Darwin was a nineteenth-century scientist who revolutionised our understanding of the place of humanity in nature. His work was controversial as it could be seen to challenge the religious view that human beings were the centre of God’s creation. In doing so he also raised more doubts about many of the so-called proofs for God’s existence.
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Darwin’s conclusions were influenced by and drawn from a number of sources. His grandfather had been a follower of the French Enlightenment, which helped his grandson to move away from the straitjacket of traditional religious doctrine, allowing him to question both the existence of God and humanity’s place in nature. He also made meticulous notes on all sorts of species during his 5-year voyage on HMS Beagle.