John Muehleisen Arnold.

Genesis and science; or The first leaves of the Bible online

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a new species ; and, lastly, he urges that animals and
plants have for four or five thousand years re-
mained precisely the same. Hoffmann also, 1869,
has expressed himself most strongly against the
Darwinian theory. He holds that the acknow-
ledged variety within the species is 'less dependent
upon climate and chemical surroundings, than upon
some unknown internal potential cause ; and, judg-
ing from observations, extending over a period of
fourteen years, he gives it as his firm opinion that
the polymorphistic modifications never transgress
the typical boundary ; and that certain plants, both
cultivated and wild, have undergone no change
within historic periods.

More valuable than the " Examen du livre de
Darwin sur l'origine des esp^ces," 1864, by the
Physiologian Elourens, is the work of Rudolph
Wagner, who emphatically denies that there is
any sort of transition conceivable from the ape
to man, and that the existing affinities were of
a purely external character. The skull of the
Caucasian race is anatomically precisely the same
as that of the least favoured Negro, whilst that of
even the most favoured ape is infinitely remote ; the



CRITICISM OF THE E. THEORY. 71

skulls recently discovered do not fill up the gap ;
the development of the brain in the human embryo
in a measure corresponds with that of the ape, but the
brain even of the greatest idiot is essentially different
from that of the ape, both in its convolutions and
the hemispheres. Wagner takes occasion from the
anthropological theories as they have shaped them-
selves in latter times, to show how suddenly a
hypothesis, such as that of universal evolution, can
fall into utter disrepute, though it may interest the
whole learned world for a given period ; and he pre-
dicts that it must be prepared for the same fate which
befel the geological theories of Werner and Elie de
Beaumont, which were at first received with uni-
versal acclamations by all sciologists, but abandoned
in a very few years.

Baer, in his lectures given in St. Petersburgh, says,
" No climate, food, or sickness can, in our experience,
convert the hind paw of the Orang-hutan into the
human foot, which in the whole creation is nowhere
repeated. Yea, if it were proved, which I believe is
possible, that the erect walk of man is due to the
development of the brain, and the higher develop-
ment of the brain to the higher spiritual faculties,
it may be asked, how such higher spiritual faculties
could possibly be attained by the Orang-hutan ? ' '

Giebel, 1866, in his anti- Darwinian comparison of
the human skull and that of the Orang-hutan, comes
to this conclusion : — "As the result of our comparison,
we have to state that the skull of the so-called
anthropomorphous apes, the Gorilla, Chimpanse, and
Orang-hutan, * essentially and absolutely agrees

* Knowing something of Malay, I venture to state that Orang-hutan
is the more correct spelling than that of Orang-utan. Orang simply
means man, and hutan signifies wood, the man of the ivood. When



72 CHAP, II. GENESIS AND EVOLUTION.

with other mammals in every respect, but that it
essentially and absolutely differs in all respects
from that of man. Nowhere in the whole kingdom
of mammalia is there such a gulf as that separa-
ting the skull of man from the skull of the ape, and
as this same gulf exists in the entire organisation
of the bimana and quadrumana, we have to protest
against the one being grouped together with the
other." Karl Aeby declared, in 1867, after the
measurements of the skull by a new method, that
nowhere throughout the entire fauna was there a
similar gap, as the one which existed between man
and the ape ; nor were the fossil skulls of human
beings in any way calculated to diminish the gap.

The celebrated anatomist, Bischoff, 1867, cannot
bring himself to believe it possible that the differ-
ences in the skull, and the whole structure of the
organisms between man and the ape, could ever have
been overlooked ; and he protests against Huxley's
assertions as utterly untenable, that the brain of man
differed less from that of the Gorilla, Chimpanse
and Orang-hutan, than the brain of these differed
from the rest of the apes ; or that the lowest type
of man was not so far removed from the Gorilla as
the Gorilla was removed from the lowest ape ; or
that man differs more from man than from the
monkey. A powerful blow is inflicted to Darwinism
by Bischoff, when he thus argues :— " Had the organ-
isms power to transmit to their offspring certain
qualities of their own, it would not imply that they
could also transmit to their descendants qualities

Giebel speaks of Vergleiclmng der Menschen-und OrangscJuedel, it
so happens that one means just the same as the other, man or Mensch
being nothing more or less than Orang. Equally wrong is the spelling
of Orang-utang, which is still in use by some people.



