Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/739

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


THE

POPULAR SCIENCE

MONTHLY.

 

APRIL, 1894.


 

NEW CHAPTERS IN THE WARFARE OF SCIENCE.

XIX. FROM CREATION TO EVOLUTION.

By ANDREW DICKSON WHITE, LL.D., L.H.D.,

EX-PRESIDENT OF CORNELL UNIVERSITY.

PART II.
THEOLOGICAL TEACHINGS REGARDING THE ANIMALS AND MAN.

IN one of the windows of the cathedral at Ulm a mediæval glass-stainer has represented the Almighty as engaged in creating the animals, and there has just left the divine hands an elephant fully accoutered, with armor, harness, and housings—ready for war. Similar representations appear in illuminated manuscripts and even in early printed books, and, as the culmination of the whole, the Almighty is shown as extracting, with evident effort, the first woman from the side of the first man.

This view of the general process of creation had come from far; it appeared under varying forms in various ancient cosmogonies, and, passing into our own sacred books, became the starting point of a vast new .development of theology.

The fathers of the Church generally received each of the two accounts of creation in Genesis literally, and then, having done their best to reconcile them with each other and to mold them together, made them the final test of thought upon the universe and all things therein. At the beginning of the fourth century Lactantius struck the keynote of this mode of subordinating all other things in the study of creation to the literal text of Scripture, and he enforces his view of the creation of man by a bit of philology, saying the final being created "is called man because he is made from the ground—homo ex humo."