Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Birthday of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin

On February 12, 1809, Abraham Lincoln was born in Hardin County, Kentucky. On the same day, Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, England. So next year, February 12, 2009 will be the bicentennial of the birthday of both men.

As I have noted on this blog previously, there are many remarkable similarities between Darwin and Lincoln. Both believed in a universe governed by natural causes. Both accepted the idea of evolution. Both were accused of denying the Biblical doctrine of Creation. Both spoke of God as First Cause. Both appealed to the Bible as a source of moral teaching, even as they also appealed to a natural moral sense independent of Biblical religion. Both abhorred slavery as immoral. Darwin followed the news reports of the Civil War with great interest and cheered Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.

For some of my previous posts on these points, go here, here, here, and here.


Rob Schebel said...

You're forgetting about a third birthday on this day (though not in 1809). Leon Kass has also thought deeply about these very same ideas. As well as any modern thinker, he writes articulately about the nature of the soul from both a Darwinian and a biblical perspective.

-Rob Schebel

-David said...

I think the whole point of this post was to connect the similarities of these two extraordinary men who shared very similar beliefs, and who also happened to be born on the exact same day. Leon Kass may have been born on the same day in a different year, but I'd argue that there are other great writers/thinkers born on Feb 12 who share these same beliefs. Yet none of their successes can be compared with the affects which Darwin and Lincoln had/have on the world today.