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Biology
Charles Darwin
Evolution

Did Darwin ever say that he was wrong for coming up with the theory of evolution?

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April 14, 2010 11:22PM

He had problems reconciling them, but in the end, he knew he had it right. And that was before he even had DNA analysis to back it up.

Darwin

Darwin just documented his observations. He never said he was wrong, and did not believe he was wrong.

He did have a hard time reconciling what he observed, when compared to his religious understanding of things, but make no mistake, he believed what he was observing was real.

Answer

"You will be greatly disappointed (by the forthcoming book); it will be grievously too hypothetical. It will very likely be of no other service than collocating some facts; though I myself think I see my way approximately on the origin of the species. But, alas, how frequent, how almost universal it is in an author to persuade himself of the truth of his own dogmas."

Charles Darwin, 1858 in a letter to a colleague regarding the concluding chapters of his Origin of Species. As quoted in 'John Lofton's Journal', The Washington Times, 8 February 1984.

"Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory. The explanation lies, as I believe in the extreme imperfection of the geological record."

Charles Darwin, 'On the imperfection of the geological record', chapter X, The Origin of the Species, J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd, London, 1971, pp 292-293.

Thus, even though Darwin saw some of the problems with his theory and suggested ways they might show its correctness either way, there is no evidence he believed or thought he was wrong for putting it forward.