Happy Birthday Darwin and Lincoln

datePosted on 09:58, February 12th, 2009 by Kosmic Kurt

Today is the two hundredth anniversary of the birthdays of both Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln. Two men who changed the world in very important ways. Both men created sweeping paradigm shifts of values and knowledge that continues to affect us today.

Here in the United States Lincoln is looked at as the epitome of honesty and integrity – the very essence of what being and American is all about. He was the emancipator of an entire race. His words are quoted as much as, if not more, than any other president. However, Lincoln was also a non-Christian deist. In fact, he was more agnostic than anything. It was Lincoln that said,

“The Bible is not my book and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long complicated statements of Christian dogma,” and “My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures, have become clearer and stronger with advancing years and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them.”

Whereas Lincoln was a man of little faith, Darwin actually studied religion at Cambridge to become a priest. He later changed his mind after his trip aboard the Beagle. Darwin gave the world a working mechanism to explain the diversity of life we have on Earth. But he did far more than that. Darwin got rid of the last process that theists could claim as belonging to a god. By explaining how life came to be, Darwin eliminated the need for a god altogether. Darwin’s shift in thinking was one of the most profound in all of history. All of the great deists and agnostics that came before him (including Jefferson, Adams, Paine, Franklin, Ingersoll, and even Lincoln) would have been atheists if they had read Origin of Species. Thomas Paine and Robert Ingersoll, in particular, made some of the most scathing and penetrating attacks on Christianity in all of literature. Yet they could not let go of the idea that there needed to be some type of “creator” for there to be life. Darwin eliminated that need.

We owe both these brave and brilliant men our admiration and gratitude. Happy Birthday!

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