Monday, June 10, 2013

Quote of the Week - John Henry Newman

Newman                              Darwin

In 1868 John Henry Newman wrote to a fellow priest regarding evolution. Newman was open to Darwin’s theories, and was not intimidated by modern science. This is what he said:

“As to the Divine Design, is it not an instance of incomprehensibly and infinitely marvelous Wisdom and Design to have given certain laws to matter millions of ages ago, which have surely and precisely worked out, in the long course of those ages, those effects which He from the first proposed. Mr. Darwin's theory need not then be atheistical, be it true or not; it may simply be suggesting a larger idea of Divine Prescience and Skill. Perhaps your friend has got a surer clue to guide him than I have, who have never studied the question, and I do not [see] that 'the accidental evolution of organic beings' is inconsistent with divine design – It is accidental to us, not to God.”

(John Henry Newman, Letter to J. Walker of Scarborough, May 22, 1868, The Letters and Diaries of John Henry Newman, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973)

H/T to Bishop David Chislett


George Patsourakos said...

John Henry Newman may be correct in stating that Darwin's theories regarding evolution are not necessarily incompatible with God's creation of the universe.

Indeed, it may behoove Christians to view creationism and evolutionism as being harmonious, and not contradictory.

Alice Linsley said...

There are different types of Creationism, of course. Young Earth Creationism is neither Biblical not scientific.