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From James Grant   6 March 1878



As a believer in the existence of God from the evidence of nature, he is somewhat staggered by CD’s and Tyndall’s books. Asks CD to tell him whether the doctrine of descent of man destroys the evidence of the existence of a God looked at through natural phenomena.

Author:  James Miller (James) Grant
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  6 Mar 1878
Classmark:  DAR 165: 89
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11404

To James Grant   11 March 1878


The strongest argument for the existence of God is the intuitive feeling that there must have been an intelligent beginner of the universe; "but then comes the doubt and difficulty whether such intuitions are trustworthy". CD is forced to leave the problem insoluble. "No man who does his duty has anything to fear, and may hope for whatever he earnestly desires."

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  James Miller (James) Grant
Date:  11 Mar 1878
Classmark:  Sotheby’s, New York (dealers) (12 December 2017)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11416

From James Grant   16 March 1878



Thanks CD for his kind reply. JG does not feel he can rely on instinct or "intuition" in relation to existence of God. Is there no analogy between natural organisations and mechanical constructions to justify an intelligent first cause?

Author:  James Miller (James) Grant
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  16 Mar 1878
Classmark:  DAR 165: 90
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11428
Document type
letter (3)
1878 (3)