Charles Darwin was a most interesting man. And, he was definitely a planner. It is interesting that following his extended trip on the Beagle, he began to give thought to the idea of marriage. In doing so, he made a 'pros' and 'cons' sheet to help him determine the trajectory for his future. When his lists were completed, he noted that both lists were of about the same length; however, the reasons for marrying seemed much more appealing than those against it.
Once he decided that marriage would be his chosen path, it took time and a good deal of patience to find the right woman. Besides that, he had one huge question to pose to his father about his concerns for his future. He wondered how he would tell the woman he chose to marry about his religious doubts. Since his father experienced those same doubts, he suggested that he not say anything about them. As sons are wont to do when they ask for parental advice and don't like it, he ignored his father.
Darwin's scientific work had him disbelieving the story of creation espoused by the Bible and its proponents. He was sure that his discoveries about evolution would render him unmarriageble in the eyes of most women. Most believed in the Bible's view of creation and he was sure that they would want their husbands to do the same. In an evening visit with Emma, he told her everything. Emma was a believer but didn't see that their difference of opinion should cause any problems for their future together. She did not want him to stop his studies. She did hope that he would be able to believe in Jesus and honor her love for him. He agreed, and the two were able to live their married life with love and respect, despite their differing views.
Emma was first to read his writing and with her questions encouraged him to think more clearly about what he wanted to say. His arguments were made more logical through her careful consideration of the text. He had serious thoughts about the world he lived in, and he wanted his learning to help teach others. In giving equal time to both the religious and scientific views, the author allows her readers to think seriously about their own view of the world.
"Charles Darwin left an unparalleled legacy to science. He gave future generations of scientists "a theory by which to work." His theory will continue to evolve. The debate between evolution and religion continues, too. He and Emma would certainly say that people from both worlds should keep talking to each other." That is what they did.