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Charles Darwin was mentally ill

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posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 09:27 AM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
I admit I didnt like Biology as a child. Neither math. I liked everything Darwin hated: Literature, Art, Philosophy, Linguistics.


Can you support this statement?

How do you actually know Darwin 'hated' Literature, Art, Philosophy, Linguistics? Or are you just spouting more ignorant tripe?

He was actually very fond of music and literature (especially Shakespeare), and was avidly reading Milton's Paradise Lost on the Beagle (he even uses quotes in his letters, lol). His schooling at Cambridge would have been much wider in scope that we see today. Indeed, his examinations would have covered a wide array of philosophy and science. He apparently read Aristotle, Hume, Adam Smith, Locke and many other books: including poetry, travel journals, and biographies and memoirs.

For example, this was written by a friend after his death:


J. H. L. Compton

The Vicarage
Shoreham
Sevenoaks

Sept. 15

My dear Mr Darwin

My recollections of your father at school & college is very bright & sunny.
At Shrewsbury we slept in the same room for some years & often beguiled the night with pleasant conversation. He was always cheerful & good tempered & much beloved by his school fellows. He was not a great proficient in his school studies, but was always busy collecting beetles, butterflies &c. He spent some time most evenings with a blow-pipe at the gas-lights in our bedroom.

[14 verso]

At Cambridge I used to read Shakspere with him in his own room & he took great pleasure in these readings. He was also very fond of music, though not a performer & I generally got an order for him for Kings Coll. Chapel on Sunday evening.
In after life we never met though of course his name constantly came before me & I could not easily forget the pleasant days of old.

Believe me,
Yours faithfully

J.H.Lovett Cameron


If you actually want to understand Charles Darwin the person a bit better, go and read some of the correspondence at the Darwin Project. Or I suppose you can keep pulling information from out of your ass 'spirit'. Darwin also kept records of the books he read, and planned to, from fairly early in his life, and you can access those lists at the website.

[edit on 29-6-2010 by melatonin]




posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 11:23 AM
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reply to post by blupblup
 


The reason I made this thread is to state that I think Darwin is mentally and emotionally unfit to make any meaningful statements about the origin of species.

Then what happened is that a bunch of people protested against that and explained why they disagree.

And I explained why I believe that.

And then they explained why they dont.

There is absolutely nothing odd about that. Its your usual ATS-Thread.

What IS odd is what always happens in the threads and also behind-the-scenes to "get this guy de-modded" when I post things in this line of thinking. It shows the true face of the type of mindset Im dealing with here.



posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 11:29 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


I agree with you here. Just because you post something that other people do not agree with, does not mean you should get de-modded. All your other threads are really good and so is your dedication to ATS. The only problem I had with this is, just because someone is considered emotionally unfit, does not mean there opinions on life are wrong.



posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 11:31 AM
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Originally posted by melatonin
Can you support this statement?


From the Encyclopedia-entry cited in the OP.

But I´ll take your word for it that he liked Shakespere, Im pretty sure you know more about Darwin than I do.



posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 11:41 AM
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Finishing Statement

Im not going to take this line of argumentation beyond what was originally intended. The original intention was to "give them some of their own medicine". Before calling religious people "mentally ill" or any other such thing, consider that people with other views than your own are simply people with other views than your own.

Also, Creationism is not owned by Christians but other Religions as well.

You guys defended the old man Darwin well and I applaud your efforts. I apologize for anyone I might have offended in the Course of this Discussion.

Good Luck


[edit on 29-6-2010 by Skyfloating]



posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 11:52 AM
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Originally posted by ladyinwaiting
If Darwin hadn't developed the theory, someone else would have. Digging in the dirt continues to teach us many things.


Technically, he elaborated on an idea that was already floating around the Universities in Scotland, (Edinburgh in particular.) Adam Smiths "Wealth of Nations" predates Darwins works, and clearly he is also using the same idea of "natural selection" in his descriptions of how a free market would work best.

Thats what ALL humans tend to forget, that the person who gets credit for invention is always building on the backs of those who came before them. Which also undermines the argument that because Darwin was mentally ill that we should lend no credence to his theory. "His" theory was an extension of the theories of others, not all of them suffered similarly from depression. Even (often especially) those who reject natural selection as it applies to biology tend to embrace it whole heartedly when it is applied to markets. And the religious practice it whether they acknowledge it or not as they try to promote their meme while wiping the competition off the Earth.

It is a brilliant idea because it is the truth, regardless whether you say it is Gods truth or Natures truth.



posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 12:08 PM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating

What IS odd is what always happens in the threads and also behind-the-scenes to "get this guy de-modded" when I post things in this line of thinking. It shows the true face of the type of mindset Im dealing with here.



I personally would not ask that you be de-modded, only that you be held to the same standards anyone else is when posting, including not being allowed to make numerous one line posts, and not jabbing at others who WILL have action taken against them. I could care less WHO the mods are, as long as the rules of the board are applied to them as well, and they apply the rules equitably, and not capriciously.

