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Webster's Dictionary [1]

(1): ( n.) The formation of an involute by unwrapping a thread from a curve as an evolute.

(2): ( n.) The act of unfolding or unrolling; hence, in the process of growth; development; as, the evolution of a flower from a bud, or an animal from the egg.

(3): ( n.) A series of things unrolled or unfolded.

(4): ( n.) That theory of generation which supposes the germ to preexist in the parent, and its parts to be developed, but not actually formed, by the procreative act; - opposed to epigenesis.

(5): ( n.) That series of changes under natural law which involves continuous progress from the homogeneous to the heterogeneous in structure, and from the single and simple to the diverse and manifold in quality or function. The pocess is by some limited to organic beings; by others it is applied to the inorganic and the psychical. It is also applied to explain the existence and growth of institutions, manners, language, civilization, and every product of human activity. The agencies and laws of the process are variously explained by different philosophrs.

(6): ( n.) The extraction of roots; - the reverse of involution.

(7): ( n.) A prescribed movement of a body of troops, or a vessel or fleet; any movement designed to effect a new arrangement or disposition; a maneuver.

(8): ( n.) A general name for the history of the steps by which any living organism has acquired the morphological and physiological characters which distinguish it; a gradual unfolding of successive phases of growth or development.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [2]

The important relations which the scientific subject has assumed to religious literature justifies, us. in a more copious and particular treatment than was appropriate under the general head of DEVELOPMENT (See Development) (q.v.).*

*We present, unmodified, the facts and positions of our esteemed correspondent on this subject, who views it in it scientific aspect, although we dissent from some of his conclusions. ED. (See Scepticism), in this volume.

I. Definition. Evolution in its widest sense, and viewed from the scientific standpoint, is the continuous transformation and differentiation of an identical substance. More specifically, it is the continuous unfolding of a material existence according to such method that constituent parts which were germinal or potential become actual and functional, and according to such an order that the primitive existence is successively more differentiated, with parts progressively more and more specialized in structure and function. It is the passage from the homogeneous to the heterogeneous. It implies continuity and unity of existence. It also implies persistence of the fundamental conception embodied in the primitive substance, so that, however diversified, all its parts still conform to a changeless type.

It is a mode which reveals itself transcendentally as. the necessary product of mind; it reveals thought as all-pervading and all-enduring throughout the material realm in which the law of evolution finds its exemplification.

Whether the phenomena of the natural world come into existence under a method conformable to the above definition of evolution is a question of fact, to be decided by investigation of the phenomena.** This question of fact falls, therefore, strictly within the domain of natural science. Whatever verdict may be prouounced at this tribunal can never be invalidated by any a priori considerations, nor by any delineation of supposed consequences or implications of the verdict. Nor can it be set aside as proceeding from incompetent authority, since no authority in a question of fact can be conceived more competent than that of a body of witnesses who have surpassed all others in the study of that about which they testify. For our present purpose we must ascertain, therefore, what are the determinations of natural science in reference to the nature of the successions of phenomena in the natural world. Does science find a material continuity running through these successions; or does it find them marked by interruptions, discontinuity, and new beginnings?

** Not speculatively viewed, however, but in the light of all the evidence, both natural and revealed. ED.

II. History Of Opinion . In searching for the best judgment of mankind in reference to the question of material continuity in the natural world we ought to cite first the opinions of thinkers antedating the epoch when scientific research had supplied material for a proper demonstration of the doctrine. As all philosophizing on the laws of nature must, of necessity, be grounded on an observation of nature more or less extensive and more or less exact, so the opinions of the ancient philosophers, however slender the basis of their inductions, must be regarded as essentially scientific. Science had not yet been distinguished from philosophy. Theories as to the origin of the world and of organic existence were in vogue some centuries before the Christian aera. The hylozoism of the Ionian physicists conceived a primordial matter endowed with generative or transmutative powers through which cosmic forms, successively differentiated, came into being. Trhe speculation presents analogies with the modern one of Buffon. Heraclitus, about 500 B.C., taught the doctrine of a perpetual flux of things, involving ceaseless conflicts between opposites, in the midst of which individual things survive, by superior fitness, the processes of destruction aid renovation. A developmental mode of cosmic origins was taught by Anaxagoras of Clazomenae (Aristotle, Physica, 8:1) about 500 B.C. He supposed the primitive condition of things to be a heterogeneous commixture of substances without order or motion. This continued an indefinite period, when the mind began to act upon it by instituting a revolving motion at a single point. This propagated itself into the surrounding realm, and led to the separation of the elementary contraries, fire and air, water and earth. The process was repeated in the resulting masses, and thus, by continuous differentiation of likes and unlikes, the actual constitution of the world resulted (Ueberweg, Hist of Philos. 1:66). The views of Leucippus and Democritus, about 430 B.C., contemplated.a gradual evolution of things. They held that immensity was eternally filled with atoms actuated by an eternal motion. These, in disposing themselves according to size, produced collisions which originated vortical motions. These, extending farther and farther, led to the formation of worlds. Such views were extended by Epicurus and the Roman Lucretius; and long afterwards, similar theories, but with more theistic leanings, were entertained by Torricelli. Galileo, and Gassendi. The Greek atomists attributed the lateral motions of the atoms to choice a conception of the animated nature of atoms which was revived in the monads of Gassendi, Leibnitz, Rosmini, Campanela, Bruno, and Maupertuis; and reproduced in the conscious atoms and molecules of Hackel, Elsberg, and other moderns. The evolution of the cosmic system through the intervention of viortices was undertaken in the well-known theory of Descartes (Principia Philosophiae, 1644); and Kepler made use, also, of a.vortical movement in the matter of a primitive chaos, but invoked the Empedoclean conception of attractions and repulsions for the initiation of the primitive motions. The speculations of Swedenborg (Principia Rerum Naturalium, 1733-34) also posited vortical atomic motions, which expanded to cosmical movements and led to the differentiation of worlds. These various speculations (more fully set forth in Winchell's World Life, or Conmparative Geology, part 4), opened the way for the better defined and better-defended nebular cosmogonies of Kant and his successors. The evolution of the earth's physical features by means. of fire and water was first undertaken by Leibnitz (Protogea, etc., 1749, first, in abstract, in Acta Eruditorum, Leipzig, 1683). These eminent thinkers, whom, in this connection, we can only mention, all conceive the earth and the solar system to have originated through the progressive differentiations of a primitive chaotic matter. This is the conception of modern evolution.

Meantime the notion of a material continuity in the successions of the organic world was repeatedly shadowed forth. Empedocles taught the progressive origination of organic forms. Aristotle maintained that immanent divine mind determines in nature a tendencye towards improvement and perfection. Lucretius held that the races of men, however diverse, are derived from a common origin, and this through the continual survival of those best fitted for the environment. In later times, Sir Mathew Hale (Primitive Origination of Mankind, 1677, page 211), enumerates distinctly the results of the struggle for existence in the animal. De Maillet (Telliamed, Amsterdam, 1748), attempted to explain how animal forms undergo transmutation through the influence of changed environment; and Lamarck (Philosophic Zoologique, new ed. 1873) to this influence added the principle of use and disuse, and admitted also an underlying inherent conatus towards beneficial change. These very concise references to the history of opinion. may be supplemented by a perusal of the article on "Evolution" in the Encyclopcedia Britannica, and by a study of the later works to be mentioned in the progress of this article. Within our restricted limits it will be more profitable to proceed to an outline of the evidences of evolution as at present understood.

III. The Scientific Evidences.

1. Inorganic Evolution. The processes of change in the topographical and hydrographical features of the earth's surface are so familiar that we almost fail to note the fact that these re cent transformations are but the last terms of a series of changes which have moulded the globe and imparted to it the features that complete its fitness for the reception of organic populations. But, in fact, the filling and drainage of a pond or lakelet in a human lifetime is the same kind of work as that which spread the deposits of the prairies of the Mississippi, the Tchornosjom of southern Russia, the pampas of Buenos Ayres, and the steppes of southern Siberia. The alluvial sediment left by a Mississippi overflow of this year is only one of the succession of contributions which, in ages past, have formed the entire delta of the great river. The delta grows; ocean sediments accumulate; the hillsides waste; the mountains wear out; whole shore-lines rise or sink; and the integration of these minute annual changes between vast limits of time shows that all the grander features of our planet have grown into existence by progressive transformations of the original matter. All this is obvious.

