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Charles and his wife were devastated. Their little girl, Annie, had died. Charles blamed himself and his wife because they were first cousins. While such inbreeding can cause birth defects, this was not the cause of Annie’s death. She, most likely, died of tuberculosis (TB) caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In other words, Annie died because she came into contact with a microbe – a contagious disease.

Charles incorrectly blamed himself and his wife for the loss of his beloved daughter. He did not understand that her death was due to the fact that we live in an imperfect world. This event occurred almost 200 years ago. Her father was Charles Darwin – the author of biological evolution and hero to atheistic thought.

The Bible tells us that this world was once a paradise. In the middle of that paradise, the Lord gave the first couple only one command: “You may eat the fruit from every tree in this paradise except the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.” But the first couple broke God’s one law and brought sin into the world. They also caused the world to become corrupt. That’s why we have disease and suffering today (Genesis 2-3). And while it is unlikely that Annie Darwin’s death caused her father’s collapse of faith in God, Charles could have lived without the guilt of that death in his heart if he had known the truth and not some half-baked concept based upon “current scientific thought” (which turned out to be false).

One more thing, Darwin went to his grave without the hope of ever seeing Annie again. His loss of faith in our Lord left him with no hope for the future. But we know, by our faith in the Lord, that the grave is not the end of life. It is a doorway to a wonderful home surrounded by our family members who obeyed the gospel (Hebrews 11:1-6). 

Larry Fitzgerald
Woodlawn church of Christ
Abilene, TX

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