Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/342

This page has been validated.



ing creature" implies secondary agents to carry out the will of the Lord. Such might be said to witness to natural law, which, after all, is but a synonym for the will of God.

The real basis of the controversy between dogmatic theology and this deduction of Science is simply this: The former has established a creed based upon erroneous impressions derived from Scripture, and, from having had power in former days to enforce its opinions, they were credulously received without hesitation as long as no one dared to or even could controvert them. It is the reluctance to surrender this power to Science as much as the idea of her offering any opposition to theology that urges at least one body so obstinately to resist her advances. Nearer home the opposition rests more on the latter ground; and it will not be until the representatives of our theology can see and confess their false impressions of the meaning of the first chapter of Genesis, that the doctrine of evolution can be hoped to make any great progress among them.

Let us briefly review their false positions. They first clung to the "six days of creation;" they found they were compelled to surrender the idea, and immediately adopted the interpretation of yōm signifying an indefinite period. Again, notice their readiness in adopting the theory of cataclysms and recreations, a second time to the detriment of Genesis, which furnishes no warrant for the idea; for even if six days be presumed to represent six cataclysms, geology furnishes no corresponding evidence. It was a pure fiction altogether. And even now they steadily oppose the doctrine of evolution. But surely as each stronghold of theology has been quietly taken by Science—not so much by offensive attack as by undermining and leaving the edifice to crumble of itself—the tardy and ungracious capitulations hitherto offered only insure the ultimate surrender a matter of patient expectation. A time will shortly come when the creative theory must succumb altogether and the doctrine (not the theory) of evolution will be as much recognized as a fundamental truth of science and theology as the evolution of the earth itself.


"And so from hour to hour we ripe and ripe,
And then from hour to hour we rot and rot,
And thereby hangs a tale."—As You Like It.

FEW subjects of scientific investigation are more interesting than the inquiry into the various circumstances on which mental power depends. By mental power I do not mean simply mental capacity, or the potential quality of the mind, but the actual power which is the resultant, so to speak, of mental capacity and mental