Darwinism can never be more than a model of interpretation, a grid imposed as a theory interpreting natural data. But without it the entire nihilist philosophical edifice of the modern or postmodern world with its transvaluations of all values, the myth of endless “progress,” (which is killing us) collapses. In that case speculative “science” would be shown to be perhaps the most philosophically loaded concept of the modern era.
Tom Bethell writes, “In The Origin of Species, Darwin suggested the idea of a God who created a few original forms and then let the “laws” of nature govern the outcome. “It is just as noble a conception of the Deity to believe that He created a few original forms capable of self-development into other and needful forms,” he wrote, “as to believe that he required a fresh act of creation to supply the voids caused by the action of his laws.”
But later he wrote privately to friend Joseph Hooker, “I have long regretted that I truckled to public opinion, and used the Pentateuchal term of creation.” And in 1862, he told Harvard botanist Asa Gray there seemed to be “too much misery in the world.” He could not accept, for example, “that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created [digger wasps] with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice.”
For Darwin it always came back to the problem of pain. “What a book a devil’s chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering, low, and horribly cruel works of nature!” he wrote to Hooker around 1856.” –The Lord’s Day vs. Darwin Day