Charles Darwin wrote about his journey with religion during his life in the second half of his autobiography. Darwin mentioned that he was more religious during the earlier parts of his life, and gradually, over the years, became more aligned with agnosticism. This obviously had to do with Darwin’s scientific observations and inquires. I believe that this path was a relatively common one among people of that time, and even today. Even in our current generation parents instill their religious beliefs into their children, and as their children grow up, they often form their own opinions. This seems like a normal progression of a person’s beliefs to me.
Ben Franklin went through a similar struggle with religion, however, his path seemed to be slightly more typical. Franklin’s parents were religious, and Darwin’s father was not. I believe that the movement away from religion that one’s parents believed is more typical and happens more frequently. With Darwin, his father and grandfather were not considered religious men. Darwin considered himself religious even though his father was not. Both Darwin and Franklin moved away from religious as they aged, but I find it interesting how Darwin adopted Christianity and after research followed the same views as his father and grandfather.
I also found it interesting how Darwin’s social interaction declined as he aged. I figured that Darwin would have traveled and spoke frequently to new people about his book and his findings.