Rules for order and civility should be equally applicable upon all of us, or they lose their effectiveness as tools for maintaining order and civility and become class divisions.



posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 12:18 PM
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[edit on 29-6-2010 by riley]



posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 12:21 PM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
Finishing Statement

Im not going to take this line of argumentation beyond what was originally intended. The original intention was to "give them some of their own medicine". Before calling religious people "mentally ill" or any other such thing, consider that people with other views than your own are simply people with other views than your own.

Also, Creationism is not owned by Christians but other Religions as well.

You guys defended the old man Darwin well and I applaud your efforts. I apologize for anyone I might have offended in the Course of this Discussion.

Good Luck


Skyfloating, despite I respect anyone’s view on this subject, I want to let you know that saying things like that after having such a quite intensive heavy discussion in this thread with so many members who doesn’t share the same view in any way you have regarding your OP, I cannot say anything other than that’s the right [ATS] [spirit].

I applaud you for that my friend.

[edit on 29/6/10 by spacevisitor]



posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 12:33 PM
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To be mentally ill must mean someone is thinking outside the normal social conditioning/programming that the group social mind thinks in.

Without it where would the world be but left in a third world society think about it for just a moment.


All things that seem equal aren't but all things that aren't equal seem the same.



[edit on 29-6-2010 by menguard]



posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 12:44 PM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
There's a guy who sees everything as having coincidentally arisen from dead matter.

To some of us thats beyond ridiculous.


Skyfloating, evolution has nothing whatsoever to do with the origins of life. That's an entirely different field of study.

I'm actually surprised to see this level of vehemence coming from you to be quite honest. This is supposed to be a respectful exchange of viewpoints, not schoolyard taunts.

Despite any alleged psychological problems that Darwin may or may not have suffered, his body of work has stood up to scientific scrutiny and has been been expanded upon. That is a fact.

Why anyone would feel that this particular field of science should upset or negate their spirituality or personal beliefs is beyond me, as the two are not connected in any way. Science operates in a vacuum and is not influenced by such things.

However, our spirituality is elastic in the sense that it allows for reflection, growth and change that is wholly dependent upon ourselves. There are times in life where we may suffer a personal tragedy and we may question our faith. During these times of crisis and introspection are we, as mere mortals, in any way lessened? I don't think so. We are the sum our our personal experiences and observations of the outside world, and our spirituality reflects as much.

Whether or not Darwin was mentally ill has absolutely nothing to do with either his spirituality, personal beliefs or scientific body of work. Mental illness can affect anyone. You, me, the guy down the street reading James Joyce novels...



posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 01:12 PM
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Let's try a hypothetical.

Imagine for a moment that Darwin really was insane, not just depressed or bipolar but completely nuts. Let's go with schitzophrenia, while this is treatable now there wasn't a great deal that could be done in Darwins day. Lets go further and say it was extremely bad, full on paranoid delusions.

Now lets say that during one of his worst times, the worst episodes he comes up with the theory of Evolution. Of course taking him at his word would be utterly stupid as he's a madman!

However science doesn't take people at their word, science likes to test things and scientists kind of like disproving one another as it brings notoriety. Over a hundred years has gone by and many scientists, who were mostly sane have not found anything wrong with Darwins central thesis. Instead they have found more and more evidence to prove Darwin correct, sciences that Darwin simply couldn't conceive of have backed him up.

To question Darwins theory is fine and is actually a good part of how science works. To ignore evidence and try to attack a well founded and researched theory by criticising the person who came up with it is not scientific, is not honest and is not logical.



posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 01:18 PM
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So this was the result of you reading his autobigraphy (was the only cite I saw)?


Originally posted by Skyfloating
From Darwins early life it is known that he found Literature, Languages, Lectures and Art dull and instead preferred Taxidermy, the art of displaying dead animals.


Took me a few minutes of reading it to find that the above is tripe.

Your simplification and misrepresentation of the man is obvious, and your reading of the autobiography was pretty selective.

From reading about his early years in education he sounds like an average undergraduate - found the majority of lectures boring ('dull'), attended only when he had to and when he enjoyed them, did some cramming to pass him exams, and generally preferred other hobbies and drinking to his academic work. And there are many comments about how he appreciated a range of arts (poems, shakespeare, art, music). He also states that he despised human anatomy and mathematics at university.

Where your misrepresentation likely arises is from:


I have said that in one respect my mind has changed during the last twenty or thirty years. Up to the age of thirty, or beyond it, poetry of many kinds, such as the works of Milton, Gray, Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Shelley, gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare, especially in the historical plays. I have also said that formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. I have also almost lost any taste for pictures or music.—Music generally sets me thinking too energetically on what I have been at work on, instead of giving me pleasure. I retain some taste for fine scenery, but it does not cause me the exquisite delight which it formerly did. On the other hand, novels which are works of the imagination, though not of a very high order, have been for years a wonderful relief and pleasure to me, and I often bless all novelists. A surprising number have been read aloud to me, and I like all if moderately good, and if they do not end unhappily—against which a law ought to be passed. A novel, according to my taste, does not come into the first class unless it contains some person whom one can thoroughly love, and if it be a pretty woman all the better.

