Today, lots of theologically conservative Christians see Darwin as a villain . Did the religious establishment see him that way when he published Origin of Species?
Darwin today differs in significant ways from the challenge in Darwin's time because the debate is being orchestrated and publicized by people who simply have not taken the time nor have the patience to understand Darwin's works and intentions in the way that his contemporaries did. In his own day, Darwin didn't give back [to church authorities] in terms of humanity as much as he took away in terms of God's activity in the world and what he took away from human nature in relating us to animals. People still wanted to believe that humans are unrelated to any other species. That is Adam and Eve. And that's what Darwin subverted. How did D arwin's theory of evolution through natural selection affect his own faith?
Darwin's active religious faith faded. He seems to have glided fairly easily into a freethinking way about religion before he was 30 years old. But as he said later in life, he never gave up Christianity until he was 40 years old. There came a time when Darwin could no longer accept the Bible as the word of God or Jesus as the son of God. But when he was researching Origin of Species , he says his belief in God was as strong as that of an Anglican prelate.