Dr. Charles F. Urbanowicz / Professor of Anthropology
California State University, Chico / Chico, California 95929-0400
530-898-6220 [Office]; 530-898-6192 [Dept.]; 530-898-6824 [FAX]
e-mail: curbanowicz@csuchico.edu
home page: http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban

[This page printed from http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/1990DossierOnDarwinLetter.html]

26 September 1990

© [All Rights Reserved.] This letter was originally published in the Chico [California] Enterprise-Record on September 26, 1990, page 4B. [Note: for a 2001 item, please see: http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/FA2001Unitarian.html - references to that paper were added to the end of this letter in November 2001.]

Dear Editor:

On the Carolyn S. Neel letter of Sep. 17 [1990, in the Chico Enterprise-Record], and her last sentence, I offer the following:

Charles R. Darwin (1809-1882), while visiting a friend in London in December 1881, suffered a mild heart seizure. On the 12th of February 1882, his 73rd birthday, Darwin wrote to a friend that "my course is nearly run" and within two months, on Wednesday, the 19th of April 1882, he had a heart attack and died.

Darwin's remains, however are not in the community of Down (where he lived from 1842 until 1882), but are localed in the chapel of St. Faith in Westminster Abbey, in London. Upon his death, twenty members of Parliament requested that Darwin be buried in the Abbey and his four-horse funeral carriage (accompanied by his sons Francis, Leonard, and Horace) made the 16 mile journey to London on the 25th of April 1882.

Darwin was interred a few paces away from the final resting places of Sir Isaac Netwon [1642-1747], Sir Charles Lyell [1797-1875], Michael Faraday [1791-1867] and William Herschel [1738-1822]. His pall bearerers includeed the president of the Royal Society, as well as Robert Lowell (the American Minister to the British Isles), the churchman Cannon Farrar [1831-1903], an earl, two dukes and three leading British biologists of the times who were also Darwin's closest scientific friends: Thomas Huxley [1825-1895], Alfred Russel Wallace [1823-1913], and Sir Joseph Hooker [1817-1911] (of Chico's "Hooker Oak" fame). Herbert Spencer [1820-1903], from whom Darwin had borrowed the phrase "survival of the fittest" even thought the occasion of Darwin's internment at the Abbey worthy enough to attend to suspend his own objections to religious ceremonies.

If one considers how fiercely Darwin had been attacked by certain of the orthodox clergy during his lifetime it does seem somewhat interesting that he once intended to become a clergyman and that he is, in fact, buried in one of the most symbolic religious structures of the British Empire.

Since one often reads about "Darwin" and a "Creator" in the same publication, perhaps one out to also read what Darwin himself wrote concerning the Creator:

"Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely the production of the higher animals, directly flows. There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved."

This comes from the 6th edition (1872) of what is commonly called Origin of the Species, first published in 1859.

One final point: Darwin did not write about human beings in his 1859 publication (or the five revised editions which followed). All he had to say about human beings in Origins was the following, taken from the 1872 conclusions of the last, 6th edition of Origin

"In the future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be securely based on the foundation already well laid by Mr. Herbert Spencer, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Much light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history."

Charles F. Urbanowicz

# # #


2001a http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/SelfTesting/DarwinTestTwo.htm ["Darwin Self-Test" of November 2001]

2001b http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/FA2001Unitarian.html (Darwin, Dying, and Death: Philosophical Perspective[s], November 4).  

2001c http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/DarwinForum2001.html (On Darwin At The 21st Century. For the CSU, Chico Anthropology Forum, October 25.)  

2001d http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/DarwinRetFacOct2001.html [October 19, 2001} Charles R. Darwin: Comments on a Fulfilled Life.]

2001e http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/WordsOnAnnie'sBox.html [September 2001 words on Annie's Box].

2001f http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/Darwin2000.html [November 2000 presentation with listing of Urbanowicz papers relating to Darwin to that date, including numerous other WWW references].

2001g http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/darwinvisualsonly.htm [November 2000} Charles Darwin-Related "Visuals" Only]

2001h http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/SoAmGIslands.html [July 2000 Galápagos Islands Trip]

2000 Darwin 2000-2001 [Self]Test One ["Darwin Self-Test" of January 2000] 


2001 http://rce.csuchico.edu/rv/Darwin/Darwin3.ram [Charles Darwin: - Part Two: The Voyage (2001). ~Twenty-two Minutes. Darwin from South America, through the Galápagos Islands, and back to England.] Edited by Ms. Vilma Hernandez and Produced by Ms. Donna Crowe: Instructional Media Center, CSU, Chico. Available via the Internet with REAL PLAYER [http://www.real.com/player/index.html.

1999 http://rce.csuchico.edu/rv/Darwin/DarwinVoyage.ram [Charles Darwin: - Part One: The Voyage (1999). ~Twenty-two Minutes. Darwin sailing from England to South America.] Produced and Edited by Ms. Donna Crowe: Instructional Media Center, CSU, Chico. Available via the Internet with REAL PLAYER [http://www.real.com/player/index.html.

1997 http://www.rce.csuchico.edu/rv/Darwin/DarwinReflections.ram [Charles Darwin: Reflections - Part One: The Beginning (1997). ~Seventeen Minutes. Darwin in England]. Produced and Edited by Ms. Donna Crowe: Instructional Media Center, CSU, Chico. Available via the Internet with REAL PLAYER [http://www.real.com/player/index.html.

Other WWW References:

http://darwin.ws/day/ [Darwin Day Home Page]

http://www.galapagos.org/cdf.htm [Charles Darwin Foundation, Inc.]

http://www.aboutdarwin.com/ [About Darwin.com]

http://www.gruts.demon.co.uk/darwin/index.htm [The Friends of Charles Darwin Home Page]

wysiwyg://5/http://www.iexplore.com/multimedia/galapagos.jhtml [The Galápagos Islands!]

http://www.natcenscied.org [The National Center for Science Education]

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/ [September 2001 PBS Television Series on "Evolution"]

http://www.dimensional.com/~randl/scopes.htm [The Scopes "Monkey Trial," or "A 1925 Media Circus"]

http://xroads.virginia.edu/~UG97/inherit/1925home.html [Inherit} 1925]

http://www.darwinawards.com/ [Official Darwin Awards} "...showing us just how uncommon common sense can be." Wendy Northcutt, 2000, The Darwin Awards: Evolution in Action (Dutton).  

# # # 

[~1,090 words]

To go to the home page of Charles F. Urbanowicz.

To go to the home page of the Department of Anthropology.

To go to the home page of California State University, Chico.

[This page printed from http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/1990DossierOnDarwinLetter.html]

Copyright © 1990/2001; all rights reserved by Charles F. Urbanowicz

Additions [WWW reference] added on 5 November 2001 by cfu

# # #