达尔文讲述:如何失去信仰

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达尔文讲述:如何失去信仰

  1. 1. 达尔文讲述:如何失去信仰 这篇采访稿描述了查尔斯·达尔文如何成为大自然的学生,在什么情况下开始思考进化论以及他的信仰危机。似乎他已对自己陷入的局面有所了解。 编者按:这篇文章转载自《信息学概览》,原文是用德语写成。借花献佛,以此向达尔文诞辰 200 周年献礼。 达尔文先生,现在几乎没有其他著作像您的《物种起源》这样,在社会上引起如此激烈的两极化讨论。在这场讨论中,您是否认为自己被公 正对待?达:我的观点经常被恶意扭曲,被讽刺或者被说成非常愚蠢的东西。但我相信,这些批评更多的是出于好意。在这种情况下我不得不提的是, 那些批评者并没有贬低我本人。而我也忽略那些没有任何科学依据的谩骂,因为它们不值得关注。 您小时候是否就很有科学天赋? 达:当我 离开中学的时候,我既不比同龄人强多少也不比他们弱。我觉得我给老师们的印象无非是个非常普通的男 孩,总之不会是那种善于思考的人。我父亲曾对我说了句让 我极其沮丧的话:“你说你除了打打枪、抓抓耗子、逮逮狗,还有啥可干的!你这败家玩意 儿一看就是个没出息的样儿”。既然我没法在中学里干出些光耀门楣的 事,我父亲很明智地早早将我提了出来,并随我兄弟一起,扔进了爱丁堡大学。 您就在这儿开始学习医学--- 达:整个课程过程,我们都是听老师讲,单调到让人难以忍受。这可称得上是我人生中最不幸的时光之一,我没有被要求 解剖。反之如果解剖了,我应该很快就能克服对它的反感,而且这样的实践对我未来所有的工作都会有莫大的帮助。 之后您就碰到了动物学家罗伯特 ·格兰特(Robert Grant)--- 达: 有一天我们一起走着,他毫不掩饰自己对拉马克(Larmack)的崇拜,并大声讨论 着拉马克对进化的种种看法。我暗暗吃惊。我以前读过我祖父的动物生理学 类书籍,书中就写着类似的观点。我很小便接触这类观点,且身边人都很赞 同它。既然如此,我在《物种起源》一书中将其以另一种形式表述出来,也就不足为奇 了。 您为何离开爱丁堡大学去了牛津大学? 达:在爱丁堡大学待了两个学期后,父亲发觉或者从我的姐妹们那得知我并不想当医生,于是建议我去当牧 师。父亲非常不愿看到我成为一个游手好闲的人,而在当时看来,如果继续下去,我最终会变成那样。 进化论之父竟然是个牧师! 达:因此我仔细阅读了皮尔森主教的《教义阐释》(An Exposition of the Creed) 以及其它一些神学方面的书籍。由于将 《圣经》中的每一个字都视为真理,我很快就説服自己所有教义必须完全相信。当时未想过,就这么相信一个我没有理解事实 上也不可能理解的事物是 多么不符合逻辑。也许曾信誓旦旦地说自己不会怀疑任何教义,但我总归不会是那种有着“玄则信”这类想法的笨蛋。曾经有志成为牧师的 我如今却被教 会猛烈抨击,这是件多么有趣的事情。 您在剑桥遇到了植物学家约翰 ·亨斯洛(John Henslow)先生,他帮助您毕业后登上 “皇家猎兔犬号 ”。这是您人生至关重要的转折点 么? 达: 在猎兔犬号上的那些日子是迄今为止我人生中最重要的一段时光,它塑造了我整个职业生涯。我经常想,多亏了这次旅行,我第一次真正 有了自己的想法,并且对自 然科学的多个分支学科产生了浓厚的兴趣。我的观察力也得到磨砺。而远比这些有意义的是我们对途径各地地质条件的研 究,这些是一系列假说及结论得以提出的基 础。 您在猎兔犬号上时是否质疑过圣经的真实性? 达: 在初登上猎兔犬号的时候,我还是非常虔诚的,甚至曾因以圣经作为某些行为的准则而引得几个 军官捧腹大笑。但在 1836 年到 1839 年这段时间里,就是那个 对世界历史进行了很明显的错误描述的、记载了巴别塔和灭世大水退去后示于天空的彩虹 的以及将上帝描述为一个睚眦必报的暴君的《旧约》,我逐渐认识到它跟印 度人的圣典或者野蛮人的信仰比起来,也可信不到哪儿去。尽管我仍试图欺 骗自己去相信它,却越来越难找到足够的证据来説服自己。 对信仰的怀疑在我心中日滋月长,慢慢地占据我的身心,直到最后完全失去了信仰。 您是否认为失去信仰是一种损失?达:我是逐渐变得不信教的,所以没有任何失落感。而且从那时起,我从未质疑过自己这样做的正确性。我也无法 真正理解人们为啥要信基督。如果基督所说的是正确的,简单说来,任何不信教的人都会受到永世的惩罚。而我父亲母亲、几乎我所有的好朋友都不信 教。这教义也太可怕了。 这次虚拟采访中的问题都是由克里斯多夫·马蒂(Christopher Marty)提出。回复则通过多种途径包括“达尔文全集 ol”引用了查尔斯·达尔文的原话。达尔 文先生于 1882 逝世。 Darwin Speaks: "How faithlessness stalked me" An "interview" with Charles Darwin in which he describes how he became a student of nature, his initiation into the theory of evolution, and his religious scruples. It seemed he knew the trouble he was getting into. Editor's Note: This article, translated from German, originally appeared in Spektrum. We are publishing it as part of our tribute to Charles Darwin on his 200th birthday. Mr. Darwin, there is hardly any other book that has polarized society to such an extent as your On the Origin of Species. Do you think you have been given a fair treatment in the public debate? My views have often been grossly distorted, attacked with bitterness and made to sound silly. But this has been done, as I believe, in most cases in good faith. In this context I must mention, though, that Ihave almost always been handled decently
  2. 2. by my critics, and I would ignore those among them without any scientific knowledge as not worthy of mention. Did your talent for science show up early in life? When I left school, I was neither too far ahead or behind in relation to my age, and I believe all my teachers thought I was a very ordinary boy, rather below the intellectual grade. To my utter disappointment, my father once told me: "You have no other interests apart from shooting, catching rats and dogs, and you are going to bring shame upon yourself and your whole family." Since I was not able to do anything dazzling in school, my father very wisely pulled me out of school at a far earlier age than was customary and sent my with my brother to Edinburgh University. Where you started to study medicine… The course consisted exclusively of lectures, and these were insufferably boring. It was one of the most unfortunate circumstances of my life that I was not required to perform dissections, because I would have overcome my aversion soon enough, and the practice would have been inestimably important for all my future activities. And then you met the zoologist Robert Grant… One