CRITICISM OF THE E. THEORY. 73

and properties not possessed by themselves ; the one
excluding the other, both powers could not be thought
to exist in one and the same being." Again, he
holds that from Darwin's reasoning it would further
follow, that as all former organisms were less perfect
than man, man as a matter of course, in the struggle
for existence, and to maintain his position, must have
remained alone upon earth !

Virchow infers from the Egyptian, Assyrian, and
Arabian monuments, that no important changes have
been effected in either man or beast ; and, further
still, if the evolution hypothesis were to hold good,
it stood to reason that the palm-tree, the oak, the lion
and the eagle, must have developed themselves in
very different ways. If different, there was no
ground for assuming that the starting point was one
and the same. In the year 1870, the same sciologist
demonstrated that, whilst there was a similarity be-
tween the young ape and the child of man, that same
analogy decreased year by year and month after
month ; since all the subsequent development of the
monkey head was towards the organs of feed-
ing and breathing, and that the brain of the ape
grew less than any other part of the head. If, there-
fore, the brain of the ape represents the chief parts of
the human brain, and if the brain of the young ape
be seen to approximate to that of the human child,
it is very clear that from a certain period the deve-
lopment of the ape takes a contrary direction to that
of man, in which the one separates from the other
for ever. The legitimate, natural and progressive
development of the ape can, therefore, never make a
human being. The largest full-grown ape retains a
child's brain. The life, too, of the ape is generally
short ; the ape is born in maturity, as this almost



74 OIIAP. II. GENESIS AND EVOLUTION.

constantly happens among animals, but never among
men, and the most advanced apes have obtained their
full age, when man has scarcely passed his childhood.
The microcephalics, according to Virchow, is a man,
whose head has been changed by sickness, but not of
an ape, and cannot, therefore, be considered as be-
longing to the same class.

Frederich Pfaff, 1868, puts the following dilemma :
One or other must take place, either the higher
organisation better fits the organisms for the struggle
of existence, or it does not. If the first be the case,
we cannot comprehend why. the lower organisms
should have prolonged their existence unchanged.
If the second be true, then the explanation which
Darwin gives of the formation of the higher
organisms is wholly unfeasible. Professor Eichte
shows that time, the shortness of which is deplored
by developists, could have no effect, since, if the laws
of nature were unchangeable, what is impossible now
was impossible at any other time.

3. The difficulties of the Evolution Hypothesis.

Some of the great difficulties have already been
pointed out. It remains to draw attention to some
other facts. A chief defect of the theory is that in
not starting from a given point marked out as the
beginning it has no historic basis. Both geology
and palseontology conclusively establish that the
universe has a commencement, and that it cannot
be eternal. Apart from this we are at last philo-
sophically certain that matter is not eternal, but that
from the beginning nature was endowed with very
wonderful properties by some intelligent will, and
this is the latest and grandest revelation of science



DIFFICULTIES OF THE E. THEORY. 75

and nature conjointly. Professor Iluber, in his trea-
tise, "Die Lenre Darwin," argues that the inner
rind of the earth is as yet a sealed book, but that, as
far as we know, it is strictly azoic, or without fossil
inclosures. Hence it is clear that the organisms are
not without beginning, but there is a fixed term
when they commenced.

But natural philosophy goes a step further, and
proves that the entire cosmos is finite, not a perpe-
tuum mobile, not eternal, science, not theology, has
demonstrated that, judging from certain physical
laws, there must have been a beginning to the world,
and that there will be an end of it. In other
words, as there was a foundation of the world, it
will in due time pass away. Except some essential
points have been overlooked by science, the world
must have been created at no very remote period.
It is still further the undoubted result of exact
science, that the cosmos, as such, cannot have come
into existence by any purely physical process, and
this holds quite as good of the individual organisms
as of the universe itself ; and if this can be esta-
blished, the evolution theory is of necessity shown
to be a myth and a snare.

