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It is very difficult and generally unfruitful and probably wrong to try to establish motives for others. However in Darwin's case, he leaves us no doubt about his motives as the following quotation makes clear:

“I may be permitted to say, as some excuse, that I had two distinct objects in view; firstly, to shew that species had not been separately created, and secondly, that natural selection had been the chief agent of change, though largely aided by the inherited effects of habit, and slightly by the direct action of the surrounding conditions. I was not, however, able to annul the influence of my former belief, then almost universal, that each species had been purposely created; and this led to my tacit assumption, that any detail of structure, excepting rudiments, was of some special, though unrecognised, service. Any one, with this assumption in his mind, would naturally extend too far the action of natural selection, either during past or present times. Some of those who admit the principle of evolution, but reject natural selection, seem to forget, when criticising my book, that I had the above two objects in view; hence, if I have erred in giving to natural selection great power, which I am very far from admitting, or in having exaggerated its power, which is in itself probable, I have at least, as I hope, done good service in aiding to overthrow the dogma of separate creations.” - DARWIN, C. R. “The Descent of Man”, Penguin Classics based on the 2nd. edition published in 1879 by John Murrray, London, Penguin, 2010, pp. 81-82.

I think it is clear enough that Darwin was goal directed in his writings and was not a patently objective observer of nature where origins was concerned.


Ó 2010 Arthur V. Chadwick, Ph.D.