day, as we were walking together, he burst out in great admiration for Lamarck and his views on evolution. I listened in silent amazement, without being affected in any way emotionally. I had read my grandfather's zoonomy earlier, and it had contained similar views. Nevertheless, it is quite probable that the fact that I was exposed at an early age to such views and heard them being praised made it easier for me to uphold the same ideas in a different form in my Origin of Species. From Edinburgh you went to the University of Cambridge. Why? After having spent two sessions in Edinburgh, my father perceived, or he heard from my sisters, that I did not like the thought of being a physician, so he proposed that I should become a clergyman. He was very properly vehement against my turning into an idle sporting man, which then seemed my probable destination. The father of evolution theory as a priest? Accordingly, I read with care Pearson on the creed and a few other books on divinity; and as I did not then in the least doubt the strict and literal truth of every word in the Bible, I soon persuaded myself that our creed must be fully accepted. It never struck me how illogical it was to say that I believed in what I could not understand and what is in fact unintelligible. I might have said with entire truth that I had no wish to dispute any dogma; but I never was such a fool as to feel and say, "credo quia incredibile" ["I believe because it is incredible"]. If I think of how vehemently I have been attacked by the orthodoxy, it is very amusing to think that I had once entertained intentions of becoming a priest. In Cambridge you met the botanist John Henslow who was instrumental in getting you a place on the "HMS Beagle" after your studies. Was this the definitive turning point in your life? The journey on the Beagle has been the most significant in my life by far, and shaped my whole career. I always felt that I owed to this trip the first real cultivation or education of my mind; this journey led me to take a deep interest in several branches of natural science. My powers of observation were honed through it.Of far greater significance was the study of the geological conditions of the places we visited, because this is where judgment and inference were brought to bear. Did you have doubts about the content of truth in the Holy Scriptures even while you were on the Beagle? On board the Beagle I was completely orthodox, and I recall how several officers laughed at heartily when I quoted the Bible as an irrefutable source on some point of morality. But during the period from 1836 to 1839, I had slowly come to understand that the Old Testament, with its evidently wrong history of the world, its Tower of Babel, its rainbow as a sign, and tendency of ascribing to God the sentiments of a revengeful tyrant, were no more worthy of credence than the holy scriptures of the Hindus or the beliefs of a savage. Despite all my powers of deluding myself, it became more and more difficult to find proof enough to satisfy me. And that is how faithlessness stalked me and took hold over me slowly, till I became totally disbelieving. Do you see your lack of faith as a loss, then? Disbelief crept in on me so slowly that I did not feel any discomfort, and since then, never have a doubted for even a single second the correctness of my conclusions. And I cannot really understand, either, how anyone might want to believe that Christianity were true, because if it were, then, in the plain terms of the text, it is said that people who do not believe would be punished for eternity, and that would include my father, my brother and almost all my best friends. And that is a terrible doctrine! The questions in this fictitious interview were posed by Christoph Marty. The answers are original quotes from Charles
  3. 3. Darwin from a variety of sources, including The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online, who died in 1882.

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