Hmmm, I’m not sure how to answer this but here it goes!
Because Darwins theory was very different from what people believed (I.e. that a God made the world) it was considered a “dangerous” theory. It would change peoples beliefs and maybe even they way they thought about life and themselves.
I agree with Katie. Darwin’s idea was considered “dangerous” because he was saying something totally new, and something that went against what the church had been saying at the time, which was that all species had existed just the way they are for all time. We know what the church was saying was wrong because there are fossils of things that are not around now, and because there are examples of species changing even since Darwin’s time!
I agree with what has been said by Sam and Katie. The fact that it was such a new idea, and that it was completely against the orthodox religious view. I think that it is also called dangerous because it was such a convincing idea to most people, so it was dangerous to the whole foundation of religious belief.
I think Katie, Steven and Sam are right – and there was also a non-religious component kicking around at the time. The thing is, not only the “creation” but also the different tiers of society were considered as god-given. That meant that people in the working classes could never hope to have the same rights as the aristocracy. The “lower classes” ended up not being very impressed with this restriction on their status, and started kicking up against the establishement. Darwins idea that people are essentially all apes, no matter their social status, fitted well with their idea of human equality and helped them claim equal rights. Today we take this for granted – back then the social establishment was seriously scared by the idea. Right they were!
Many people in the Church accepted Darwin’s ideas quite quickly, so it’s not the case that it was opposed by all religious people. I wouldn’t say his ideas were dangerous, more exciting and revolutionary.