So it is obvious that the observed and admitted tenor of events implies an ancient course of change, in times so remote that the conditions had not yet approximated to those revealed in the human period. The pages of geological science enumerate those changes. It is not necessary to assume that all or any of the conclusions of science are exact in reference to the particular events of the geological past; it cannot be doubted, however, that research has successfully shown that the present is the outcome of the past, and that the rocks and waters and gases which we observe are only a transformed portion of the material of the primeval world. The actual earth has passed, by material continuity, from a primitive state, in which all its physical conditions were extremely different from the present. Its mountains, rivers, islands, and seas have progressively come into existence. Its different portions have become more and more differentiated. It was once more homogeneous. It has undergone a real evolution. But the geognostic data which pass before our observation disclose the primitive world in a process of emergence from a molten state. The world's history has been a history of cooling; and there are numerous indications that the actual records of geology note only the last stages of the world's cooling history. We have not the space at command, nor is it necessary, to enter into an enumeration of the grounds on which science has traced terrestrial evolution backward to a nebular state, and even to a remoter one, in which the matter of the whole solar system is disclosed in a process of common evolution, under the action of the same forces as enter into the transformations of the earth's surface in these times, before human eyes. That our planetary system has had a nebular history is almost unanimously admitted by the science of the present. The chief divergences of opinion concern only some details of that history. This conclusion implies a material continuity through the totality of the changes. Rocks and ocean and atmosphere have grown out of fire-mist and nebula. World-life is a grand spectacle of evolution, and it illustrates continuity and unity of method on a scale of vastness which is deeply impressive. The details of the evolution must be sought in special works (see Winchell, World Life, 1883). The conception of modern nebular theory is itself an evolution. It was first shadowed forth by the Greek and mediaeval thinkers already quoted. It began to assume a consistent and modern aspect at the hands of Immanuel Kant (Allgemeine Naturgeschichte und Theorie des Himmels, 1755, and a prize essay, read in 1754 before the Berlin Academy of Science). Sir William Herschel's nebular researches disclosed the apparent existence of enormous patches of chaotic world-stuff, which seemed to undergo a process of differentiation into stars and planets (see sundry memoirs, read before the Royal Society of London between 1783 and 1818, but especially in 1784, 1785, 1791, 1795, 1811, and 1814; also Sir John Herschel, Observations of Nebulce and Clusters of Stars at Slough, 1825-33; Phil. Trans. November 21, 1833). Laplace, in apparent ignorance of Kant's remarkable speculation, brought the conception of nebular cosmogony to a rigorously scientific statement (Exposition du Systeme du Monde, 1796); and the general form of his theory enters into the most recent cosmological speculations, though the progress of discovery and of thought has necessitated slight modifications, and has greatly extended the scope of the grand generalization. That which for years was known as "the nebular hypothesis"* has strengthened into a nebular theory, accepted now with almost the same confidence as the Newtonian theory of universal gravitation. This is the verdict of science on a question in its own appropriate field. No dissent from the outside is deserving of consideration: though, of course, exceptions taken by a scientific minority must be honestly examined. For a discussion of alleged difficulties of nebular cosmogony, see Winchell's World Life, pages 153-198.

* The "nebular theory" here referred to is based upon the supposition that the universe originally existed in the form of gaseous vapor diffused by intense heat throughout space, and that all the heavenly bodies have resulted from this by rotation and gradual condensation through cooling off. Most or all the phenomena which they exhibit, such as sphericity, orbital and axial revolution, together with earthquakes and volcanoes (as showing the still liquid central mass), are thought to be best explained on this hypothesis, and the fact that nebulse are yet discovered in the starry spaces is held as confirmatory of it. On the other hand, some of these nehule have already been resolved by powerful telescopes into a mass of separate stars, and the presumption is therefore strong that such is the composition of all of them. Comets are too little known to be of much weight in the argument. Many astronomical facts, however, are decidedly antagonistic to the "nebular" view, such as the wait of ascertainable ratio between the magnitudes, distances from the sun and periods of revolution of our own planets and the obliquity of their orbits, some celestial bodies actually moving in the opposite direction. Experiments with the spectrum show that they are not all composed of the same elements. Moreover it is impossible to see, if space were at first filled with incandescent gas, where the excessive heat could have radiated to. For these and other reasons some of the ablest astronomers, Proctor for example, wholly discard the theory as insufficient and disproved. The question is a purely scientific one, of no especial interest to the theologian, so long as the origination of matter, motion, and life, with their laws and properties, be attributed to the divine flat. But the attempt to identify the processes of the nebular theory of cosnmoollny with any part of the narrative in the first chapter of Genesis is exegetically preposterous. Whatever therefore may become of that theory, Moses is not responsible for it, and revelation has nothing to do with it. ED.

According to this conclusion, the cosmic realm is the grandest conceivable exemplification of the method of evolution pursued in nature. This evolution guides and determines all the ulterior details of inorganic history. The total inorganic universe, as we know it, is the final outcome of the method of efficient activity revealed in nature, and it has been exerted upon identical portions of matter from the dawn of cosmical history to the present. The question of fact, so far as concerns inorganic nature, can no longer be agitated.

2. Organic Evolution . This is a greater and more serious question. Does a material continuity run through the succession of organic types which have appeared and disappeared in the history of the world? Are the higher species of the modern world descended from the lower species of the ancient world? Are the diversified types derived from a common ancestry? Is man's bodily organism the outcome of genealogical descent? That these queries must be answered affirmatively seems to be the inevitable conclusion from an enormous amount of modern research. The proofs are numerous and diverse; but we may range them along five lines of argumentation, converging towards the conclusion.

(1.) Ontogeny . By this we mean the history of the individual. This, beyond all controversy, is an evolution. The succession of changes from the beginning of conscious life to maturity is great, but they are wrought in the same identical being. Still greater ontogenetic transformations may be traced back through embryonic life to the earliest changes wrought in the fertilized ovum. The unfertilized ovum is itself only a transformed epithelial cell, and consists of yolk, germinative vesicle, and germinative dot. The successive transformations of these elements bring into view, first, the faint outlines of the most fundamental structures, as vertebrae, spinal marrow and brain, heart and digestive structures, then the complete details, and finally the accessory structures belonging to the perfected form. The particulars of the history are too technical to be enumerated in this place. This succession of embryonic transformations in a higher vertebrate reveals a wonderful case of characteristic evolution, beginning in a cell and ending in a complicated animal structure. But the most impressive significance of the history will be mentioned in another connection. For details, see Balfour, A Treatise on Comparative Emnbryology (1880, volume 1); Ktolliker, Entwickelungsgeschichte des Menschen und der hoheren Thiere (1876); Foster and Balfour, Elements of Embryology (1874, volume 1, on the chick); Hackel, Anthropogenie (1874); Packard, Life Histories (1876); and, further, the important-works of Huckel, Owen, Bischoff, Parker, Remak, Agassiz, Clark, Reichert, von Baer, etc.

(2.) Morphology . The forms of animals and plants are said to be similar in proportion to their affinities; but the implications of the statement are seldom appreciated. Among men, family resemblances are understood to signify blood relationship more or less remote. All men of the same race possess so many points of resemblance that every one admits their common descent from the same original parent. All mankind, according to the doctrine of evolution, however diverse in feature or endowment, must have descended from a common primitive human ancestry. But when we speak of two so-called species of the cat family, say the leopard of Africa and the panther of Asia, the popular opinion is that they are primordially distinct; though their resemblances are vastly closer than those of the Bushman and his neighbor, the Cape Englishman, the denial of whose kinship we resent. In fact, these two cats are so closely similar that some zoologists unite them in one species. If pronounced one species, popular opinion would assign them a common descent; if two species, it would hold them primordially distinct. Yet the animals, with all their characteristics, remain the same, whatever view may be taken of the systematic value of their slight distinctions. Now the question of consanguinity is one of fact, not depending on the opinion which may be entertained respecting differences.* Whatever that opinion may be, it continues manifest that we have a better reason for ascribing these cats to a common ancestry than for doing this with a Congo African and a blonde Scandinavian. But suppose we compare the leopard and the tiger two distinct species by all admissions. The nature of their resemblances is precisely the same as in the other case, and only a little less in degree. To admit the common descent of the leopard and panther is to compel, at the risk of inconsistency, the admission of the common descent of the leopard and the tiger. When we assent to the consanguineous relation of two recognised species the whole proposition, in all' its breadth, is conceded, that not only all cats, but all mammals, are derived from some primitive stock; and the divergences existing have been acquired during the progress of the generations. But since mammals present so many graduations towards birds, in egg-laying ornithorhynchus and echidna, towards reptiles in the chelonians, and fishes in the cetaceans, we cannot refuse a common descent to mammals and all other vertebrates. This admission brings the whole animal kingdom with it, for some tunicates and cephalopods would be admitted close kinll to some of the lowest vertebrates. Indeed, if we compare any two representatives of the animal kingdom, however divergent, we shall find that they resemble each other in more points than the number of their differences; and the argument for their common descent is of the same nature as in the case of the negro and Scandinavian. This, then, is an indication of the nature of the argument from morphology and we can only present the indication (for further details, see works on zoology and botany). Some striking animal portraits may be found in Johnson, Natural History (2 volumes, 8vo); Cassell, Natural History (1883, 6 volumes, 8vo); Knight, Animated Nature (2 volumes, 4to); Brehm, Thierleben (9 volumes, 8vo). Details of structure in Owen, Comparative Anatomy (3 volumes, 8vo); Hackel, Generelle Morphologie der Organismen (volume 1); Gegenbaur, Grundriss der vergleichenden Anatomie (8vo); Huxley, Manual of the Anatomy of Vertebrated Animals (8vo), etc.

* But on this question we have, in the book of Genesis, historical proof which cannot safely be neglected; and it is more definite than the scientific. ED.

(3.) Palaeontology . The doctrine of the descent of all living species from a common remote ancestry implies that in former times the divergences of organic types were less than at present. Such a retral convergence of genealogical lines is precisely what palaeontology shows. Within historic times this convergence is almost imperceptible; but as soon as we enter the aeons of geology no fact is more conspicuous. To take an example which has been much bruited, the domestic horse, now so widely differentiated from five-toed quadrupeds, we find that in the age immediately preceding the present true horses lived, in which the rudimentary second and fourth digits, or splint bones, of the modern horse were more developed. Further back were horses with the same bones terminated by dangling hooflets. Still further back were horses having these hooflets more developed, and reaching the ground. But these horses had other splint bones, the rudimentary condition of a first digit, and in remoter times these rudiments are found terminated by dangling hooflets, and in still remoter, by functional hoofs. So we trace the succession of equine types back to a four-toed quadruped which, when we consider the corresponding divergences in the teeth, tibiae, and other structures, we should hesitate to group with modern horses, if they were not connected by a gradation so gentle that we find no place to draw the dividing line.* The ancient four-toed horses are connected with a type of five-toed predecessors by a similar kind of relationship. The equine succession leads back, therefore, to a five-toed quadruped. If we take the modern ox or sheep or pig or camel or rhinoceros, we shall be able to trace back similarly a succession which leads towards a primitive fivetoed quadruped; and in every case such quadruped approximates the form which stands at the beginning of the equine succession. The details of facts establishing such a -generalization are accessible to all readers in the writings of Leidy, Cope, Marsh, Gaudry, Owen, Huxley, and other palaeontologists. See Cope's memoirs in reports of surveys under Hayden and Wheeler, and briefer papers in American Naturalist; Marsh, in American Journal of Science (sermon 3); Leidy, U.S. Geol. Survey of the Territories (volume 1); Ancient Fauna of Nebraska (1853); "Extinct Mammalia of Dakota and Nebraska," in the Jour. Acad. Nat. Science (Phila. 1869, volume 7). In a manner precisely similar the two types of modern birds "flying " and "running" may be traced back along two successional lines, to Mesozoic Samirian reptiles. So, progress has been made in tracing lines of succession among invertebrate animals and plants. The facts show what the doctrine of descent requires, a gradual convergence backward of all the lines of organic succession.

