the_descent_of_man - Commentary on Darwin's The Descent of...

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Commentary on Darwin’s The Descent of Man What we have to keep in mind concerning this text is the affront its thesis provided when it was published, an affront that continues to be felt to this very day. The affront is based on Darwin’s theory that “man is descended from some less highly organized form.” (244) This clearly flies in the face of the account in Genesis where man is created as that species that is fashioned in the image of God, that is, the highest being in the universe, in contradistinction to the other (animal) species. But according to Darwin there is enough evidence, via empirical research, that if one “is not content to look … at the phenomena of nature as disconnected, [one] cannot any longer believe that man is the work of a separate act of creation.” (244) To be sure, Darwin admits that despite the evidence of similarity between species there are differences. Among them he cites the “moral nature of man.” But instead of conceiving this “moral nature” as a gift from some transcendental sphere, he situates it in
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