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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Dilley, Stephen 2013. Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of theology?. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Vol. 44, Issue. 4, p. 774.

    Dilley, Stephen 2013. The Evolution of Methodological Naturalism in theOrigin of Species. HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science, Vol. 3, Issue. 1, p. 20.

    Livingstone, David N. 2013. The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Cultural Geography.

    Noguera-Solano, Ricardo 2013. THE METAPHOR OF THE ARCHITECT IN DARWIN: CHANCE AND FREE WILL. Zygon®, Vol. 48, Issue. 4, p. 859.

  • The British Journal for the History of Science, Volume 45, Issue 1
  • March 2012, pp. 29-56

Charles Darwin's use of theology in the Origin of Species

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  • Published online: 04 May 2011

This essay examines Darwin's positiva (or positive) use of theology in the first edition of the Origin of Species in three steps. First, the essay analyses the Origin's theological language about God's accessibility, honesty, methods of creating, relationship to natural laws and lack of responsibility for natural suffering; the essay contends that Darwin utilized positiva theology in order to help justify (and inform) descent with modification and to attack special creation. Second, the essay offers critical analysis of this theology, drawing in part on Darwin's mature ruminations to suggest that, from an epistemic point of view, the Origin's positiva theology manifests several internal tensions. Finally, the essay reflects on the relative epistemic importance of positiva theology in the Origin's overall case for evolution. The essay concludes that this theology served as a handmaiden and accomplice to Darwin's science.

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William Whewell , Astronomy and General Physics Considered with Reference to Natural Theology, London: W. Pickering, 1836

John Cornell , ‘God's magnificent law: the bad influence of theistic metaphysics on Darwin's estimation of natural selection’, Journal of the History of Biology (1987) 20, pp. 381412

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The British Journal for the History of Science
  • ISSN: 0007-0874
  • EISSN: 1474-001X
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-for-the-history-of-science
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