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the study of the past. The deciphering of man's past
We may say broadly that concerning the origin of species two theories, and only two, seem possible. The first theory is that every species is the result of an act of immediate creation. And every true species, however slightly it may differ from its nearest relative, represents such a creative act, and once created is practically unchangeable. This is the theory of immutability of species. According to the second theory all higher, probably all present existing, species are only mediately the result of a creative act. The first living germ, whenever and however created, was inused with power to give birth to higher species. Of nese and their descendants some would continue to vance, others would degenerate. Each theory dends equally for its ultimate explanation a creative -the second as much as, if not more than, the first. ording to the first theory the creative power has distributed over a series of acts, according to the 1 theory it has been concentrated in one primal n. The second is the theory of the mutability cies, or, in general, of evolution, but not necesf Darwinism alone.
first theory is considered by many the more at→ and hopeful. Now a theory need not be ate, nor at first sight appear hopeful, provided t is true. But let me call your attention to cerconclusions which, as it appears to me, are necesinvolved in it. Its central thought is the prac
lution is a process, not a force. The power of the Creator is equally demanded in both cases; only it is differently distributed. And evolution is the very highest proof of the wisdom and skill of the Creator. It elevates our views of the living beings, must it not give a higher conception of Him who formed them?
but of leaves only. Later a branch or twig, similar in' The plant in its first stages shows no trace of flowers, structure to all the rest, shortens. The cells and tissues which in other twigs turn into green leaves here become the petals and other organs of the rose or violet. Let us suppose for a moment that every rose and violet required a special act of immediate creation, would the springtime be as wonderful as now? Would the rose or violet be any more beautiful, or are they any less flowers because developed out of that which night have remained a common branch? The plant least is glorified by the power to give rise to such auty. And is not the creation of the seed of a vioor rose something infinitely grander than the deckof a flowerless plant with newly created roses? attainment of the highest and most diversified y and utility with the fewest and simplest means ys the sign of what we call in man "creative" Is not the same true of God? I think the force of the argument here.
e were at one time no flowering plants. The me at last for their appearance. Which is the grander mode of producing them, immediate n of every flowering species, or development of wer out of the green leaves of some old club or similar form? The latter seems to me at by far the higher mode. And to have created a
the only genuine brute is a degenerate man.
And we all recognize the strength of tendencies urging
of our eagerness for some mark or
stamp that shall but men? It is not
prove to all that we are no apes,
the pure gold that needs the "guinea stamp." If we are men, and as we become men, we shall cease to fear the theory of evolution. Now this is not the only, or perhaps the greatest, objection which men feel or speak against the theory. But I must believe that it has more weight with us than we are willing to admit.
But some say that the theory of immediate creation and immutability of species is the more natural and has always been accepted, while the theory of evolution is new and very likely to be as short-lived as many another theory which has for a time fascinated men only to be forgotten or ridiculed.
But the idea of evolution is as old as Hindu philosohy. The old Ionic natural philosophers were all volutionists. So Aristophanes, quoting from these or esiod concerning the origin of things, says: "Chaos s and Night, and Erebus black, and wide Tartarus. earth, nor air nor sky was yet; when, in the vast om of Erebus (or chaotic darkness) winged Night ght forth first of all the egg, from which in after ving periods sprang Eros (Love) the much desired, ing with golden wings; and Eros again, in union Chaos, produced the brood of the human race." the formative process is a birth, not a creation ; evolution pure and simple. "According to the at view," says Professor Lewis, "the present - was a growth; it was born, it came from someI antecedent, not merely as a cause but as its seed,