Did Charles Darwin renounce his theory of evolution and convert to Christianity on his deathbed? Ever since Darwin’s death, reports of such an event have circulated. Unfortunately, these claims are not true.
The most frequently cited source for this myth comes from a woman called Lady Hope who claimed to have visited a bedridden Darwin several months before his death. However, there are numerous problems with her account including the fact that Darwin’s wife, Emma, who has a devout woman, denied that any such dramatic change occurred in her husband’s life. Another problem is that at the time when Lady Hope may have visited Darwin, he was definitely not bedridden. Even Dr. Tommy Mitchell, a representative of the young earth creationist organization, Answers in Genesis, concludes that this story is a fabrication. He writes,
“Given the weight of evidence, it must be concluded that Lady Hope’s story is unsupportable, even if she did actually visit Darwin. He never became a Christian, and he never renounced evolution. As much as we would like to believe that he died with a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, it is much more likely that he didn’t. It is unfortunate that the story continues to be promoted by many sincere people who use this in an effort to discredit evolution…”
The evidence for, and against, Darwinism (and Christianity), needs to be examined fairly and honestly. There are excellent reasons to accept Christianity, and to be skeptical of Darwinism, but the story of Darwin’s deathbed “conversion,” is not one of them.