*But there does not seem to be a particle of proof that these latter races were genetically or actually derived from the former ones. On the contrary, these very differences all the evidence we possess on the subject- go to show that they are not their offspring. ED.

But, if these successions are genealogical,** there must have been uninterrupted continuity along each line.

** This genealogy is, in our view, a pure assumption. ED.

The chain connecting the past and the present exhibited no missing links. It is the attempt of palaeontology to discover traces of all the links; but obviously the attempt is more difficult than to find all the fragments of a meteorite which exploded in the sky before the Christian era. The work of paleontology is necessarily incomplete; the relics of many types which once contributed to the continuity of the successions worked out remain undiscovered. There are, indeed, many missing links in our knowledge; but the tenor of discovery is such as to imply that no missing links interrupted .the continuity of the actual successions. Every year's acquisition of new facts narrows the great gaps, and closes up some of the smaller ones. Some successions are already reconstructed with marvellous completeness; beyond question much more is destined to be accomplished; and we may logically forecast the future state of the evidence and anticipate the conclusion. So we reason from palaeontology, and it seems entirely logical to conclude that in the actual life-history of our planet the successions of specific forms were nicely graduated from the rude and generalized types of the remote past to the large-brained and highly specialized types of the present. But this admission does not establish any genetic connections running through the several series. Each species may still have resulted from a special origination. Only the presumptions to be, drawn from embryology and morphology suggest genetic descent in palaeontology. The facts of palaeontology might be as they are, with every species a primordial and persistent form; butt the establishment of these graduated successions establishes what must have been the fact on the theory of common descent, and constitutes a link in the chain of argument.

(4.) Variability . Is it within the economy of nature that organic types shall undergo indefinite secular variation, or maintain essential permanence? Within the historic period few undomesticated species are known to have varied to any marked extent; but all those domesticated have become differentiated, and sometimes to a striking extent. The different breeds of horses, cattle, dogs, fowls, and pigeons differ to such an extent that many of them, but for our knowledge of their common origin, would be set down by any naturalist as distinct species. They are distinct species in the same sense as the jaguar and the ounce and the panther are distinct. The elder Agassiz, though no evolutionist, used to proclaim the different races of men as widely distinct as the different families of monkeys. The suggestion that these divergences have not arisen in a state of nature seems to possess no relevancy, for it is still shown that the aptitude to vary is possessed by nature's organisms. Moreover, the influences brought to bear on these animals through man's treatment are the same in kind as those which sometimes arise from natural operations; they only differ in intensity, and thus accelerate changes for which nature fitted, and perhaps destined, the being. Finally, the changed forms result from the same kind of action of the same physiological forces as are in play in animals uninfluenced by domestication. Only powers like those of digestion, respiration, growth, and adaptation have been employed in the development of these varieties, and these are the functional activities of all animals. It would seem, therefore, that the results of domestication may be fairly appealed to as tests of the permanence of species. (See Darwin, Animals and Plants under Domestication.)

But it appears that great variations sometimes occur among animals and plants in a state of nature. Conflicts between individuals and conflicts with physical conditions are influences continually making their impressions on the organism. These are not causes, but only conditions, of organic change. By the law of adaptation the forces of the organism effect such changes as changed environment demands. The same species of birds, mammals, and molluscs, in their wide range across a continent from east to west, and from north to south, are found to vary according to the latitude, longitude, altitude, and other circumstances. A thorough knowledge of such variations in North America has led to the merging of large numbers of once accepted species (Allen, Proc. Bos. Soc. Nat. Hist. 15:156; 16:276; Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 2, No. 4, page 345, August 1876; Amer. Naturalist, October 1876, page 625; Baird, Mem. National Acad. January 1863; Amer. Jour. Sci. II, 41, January, March, and May 1863; Ridgeway, Amer. Jour. Sci. III, 4:454, 5:415). Similar extreme variability is observed in many invertebrate species, both recent and extinct. Hackel, in a remarkable work on calcareous sponges, has reached the conclusion that all the forms belong to one species, so gradual are the transitions between the several nominal species (Die Kalkschwamme, 1872, 2 volumes, 8vo). Many forms of fossil shells formerly regarded as distinct species have more recently been united, simply because series of intermediate forms became known. Hilgendorf has traced minutely the secular variations of a species of Planorbis (Ueber Planorbis multiformis in Steinheimner Susswasserkalk), and Hyatt has extended these studies (Proc. Amner. Assoc. 1880, and "Anniversary Mem." in Bost. Soc. Nat. Hist. 1880). Similar work has been done among Paleozoic brachiopods.

The influence of changed environment is sometimes accelerated by human intervention. The axolotl, permanently gill-bearing in its native elevated home, loses its gills when kept near the sea-level, and becomes a land salamander. In Japan certain leeches and planarians have become adapted to land life, and a fish, even (Periophthalmnus), frequents the land and seems in a transition state. Certain brine shrimps are reported by Schmaukevitch as undergoing important structural changes in the course of a few generations, when the brine is gradually freshened; and return to the original state as the salinity is again restored (Zeitsch. wiss. Zodlogie, 25: Suppl. 1, 1875, page 103, pl. 6; Annals and Mag. Nat. Hist. March 1876; ib. 29:429-494, 1877. See, also, Contributions on Knowledge of the Influence of External Conditions of Lfe upon the Organization of, Animals, transl. in Hayden's twelfth Ann. Rep. part 1, 473-514. But compare Verrill, Proc. Amer. Assoc. 1869, 230; Amer. Jour. Sci. II, 48, 244, 430; Packard, Amer. Jour. Sci. III, 2:108). The domestic cat on the Pribilov Islands becomes thickened, short, losing the tail, and undergoing great change of voice. Certain domestic pigs in Texas are well known to have become solid-hoofed.

Through hybridity, also, probably, result forms divergent from recognized species. Among cultivated plants hybrids are not uncommon. In the wild state the number of reputed hybrid forms may be judged from a glance through any manual of botany. (See also, Hooker, Flora of New Zealand; Candolle, "Etude sur l'Espece," in the Bibliothequle Univ. de Geneve, November 1862; Hooker and Thomson, Flora Indica, volume 1," Introductory Essay," London, 1855; Gray, Amer. Jour. Sci. II, 21:134; Naudin: Hybridity in the Vegetable Kingdom). Among animals, fertile hybridity, as well as infertile, is pretty well established.* From the hare and the rabbit has arisen a self-sustaining hybrid now extensively employed in Europe for food. Fertile hybrids of the common and Chinese geese are extensively reared in India, as also in England; while several generations of the hybrid from the mallard and muscovy ducks are reported living in Mt. Auburn cemetery (Brewer, Proc. Bos. Soc. Nat. Hist. 21 January 1874). Carl Vogt reports fertile hybrids of the wolf and dog, as also of the goat and sheep, and the latter is confirmed by Hackeli Von Tschudi and Vogt both report the same of the goat and steinbock, and of the fox and dog. The same is alleged of the buffalo and bison. Without relying on the intervention of hybridity, enough has been observed of the power of organic forms to adapt themselves permanently to the permanent changes of the environment to fully establish the conclusion that it is the economy of nature to permit structural variations without limits.* If a full survey of the facts to which we have too briefly alluded justifies the conclusion, as we think it does, then no bar exists to the conclusion that the successions of Palseontological types have arisen through the continued variation of primitive forms; and that the latter, also, may have arisen through variation and descent from one primordial, life-endowed being. This extreme conclusion, however, is not at all necessary to the proof of a method of evolution in the world, since the genealogical lines may have proceeded from any such number of beginnings as the state of the observed relationships may allow.

* But we believe this is true only to a very limited extent, and the fertility very rarely extends to successive generations. ED.

(5.) Comprative Embryology. A careful study of the aspects of the developing embryo of a higher vertebrate, as indicated above, under "Ontogeny," shows that it reaches, in ascending order, a succession of stages which may be enumerated and defined. Now the facts to which we wish to direct attention particularly, constitute a series of significant parallelisms.

(a) Ontogenetic Parallelism. Research shows that every higher vertebrate passes through the same embryonic stages, and no divergences revealing the characteristics of class, genus, and. species make their appearance until the development is well advanced. To a certain stage the human embryo cannot be distinguished from that of a fish; at later stages, it diverges successively from the embryo of reptiles, birds, quadrupeds, and quadrumana. The embryo chick is absolutely undistinguishable from the embryo of man until about the sixth day of incubation. Even invertebrates pursue a course of development closely parallel with that of the earlier stages of the mammalian embryo. (Hackel, Naturliche Schopfungsgeschichte, 11 Vortrag; Anthropogenie, 13-19 Vortrage; Balfour, British Assoc. Address, 1880, Nature , 22:418).

