipelago would not be nearly so wonderful if, for instance, one island had a mocking thrush, and a second island some other quite distinct genus; if one island had its genus of lizard, and a second island another distinct genus, or none whatever – or if the different islands were inhabited, not by representative species of the same genera of plants, but by totally different genera. But it is the circumstance that several of the islands possess their own species of the tortoise, mocking thrush, finches, and numerous plants, these species having the same general habits, occupying analogous situations, and obviously filling the same place in the natural economy of this archipelago, that strikes me with wonder.’

‘Darwin pondered on the possibility that the closely related species on the islands of the Archipelago had descended with modification, or evolved from a shared ancestral species which originally inhabited the islands. Was it probable, in opposition to the tenet of the immobility of the species, that these individual species had been specially created for these small, barren and rocky islands?

‘There are 14 different species of finches on the Galapagos Islands, all of which originated from a common ancestor. These species have achieved world acclaim as ‘Darwin’s finches’. In the varied species of finches, there is a considerable difference in the body size, size and shape of beak, plumage and behaviour. There is a large variance in the size and shape of the beak between the species. Some have the standard finch-like beaks, others parrot-like beaks, while another group possess slender warbler-like beaks, some being de-curved for the exploration of flowers.

‘The most unusual species has a straight beak for wood-boring. This variation in shape of the beak between the species is related to the way in which the particular species of finch obtained its food. The finches have evolved into species capable of feeding on all varieties of food supplies usually utilised by specialised bird families. To the lay person they could easily be classified as distinct species. Although there is diversification in size, colouration, size and shape of beak, and feeding-habits, the 14 species of Galapagos Islands finches are unquestionably closely related, for they exhibit identical display and song patterns, and all are members of the same sub-family of finches.

‘These ‘Darwin Finches’, this new series having evolved from pre-existing species in nature, were not the fixed immutable entities most biologists presumed. Darwin wrote: ‘Seeing this graduation and diversity of structure in one small, intimately related group of birds, one might really fancy that from an original paucity of birds in this archipelago, one species had been taken and modified for different ends.’

‘Additional to the interspecies variation within the islands, another feature of the natural history of the Archipelago which germinated Darwin’s thinking on evolution, and diminished the doctrine of immobility of the species, was the observation that despite the uniqueness of the fauna on the islands, the majority of the species were distantly related to allied species on the South American mainland, some 600 miles to the east.

‘Commenting on this link Darwin wrote in his journal: ‘If this character were owing merely to immigrants from America, there would be little remarkable in it; but we see that a vast majority of all the land animals, and that more than half of the flowering plants, are aboriginal productions. It was most striking to be surrounded by new birds, new reptiles, new insects, new plants, and yet by innumerable trifling details of structure, and even by the tones of voice and plumage of the birds, to have the temperate plains of Patagonia, or the hot dry deserts of Northern Chile, vividly brought before my eyes.’ 

 

 

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