Darwiniana; Essays and Reviews Pertaining to Darwinism eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 317 pages of information about Darwiniana; Essays and Reviews Pertaining to Darwinism.
of ever-changing manifestation before humanity was, and will continue through other manifestations when humanity has ceased to be.”  If, on the one hand, the philosophy of the unknowable of the Infinite may be held in a merely quasi-theistic or even atheistic way, were not its ablest expounders and defenders Hamilton and Dean Mansel?  One would sup-pose that Dr. Dawson might discern at least as much of a divine foundation to Nature as Herbert Spencer and Matthew Arnold; might recognize in this power that “something not ourselves that makes” for order as well as “for righteousness,” and which he fitly terms supreme creative will; and, resting in this, endure with more complacency and faith the inevitable prevalence of evolutionary views which he is powerless to hinder.  Although he cannot arrest the stream, he might do something toward keeping it in safe channels.

We wished to say something about the way in which scientific men, worthy of the name, hold hypotheses and theories, using them for the purpose of investigation and the collocation of facts, yielding or withholding assent in degrees or provisionally, according to the amount of verification or likelihood, or holding it long in suspense; which is quite in contrast to that of amateurs and general speculators (not that we reckon Dr. Dawson in this class), whose assent or denial seldom waits, or endures qualification.  With them it must on all occasions be yea or nay only, according to the letter of the Scriptural injunction, and whatsoever is less than this, or between the two, cometh of evil.

VII

EVOLUTION AND

Theology [vii-1]

(The Nation, January 15, 1874)

The attitude of theologians toward doctrines of evolution, from the nebular hypothesis down to “Darwinism,” is no less worthy of consideration, and hardly less diverse, than that of naturalists.  But the topic, if pursued far, leads to questions too wide and deep for our handling here, except incidentally, in the brief notice which it falls in our way to take of the Rev. George Henslow’s recent volume on “The Theory of Evolution of Living Things.”  This treatise is on the side of evolution, “considered as illustrative of the wisdom and beneficence of the Almighty.”  It was submitted for and received one of the Actonian prizes recently awarded by the Royal Institution of Great Britain.  We gather that the staple of a part of it is worked up anew from some earlier discourses of the author upon “Genesis and Geology,” “Science and Scripture not antagonistic,” etc.

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Darwiniana; Essays and Reviews Pertaining to Darwinism from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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