(b) Taxonomic Parallelism. The succession of aspects presented by the mammalian embryo is identical with that shown in the gradations of living animals. The disappearance of the nucleus of the egg results in a simple cytode, which is paralleled in the living world by Protamaeba, the lowest known animal. The new-formed nucleus gives the ovum the character of Amoeba. The "morula" mass resulting from the divisions of the yolk is paralleled by Labyrinthula. The spheroid formed of a single layer of cells corresponds to the larves of Planula. The invagination of this, forming a two-walled spheroid or urn ("gastrula") is paralleled by the larves of Protascus. The four-layered, elongated form answers to the worm Turbellarid. The fibrous, semi-tubular cranium and gelatinous spine are found adult in the lancelet. The gill-arches of the embryo are permanent in the dog-fish and other sharks. The tailed condition represents the maturity of the reptile. So, without further particulars, it may be broadly asserted that the gradations of living animals are pictured in the successive stages of the mammalian embryo. (See especially Hickel and Balfour, as cited; Baer, Nachrichten Uber Leben Und Schrifien 1865.) The principle has, indeed, found useful application in some cases, in determining the relative rank of animals.

(c) Palaeontological Parallelism. It was amply shown by the elder Agassiz that the geological succession of organic types presents an order identical with that of the classificatory arrangement of animals. (See especially, Essay on Classification.) This has been more fully illustrated by Hackel (see citations above). Owing, however to the recognised imperfection of our knowledge of extinct life, this parallelism is less detailed than the others. We know specifically, however, that the primitive form, Eozoon, must have been akin to Amoeba and Labyrinthula; that the turbellarian grade was reached in Scolithus, of the Potsdam sandstone; that the shark type was attained in the Upper Silurian and Devonian; the transition from aquatic to terrestrial creatures, in the Amphibia of the Coal Measures, with some advance in the Trias; that reptiles succeeded in the Mesozoic, and birds appeared on their decline; that the lowest mammalian types existed in the Jurassic and higher types followed through. the Tertiary; that the lowest four-handed animals were of Lower Eocene age, and that tailed monkeys, anthropoid apes, and men followed in due order.

*We submit that these very limited variations do not prove a capacity for unlimited variation. ED.

The established facts of comparative embryology show a prolonged and detailed succession of organic conceptions literally three times repeated. The doctrine of chances demonstrates that this must result from some mutual dependence and connection among them. The palaeontological succession must result from the order of succession under a law of development as primitively exemplified in the evolution of the individual. In the latter, each successive stage arises demonstrably by continuity with the preceding. The palaeontological series consists of the final terms of many genetically related embryonic series successive in the extinct world. The taxonomic series consists of the final terms of many genetically related embryonic series simultaneous in the actual world. All the terms in each series are therefore materially connected through the embryonic series of which they are several parts.*

*The force of this argument, however, seems to us to be wholly invalidated by two facts: 1. No instance of the propagation of one species of animal by parents of another, has been historically found; 2. The embryo in every instance stops at the precise point prescribed by its specific character; and becomes either an abortion or a monster if it fails to reach it. ED.

IV. Evolution Theories. While most evolutionists believe that the intellectual and moral elements of man are, equally with the material organism. the outcome of a long process of improvement, Mr. A.R. Wallace holds that both body and mind of man may have arisen in a different manner. (Wallace, Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection, Am. ed. 1871; Address at Glasgow Meeting. Brit. Assoc. 1871, Amer. Jour. Sci. III, 13:377), while St. George Mivart limits the exception to man's psychic nature (Genesis of Species, 1871; Lessons from Nature, 1876). The majority of evolutionists maintain that man's body is so intimately identified in structure with that of lower animals that it is incredible that it has not participated in the common history. As to his psychic nature, it is held to be identical in many of its manifestations with the natures of brutes, and a strong presumption hence arises that even man's highest powers exist germinally in the lower animals.

The speculations of theorists concern chiefly the causes, conditions, and instrumentalities on which organic evolution depends. De Maillet, in a work whose title (Telliamed, 1748) was an anagram of the author's name, represents that organic beings possess an aptitude for structural changes, and that changes arise when, under changed conditions, the animal puts forth efforts to exercise changed functions. Lamarck (Philosophie Zoologique, 1809; new ed. by Martins, Paris, 1873) maintained that primitive rudiments of the great divisions of the organic kingdoms arose by spontaneous generation; that these were endowed with an inherent tendency to improvement, which becomes effective especially through use and disuse of organs, while the influence of external conditions determines use and disuse. The author of the Vestiges of Creation, 1844, suggested that life first appeared on our planet "in simple germinal vesicles," "produced by some chemico-electrical operation," and that successive steps of advance were effected "through the agency of the ordinary process of generation." The conditions under which this process resulted in an improved being were presented, he thought, in abnormally prolonged gestation. Next, the principle of natural selection was suggested simultaneously by Charles R. Darwin and A.R. Wallace (Jour. Linnaean Soc. London, August 1858; preceded by Wallace's paper in Ann. and Mag. Nat. Hist. September 1855), and this was most industriously and ably elaborated and illustrated by Darwin in a subsequent series of publications which have constituted an epoch in the history of scientific thought (Origin of Species, 1859; Variations of Animals and Plants, 1868; The Descent of Man, 1871; Expression of the Emotions, 1872; Insectivorous Plants, 1875; Effects of Cross- and Self-Fertilization, 1876, and; numerous other works and memoirs bearing more or less directly on the question of natural selection). This theory is not to be identified with the broad doctrine of evolution, as is commonly done. It assumes that a method of evolution exists in nature, and undertakes to explain by what means and agencies it is carried on. Recognising the fact that a perpetual struggle exists among individuals for existence, and for most favorable conditions of existence, and that the strongest always succeed the best, while the feeblest tend to perish, the obvious and necessary inference is drawn that the species is perpetuated by its best representatives, and thus undergoes continual improvement, precisely as when man intervenes to improve the breeds of domestic animals. Darwin inclined at first to consider this tendency a full explanation of organic progress, but later he admitted other influences, including, like Lamarck, an inherent nisus towards improvement, and the effects of use and disuse of organs. For an ampler exposition of the doctrine, see the article "Darwinism " in the Encyclopaedia Americana. That a process of natural selection goes on, and that its tendency is what Darwin claims, all must admit. But there is a growing belief that organic advances and relapses require an appeal also, to other conditions, instrumentalities, and causes. For instance, professor Parsons, of Harvard, inclined to regard specific variation as the result of extraordinary births (Amer. Jour. Science, July 1860, II, 30:1), and soon afterwards Richard Owen advanced an almost identical idea (Anat. of Vertebrates, chapter 40; Amer. Jour. Science, II, 47:33). Galton's theory seems to be the same (Hereditary Genius, 1869, pages 363-383). Killiker varied this conception by suggesting heterogeneous generation through agamic and parthenogenic reproduction-a profound misapprehension of proper generation (Ueber die Darwin'sche Schopfungsgeschichte, 1864). Huxley, while accepting Darwinism for what it is worth, has indicated some qualifications and additions (Lay Sermons, Addresses, and Reviews, 1862; On the Origin of Species, 1863; Critiques and Addresses, 1869, etc.). He holds particularly that nature sometimes makes considerable jumps; that the process of natural selection goes on among the molecules of the organism, and that there exists an inherent tendency of organization to vary. The latter point he emphasizes. Alpheus Hyatt, in 1868, pointed out that degradational metamorphoses in the old age of the individual, or the type, could not rationally be referred to natural selection, which acts in the contrary direction. An internal law fixes the duration of the species as of the individual. Specific advance he attributes to habitual acceleration of embryonic development. In the advanced age of species the reverse takes place, and thus the decline of a species reproduces, in inverted order, the succession of types which appeared during the rise of the species (Mem. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist. 1867, 1, part 2; Amer. Naturlalist, June 1870, 4:230; Fossil Cephalopods, Museum Comparatur Zool. Cambridge, 1872). Professor E.D. Cope varied this conception by attributing the recession of organic types to the influence of retarded development (Synopsis of Cyprinidae of.Penn. 1866; "Origin of Genera," in the Proc. Acad. Nat. Science, Phila. October 1868; "The Hypothesis of Evolution," in Lipp. Mag. 1870, and University Series, New Haven, 1873; "The Method of Creation of Organic Types," in the Proc. Acad. Nat. Science, Phila. 1871, and other papers). Probably the suggestions based on rate and duration of embryonic changes are all available. At the same time it is quite conceivable that the principle of natural selection obtains in embryonic life, both in conditions immediately present with the embryo and those external conditions which produce them the circumstances surrounding the female parent, or even the male. This becomes intelligible on the basis of some such theory as Spencer's "Physiological Units," Darwin's "Pangenesis," Elsberg's "Plastidule Hypothesis" (Proc. Amer. Assoc. 1874, 1876), Hackel's "Perigenesis" (Die Perigenesis, 1876; Die heutige Entwickelungslehre, etc., 1879; Nature, October 4, 1877, and Pop. Scien. Monthly Suppl.) or Brooks' "Law of Heredity " (New York, 1883). Still, it must be admitted that in some cases widely variant forms, as in the Ancon breed of sheep, arise suddenly where, to all appearance, some other condition not yet known determines the divergence. We think also it must be finally admitted that the organism is affected by an implanted destination or law, which bends it constantly towards conformity to the environment, and employs the several agencies mentioned for the accomplishment of this result. In the history of the world the environment has undergone a progressive differentiation and improvement. Organization has advanced correspondingly. When the environment remains persistent, or deteriorates, organic forms persist or even deteriorate to a corresponding extent. If, however, no existing theory of organic evolution proves final, the fact of organic evolution remains highly probable.

