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It was one of those glorious autumn afternoons, that we sometimes enjoy in England, when I was asked to go in and sit with the well known professor, Charles Darwin. He was almost bedridden for some months before he died. I used to feel when I saw him that his fine presence would make a grand picture for our Royal Academy; but never did I think so more strongly than on this particular occasion.
He was sitting up in bed, wearing a soft embroidered dressing gown, of rather a rich purple shade.
Propped up by pillows, he was gazing out on a far-stretching scene of woods and cornfields, which glowed in the light of one of those marvelous sunsets which are the beauty of Kent and Surrey. His noble forehead and fine features seem to be lit up with pleasure as I entered the room.
He waved his hand toward the window as he pointed out the scene beyond, while in the other hand he held an open Bible, which he was always studying.
"What are you reading now?" I asked as I seated myself beside his bedside. "Hebrews!" he answered - "still Hebrews. 'The Royal Book' I call it. Isn't it grand?"
Then, placing his finger on certain passages, he commented on them.
I made some allusions to the strong opinions expressed by many persons on the history of the creation, its grandeur, and then their treatment of the earlier chapters of the Book of Genesis.
He seemed greatly distressed, his fingers twitched nervously, and a look of agony came over his face as he said: "I was a young man with unformed ideas. I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time over everything, and to my astonishment, the ideas took like wildfire. People made a religion of them."
Then he paused, and after a few more sentences on "the holiness of God" and the "grandeur of this book," looking at the Bible which he was holding tenderly all the time, he suddenly said: "I have a summer house in the garden which holds about thirty people. It is over there," pointing through the open window. "I want you very much to speak there. I know you read the Bible in the villages. To-morrow afternoon I should like the servants on the place, some tenants and a few of the neighbours; to gather there. Will you speak to them?"
"What shall I speak about?" I asked.
"Christ Jesus!" he replied in a clear, emphatic voice, adding in a lower tone, "and his salvation. Is not that the best theme? And then I want you to sing some hymns with them. You lead on your small instrument, do you not?" The wonderful look of brightness and animation on his face as he said this I shall never forget, for he added: "If you take the meeting at three o'clock this window will be open, and you will know that I am joining in with the singing."
How I wished I could have made a picture of the fine old man and his beautiful surroundings on that memorable day!
Lady Hope's account of my father's views on religion is quite untrue. I have publicly accused her of falsehood, but have not seen any reply. My father's agnostic point of view is given in my Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. I., pp. 304–317. You are at liberty to publish the above statement. Indeed, I shall be glad if you will do so."
I was present at his deathbed, Lady Hope was not present during his last illness, or any illness. I believe he never even saw her, but in any case she had no influence over him in any department of thought or belief. He never recanted any of his scientific views, either then or earlier. We think the story of his conversion was fabricated in the U.S.A. ... ...The whole story has no foundation what-so-ever."
Charles Darwin's deathbed conversion: A woman by the name of Lady Hope allegedly visited Darwin shortly before he died and heard his deathbed conversion to Christianity. This event might have happened, but it is extremely doubtful. Lady Hope did visit Darwin, but it was originally believed to be "in the fall of 1881, about 6 months before Darwin died." 2 Many historians believe that he had lost his faith completely some 30 years before his death, when his beloved daughter Annie died. One researcher, Richard Rorty, tracked down over 100 occurrences of the legend, and successfully showed that Lady Hope (Elizabeth Cotton) did exist, and probably did visit Darwin near the end of his life. But he discounts the possibility that Darwin abandoned his Agnostic beliefs. His family energetically denied his conversion. His daughter Henrietta commented in 1922: "I was present at his deathbed. Lady Hope was not present during his last illness, or any illness. I believe he never even saw her, but in any case she had no influence over him in any department of thought or belief. He never recanted any of his scientific views, either then or earlier. We think the story of his conversion was fabricated in the U.S.A. . . . The whole story has no foundation whatever." 3
The fable appeared in the 1955-OCT issue of the Reformation Review and in the 1957-FEB issue of the Record of the Free Church of Scotland. It circulates widely on the Internet via Email and is seen on many creation science web sites.
Originally posted by Maddogkull
Just a heads up, when you look at those sites in the future, make sure you get your information from a scientific source.
Originally posted by traditionaldrummer
It appears that we should all consider the Lady Hope claims debunked, yet the myth persists.....
Originally posted by eight bits
Thomas Paine, a definitely unChrisitan American Founder, is another famous "deathbed convert," utterly fabricated.
What difference would it make if it were true?
When a Christian does something like that, that makes me wonder why they aren't worried that their lie will catch up with them.
Originally posted by Maddogkull
Drummer sources from skeptic websites are informative but they also take things out of proportion and sometimes lie. I am not talking about this article, but there are things that skeptic forums and sites lie about.
There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.
In his autobiography written in 1876 he recalled that at the time of writing the On the Origin of Species the conclusion was strong in his mind of the existence of God due to "the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist."
Originally posted by zaiger
It really is pointless it argue about if he converted to christianity or not on his death bed as it would really not change the theory at all. Scientific theory being objective in most cases and the personality involved should not influence the legitimacy of the theory in the least. These are basic critical thinking skills not being used here. If darwin converted to christianity on his deathbed and said his theory was bunk would that really change the theory? Not at all. Im not going to get into what is right or wrong about evolition but only highlight the fact that this deathbed conversation of darwin is a total red herring that sadly christians throw out there and atheists fall for all the time.
In the above posted Video of Dawkins he even adresses it. If he was 1/2 as smart as he thought he was he would have said he really does not care as the personal religious preferences of an individual would hold no bearing on accuracy of any theory.