From Professor Alfred ORalrilly.
SIR.—Leaving Arnold Lunn to Took after himself I would like to make some final comments on the
statements of Professor Renouf which are becoming increasingly tortuous and -irrelevant, He even stops to quoting two private jocose notes scribbled by me to him, though to spare my feelings he represents " devil " by "—"1 (.1) DARWIN.
He thinks we can " judge" Darwinism philosophically and theologically from the late Canon Dorlodot's honk. I decline to accept this authority. In my opinion, there are many inaccuracies in this book, especially a confusion between Evolution and Darwinism. 1 agree entirely with my friend Father J. Brodrick, S.J. " Of this book one can only say that it appears to be based on a complete misconception of what Darwinism megns." -Month, 146 (1925), 491.
I will quote an excellent philosophical hook : "To eliminate purpose and the purposive creating activity of transcendental principles from interpretations of nature and to introduce purely naturalistic principles= principles of chance ' if we understand chance in this connection not as opposed to necessity but to plan and purpose-this is the aim of the Darwinian theary, . , It is due to Darwinism that the fundamental similarity of the peyhicat in man and animals has come to be regareled as almost selPevident.'*-Otto. Naturalism and Religion, 1e07, pp. 140, 287.
I will also quote a leading compareeye anatomist ; "In looking back, it seems incomprehensible how the publication of Charles Darwin's thesiswhich at the time Mivart was bold enough to term a ' puerile hypothesis ' -could have created such an upheaval or thought, should have led to SO profound a readjustment of values and so great a forgetting of what had gone before. . . With the advent of the Origin the all-wise Creator vanished from rnen's minds. . All that appealed to the ordinary man was the assurance that ' evolution ' was the real creative factor; that much chance (rather than design) was involved in all this; and that man, far from being a special and unique creation in the image of the Creator, was no more than a descendant of some sort of hairy ape-like manimal."-eprofessor F. Wood Jones, Design and Purpose, 1942. p. 43.
Following Mivart, I will game Oar himself : " The late Mr. Darwin declared that to admit the existence of a distinction of kind between the origin of man and that of other animals ` would make the theory of Natural Selection valueless': and that under such circumstances he ' would give absolutely nothing for the theory of Natural Selection,' dding I think you will be driven to reject all or admit all.' "-Mivart, Origin of Human Reason. 1889; p. 3.
Professor Renouf and myself "always have had and always will have very different estimates of Darwin." He intimates that he is writing a book on the subject. Curiously enough, so am I. Let us hope our two pronouncements will not have the fate of the Kilkenny cats! Meanwhile, may I point out that the only issue T raised concerned Mivart. not Darwin? The relevant point is not that Professor Renours estimate of Darwin is different from mine, but that it is different from Mivart's.
I have written a ponderous book on Electromagnetics. ,Suppose someone described it as a telling support of Einstein. I should at once intervene! Pardon me, the great majority of physicists are relativists, but I happen to be ao -exception. Oh, he might reply, the book is at least a telling support of Einstein against the believers in a quasi-mechanical aether. Pardon me again, I would say, I am neither a relativist nor an aetherist. This is by way of parable.
According to my colleague, Mivart " published a telling support of Darwin." Whereupon I pointed out that neither Darwin nor Mivart regarded the book as a " support." 'Oh, says Professor Renouf, the hook was " a telling support of Darwin against the Fundamentalists." (The latter term, by the way, is of much more recent origin.) Pardon me, I said, Mivart believed neither in Darwinism nor in Fundamentalism. I then quoted Mivart. Oh. replies Professor Renouf, " what Mivart wrote in 1895 has nothing to do with 1872." The obvious implication is that in 1872 Mivart gave telling support to Darwin. but had let him down by 1895. This is a statement' amenable to purely historical evidence. (3) MIVAliT.
In that case, the Simplest refutation of this latest evasion is to give some quotations from Mivart and to let them speak for themselves. By way of preface let me cite the Dictionary of National Biography: " Though greatly stimulated by Darwin, Mivart never became a Darwinian; and in 1871 freely criticised the great naturalist's hypothesis • . an assertion of the right of private judgement which led to an estrangement from both Darwin and Huxley."-J. M. Rigg, D.N.B Supplement, 3 (1901), 180.
Mivart tells us about his position in Mg, incidentally describing how a Darwinist receives a Catholic biologist : " It was in 1868 that difficulties as to the theory of Natural Selection began It, take shape in my mind. . . After many painful days and much meditation and discussion my mind was made up; and I felt it my duty first of all to go straight to Professor Huxley and tell him all my thoughts, feelings and intentions in the matter without reserve, including what it seemed to me I must do as regarded the theological aspect of the question. Never before or since have t had a more painful experience than fell' to my lot in his room at the School of Mines on the 15th of June, 1869. As soon as I had nsade my meaning clear. his countenance became transformed as I had never seen it.. . He said regretfully but most firmly that nothing so united or severed men as questions such as those I bad spoken of."-Nineteenth Century, 42 (1897), 994.
The following is from Mivart's criticism of Darwin's Desecnt of Man in the Quarterly Review, 1871 ; (" We must repeat what we have already said as to his singular dogmatism, and we must complain of the way in which he positively affirms again and again the existence of the very things which littve to be proved. . . In fact Mr. Darwin's power of reasoning seems to be lilt inverse ratio to his pewer of observelion. . . A great part of the work may be dismissed as beside the point. . . We maintain that while there is no need to abandon the received position that man is truly an animal, he is yet the only rational one known to us, and that his rationality constitutes a fundamental distinction one of kind and not of degree. . . Thus then in our judgement the author of the Descent of Man has utterly failed in the only part of his work which is really important.'Mivart, Essays and Criticisms, 2 (1892), 53, 56.
Having In a previous communic.ation
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