V. Limitations Of The Doctrine . We have stated, preliminarily, that the question of evolution is simply one of fact. In ascertaining whether a method of evolution is a fact in the natural world, we are not concerned in anything outside of this simple inquiry. It is of no import whether the result is effectuated by necessity or free-will, by inherent forces, by implanted forces or external forces, by material forces or spiritual forces, by mediate action or immediate action. We are not even concerned in determining what conditions are favorable, what instrumentalities are employed, whether the action is prenatal or postnatal, whether through embryonic development, prolonged, accelerated, or retarded. All these questions are interesting some of them may be important. The human mind cannot be restrained from investigating them. But it is important to understand clearly that a verdict on any one of these questions does not bear on the antecedent question of fact. If the fact exists, different persons may explain and interpret it differently. The explanation falls within the domain of science; the interpretation touches philosophy and theism. Scientific explanations are already various each probably partial. Interpretations may be materialistic or spiritualistic that will depend on the antecedent philosophy of the thinker. They may be theistic or atheistic that depends on the predisposition of the interpreter. Philosophic and theological opinions must rest on other grounds. The fact of a method of evolution in the world is not responsible for them.

More categorically, we may state:

(1) The fact of evolution implies nothing in respect to causation. It throws no light on secondary cause or first cause. It does not imply the evolution of life from inorganic matter. It knows nothing of beginnings; it discovers only a method of continuance; the beginning may have been a creation by fiat. It knows nothing of the cause or causes of continuance; it may be by immanent divine agency.

(2) There is no assumption of inherent forces or necessary activities, or eternal matter. It is allowable to deny inherent forces and necessary actions, and hold to the creation of matter and force, and even to the identification of natural force with the divine volition.

(3) There is no implication concerning the nature or origin of mind. It may arise with each distinct organism; it may arise only in the human organism.

(4) Nothing is implied concerning the interpretation of the activities going forward in the organism. We are at liberty to affirm that they imply choice selection, intelligence. We are at full liberty to trace intelligence in the methods of the inorganic world, or to affirm that the all-embracing method of evolution is itself the highest possible manifestation of intelligence and unity.

(5) We may also, if we please, maintain that the method of the world and the collocations of the world imply determination and motive. Thus, in brief, the limitations of the essential doctrine of evolution are such that, in spite of the speculative views of some evolutionists, the full acceptance of the doctrine does not conflict with any fundamental conception of Christian theology.

VI. Literature . Many of the most important original works have been cited in the progress of this article. Some other titles may be added: Spencer, First Principles Of Philosophy; Principles Of Biology; Gray, Darwiniana (1878); Romanes, The Scientific Evidences Of Organic Evolution (1882), Chapman, The Evolution Of Life (1873); Semper, Animal Life As Affected By The Natural Conditions Of Existence; Die Verwandt Schaftsbezie Hungen Der Gegliederten Thiere (1875); Lankester, Degeneration, A Chapter In Darwinism (1880); Lindsay, Mind In The Lower Animals (1879); Seidlitz, Beitrage Zur Descendenz-Theorie (1876); Fritz Muller, Fur Darwin (eod.); Zacharias, Zur Entwickelungstheorie (eod.); Jacoby, Etudes Sur La Selection Dans Ses Rapports Avec L'Heredite chez l'Homme; Canestrini, Teoria di Darwin Criticamente Exposta (Milan, 1880); Du Prel, Der Kampf ums Dasein am Himmel; Faivre, La Variabilite des Especes (1868); Weismann, Studien zur Descendenz- Theorie (1876); Ribot, Heredity; O. Schmidt, Descent and Darwinism (1875); H. Muller, Die Befruchtung der Blumen durch Insecten (1873; an Engl. translation, 1883); Alpenblumen und ihre Befruchtung durch Insecten (1881); Fechner, Einige Ideen zur Schopfungs- und Entwickelungsgeschichte der Organismen; Mivart, Man and Apes (1874); Bastian, Evolution and the Origin of Life; Roux, Der Kampnf der Theile im Organismus (1881); Gazelles, Outline of the Evolution Philosophy (1875). On the interpretation of evolution: Dreher, Der Darwinismus und seine Stellung in der Philosophie (1877); von Gizycki, Philosophische Consequenzen der Lamarck-Darwin'schen Entwickelungstheorie (1876); R. Schmidt, Die Darwin'schen Theorien und ihre Stellung zur Philosophie, Religion, und Moral (eod.; id. Engl. translation); Henslow, The Theory of the Evolution of Living Things, and the Application of the Principles of Evolution to Religion (1873); Leconte, Religion and Science; Simcox, Natural Law (1877); Wright, Philosophical Discussions, especially pages 97-266; Weismann, Ueber die letzten Ursachen der Transmutationen (1876); Spiller, Die Unrkraft des Weltalls nach ihrem Wesen und Wirken (eod.); Schneider, Der thierische Wille (1880); Romanes, Animal Intelligence (1883); Mental Evolution in Animals (eod.); Savage, The Religion of Evolution (1877); Beale, Life Theories, their Influence upon Religious Thought (1871); Winchell, The Speculative Consequences of Evolution (1881); Sparks from a Geologist's Hammer, pages 301-385 (eod.), pages 301-385; Beckett, On the Origin of the Laws of Nature. Critical and adverse writings: von Hartmann, Wahrheit und Irrthum im Darwinismus (1875); Wigand, Der Darwinismus u. die Naturforschung Newtons u. Cuviers (1874-77, 3 volumes); Virchow, Die Freiheit der Wissenschaft im modernen Staat (1877; Engl. translation); Semper, Hackelismus in der Zoologie (1876); Michaelis, Anti- Darwinistische Beobachtungen (1877); Mivart, Lessons fron Nature, as Manifested in Mind and Matter (1876); Contemporary Evolution (eod.); Agassiz, Contributions to the Natural History of the U.S. volume 1, Introduction; Amer. Jour. Science, July 1860; Dawson, The Story of the Earth and Man (1873); Hodge, What is Darwinism?; Barrande,Trilobites (1871); Cephalopodes (1877); Brachiopodes (1879). A monthly journal of highest ability, devoted to evolution, is Kosmos, Stuttgart. (A.W.)

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [3]

ev - ō̇ - lū´shun  :

1. The Idea of Evolution

Evolution is a scientific and philosophical theory designed to explain the origin and course of all things in the universe. By origin, however, is not understood the production or emergence of the substance and of the cause or causes of things, but that of the forms in which they appear to the observer. Sometimes the term is vaguely used to cover absolute origin in the sense just excluded. A moment's reflection will make it clear that such a view can never secure a place in the realm of pure science. The problem of ultimate origin is not one that science can solve. If it is solved at all, it must be by purely philosophical as distinguished from scientific or scientific-philosophical methods. Evolution, therefore, must be viewed in science purely and strictly as a process of orderly change in the form of things. As such it assumes the existence of substance or substances and of a force or forces working its successive transformations. (NOTE: This position is apparently contradicted in the title of Henri Bergson's L'évolution créatrice . But an examination of Bergson's system shows that the contradiction is only apparent. Bergson's evolution is neither substance nor efficient cause or principle. The latter is given in his vital impetus ( élan vital ); the former in his concept of duration.)

As an orderly change of the form of things, evolution may be viewed as operative in the field of inorganic matter, or in that of life. In the first, it is known and called cosmic evolution; in the second, organic evolution. Of cosmic evolution again there appear two aspects, according as the process, or law. of transformation, is observed to operate in the realm of the lower units of matter (atoms and molecules), or is studied in the region of the great. In the first sphere, it is made to account for the emergence in Nature of the qualities and powers of different kinds of matter called elements. In the second, it explains the grouping together, the movements and transformations of the solar and of stellar systems. Similarly, of organic evolution there appear to be two varieties. The first occurs in the world of life including the vegetable and animal kingdoms. Evolution here accounts for the various forms of living beings building their bodies and passing from one stage to another in their existence as individuals, and for the course of the history of all life as it differentiates into species and genera. The second variety of evolution operates in the higher realm of intelligence, morality, social activity and religion. The idea of a law of orderly change governing all things is not a new one. Historians of science find it in some form or other embodied in the philosophies of Heraclitus, Democritus, Lucretius and Aristotle. There are those who find it also in the system of Gautama (Buddha).

2. Recent Origin of Notion

But in none of these was there a sufficiently wide basis of fact inductively brought together, or a thorough enough digestion and assimilation of the material to give the view as presented by them a firm standing. Hegel's idealistic theory of Development is kindred to the evolution theory in its essence; but it too antedates the working out of the system upon the basis of the scientific induction of the phenomena of Nature.

Until the time of Herbert Spencer, the scientific use of the word evolution was limited to the narrow department of embryology. By him, the term was made synonymous with all orderly change in Nature. The notion that such change is the result of chance, however, was not a part of Spencer's teaching. On the contrary, that philosopher held that chance is but the expression of laws undiscerned by the human mind. Yet these laws are just as definite and rigid as those already discovered and formulated.

Since the appearance of the inductive method in scientific research, and the rise of the science of biology in particular, the idea of evolution has been elaborated into a great systematic generalization, and proposed as the philosophy of all perceptible phenomena. Beginning as a working hypothesis in a special narrow department, that of biology, it has been extended into all the sciences until all come under its dominance, and it is viewed no longer as a mere working hypothesis, but as a demonstrated philosophy with the force and certainty of fact.

3. Evolution and Biblical Truth

It was natural that such an important proposition as the explanation of the present form of the whole universe by theory of evolution should in its course have occasioned much controversy. On one side extravagant claims were bound to be put forth in its behalf, combined with a misconception of its field. On the other a stubborn denial of its sufficiency as an explanation, even in the narrow sphere where it first made its appearance, was destined to confront it. This challenge, too, was the result of the misconception of it as an all-sufficient theory of the universe as distinguished from a law or method of the operation of a cause ulterior and superior to itself. The period of this warfare is now nearly, if not altogether, over. The task which remains to be accomplished is to recognize the bearings of theory on forms of thought arrived at apart from the light thrown on the world by itself.

