Home » Evolution, Intelligent Design » He said it: On the origin of the universe, life, and humanity

He said it: On the origin of the universe, life, and humanity

Gilbert_Keith_ChestertonFrom best known early twentieth century Catholic writer and apologist [take this, current Pontifical Institute!] G. K. Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man (book text here:

Now what is needed for these problems of primitive existence is something more like a primitive spirit. In calling up this vision of the first things, I would ask the reader to make with me a sort of experiment in simplicity. And by simplicity I do not mean stupidity, but rather the sort of clarity that sees things like life rather than words like evolution.For this purpose it would really be better to turn the handle of the Time Machine a little more quickly and see the grass growing and the trees springing up into the sky, if that experiment could contract and concentrate and make vivid the upshot of the whole affair.

What we know, in a sense in which we know nothing else, is that the trees and the grass did grow and that number of other extraordinary things do in fact happen; that queer creatures support themselves in the empty air by beating it with fans of various fantastic shapes; that other queer creatures steer themselves about alive under a load of mighty waters; that other queer creatures walk about on four legs, andthat the queerest creature of all walks about on two. These are things and not theories; and compared with them evolution and the atom and even the solar system are merely theories. The matter here is one of history and not of philosophy so that it need only be noted that no philosopher denies that a mystery still attaches to the two great transitions: the origin of the universe itself and the origin of the principle of life itself. Most philosophers have the enlightenment to add that a third mystery attaches to the origin of man himself.

In other words, a third bridge was built across a third abyss of the unthinkable when there came into the world what we call reason and what we call will. Man is not merely an evolution but rather a revolution. That he has a backbone or other parts upon a similar pattern to birds and fishes is an obvious fact, whatever be the meaning of the fact. But if we attempt to regard him, as it were, as a quadruped standing on his hind legs, we shall find what follows far more fantastic and subversive than if he were standing on his head.

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3 Responses to He said it: On the origin of the universe, life, and humanity

  1. The idea of the Missing Link was not at all new with Darwin; it was not invented merely by those vague but imaginative minor poets to whom we owe most of our ideas about evolution. Men had always played about with the idea of a possible link between human and bestial life; and the very existence — or, if you will, the very non-existence — of the centaur or the mermaid proves it. All the mythologies had dreamed of a half-human monster. The only objection to the centaur and the mermaid was that they could not be found. In every other respect their merits were of the most solid sort. So it is with the Darwinian ideal of a link between man and the brutes… The Greeks and the Medievals invented monstrosities. But they treated them as monstrosities — that is, they treated them as exceptions. They did not deduce any law from such lawless things as the centaur or the merman, the griffin or the hippogriff. But modern people did try to make a law out of the Missing Link. They made him a lawgiver, though they were hunting for him like a criminal. They build on the foundation of him before he was found. They made this unknown monster, the mixture of the man and ape, the founder of society and the accepted father of mankind. The ancients had a fancy that there was a mongrel of horse and man, a mongrel of fish and man. But they did not make it the father of anything; they did not ask the mad mongrel to breed. ~ G.K. Chesterton

  2. semi OT: IDthefuture has a new podcast:

    So-Called “Junk”-DNA Betrays Darwinian Predictions
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....7_11-07_00

    Also of semi related note, I found this interview of Near Death Experience researcher, cardiologist Pim Van Lommel to be very honest and enlightening (though the ‘New Age’ tone of the interviewer put me off a bit)

    Present! – Pim van Lommel (part one) Consciousness Beyond Life
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOeLJCdHojU

  3. bevets,

    Great Chesterton quote.

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