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Friday, August 10, 2012

"Darwin's Finches" were studied by a Christian

As a retired biology teacher, I knew about the finches of the Galapagos Islands. I also knew that, although they have often been put forth as good evidence for Darwin's theory of speciation by natural selection, Darwin, himself, didn't know much about them (although he did visit the Galapagos Islands while on his voyage with the Beagle.) And I knew that the world's expert on these amazing birds was a man named David Lack. I read his book, Darwin's Finches.

A recent essay from the Biologos Foundation points out something that I didn't know, but is well documented. That is that Lack became a Christian fairly early in his scientific career, and remained one throughout the rest of his life. Furthermore, his faith was known to contemporary scientists. The essay quotes Ernst Mayr, himself a towering figure in the science of evolution, and also perhaps the most important historian of biology of modern times, testifying to Lack's faith. (It is not clear that Mayr, himself, was a Christian. He may have been. He was also an important philosopher of biology.)

The essay indicates that Lack did not find his Christian beliefs and his evolutionary science to be in conflict.

Thanks for reading.

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