Since such forms of thought are given in the Bible, certain problems arise which must be solved, if possible, in the light of evolution. These problems concern mainly the following topics: (1) The belief in a personal God, such as the Christian Scriptures present as an object of revelation; (2) The origin of the different species of living beings as portrayed in the Book of Gen; (3) The particular origin of the human species (the descent (ascent) of man); (4) The origin of morality and religion, and (5) The essential doctrines of the Christian faith, such as supernatural revelation, the idea of sin, the person of Christ, regeneration and immortality. Beyond the answers to these primary questions, it will be neither possible nor profitable to enter within the brief compass of the present article.

The relation of creation to evolution has been already suggested in the introductory explanation of the nature of evolution. If creation be the act of bringing into existence material or substance which did not previously exist, evolution does not touch the problem. It has nothing to say of a First Cause. The idea of a first cause may be regarded as material for metaphysics or the ground of religious belief.

4. Evolution and Creation

It may be speculated about, or it may be assumed by faith. The theory of evolution begins with matter or substance already in existence. A fairly representative statement of this aspect of it is illustrated by Huxley's dictum, "The whole world living and not living is the result of the mutual attraction according to definite laws of the powers possessed by the molecules of which the primitive nebulosity of the universe was composed" ( Life of Darwin , II, 210). This statement leaves two things unaccounted for, namely, molecules in the form of a "primitive nebulosity" and "powers possessed by these molecules." How did primitive nebulosity come to exist? How did it come to be composed of molecules possessed of certain powers, and how did there come to be definite laws governing these molecules? The agnostic answers, "We do not know, we shall not know" ( ignoramus , ignorabimus , DuBois-Reymond). The pantheist says, "They are the substance and attributes of the Ultimate Being." The theist posits "an uncaused Cause who is greater than they, and possesses all the potentialities exhibited in them, together with much more (therefore at least a personal being), has brought them into existence by the power of His will" (compare Epicureans ).

Thus the believer in evolution may be an agnostic, a pantheist or a theist, according to his attitude toward, and answer to, the question of beginnings. He is an evolutionist because he believes in evolution as the method of the transformation of molecules under the control of the powers possessed by them. Conversely theist (and by implication the Christian) may be an evolutionist. As an evolutionist he may be thoroughgoing. He may accept evolution either as a working hypothesis or as a well-established generalization, even in the form in which it is defined by Herbert Spencer: the integration of matter out of an indefinite incoherent homogeneity into definite coherent heterogeneity with concomitant dissipation of energy. (For the exact definition in its full length, see First Principles , 367.) In this definition, as in every other form of it, evolution is the name of a process of transformation, not a theory of absolute causation or creation ex nihilo . The human mind may leave the problem of initial creation uninvestigated; it may assume that there is no problem by regarding matter and energy as uncaused and ultimate realities or phases of one reality; or it may trace these back to a First Cause which has at least the powers and characteristics perceptible in the universe and particularly in itself as mind (i.e. individuality, intelligence and freedom), or in other words, to a personal God. In any of these contingencies it may hold to theory of evolution.

5. Evolution and the Origin of Species

Evolution is strongest in the realm of life. It is here that it first achieved its most signal conquests; and it is here that it was first antagonized most forcibly by the champions of religious faith. Here it proved irresistibly fascinating because it broke down the barriers supposed to exist between different species (whether minor or major) of life. It showed the unity and solidarity of the entire living universe with all its infinite variety. It reduced the life-process to one general law and movement. It traced back all present different forms, whether recognized as individuals, varieties, species, genera, families or kingdoms, to a single starting-point. In this realm the adjective "organic" has been prefixed to it, because the characteristic result is secured through organization. One of its most enthusiastic supporters defines it as "progressive change according to certain laws and by means of resident forces" (LeConte).

The proof for organic evolution is manifold. It cannot be given here at any length. Its main lines, however, may be indicated as follows: (1) The existence of gradations of structure in living forms beginning with the simplest (the amoeba usually furnishes the best illustration) and reaching to some of the most complex organisms (the human body). (2) The succession of living forms in time. This means that, according to the evidence furnished by geology, the simpler organisms appeared earlier on the face of the earth than the more complex, and that the progress of forms has been in general from the simpler to the more complex. (3) The parallelism between the order thus discovered in the history of life upon earth and the order observed in the transformations of the embryo of the highest living forms from their first individual appearance to their full development. (4) The existence of rudimentary members and organs in the higher forms.

The most striking of these proofs of evolution are the two commonly designated the paleontological and the ontogenetic. The first is based on the fact that in the strata of the earth the simpler forms have been deposited in the earlier, and the more complex in the later. This fact points to the growth in the history of the earth of the later, more complex forms of life, from earlier simpler ones. The second consists in the observation that each individual of complexly constructed species of organisms begins its life in the embryonic stage as the simplest of all living forms, a single cell (constituted in some cases out of parts of two preëxisting cells). From this beginning it advances to its later stages of growth as an embryo, assuming successively the typical forms of higher organisms until it attains the full form of its own species, and thus begins its individual post-embryonic life. It thus recapitulates in its individual history the history of its species as read in the paleontological records. This consideration shows that whatever the truth may be as to the species as a whole (for instance of man), each individual of the species (each man) has been evolved in his prenatal life, if not exactly from definitely known and identifiable species (anthropoid individuals perfectly formed), at least from foetal organisms apparently of the same type as those of anthropoids.

But assuming organic evolution to be true upon these grounds, and upon others of the same character, equally convincing to the scientific man, it must not be left out of account that it is to be distinguished quite sharply from cosmic evolution. These two phases of the law are identical at their basis, but become very different in their application according to the nature of the field in which they operate. Cosmic evolution works altogether through reactions. These are invariable in their cause and effect. Given material elements and conditions, they always issue in the same results. Their operations are grouped together under the sciences of chemistry and physics. Organic evolution works through processes to which the term "vital" is applied. Whether these are identical with the chemico-physical processes in the ultimate analysis is an open question among scientists. In the field of purely descriptive science, however, which limits itself to the observation of facts, it can scarcely emerge as a question, since the true nature of vitality is beyond the reach of observation. And upon the whole, theory that there is an inner difference between vitality and physico-chemical attractions and affinities is supported by certain obvious considerations. But even if vitality should prove to be nothing more than a series of reactions of a chemical and physical nature, the type of evolution to which it yields is differentiated by broad characteristics that distinguish it from merely molecular attractions and affinities.

(1) Vital processes cannot be correlated with the chemico-physical ones. Heat, light, electricity, magnetism, gravitation, chemical affinity, are interchangeable and interchanged among themselves. But none of these can be converted into life as far as now known. (2) All life is from preëxisting life ( omne vivum e vivo ). Biogenesis still holds the field as far as experimental science has anything to say about it, and abiogenesis is at the most an attractive hypothesis. (3) The vital processes overcome and reverse the chemical and physical ones. When a living organism is constituted, and as long as it subsists in life, it breaks up and reconstitutes forms of matter into new forms. Carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen, in combination with other elements, are separated from one another and reunited in new combinations in the tissues of the plant and the animal. On the other hand, the moment the vital process ceases, the chemical and physical resume their course. The organism in which the vital process has been annihilated is immediately put under the operation of chemical affinities, and reduced into its first elements. So long as the vital process is on, there seems to be a ruling or directive principle modifying and counteracting the normal and natural course of the so-called chemical and physical forces. (4) The vital process is characterized by the manifestation in matter of certain peculiarities that never show themselves apart from it. These are irritability, assimilation of non-living matter in the process of growth, differentiation or the power in each kind of living organism to develop in its growth regularly recurring characteristics, and (5) reproduction. The result of the vital process is the tendency in the organic product of it to maintain itself as a unity, and become more and more diversified in the course of its life. These features of organic evolution make it necessary to account not only for the origin of the matter and the energy which are assumed in the cosmic form of evolution, but also for the origin and nature of the unknown something (or combination of things) which is called life in the organism, whether this be a unitary and distinct force or a group of forces. (It is interesting to notice the return to the notion of life as primal energy in the philosophy of Bergson ( élan vital ); compare Creative Evolution . The same view is advocated by Sir Oliver Lodge, Life and Matter .)

Furthermore, care must be taken not to confuse any special variety of evolutionary theory in the organic realm with the generic theory itself. Evolutionists hold and propound different hypotheses as to the application of the principle. The Lamarckian, the Darwinian, the Weismannian, the De Vriesian views of evolution are quite different from, and at certain points contradictory of, one another. They assume the law to be real and aim to explain subordinate features or specific applications of it as seen in certain given series of facts. They differ from one another in insisting on details which may be real or unreal without affecting the truth of the main law. Lamarckian evolution, for instance (revived recently under the name neo-Lamarckian), makes. much of the alleged transmissibility through heredity of acquired traits. Darwinian evolution is based largely on the principle of accidental variations worked over by natural selection and the slow insensible accumulation of traits fitting individuals to survive in the struggle for life. Weismannian evolution posits an astonishingly complex germinal starting-point. DeVriesian evolution is built on the sudden appearance of mutations ("sports") which are perpetuated, leading to new species. It is unscientific to array any of these against the other in the effort to undermine the generic theory of evolution, or to take their differences as indicating the collapse of theory and a return to the idea of creation by fiat . The differences between them are insignificant as compared with the gulf which separates them all from the conception of a separate creative beginning for each species at the first appearance of life upon earth. (On some differences between the primitive form of Darwinian and later theories of the same general type, see Rudolph Otto, in Naturalism and Religion (ET).)