This curious and lamentable loss of the higher aesthetic tastes is all the odder, as books on history, biographies and travels (independently of any scientific facts which they may contain), and essays on all sorts of subjects interest me as much as ever they did. My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive. A man with a mind more highly organised or better constituted than mine, would not I suppose have thus suffered; and if I had to live my life again I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied could thus have been kept active through use. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.

p. 139 Autobiography of Charles Darwin

Indeed, he likely overworked himself during later life with his focus on his scientific work (it was his forte and his work was groundbreaking), along with his marriage (at around the same time he notes no longer appreciating the arts - he married at 29/30). But to try to paint him as a kind of philistine is BS. He even regretted not spending more time on some of the hobbies he lost appreciation for.

[edit on 29-6-2010 by melatonin]



posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 01:53 PM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

I see the whole thing as a comparison between apples and oranges. Or maybe, apples and accordions. John Nash (the subject of the movie, "A Beautiful Mind") is a highly celebrated mathematical genius who has suffered from extreme paranoid schizophrenia. It doesn't affect his standing as a mathematician, because his work in that area can be validated.

Many historically well known spiritual people (John of Patmos, for example, to stick with the John theme), are considered to be delusional by some because most of what they have to relate revolves around personal experiences that can't be verified independently.

There's a higher standard of proof for scientific discovery than there are for spiritual revelations, mainly because science can be verified independently. The other stuff is primarily faith based.

So, can you draw an analogy between the mentally otherwise-enabled in a scientific field with someone having the same condition in a spiritual field? I'm not so sure, because taking the mental state of someone relating a spiritual experience into account has way more relevance than the state of someone whose "claims" can be independently, scientifically validated.

I understand how someone could view it as unfair that the claims of the spiritually focused can be negated by evidence of "mental illness", where it seems the same diagnosis is considered irrelevant when applied to a scientist. But the nature of the respective fields are thus.

I don't think science and spirituality are mutually exclusive, by any stretch. I'm a sporadically spiritual guy, and a science fan. Evolution doesn't do any collateral damage to my particular faith. Darwin's mental state (whatever it was) doesn't denigrate the work that he did.

Don't ask me. Every day that goes by is just another marker showing me how much I don't know.


As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Jun, 30 2010 @ 12:25 PM
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I don't understand op's point.

Just because Darwin was suicidal doesn't disprove his theory on evolution. Even if it did, Darwin isn't the 'first guy' to come up with the idea. Steven Jay Gould was. Darwin took his ideas and expanded.

Evolution is proven. The world is round. It revolves around the sun. It's a fact. Get over it.

Next topic.



posted on Jun, 30 2010 @ 01:32 PM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.



Originally posted by thepainweaver
Steven Jay Gould was. Darwin took his ideas and expanded.


Actually, Stephen Jay Gould wasn't born until 1941.

Lamarck, maybe?


As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Jun, 30 2010 @ 03:00 PM
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Ha! your right is wasn't Gould! The man's name is Alfred Russel Wallace. My quick search failed me. Forgive the mistake bioanthropologists are not my forte!



posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 07:47 PM
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Charles Darwin actually started a new belief system, it was ground breaking in that one now had a scientific out not to believe in God.

To me he is no different than Mohamed or Joseph Smith.

It's interesting that the person that started the belief structure that has lead to mass atheism, was mentally ill.



posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 09:43 PM
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Originally posted by Blue_Jay33
Charles Darwin actually started a new belief system, it was ground breaking in that one now had a scientific out not to believe in God.

To me he is no different than Mohamed or Joseph Smith.

It's interesting that the person that started the belief structure that has lead to mass atheism, was mentally ill.


Atheists existed before Evolution did so your point about Evolution leading to mass atheism is flawed. In the past there were no doubt quite a few more atheists than we realise but fear of being ridiculed or even punished would prevent them from admitting such a thing. Darwins theory has been tested by sane scientists, both religious and atheist and is therefore not comparable to religions which have zero evidence.

Evolution does not make anyone atheist, you can believe in god and evolution, the two are not mutually exclusive. Evolution and indeed science in general simply take a lot of the previously unexplainable things that were attributed to god and show how they occur.

Take lightning. In the past it was thought god did it, now we know it's an electrical discharge. Some view this as an example that god is not needed to create lightning and so doesn't exist, others could view it as god invented the entire system that allows lightning to exist but he doesn't actually make each bolt.



posted on Jul, 2 2010 @ 12:14 AM
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And he was STILL 5 times smarter than you will ever hope to be.





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