We were dismayed to see Power Line's Hindrocket lump together Charles Darwin with Marx and Freud, dismissing Darwin's monumental achievement by asserting that the great nineteenth-century naturalist had sought "to secularize science." Darwin was a religious man who sought scientific truth. While Marx and Freud have rightly receded in light of subsequent developments, Darwin's principal thesis of natural selection remains central to modern scientific thought, as historian Roger Mortimer has written:
Similarities between man and other vertebrates have been noted and discussed by Western thinkers since Classical times, and numerous theories, many of an evolutionary nature, have been formulated to account for those resemblances. It was not until the early nineteenth century, however, that knowledge of existing plant and animal morphology, coupled with the study of the record of past life preserved in the geological time scale, permitted the scientist to begin to draw precise parallels between present-day life-forms and to relate them to fossil antecedents.
Assisted by this scientifically definable methodology, Charles Darwin was able to formulate a theory of evolution free of the theological or metaphysical implications inherent in earlier evolutionary theory. His theory of evolutionary selection holds, simply, that variation within species occurs randomly and that the survival or extinction of each organism is determined by that organism's ability to adapt to its environment. Though aspects of the mechanism of natural selection continue to be debated in the scientific community, Darwin's principal thesis remains central to modern scientific thought.