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“The Lyell Darwin Connection”
by Roger Oakland   
September 25th, 2014

The human brain is an amazing organ that functions like a computer. Information that is gathered from our senses is fed to billions of neurons that record and analyze the data. Conclusions are drawn and ultimately decisions and choices are made.

The same process occurs when a scientist formulates a theory. As the result of careful observation, a scientist develops a hypothesis and then a theory. Years of data collection must be analyzed and experiments repeated with a reasonable degree of accuracy.

However, when it comes to the subject of formulating theories that attempt to explain events that have happened here on earth in the past, scientists often bypass the scientific method. For example, the basic ideas of geology and biological evolution are built upon previous theories that are accepted without evaluating the assumptions that were used to formulate the theories in the first place.

Such is the case with the Charles Darwin - Charles Lyell connection. Lyell, in his Principles of Geology, had argued that the geological past could best be understood in terms of what we observe happening in the world today. Although the “present is the key to the past” assumption was the key to his theory, it was not provable. If it was wrong, his whole theory that proposed the layers of the earth had been laid down over millions and millions of years would be faulty. In fact, it can be documented that the reason he proposed it in the first place was to cause people to cast doubt on the authenticity of the Bible and a global world-wide flood.

Charles Darwin read Lyell’s book while on his trip, just as John Henslow had suggested. His theory of uniformitarianism gave Darwin the time scale required for his theory of evolution that effectively rejected the view that life was created by a supernatural God. The idea was then given scientific respectability and soon embraced by other intellectuals who were also looking for a way to explain away God and creation.

Today, few who embrace the theory of evolution really understand how Lyell’s views influenced Darwin and why the theory of uniformitarianism has failed to explain the past. Evolutionists now say that 97% of the species on Earth have been wiped out on this planet on more than one occasion.[[1] How does this view differ from Lyell’s theory?]

Perhaps if it wasn’t for Lyell, Darwin’s theory would never have gotten off the ground. Maybe it’s time to reexamine Darwin’s evolutionary view based on the actual physical evidence. After all, isn’t that what science is all about?

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