did Darwin really recant on his deathbed.?

did he really? i know there's a lot of similar questions about this but i asked anyway... are christians liars or is this true? additional details in approx 5 mins.


A woman named “Lady Hope” spoke to a church group shortly after the death of Charles Darwin. She claimed that she was at Darwin’s bedside on the day of his death. She also claimed that Darwin recanted on evolution and accepted Jesus on his deathbed. Her claims are not only unsupported, but are directly opposed by Darwin’s daughter, Henrietta. Henrietta stated “I was present at his deathbed, Lady Hope was not present during his last illness, or any illness. I believe he never even saw her, but in any case she had no influence over him in any department of thought or belief. My father never recanted any of his scientific views, either then or earlier. I am upset that the U.S. Christians have fabricated this conversion nonsense. The whole story has no foundation whatever.” February 23, 1922.


24 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    No, he did not. We believe what we hear, and repeat it as fact. This is why so many urban legends occur. Unfortunately, Christians are particularly bad about doing this when it comes to "Christian evidences." It seems we never verify the validity of statements before we repeat them as fact. I know I have been guilty of this myself. Atheists do it when attacking Christians, too. It doesn't really make us liars, just gullible.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The woman (Lady Hope) who claims to have witnessed it was not, according to Darwin’s daughter, even there:

    •Charles's daughter Henrietta (Litchfield) wrote on page 12 of the London evangelical weekly, The Christian, for 23 February 1922, 'I was present at his deathbed. Lady Hope was not present during his last illness, or any illness. I believe he never even saw her, but in any case she had no influence over him in any department of thought or belief. He never recanted any of his scientific views, either then or earlier … . The whole story has no foundation whatever'.


    Not just his daughter, but other family members and his friends agree that it did not happen.

    That having been said – it would not matter even if it were true. The scientific theory of evolution is well established.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm don't think he recanted on his deathbed, but he did write: “If numerous species . . . have really started into life at once, the fact would be fatal to the theory of evolution.”

    The fossil record reveals that different and very complex life forms DID appear suddenly and fully developed. As one professor of natural science commented: “Whales, bats, horses, primates, elephants, hares, squirrels, etc., all are as distinct at their first appearance as they are now. There is not a trace of a common ancestor, much less a link with any reptile, the supposed progenitor.”

    Are there any fossils of giraffes with necks two thirds or three quarters the accepted length? No, there are not.

    So Darwin himself "predicted" that his theory would not hold up if the afore mentioned facts were to be proved. They have been and yet still the "Theory" is propogated.

    The truth of the matter is as stated at Genesis 1:25: “God proceeded to make the wild beast of the earth according to its kind and the domestic animal according to its kind and every moving animal of the ground according to its kind. And God got to see that it was good.”

  • 1 decade ago

    Does it matter?

    Facts are facts, regardless of what their discoverers say about them. Darwin's original idea of evolution has been modified a lot by advances in molecular biology. (It's not just species that compete, but even cells within your body compete with each other, and evolve on their own level).

    I don't think he recanted -- it sounds a lot like the typical religious smear campaign -- but even if he did, it doesn't really matter. There's almost 200 years of science backing up his theory since he died. Even his 11-inch-tongue-bug prediction just came true, almost 2 centuries after his death. How's that for the predictive power of science? :)

    Lots of scientists who make great discoveries get other things wrong. Einstein's famous "God doesn't play dice with the universe" was his way of saying "I don't believe in this Heisenberg uncertainty bs". But of course, anyone who's taken Quantum Mechanics knows Einstein was wrong.

    Likewise, Newton was a big dabbler in alchemy. He loved the stuff. And that "science" is long since dead, even though Newton's laws are the founding principles of just about every other scientific discipline out there. Just because they get one thing right, doesn't mean they're always right.

    I don't think he recanted -- but it's irrelevant. The mountain of evidence supports evolution, with or without Darwin's final consent.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Such stories have been propagated by some Christian groups, to the extent of becoming urban legends, though the claims were refuted by Darwin's children and have been dismissed as false by historians. His daughter, Henrietta, who was at his deathbed, said that he did not convert to Christianity

  • 1 decade ago


  • 1 decade ago

    I think that this is one of those things that could be taken either way .. christians are hot on context unless plucking something right out of something that Darwin or anybody around Darwin's time might have possibly have said.. in other words no. It must be on the net in lots of places .. probably depends on the site creators agenda what the answer is.

  • 1 decade ago

    I don't know. All I know is that he discovered the Galapagos Islands, and that was awesome! Oh, and someone else who was into "your nose tells what kind of personality you have" told Darwin he was unambitious (according to the shape of his nose). Yes, this also was a science in its infancy, much like fingerprinting or palm-reading (science and mythology were very mixed up back then)

  • 1 decade ago

    i doubt he ever recanted b/c he never had anything to recant. darwin never said anything about us coming from monkeys. he just said that evolution happens through natural selection, and people at the time took it the wrong way.

    i'm a christian and i believe in evolution AND creation!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No. Another Christian Urban Myth. Lady Hope (a lying Christian) started the lie by telling it to the newspaper:


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