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Even if we may not hope to reconcile the difference between the theologian and the naturalist, it may be well to ascertain where their real divergence begins, or ought to begin, and what it amounts to.
Hodge in his deduction of pure atheism from a system produced by a confessed theist, and based, as we have seen, upon thoroughly orthodox fundamental conceptions.Dar-win assumes the obligation of maintaining their general sufficiency–a task from which the numerous advocates and acceptors of evolution on the general concurrence of probabilities and its usefulness as a working hypothesis (with or without much conception of the manner how) are happily free.Having hit upon a which all who understand it admit will explain something, and many that it will explain very much, it is to be expected that Mr. Doubtless he is far from pretending to know all the causes and operations at work; he has already added some and restricted the range of others; he probably looks for additions to their number and new illustrations of their efficiency; but he is bound to expect them all to fall within the category of what he calls natural selection (a most expansible principle), or to be congruous with it–that is, that they shall be natural causes.Darwin postulates, upon the first page of his notable work, and in the words of Whewell and Bishop Butler: 1.The establishment by divine power of general laws, according to which, rather than by insulated interpositions in each particular case, events are brought about in the material world; and 2. We need take only one exception to this abstract of it, but that is an important one for the present investigation. Thus, very gradually, great changes of structure are introduced, and not only species, but genera, families, and orders, in the vegetable and animal world, are produced Now, the truth or the probability of Darwin’s hypothesis is not here the question, but only its congruity or incongruity with theism. How all living things on earth, including the endless variety of plants and all the diversity of animals, . Second, the law of Variation; that is, while the offspring are in all essential characteristics like their immediate progenitor, they nevertheless vary more or less within narrow limits from their parent and from each other. have descended from the primordial animalcule, he thinks, may be accounted for by the operation of the following natural laws, viz.: First, the law of Heredity, or that by which like begets like–the offspring are like the parent.‘The point to be proved is, that it is the distinctive doctrine of Mr. Not to the original intention of the divine mind; 2.Not to special acts of creation calling new forms into existence at certain epochs; 3.