Here, a Year 10 (age14-15) pupil from the Malcolm Arnold Academy in Northampton, has written a piece about their ‘Favourite Philosopher’. The choice of Darwin may make some of you think ‘he is not a philosopher’ – but I’d just say: read the piece below, and see the case the students makes!
My Favourite Philosopher: Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin is my favourite philosopher for the reason that his work is the most unforeseen, and as a result the most inspiring that I have encountered. This is predominantly an outcome of the fact that Darwin is such a significant figure in the atheist world, yet at the same time, he believed in the existence of God and the fact that there is a greater entity who created the universe. Darwin demonstrated through his work
that it is possible to believe in both science and religion. An example of this in his work is in “The Origin of the Species” where biblical cadence is used when describing the beginning of life. Both the Bible and “The Origin of the species” state that life was “breathed” into the world. The fact that Darwin chose to reference the verb used in the Bible was significant to myself as it connotes that he agreed to some extent with the religious scripture. This inspired me, as I initially believed that religion and science were complete opposites and it was impossible to believe in both, yet I still had a strong passion for both. I found that Darwin expressed the fact that neither religion nor science alone are completely correct, and it is possible to use one to fill in the gaps of the other. I’m sure this helped many other young, confused, religious teenagers like myself, to feel more confident in embracing their opinions without feeling blasphemous, thus a reason why Darwin is my favourite philosopher. Studying Darwin stimulated innovation in the way I compare science and religion, and helped me to start looking for links rather than contradictions, and alternative ways of interpreting “contradictions”.
The fact that he was confident enough to publish his blasphemous theories makes him an inspirational figure, it shows that you shouldn’t be afraid of expressing your opinions, even if other people don’t agree.
Another reason behind my immense respect for Darwin and why he is my favourite philosopher is because during the times of his work (the 1800’s) society was very religious and was not willing to accept non-religious concepts or theories as they were seen as blasphemy. Despite this, Darwin was sanguine and confident in his opinion, and was not pusillanimous about publishing his work, even though it lead on to people despising him and others criticising him and his work. This makes Darwin a very inspirational figure as it demonstrates to people of all ages that they should not be sceptical about expressing their opinions, even if others do not agree, because nobody’s opinion is