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Encounter with Charles Darwin
Why Darwin Supported Gospel Missions
By JAMES RAY
Three times I crossed footprints with Charles Darwin―
in Shrewsbury, England; in Ushuaia, Argentina; and finally in London.

Charles Robert Darwin was born on February 12, 1809, in Shrewsbury, Shropshire,
England. He was the fifth child and second son of Robert Waring Darwin, a physician, and
Susannah Wedgwood. Darwin’s mother, Susannah Wedgwood, was the daughter of Josiah
Wedgwood, the pottery manufacturer.

Darwin was the British naturalist who became famous for his theories of evolution. Darwin
concluded that all life on earth evolved over millions of years from a few common ancestors,
including apes, etc.

. of Arts degree, which included studies botany and natural history. This interest
First Encounter with
Charles Darwin —
Shrewsbury, England
I walked through the streets where
Darwin once played. As a young
person, he attended the school at
Shrewsbury but admitted that he did
not do well as a student there. In 1825,
Darwin went to Edinburgh Univer-
sity in Scotland to study medicine but
dropped out after a few months. His
disappointed father scolded him with
the following words: “You care for
nothing but shooting, dogs, and rat-
catching and you will be a disgrace to
yourself and all your family.”
is father, exasperated with his
son’s failure to follow through
with his education, decided that perhaps
he should study for the Anglican priest-
hood. He enrolled him at Christ’s Col-
lege, Cambridge, to study for a Bachelor
H 4 • NATIONS
of Anglican theology. His father had
the hope that he might become a coun-
try parson with the Church of England.

The young man again did not follow
through with the plans set before him.

He did, however, in 1831 graduate with
a bachelor’s degree. (From Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia)
Charles Darwin had no more
education than a bachelor’s
degree from Christ’s College,
Cambridge, and was
nothing more than an
amateur naturalist.

Darwin’s bachelor’s
degree was in reality a
divinity degree. He is
not credited with any
other formal earned de-
gree in the sciences. Dar-
win’s real interest was in
would eventually lead him to explore
alternatives to a creation designed by
God. He never, however, declared him-
self as an atheist.

arwin emerged in the shadow of
some of the greatest scientific
minds in history. Francis Bacon (1561
to 1626) was described as the “Father
of the Scientific Method.” He was a
devout Christian, involved in the trans-
lation of the King James Bible, and in
1603, King James knighted him. Steve
Green in his work The
Bible in America stated,
“It would be difficult to
find any person who inte-
grated the Bible and sci-
ence so well. Faith and
fact were seamlessly wo-
ven into Bacon’s life from
the very beginning until
he died.” 1
D 1
Steve Green, The Bible in America
(Oklahoma City: Dust Jacket Press, 2013), 52.