Darwin Worship Worse than Ever Imagined
A new book reveals the impact of Charles
Darwin in unprecedented detail
by Jerry Bergman, PhD
A new book, Darwin: A Companion catalogues the true extent of Charles Darwin’s enormous impact over the past 160 years. The book claims to be one of the most carefully researched studies of Darwin’s life and work ever published. A review boasts that over
one million sources were consulted in the research for this volume. The book contains over 7,000 entries on Darwin, his family, friends, colleagues, opponents, publications, manuscripts, finances, library and a host of other topics. No book has ever revealed so much new information about Darwin and his unparalleled worldwide impact.
One indication of Darwin’s impact on society is the fact that his work has been translated into 64 languages, making Darwin the most widely translated scientist in history. The estimate before van Helvert’s book was 33 languages, far less than 64. Furthermore, 70 institutions, 130 monuments, and 280 places are named after Darwin, and almost 250 stamps, banknotes, and coins portray him. I have been collecting stamps that show pictures of Darwin and realize I have a long way to go to complete my collection!
Auction Sale of Darwin’s Manuscripts
Manuscripts written in Darwin’s own hand sell at auction for many thousands of dollars. One single page of his On the Origin of Species manuscript recently sold for a quarter of a million dollars. The page of Darwin’s difficult-to-read writing contains only 140 words on both sides, including deletions and other edits. This equals 1,786 dollars a word!
A letter Darwin wrote describing his doubts about God’s existence was sold for $125,000. In the letter, written in 1878, a young reader named James Grant wanted to know how Darwin thought his theory affected the belief that an omnipotent God was the ultimate creator of all beings. Instead of giving a yes-or-no answer in the response, Darwin lobbed the question back to his reader, calling it an “insoluble” problem without a simple, universal answer.
Of course those who believe in God do not see it as an “insoluble problem.” Darwin admitted in the letter that the strongest argument for God is found in the instincts and intuitions of people, who might “feel that there must have been an intelligent beginner of the Universe.” People who believe this included Darwin’s wife. And no doubt Darwin thought of her feelings when he penned the letter.
Michael Ruse, in a blurb on the cover of his book Darwinism as Religion (2017), wrote:
there was indeed a revolution [in the 18th century] and that naturalist Charles Darwin was at the heart of it. However, contrary also to what many think, this revolution was not primarily scientific … but more religious or metaphysical, as people were taken from the secure world of the Christian faith into a darker, more hostile world of evolutionism.”
Furthermore, Ruse agreed with the view that Darwin’s goal was to murder God, a goal that he was very successful in helping to achieve. As an example, Ruse wrote that
Darwin knew his theory was much better than [the rival theory by] Chamber’s . . . but it was evolutionary and materialistic nonetheless . . . When telling Hooker of his evolutionism, Darwin confessed that it was like admitting to a murder (F. Darwin 1887, 2:23). It was [the] murder . . . of Christianity.
Michael Ruse’s attempt to determine if Darwinism is a religion that will satisfy mankind’s craving for justice, love, purpose, and meaning, concluded, in agreement with Darwinism, that the Darwinian world “is a bleak world indeed.”
Darwin: A Companion glorifies Darwin
Darwin: A Companion (2021) attempts to further glorify Darwin, which it does on almost every page. For example, although the “largest number of species named after a single person is often attributed to the German polymath and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt” the number named after Darwin is almost double that named after Humboldt. Humboldt’s impressive list includes about 400 species, including penguins and perennials, but Darwin “is the world-record holder, eclipsing the previous figure with around 700 eponymous species.”
Darwin was supposedly a recluse, but Dr. John van Wyhe compiled a list of over 400 visitors to Darwin’s home. He was no recluse. He was a scientific celebrity in his lifetime. The most detailed list of photographs of Darwin and his family was 55. Professor van Wyhe has expanded the list to over 1,000 unique photographs of Darwin, his wife, and family.
Skeletons in Darwin’s closet
The decade-long research by van Helvert and van Wyhe into the life of Darwin says a great deal about the esteem to which Darwin is held, in spite of the large number of skeletons in his closet. Ignored is the movement to remove statues of reputed racists by administration officials. This may yet be the fate of the many statues of Charles Darwin. The reason is not because he was a reputed racist, but was a racist according to his own writing.
For this reason, some have called for a reexamination of Darwin’s racial legacy. In 2020 a report stated, “The Natural History Museum will become the latest institution to review its collections after an audit warned its Charles Darwin exhibitions could be seen as offensive [including his] statue in the museum’s main hall.” (see illustration of the statue). Furthermore, the “executive board of the Natural History museum is said to be ‘very engaged’ with the issue and circulated an academic paper to staff which claimed ‘science, racism, and colonial power were inherently entwined’.”
In his popular books, Darwin described native Australians, Mongolians, Africans, Polynesians, and even Eskimos as “savages.” Of the Tierra del Fuego Indians Darwin wrote:
I could not have believed how wide was the difference between savage and civilized man; it is greater than between a wild and domesticated animal…. Viewing such man, one can hardly make oneself believe that they are fellow creatures and inhabitants of the same world.
