Did Darwin Recant?

It has been claimed that Charles Darwin recanted on his deathbed. Supposedly Lady Hope visited him, and wrote about it, many years later.

There are three things worth saying:

Who Cares? Science is not based on authority, and the Theory of Evolution is much changed since Darwin's day.

Why Would Darwin Care? He knew that the Church of England had agreed to bury him in Westminster, right near Isaac Newton. He is there today. He was not under any theological pressure to change his scientific views.

It's False. Darwin's daughter Henrietta has stated that he didn't. Further, Lady Hope did not visit during Darwin's last month. And none of Darwin's friends (who did visit him) reported any conversion. Darwin's various biographers are agreed on this point.

Last modified: 20 October 1997

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