Letters | Darwinian ethics, Jesus & the Jews

Down On Darwin

In “Darwin’s Tree of Life” (January 24), Elizabeth A. Johnson’s contention that Darwin helps us understand our responsibility to creation is pretty startling. Darwin supported the laissez-faire capitalism of his father-in-law Lord Wedgewood, one of the richest industrialists in the world at that time, because it mirrored the ruthless competition he observed in nature. The implication that Naturalism supports the moral responsibility to husband other species or exercise stewardship over the creation is simply not true. The writings of the theologian John Haught and Pope John Paul II are not derived from Darwin or Naturalism.

Paul A. Hottinger

Naperville, Ill.


The Author Replies:

The project of Ask the Beasts is explicitly one of dialogue. The purpose of placing On the Origin of Species in conversation with the Nicene Creed is to develop a theology that makes loving the earth an intrinsic part of faith in God, rather than an add-on.

Three points: First, the focus is not Darwin the man, but the way he could see. The evolutionary story he figured out places nature in a new narrative...

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