With these limitations, the law of organic evolution may be taken into the Biblical account of creation as given in Genesis, chapters 1 and 2. The question raised at once is one of the relation of the doctrine to the Biblical account. If the evolutionary conception is true, it naturally follows that the Biblical account cannot be accepted in its literal interpretation. For the one of these accounts pictures the different species and general types as coming into existence gradually out of preexisting ones, whereas the other (literally interpreted) represents them as created by a Divine fiat. This difference it is true may be artificially exaggerated. Nowhere does the Biblical account explicitly ascribe the creation of each species to the fiat of God. The word "created" ( bārā' ), as used in Genesis, does not necessarily exclude pre-existing matter and form. On the other hand, expressions such as "Let the earth bring forth" ( Genesis 1:11 the King James Version) indicate a certain mediation of secondary powers in the elements ("resident forces," LeConte) through which organisms came into being. "After their kind" suggests the principle of heredity. "Abundantly" suggests the law of rapid and ample reproduction leading to the "struggle for life," "natural selection" and "survival of the fittest." But all efforts to harmonize Gen with science upon this basis lead at the best to the negative conclusion that these two are so far different in their purpose and scope as not to involve radical contradiction. A positive agreement between them cannot be claimed.

The difficulty vanishes in its entirety when it is borne in mind that the two accounts are controlled by different interests, treat primarily of different matters and, where they appear to cover the same ground, do so each in an incidental way. This means that their statements outside of the sphere of their primary interests are popularly conceived and expressed, and cannot be set over against each other as rivals in scientific presentation. Upon this basis the Gen account is the vehicle of religious instruction (not, however, an allegory); its cosmogonic accounts are not intended to be scientifically correct, but popularly adequate. For all that science is concerned, they may be traditional conceptions, handed down in the form of folklore, and purged of the grotesque, purely mythological element so apt to luxuriate in folklore. Between such accounts and the dicta of pure science, it would be absurd either to assume or to seek for harmony or discord. They are parallel pictures; in the one the foreground is occupied by the actual unfolding of the facts, the religious element is concealed deep by the figures in the foreground. In the other the background of haze and cloud is the domain of fact, the foreground of definite figures consists of the religious ideas and teachings. The evolutionary notion of the origin of living forms on the earth can thus in no way be assumed as in contradiction either to the letter or the spirit of the teaching of Gen.

6. The Descent (Ascent) of Man

A still more important problem arises when the evolutionary theory touches the origin of man upon earth. Here, too, not simply the Biblical account of the creation of Adam and Eve, and their primitive life in the Garden of Eden as recorded in Gen 2 is affected, but all that is said of man as a child of God, clothed with peculiar dignity and eternal worth.

(1) The difference between the Biblical and evolutionary records of the creation of man may easily be resolved if the Biblical account (Gen 2) is not viewed as a literal statement of actual occurrences, but as the vehicle of certain determinative thoughts designed to affiliate man in his proper relation to God. This means that what is essential in the Biblical account is that man as a distinctive and different being in the world came into existence as the result of a special act of will on the part of God, that he was created as the golden summit of the whole upward movement of life. He is not a mere creature of Nature, but the offspring of the Divine will, with power to know his Maker, to hold fellowship with Him and to carry in him the rational and moral image of the Creator of all. Against this view of the origin of man, evolutionary science has nothing to set over. It is concerned with the process through which the emergence of such a being as man was accomplished, and the time and circumstances in which it took place. These points it finds as it finds similar points affecting other living beings.

It would be easy of course to take materialistic forms of the evolutionary theory, such as that advocated by Haeckel, Guyeau, Ray Lankester, and establish an irreconcilable discord between them and the Biblical account; but such varieties of theory are distinguished, not by the occurrence of the idea of evolution in them, but rather by the materialistic metaphysics underlying them; when, for instance, Haeckel defines the notion of evolution by excluding from it intelligence or purpose, and by obliterating differences between the lower animal creation and man, he does so not as an evolutionist in science, but as a materialist (Monist of the materialistic type) in metaphysics. The moment the evolutionist determines to limit himself to the scientific side of his task, and the interpreter of the Biblical account to the religious side of his task, the assumed discord in Gen 2 and the evolutionary theory totally vanishes.

(2) The more important point of contact between theory of evolution and the Biblical conception of man, however, is that of the notion of the dignity and worth of man. The very existence of a Bible is based on the idea that man is of some consequence to the Creator. And through the Bible this idea not only appears early ( Genesis 1:26 ), "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness," followed by the statement, "And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them," but is interwoven with every fundamental teaching.

It is contended that a representation like this is not compatible with the evolutionary conception of the origin of man from simian ancestors. The contention would be well supported if the evolutionary theory actually obliterated the line of distinction between man and the lower creation; and in any form of it in which such line is ignored, and man is regarded as a being of the same order (neither more or less) as those from which he sprang, it is not capable of being harmonized with the Biblical doctrine. But as a matter of fact, the whole drift and tendency of evolutionary thought ought to be and is the very opposite of belittling man. For according to it, man is the culmination and summit of a process whose very length and complexity simply demonstrate his worth and dignity as its final product. Accordingly, some of the most radical evolutionists, such as John Fiske ( Through Nature to God ) have extended and strengthened the argument for the immortality of man by an appeal to his evolutionary origin.

7. The Origin and Nature of Religion

Kindred to the problem of the origin of man, and, in some aspects of it, a part of that problem, is the further problem of the origin and nature of religion. First of all, according to evolution, religion cannot be an exception to the general law of the emergence of the more complex from simpler antecedents. Accordingly, it must be supposed to have evolved from non-religious or pre-religious elements. But the very statement of the case in this form necessitates the clear conception of the idea of religion. If religion is the sense in the human soul of an infinite and eternal being, or beings, issuing in influences upon life, then it is coeval with man and inseparable from the human soul. There never was a time when man was not religious. The very emergence of this sense in the mind of a prehuman ancestor of man would change the brute into the man.

We may speak of the states of the prehuman brute's mind as "materials for the making of religion," but not as religion. Their transformation into religion is therefore just as unique as the creation of the man himself. Whatever the mental condition of the brute before the emergence of the sense of an eternal reality and the dependence of itself upon that reality, it was not a religious being. Whatever the form of this sense, and whatever its first content and results, after the emergence of man it became religion. What caused it to appear at that particular moment and stage in the course of the onward movement? This is a question of causes, and its answer eludes the search of science, both pure and philosophical, and if undertaken by pure philosophy, leads to the same diversity of hypotheses as has been found to control the solution of the problem of beginnings in general (Agnosticism, Pantheism, Theism).

For the rest, that the general features hold true in the field of religion is obvious at a glance. Religious thought, religious practices, religious institutions, have undergone the same type of changes as are observed in the material universe and in the realm of life.

8. The Moral Nature

What is true of religion as an inner sense of a reality or realities transcending the outward world is equally, and even more clearly, true of the moral life which in one aspect of it is the outward counterpart of religion. To speak of the evolution of the conscience from non-ethical instincts is either to extend the meaning and character of the ethical into a region where they can have no possible significance, or to deny that something different has come into being when the sense of obligation, of duty, of virtue, and the idea of the supreme good have appeared.

In other particulars, the development of the moral nature of man, both in the individual and in the community, manifestly follows the process discerned in the material universe at large, and in the realm of organized life in particular. As an observed fact of history, the gradual growth of moral ideas and the mutual play of the inner controlling principle of the sense of oughtness ("the voice of God") and of social conditions and necessities, arising from the nature of man as a social being, are so manifest that they could neither be denied nor better explained in any other way than in accordance with the evolutionary view.

9. Christianity and Christian Doctrine

But the rise of the evolutionary theory calls for a new consideration not only of the questions of the origin and nature of religion and morality, but also of that of the content of the Gospel.

(1) At the basis of Christianity lies the idea of revelation. The God whom Jesus presented to men is supremely concerned in men. He communicates to them His interest in and His wishes concerning them. This fact the followers of Jesus have in general called "revelation." Some have insisted and still do insist that such revelation must be supernatural. Setting aside the consideration that the term "supernatural" does not occur in Biblical phraseology, and that the notion is deduced by a process of interpretation which leaves a large flexibility to it, i.e. a possibility of conceiving it in a variety of ways, revelation itself is not necessarily bound up with any special method of the communication of the Divine will (compare Revelation ). Analogies drawn from human life furnish many different ways of making known to the minds of intelligent fellow-beings the thought of one's own mind. These include, first, the pragmatic resort to some act or attitude of a physical nature, as, for instance, the touch of the whip or the point of the spur on the horse; the flown or the smile for the higher class of understanding of the human type. Secondly, the linguistic, wherein by conventional, articulate, highly complex sounds, one tells in words what lies in his own consciousness. All such expression is necessarily partial, indirect and symbolic. Thirdly, the telepathic and mysterious method (whose reality some still doubt) by which communication takes place without the mediation of either language or action. The evolutionary view does not exclude the possibility of any of these methods conceived as ethical and psychological processes. It does exclude any and all of them if understood as magical or preternatural phenomena. There is nothing, however, in a proper interpretation of the facts of Christian revelation to force the magical interpretation of the coming of the Divine message.

On the contrary, there is everything in the gradual and progressive method of the formation of the Christian Scriptures to suggest that the law of evolution was not violated here. One of the latest writers in Scripture plainly represents the whole method of revelation from the Divine point of view as a cumulative delivery of knowledge in different and successive parts and aspects ( Hebrews 1:1 ). Both at its inception and in the course of its history, the gospel shows conformity to this fundamental law.

(2) Evolution and incarnation: One of the strongest objections to the idea of an all-comprehensive generalization of the law of evolution has been said to be that such a law would destroy the uniqueness of the personality of Jesus Christ. This is, however, due to a confusion of thought. In reality it is no more a denial of uniqueness to say that the Son of God entered the world in accordance with the laws of the world as ordered by the Father, than to say that He was subject to those laws after He entered the world; for instance, that He hungered and thirsted, was weary and needed rest and sleep, that His hands and feet bled when they were pierced and that He ceased to breathe when His heart failed to beat. It is a denial of uniqueness as to the method of entrance into the world, but not a denial of uniqueness of character, of nature, even of essence in the Nicene sense. It behooved Him, in bringing many sons to perfection, "to make the captain of their salvation perfect through suffering." The question of the Virgin Birth of Jesus is definitely excluded from the discussion because it is one of historical evidence chiefly, and, in whatever way the evidence may solve it, theory of evolution will have no difficulty to set over against the solution. See Virgin Birth .

