John Henry Newman – on Darwin’s Theory of Evolution

  • Article (letter)
  • 500 words
  • Level: high school and above

John Henry Newman writes about Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, and asks what people find atheistic about it. Newman writes:

 It does not seem to me to follow that creation is denied because the Creator, millions of years ago, gave laws to matter. He first created matter and then he created laws for it — laws which should construct it into its present wonderful beauty, and accurate adjustment and harmony of parts gradually. We do not deny or circumscribe the Creator, because we hold he has created the self acting originating human mind, which has almost a creative gift; much less then do we deny or circumscribe His power, if we hold that He gave matter such laws as by their blind instrumentality moulded and constructed through innumerable ages the world as we see it.

Click here for an excerpt selected by the Interdisciplinary Encyclopedia of Religion and Science (, which is edited by the Advanced School for Interdisciplinary Research, operating at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome, and directed by Giuseppe Tanzella-Nitti. The excerpt is from The Letters and Diaries of John Henry Newman, published by Oxford University press in 1961.