The Unreason of Darwinism

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 11
1I do not touch upon the grave question whether Darwinism is compatible with a belief in the Bible as the word of God, although having a strong judgment that it is not, but on the contrary that it is foolish and profane. But for my present purpose it is only necessary to show that the system is illogical, and for the following reason. It is not proven. Accordingly it seems to me that it will be time enough to accept the evolution hypothesis of the origin of mankind when those “missing links” are discovered which will raise it to the dignity of a demonstrable system. Meantime it is but a house of cards with no securer buttresses than “ifs” and “must have beens” and such phrases as “it is easily conceived,” “we may in that case conclude.” Those, it is true, who have the slightest reverence for the word of God, and appreciation of divine principles, of course I know that the system will remain hypothetical. But my contention is that, putting aside revelation, fitness of things, &c., it is absurd to settle down in calm acceptance of a mere theory which its fondest votaries dare not claim to have established. It is to be noted also that even Prof. Huxley has carefully guarded against committing himself absolutely to the Darwinian hypothesis. But when we bear in mind the notorious fact that these so-called scientific men reject Christianity in toto (i.e. as a revelation), and that some (I grant not all) have gone so far as to say “we have no need of the hypothesis of God,” one need not hesitate before rejecting their theories.
The pet dream of modern scientists—a dream by which Prof. Drummond, for instance, has been led astray—is that all things are what they are in virtue of their environment. And of course the evolution doctrine stands or falls with this. But it is an undoubted fact that there have been found in savages latent capacities, physical as well as spiritual, that no environment can have coaxed into being (as they are utterly opposed to it), but which bear eloquent testimony to primitive endowment. It is seen in the structure of the hand, and in the mechanism of the voice; it is witnessed in the capacity to receive spiritual truths. This, however, I am aware that you would not question—as to the spiritual fact at least—inasmuch as you hold to the divine inbreathing of the Spirit of God. But no “authority” among those who belong to this school admits one or other. One and all, they drive the Deity back into the infinite past, when and where only they reluctantly allow Him to have given birth to one or two (or is it one only?) primordial germs. One and all, I mean, of those who do admit a God. Others, like the late Prof. W. K. Clifford, who said (one wonders how he dared) that “the great companion was dead,” would affirm, that every subsequent phenomenon was latent in the original stardust.
Yet there are other scientific men, such as Wallace, and, I doubt not, Dawson, who contend that man's body cannot be the product of evolution. You, I understand, think that God may have breathed His spirit into some anthropoid ape! On an unproven hypothesis; on the soundness of a theory that has missing links, (and remember that while no chain is stronger than its weakest link, in this case some of the links are actually non-existent!), a theory concocted by men, who reject as antiquated myths those high verities of the incarnation and the atonement, which presuppose the fall and which alone make for our peace, and without the consolation of which you confess the fairest lot here were but chaos. Nay, nay, Christ is the Truth, and all else is vain dreaming.
I contend then that these scientific men, while to be listened to with due respect when engaged in investigating facts, are “blind guides” when they enter the realm of speculation, as indeed every one must be. I admit freely their erudition, their patient industry, their keen acumen, as well as the humane debt men owe them with regard to the amenities of life. But here praise must stop. For to pass off defective theories as established science—at least to act as if it was established—seems fitter for monastic dreamers than for men of science, who vaunt their “weapons of precision.” Is it not flying without wings! Of such Coleridge says excellently well, “He that would fly without wings must perforce fly in his dreams: and till he awake, he will not know that to fly in one's dreams is but to dream of flying.” R. B. Junr.
1. Extract from a letter.