Fr0nt Prafessnr Alfred O'Rahilly
Sta,-1 seem to have got mixed up in the Lunn-Renouf contro
versy. I am not in the least impunging my colleague as regards his well-known Catholic orthodoxy or his competence as a biologist. Having read Baker's book. and Professor Renours review, I can take no exception to the latter except to the one sentence: The " Church remained silent when Mivart, a Papal Ph.D., published a telling support of Darwin? This has long been a subject of friendly difference between us. I have already shown that Mivart, though an evolutionist, was very anti-Darwinian. But, being a Catholic, he received very scurvy treatment from Darwin and his coterie-so very different from their treatment of Spencer and of Wallace. Mivart himself wrote : " No positive Christian writer, above all no man of science who is a Catholic apologist, can hope to obtain a fair hearing," Am. Cath, Q. Review, January, 1898, p. 28. I am sorry that Professor Renouf persists in what I regard 39 a clear historical blunder. He now writes that what he meant was this Mivart's book " was at the time a telling support of Darwin against the Fundamentalists?' By which he means that Mivart was-like two other Catholics, Buggon and Lamarck-an evolutionist, but decidedly not a Darwinian; thereby incurring the hostility of Darwin and of Huxley. Professor Renouf's unfortunate phraseology countenances the widespread delusion that evolution-" my theory ' as Darwin himself often celled it-is synonymous with Darwinism.
All I propose to do is to show that the view I am defending is that of Mivart himself. I give a quotation from an article, The Evolution of Evo halm published by Mivart in the American Catholic Quarterly Review
for October. 1895:
" Darwin's hypothesis of the origin of species by natural selection was promulgated. Thereby the advocates of mechanism obtained full satisfaction, the difficulties whicb beset the adorers of the god Unreason seemed to be removed. . . The new hypothesis struck the most dangerous blow at Theism which any living man has witnessed. and its SUCCCOS was great. . . Evolution as popularly understood -the evolution of naturalism, of Spencer and of Darwin, the non-theistic system of evolution-was born in original sin, since its very name is a fraud, nay a robbery!"
A telling support of Darwin!