Santa Clara University

Religious Studies department

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David Pleins' New Book

Wednesday, Jun. 11, 2014

Prof. David Pleins has recently published a new book entitled In Praise of Darwin: George John Romanes and the Evolution of a Darwinian Believer (Bloomsbury, 2014). The book discusses Dr. Pleins's surprising rediscovery of a "Memorial Poem" written by a close friend and colleague of Charles Darwin. The poem honors Darwin in his passing. The manuscript had been lost to the public eye for more than a century. A generous donor purchased the document for SCU's University Library. The "Memorial Poem" is actually a sizable collection of poems that reflect on religious belief in light of Darwin's life and work. Surprisingly, Romanes was a religious skeptic but it seems that with Darwin's death he had a change of heart regarding faith. The poems were written in secret and were not published widely, so after 100 years they are finally seeing the light of day! That someone from Darwin's inner circle could write so passionately about religious faith serves to challenge the notion that Darwinians must always be opposed to belief.

 

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