Didn't Darwin recant of his Theory of Evolution on his deathbed and embrace Christianity?

No, he didn't.

This story was invented by a certain Lady Hope, who was an evangelical Christian and shameless liar. Her account was denied by Darwin's own daughter, Henrietta, a devout Christian, who was with her father throughout his final illness.

For more on this subject, please see the Lady Hope Story (Talk Origins website).

5 thoughts on “Didn't Darwin recant of his Theory of Evolution on his deathbed and embrace Christianity?

  1. Justin Caradus

    With respect to your claim that Lady Hope was a "shameless liar", the recent book by Dr.L.R.Croft, 'Darwin and Lady Hope -The Untold Story' claims she was a woman of 'absolute integrity'. Croft seems to have put forward a very good case, as seen in the recent review by Professor Michael Wheeler of University of Southampton, published in the Church Times on 24 August 2012. He states that [Croft] "may have a point and Lady Hope's narrative is certainly of compelling interest."

    1. Richard Carter, FCD

      I am aware of Dr Croft's book, as he keeps sending me fliers about it, and offered to send me a review copy. I accepted the offer, but advised him that I would be surprised in the extreme if I were convinced by anything he had to say. He did not send me a review copy.

      From the fliers I have been sent (which I accept might be misrepresentative), Dr Croft's argument seems to be that Lady Hope was a nice person, and did nice things, so therefore she couldn't be a liar. Your brief summary says pretty much the same. I am sure there must be more to Dr Croft's argument than that, but, as no indication is given in the fliers, I suspect it cannot be a convincing argument. The most convincing argument that Lady Hope was a liar is that Darwin's devout daughter (who would presumably have been delighted had her father actually had a deathbed conversion), said that Lady Hope never visited Down House. Darwin's daughter's word is good enough for me.

      I note that the positive review of Dr Croft's book was published in the Church Times. Hardly a bastion of neutrality in matters religious.


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