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CHARLES DARWIN 1809 - 1882

Man was not made from a monkey.  Man was made from a series
of cellular matters infused into an early bundle of cells with
the characteristics that created homo sapiens

He studied medicine at Edinburgh University, but he enjoyed beachcombing for sea slugs on the Firth of Forth and reading his grandfather Erasmus' theories about evolution.  His disappointed father sent him to Cambridge University to prepare for the Anglican priesthood, but Darwin preferred nature (this time beetles) to theology.

From 1831 he went on a five year voyage of a survey ship, The Beagle, to survey the South American coastline.  In the Galapagos Islands he witnessed marked differences in birds and mammals, suggesting that they had an ability to alter their characteristics.  This sowed the seeds for his theory of natural selection.

HMS Beagle
HMS Beagle

He suffered a variety of illnesses, apparently caused by insect bites.  In 1839 he married his first cousin Emma Wedgwood, who bore him ten children.

When his daughter, Annie, died from typhoid Darwin seemingly lost all faith in the goodness of God.  He had become aware that his ideas about evolution, which were highly controversial on religious grounds, might even be dismissed as worthless by his scientific peers; but finally his book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection was published in 1859.

Before the dialogue, Toni commented: "I'm getting the impression of a very dignified person wearing one of those starched collars and a dark business suit."

The Early Years

PETER Which had the most influence on you, the dedication of your father to scientific discipline, or the religious radicalism of free-thinkers like your brother?
DARWIN When my father and I were immersed in scientific experiments, it was like being in a fairyland where everything fell into place.  With the interaction of the Creator with what would then be considered plain sterile science, I could see a little bit of an interchange.  My work showed me that there could be patterns, but there also could be some spontaneity in what occurred.  From my brother's beliefs, I realized that such spontaneity could be the hand of a Creator.

The Beagle

PETER What were the highlights of your voyage?
DARWIN When I witnessed an earthquake in Chile and found fossils high in the Andes, I felt like a small boy in a toy shop.  With help of Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology I was able to expand on what I was seeing.
PETER Did the concept of design in nature prove the existence of God?
DARWIN Yes.  I could see a pattern behind the way changes occured, and the pattern had an intelligence, because each change made an organism more adaptive.

The Theory of Evolution

PETER In our dialogue you talk of the influence of the soul upon evolution.  Are you suggesting that a seed has a soul?
DARWIN A seed has a consciousness within the energy framework of the planet.  The planet Earth itself is a living, breathing soul and, to a smaller degree, so are the plants.  Human beings have an awareness whereby they can consciously effect changes within themselves with their powers of divine manifestation.
PETER You believed that millions of the Earth's species originated in a single original life form changing through the branching process of specialization.
DARWIN (LAUGHS) It is true that all energy originates from one point, because the Creator is the source of all energy.  But once a piece is broken off the Creator - say to become a dog - that does not mean that the dog can become a plant.  The progeny of the dog cannot join with acorns to produce a barking bush.
PETER Do you still hold that the survival of each organism occurs randomly within the species, and depends on that organism's ability to adapt to its environment?
DARWIN On every plane there must be adaptation in order to flourish.  It may appear as if this is random, but it has a lot to do with the intention of the organism.  Spiritually, if a soul does not choose to recognize itself as a soul, it will not have the awareness, and the opportunity to make use its lessons in other lifetimes.
PETER Do you now believe that man evolved from the ape?
DARWIN To say that ape became man is to take out all the variables of intention, manifestation, and influence that the soul has within the organism.

   The Creator and Evolution

PETER What was humankind made from?
DARWIN From a series of cellular matters.  When it came to creating the experiment on planet Earth, there was a discussion about how to do it.  It was perceived that it had to be done with a biological form, capable of experiencing everything that was NOT of the unconditional love of the Creator.
PETER Do you now go along with the concept of "intelligent design" by the Creator?
DARWIN The Creator as a whole is the origin of all energy.  As each piece of energy - or soul - breaks off, it does not have to get permission to create new aspects of itself.  Each soul has a conscious design for its own physicality.

In the current debate about intelligent design versus evolution, I take the position that both have it right and both have it wrong.  One cannot be totally divorced from the other.

Evolution and Society

PETER Do you share Herbert Spencer's view that society would improve naturally over time by the evolution of the superior race of human beings?
DARWIN Definitely not.  That idea totally disregards the fact that each soul chooses the lessons that it is going to learn.

Evolution and the Soul

PETER What does the soul learns by coming down to Earth?
DARWIN Its the physical experience turns knowledge into wisdom.
PETER What was the Creator's purpose in creating individuality?
DARWIN Unconditional love is magnificent - it is that for which all souls strive.  But you still don't know how good that magnificence is until you know what it is like to be without it.

Toni comments: Charles Darwin was very relaxed and matter-of-fact about his evolutionary theories.  I felt him smiling all the way through the dialogue, which is typical of the enlightened souls back Home.  They try to instill in us that the whole human experience is like a game.   You can either fight it and learn the hard way, or sit back and enjoy it; then you will easily assimilate the wisdom you have come to obtain.

Peter comments: Intelligent design is an ancient idea going back in essence to Heraclitus, Aristotle, Cicero, and Aquinas, as well as to William Paley, whose "watchmaker analogy" (contained in his book Natural Theology) was read by Darwin at Cambridge.  In response, Darwin now sees the divine Creator setting the goals and providing the means for nature's own processes of evolution to take place.

Darwin made out that he was something of a dreamer when young, holding fantastical imaginings far outside of his father's and grandfather's strict scientific viewpoint.  In no respect did he reject science and the scientific method, but for science to be truthful he asserted that it must be seen within the wider cosmic context.

Talking with Leaders from the Past
The foregoing are excerpts from Talking with Leaders from the Past.
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