From the evolutionist's point of view, the incarnation is the climax and culmination of the controlling process of the universe (see Incarnation ). Evolution demands such a consummation as the appearance of a new type of person, and particularly the type which appeared in Jesus Christ. This is not saying that other men can be or have been of the same nature and essence as the incarnate Saviour. It is saying simply that through the incarnation God brings into perfection the ideal embodied and unfolded in previous generations partially, and held in view as the goal through the whole process of previous struggle and attainment. In other words, the New Adam, in Jesus Christ, emerges in the course of the upward ascent of man as the Adam of Gen emerged in the upward ascent from the lower creation. Theology from the point of view of revelation must necessarily explain this as the voluntary entrance of the Son of God into humanity for purposes of redemption. In doing so it does not contradict the evolutionary view, but simply presents another aspect of the subject.

Assuming, as is done throughout, that the evolution theory concerns not causes and principles, but the processes of transformation of life, the idea of the world is not complete with the creation of man in the image of God. That image must be brought into perfection through the incoming of eternal life. But eternal life is the life of God lived in the species of time and space. It could only come in a personal form through fellowship with God. The bringing of it must therefore be the necessary goal to which all the age-long ascent pointed.

The Incarnation fulfills the conditions of the evolutionary process in that it inserts into the world by a variation the new type governed by the principle of self-sacrifice for others. This is a new principle with Christ, although it is constituted out of preexisting motives and antecedents, such as the "struggle for others" (compare Drummond, The Ascent of Man ) and "altruism" (in its noble instances in human history). It is a new principle, first, because in its pre-Christian and extra-Christian antecedents it is not real self-sacrifice, not being consciously consummated as the result of the outplay of the motive given in eternal life, and secondly, because it reverses the main stream of antecedent motive. It enthrones love by revealing God's supreme character and motive to be love. Thus viewed the Incarnation is the real entrance into the stream of cosmic movement of the Superman. Nietzsche's Superman would be exactly the contrary of this, i.e. the reversion of man to the beast, the denial of the supremacy of love, and the assertion of the supremacy of might.

(3) Another difficulty met by the harmonist of the Christian system with the evolutionary theory is that of the problem of sin. The method of the origin of sin in the human race, as well as its nature, are given in the Biblical account in apparently plain words. The first man was sinless. He became sinful by an act of his own.

As compared with this, according to one common conception of the law of evolution, all the bad tendencies and propensities in man are the survival of his animal ancestry. Cruelty, lust, deceitfulness and the like are but the "tiger and the ape" still lingering in his spiritual constitution, just as the vermiform appendix and the coccyx remain in the physical, mere rudiments of former useful organs; and just like the latter, they are apt to interfere with the welfare of the species later developed. Here, as in every previous stage of our survey, the difficulty arises from the failure to distinguish between that which appears in man as man, and the propensities in animals which lead to acts similar in appearance, but different in their place and function in the respective lives of those animals. As a matter of fact, the tendencies to cruelty, greed, lust and cunning in the brute are not sinful. They are the wholesome and natural impulses through which the individual and the race are preserved from extinction. They are sinful in man because of the dawn in the soul of a knowledge that his Maker is showing him a better way to the preservation of the individual and the race in the human form. Until the sense of the obligation to follow the better way has arisen, there can be no sin. But when it has come, the first act performed in violation of that sense must be regarded as sinful. As the apostle Paul puts it, "I had not known sin, except through the law." "I was alive apart from the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived (was made to live) and I died" ( Romans 7:7 ,  Romans 7:9 ).

Instead of militating against the idea of a primitive fall, the discovery of the law of evolution confirms it by showing that at some time, as the moral sense in man arose, in the very earliest stage of his existence as man, by an act of his own will, he set aside the new and better principle of conduct presented to him in his inner consciousness (disobeyed the voice of God), and fell back to the prehuman non-moral rule of his life. If this is not the doctrine of the Fall expressed in the terms of present-day science, it would be hard to conceive how that doctrine could be formulated in modern words. (F. J. Hall, Evolution and the Fall  ; compare Fall , The .)

According to this theory, it was possible for man as he first began his career upon the earth to have passed at once into the condition of perfect fellowship with God. Development might have been sinless. But it was not likely. And it was not desirable that it should be (see Adam In Old Testament And Apocrypha ). For moral character apart from struggle and victory is weak and only negatively perfect. The elimination of sin was to be accomplished by a process which according to the evolutionary philosophy everywhere and always produces higher and stronger types. It is only as progress is achieved by regeneration following degeneration that the best results are secured. Thus "where sin abounded," it was 'in order that grace might superabound' ( Romans 5:20 ). Yet neither is sin the less sinful nor grace the less supernatural. It would be reading an unwarrantable doctrine into Scripture to say that upon the whole an unfallen race would have been superior to a fallen and redeemed race. The world as it is is not a mistake but the wisest thought of God.

The mystery of evil in the world is thus left neither more nor less difficult to understand under the evolutionary conception than under any other. The difficulty of an unbroken continuity between the lower and the higher forms of life, culminating in the free will of man, with the necessary possibility of conflict with the will of God, is not treated by the evolutionary philosophy, even though it may not be materially relieved. To this extent, however, it is relieved, that the Divine action is here understood to be analogous and consistent with itself throughout, even though transcending in scope and extent the human intelligence.

(4) In the light of what has already been made clear, it will be easy to dismiss the correlative doctrine of salvation from sin as fully compatible with the idea of evolution. The Christian doctrine of salvation falls into two general parts: the objective mediatorial work of the Redeemer, commonly called the Atonement, and the subjective transforming work of the Holy Spirit, begun in regeneration and continued in sanctification.

The idea of the Atonement lies somewhat remote from the region where the law of evolution is most clearly seen to operate. At first sight it may be supposed to sustain no special relation to evolution either as offering difficulties to it or harmonizing with it and corroborating it. Yet in a system whose parts are vitally interrelated, it would be strange if the acceptance of the evolutionary theory did not in some way and to some extent affect the conception. It does so by fixing attention on the following particulars: ( a ) That with the emergence of man as a personality, the relation of the creature to the Creator comes to be personal. If that personal relation is disturbed, it can be restored to its normal state in accordance with the laws observed in the relations of persons to one another. The Atonement is such a restoration of personal relations between God and man. ( b ) In achieving the goal of perfect fellowship with Himself on the part of creatures bearing His own image, the Creator must in a sense sacrifice Himself. This Divine self-sacrifice is symbolized and represented in the Cross. Yet the meaning of the Cross is not exhausted in mere external influence upon the sinful creature whose return to the holy Father is thereby aimed at. ( c ) Since the alienation of the creature by sin represents an offense to the person of the Creator, there is necessity that this offense should be removed; and this is done through the sacrifice of the Incarnate Son identifying Himself with, and taking the place of, the sinful creature.

The correlative doctrine of Regeneration stands much nearer the center of the thought of evolution. It has always been conceived and expressed in biological phraseology. The condition of sin postulated by this doctrine is one of death. Into this condition a new life is inserted, an act which is called the New Birth. Whatever life may be in its essence, it overcomes, reverses and directs the lower forces to other results than they are observed to achieve apart from its presence. In analogy to this course of life in the process of regeneration, a new direction is given to the energies of the new-born soul. But the analogy goes farther. Regeneration is from above as life is always from above. It is God's Spirit through the word and work of Christ that begets the new Christian life, nurtures, trains and develops it to its full maturity revealed in the image and stature of Christ Himself (see Regeneration ).

10. Conclusion

If the above considerations are valid, the evolutionary and the Christian views of the world cannot logically be placed against each other as mutually exclusive and contradictory. They must be conceived as supplementing one another, and fulfilling each the promise and possibility of the other. Evolution is a scientific generalization which, kept within the limits of science, commends itself as a satisfactory explanation of the great law controlling all the movements of matter, life and mind. Christianity, so far as it enters into the intellectual life, is interested in the idea of God and of man's relation to God. It may confidently leave the facts in the lower world of processes of transformation to be schematized under the scientific generalization of evolution.


The literature of the subject is vast. At the basis of the discussion stand the works of Darwin, Huxley, Wallace, Spencer, Weismann, Haeckel, Romanes and others. For a clear statement of theory, see Metcalf, An Outline of the Theory of Organic Evolution , 1905; Saleeby, Evolution the Master-Key , 1907; Osborn, From the Greeks to Darwin (historical), 1908. On its relation to religion and Christianity, B. F. Tefft, Evolution and Christianity , 1885; E. Caird, The Evolution of Religion , 1893; Le Conte, Evolution; Its Nature , Its Evidences and Its Religious Thought , 1888; McCosh, The Religious Aspect of Evolution , 1888; Iverach, Christianity and Evolution , 1894. On its bearing on the ideas of man, sin and redemption, Griffith-Jones, The Ascent through Christ , 1900; H. Drummond, The Ascent of Man , 12th edition, 1901; Tyler, The Whence and Whither of Man  ; Orr, The Image of God in Man , 1907; Sin as a Problem of Today , 1910; Hall, Evolution and the Fall , 1910; Murray, Christian Faith and the New Psychology , 1911; T. A. Palm, The Faith of an Evolutionist , 1911.

Note - I

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [4]

The theory that the several species of plants and animals on the globe were not created in their present form, but have all been evolved by modifications of structure from cruder forms under or coincident with change of environment, an idea which is being applied to everything organic in the spiritual as well as the natural world. See Darwinian Theory .