Charles Darwin has apparently repented for his landmark theory of evolution — according to a Russian Orthodox priest who says he recently spoke with the famed British naturalist.
Darwin theorized that modern humans are descended from apes in his 1871 book “The Descent of Man.” His writings formed the foundations of modern-day evolutionary biology, a school of thought that roiled religious leaders and still has opponents in the church today.
“I am not a fan of his monkey theory, so as a priest, I was interested in talking to him,” said Artemy Vladimirov, an archpriest at Moscow’s Alekseyevsky Stavropegial Female Monastery, in a recent television interview following a visit to Darwin’s tomb in London’s Westminster Abbey.
“I turned to the tombstone and asked, ‘Charles, how do you like it there? What do you say now, do you think there are any intermediate links between species — between a zebra and a giraffe?’” Vladimirov recounted.
Much to the archpriest’s astonishment, Darwin not only responded to his inquiry from beyond the grave — but offered somber repentance for his contribution to science.
“Father, do not be tempted by my theory … I put forward this hypothesis, which I now repent. You have nothing to do with a bear or a pig,” Vladimirov quoted the scientist as assuring him.
Recounting his miraculous encounter, Vladimirov called Darwin’s alleged posthumous regrets a “triumph of reason and Orthodoxy.”
However, the archpriest has since said that his televised words were taken out of context and that he had merely been joking.
“This is English humor which sounds quite appropriate in the mouth of an educated priest,” Vladimirov told The Moscow Times on Tuesday. “The campaign that broke out before my eyes regarding this notorious dialogue once again reminded me that the media are like hungry piranhas who are looking for a piece of meat to tear into pieces.”
“I don’t want to give lectures to simpletons who doubted the mental state of a shepherd who says strange things,” he added. “I believe that a lack of humor is the beginning of an emotional disability.”