Charles Darwin is hated by fundamentalist Christians. To accept Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selectiona as true, to them, means having to abandon their belief in the literal truth of the King James translation of the biblical books into what is now archaic English.
As a writer I have to appreciate the idea that one of God's principle activities was writing a book, and of course I am impressed by the fact that it is a best seller and the strongest backlist title in history. Also, it is encouraging, because my own writings have not sold well so far, and neither did God's early on. Bible sales did not really take off until the time of Martin Luther.
And if God is a writer, and had a successful book, don't you think he would want to do a bit more writing?
I think the concept of God is confusing [See God: A Confusing Concept]. Some people, however, have made an identity between God and Nature, and for educational purposes I'll go with that dual-natured god in this essay.
Let us suppose that God or Nature has prophets. These human beings get the truth about something or other from God and make it known to the rest of us. The Old Testament Jews had prophets, but so did the far-more-ancient Egyptians. Jesus is accepted as a prophet by many people who do not believe he is God. Mohammed declared that he was a prophet, and that worshipping him as the Christians worshipped Jesus Christ would be blasphemy.
But when you think about it, what these people revealed was good, but just a tiny bit of what God could reveal. I am a big fan of ethics, whether you want to take them from practical experience or from some higher authority. Predicting war or revolution or droughts or plagues is also all good and fine. Prophet is an honorary title I am willing to bestow when appropriate.
What Charles Darwin revealed was the fundamental order of nature, or at least of plant and animal life. True, he spent his life in careful study, observation, and experimentation. He thought a lot. He delayed publication of The Origin of Species because he knew it would upset a lot of people.
Charles Darwin himself was part of nature, part of creation. He claimed no supernatural powers. If you believe God creates everything, then God created Charles Darwin. If God inspires everything, then God inspired Charles Darwin.
Not remarkably, God's second book, the Origin of Species, (unless you count the New Testament as his second book) is much better written that his first book, the Bible. It documents the facts pointing to evolution by natural selection in a compelling manner. The contradictions in edicts we find in the Bible are largely eliminated. A big picture is painted out of small details. Troubling questions are asked and answered. Homely examples from the breeding of dogs and pigeons are given. Anyone with an open mind can understant it.
Having unveiled the true basis of life, and of the modern science of biology, God inspired mankind to get about the business of extending our knowledge of Nature. The science of genetics was worked out. The molecular basis of inheritance, DNA, was discovered. Now we have wonder medicines starting to be produced for ailments that were previously incurable. All because God revealed the Truth to the Prophet Darwin.
The Catholic Church, if it had any sense, would discover that Darwin was a saint. Many, many medical miracles have occured from people subscribing to the theory of evolution. We know the Church recast a number of pagan gods as saints; why not Charles Darwin?
The earth is not such a big place any more. It is crowded with people. It exists in the context of a Universe so large that even scientists cannot tell us exactly how large it is. Many of God's creations are being destroyed because of human overpopulation and its attendant polution and destruction of natural habitat. God has given warnings. Nature has made the consequences of continuing on our current path clear. Natural disasters and the toppling of evil and incompetent governments are upon us.
It is too bad Charles Darwin was not an American. I think the American fundamentalists would have a lot more trouble attacking God's True Prophet if it were unpatriotic to do so. The people of Great Britain should be proud to have produced such a man. But America has its Prophets of Nature too. John Muir, for instance. We should be proud of them.