He constantly elevated white Europeans above those he called the savages, writing, the “highest races and the lowest savages” differ in “moral disposition … and in intellect” and in the future, “an endless number of the lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilized races throughout the world.” The gap between humans and apes “will then be rendered wider …between … the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla.” Darwin’s writings were critical in spreading the so-called race science that birthed the scientific racists. Darwin used the term Hottentots for African Blacks at least seven times in his writing. The Hottentots were considered “the lowest of the low, a missing link between humans and apes.” They were not only regarded as racially inferior, but also as physically, intellectually, morally, and culturally inferior.
Darwin’s View of Women
Darwin’s view of women is also clear: women were at a “lower level of development” than men, due to their “earlier arrest of individual evolution.” Because women had smaller brains, Darwin believed them to be “eternally primitive,” childlike, less spiritual, more materialistic, and “a real danger to contemporary civilization.” In 2019 British cognitive researcher Professor Gina Rippon correctly observed the widespread idea of female inferiority existing today “goes all the way back to Darwin, who said that women are inferior because they have inferior brains.”
Darwin is one of the most respected men of science today, resulting in his worldview being spread throughout the modern world. Conversely, no man has done more than Darwin to replace Christianity with a worldview that Ruse describes as bleak. Darwin has also in academia largely replaced the Biblical teaching that all humans are descendants of the first created pair, Adam and Eve, with the view that humans evolved from some ape courtesy of survival-of-the-fittest ‘natural selection’ (i.e., Darwinism) and/or from genetic damage caused by mutations (i.e., Neo-Darwinism), most all of which are now known to be deleterious. Professor Helvert documents the high level of obeisance awarded to a man that has done more than any other to secularize Western society.
 Helvert, Paul van, and John van Wyhe. 2021. Darwin: A Companion – With Iconographies By John Van Wyhe. Singapore: World Scientific Press.
 National University of Singapore. 2021. New book reveals Charles Darwin’s cultural impact in unprecedented detail. Phys.org, March 2. https://phys.org/news/2021-03-reveals-charles-darwin-cultural-impact.html.
 Some of the many examples are here. http://www.paleophilatelie.eu/year/darwin_200.html. Other examples are here: http://darwin-online.org.uk/DarwinStamps/Darwin_stamps.html.
 Vasel, Kathryn. 2016. Darwin manuscript page sells for $250,000. CNN Business, June 14.
 Brueck, Hilary. 2017. A private letter from Darwin detailing his doubts about God just sold at auction for $125,000 — here’s what he wrote. Insider, December 12. https://www.businessinsider.com/a-secret-letter-from-charles-darwin-is-going-up-for-auction-doubt-on-god-2017-12.
 Brueck, 2017.
 Ruse, Michael. 2017. Darwinism as Religion. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
 Ruse, Michael. 1979. The Darwinian Revolution: Science Red in Tooth and Claw. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, p. 185.
 Ruse, Michael. 2019. A Meaning to Life. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, pp. 97, 133, 134.
 National University of Singapore, 2021.
 Simpson, Craig. 2020. Natural History Museum to review potentially ‘offensive’ Charles Darwin collection. The Telegraph, September 5. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/09/05/natural-history-museum-review-potentially-offensive-charles/
 McCarthy, Clare. 2020. Now Charles Darwin gets cancelled: Natural History museum will review ‘offensive’ exhibitions about the Father of Evolution because HMS Beagle’s Galapagos voyage was ‘colonialist’. DailyMail.com, September 6.
 Darwin, Charles. 1891. Journal of Researches into the Natural History and Geology. London, UK: George Routledge and Sons, pp. 148, 154.
 Darwin, Charles. Edited by Francis Darwin. 1911. The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. 1. New York, NY: D. Appleton & Company, p. 286.
 Jones, Steve. 1996. In the Blood: God, Genes and Destiny. New York, NY: HarperCollins, p. 170.
 Darwin, Charles. 1871. The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, Vol. 2. London, United Kingdom: John Murray, pp. 327-329.
Kluger, Jeffrey. 2019. “6 Questions.” Time 194(10):68, September 16.
Dr. Jerry Bergman has taught biology, genetics, chemistry, biochemistry, anthropology, geology, and microbiology for over 40 years at several colleges and universities including Bowling Green State University, Medical College of Ohio where he was a research associate in experimental pathology, and The University of Toledo. He is a graduate of the Medical College of Ohio, Wayne State University in Detroit, the University of Toledo, and Bowling Green State University. He has over 1,300 publications in 12 languages and 40 books and monographs. His books and textbooks that include chapters that he authored are in over 1,500 college libraries in 27 countries. So far over 80,000 copies of the 40 books and monographs that he has authored or co-authored are in print. For more articles by Dr Bergman, see his Author Profile.