As regards the merits of the theory itself, it is
against all reason that the weaker and less developed
forms of organisms should have it in their power to
produce the stronger and more perfect ones, for what
I have not myself I cannot transmit to others.
Whenever matter surpasses itself there must be
stored up within it a power beyond its own. The
advocates of evolution cannot produce one single new
species to confirm its claims. On the contrary there
is everywhere a tenacity in nature to hold its own.
True, the developists object to our requiring proof of



76 CHAP. II. GENESIS AND EVOLUTION.

the variation or constability from historic times,
because they are said to be too short to yield any
appreciable results. Yet if in the past few
thousand years these organisms have made no pro-
gress whatever in the upward ladder, we can scarcely
be made to believe in the progress they are said to
have made. The results may come about by the
smallest impulse, but in order to receive the doctrine
that vast changes have taken place, we must be able
to trace these small impulses. It is not fair to expect
us to believe that changes which have not taken
place as far as our knowledge goes, should have taken
place in those ages of which we can have no experi-
ence ; nor can we understand why the progress which
is said to have taken place in prior ages, should now
have stood still for some thousands of years. The de-
velopists feel that the force of experience is weighing
against them, hence they object that experience,
because too limited in their opinion, has no real
value. Instead of clinging to a few well-known
facts, and what really exists, they speak of what
might have been the case, resting their argument
upon a long chain of probabilities or possibilities in
by-gone ages. It is a stubborn fact, for instance,
that the corns of barley or oats now brought to light
in Egypt or Switzerland, and the forms of animals, as
still seen on the frescos of ancient monuments, are
precisely the same as those we now see. Then the
case of the hare and of the rabbit, which were for a
long time taken as of the same species, weighs
heavily against the theory of evolution. The two
have .become fertile in confinement ; but sterility
attaches to the offspring, and what is more, whilst
the rabbit is born naked and blind, and therefore
helplessly confined for a while to the cave, the hare



DIFFICULTIES OF THE E. THEORY. 77

is born covered with hair, with his eyes wide open
and ready at once to run for its life. This seems to
reveal a wide chasm, which all the theories in the
world can never hope to fill up.

The natural selection theory rests upon two con-
ditions, which must be designated purely accidental ;
the one is a new formation in the existing organism,
by which the offspring is distinguished from its
parentage, the other is the retention and still further
development of that new formation. Darwin can
assign no foundation, or point out no law by which
the first is to take place. He ascribes the new forma-
tion to the influence of the reproductive powers of
the parents, but this influence makes itself felt not
by a rule but by the exception ; the rule is adverse
to the theory, and if the rule points to the existence
of a law, the existing law points clearly to the fact
that not the new formation, not the generatio
equivoca, but the generatio homogena, in other words
the likeness, not the unlikeness of the offspring with
its parents is the real law which prevails in nature.
The new formation is an accident, or a possible con-
tingency, which cannot be taken into account, in so
grave a matter, and with such issues at stake.

The less important the change in the organism
appears in itself — and all changes seem to be of the
most minute extent, — the more problematical must
needs be the further developing of that change in
future generations. If the rudimentary organs nre
left to lie dormant, instead of being exercised, they
will naturally die away, instead of being strength-
ened and developed. Only divine creative power
can produce what is not inherent in the organism
itself. If it be true that only useful changes are
produced by natural selection, how is it possible that



78 CHAP. II. GENESIS AND EVOLUTION.

during the slow process there should not occur
stages when the change is rather a hindrance than
a help and an acquisition ?

Again, as the new formation is purely accidental,
so is the maintenance, so also is the transmission to
the offspring and the further accummulation of the
variation which has been acquired. It is not enough
that the change is effected, but the two individuals
in which it has once taken place, must needs come
together to transmit it to their posterity. If acci-
dentally the gifted parents should have met, equally
fortuitous and fortunate circumstances would be
needed to perpetuate the variety once acquired and
to render them dominant. But such a chain of
favourable circumstances is too improbable and uncer-
tain a method by which the hopeful propagation of any
abnormity could be expected. Settegast observes that
abnormites, which had been accidentally acquired,
were rigidly excluded from being inherited, such as
mutilations of the body, or the piercing of the ear,
or of the nose, or the misshapen foot of the Chinese
lady, or the sign of circumcision. These, and other
artificial acquirements, though practised for thou-
sands of generations in each individual, have never
yet proved hereditary. A certain rare type of the
rook species of all crowing birds is alone without the
stiff feathers around the nostrils and the root of the
beak. They, too, have it whilst still in the nest, but
owing to their habit of boring into the earth for
food, they soon appear with a naked face, which they
preserve all their lives, no time being ever allowed
for the growth of the feathers ; yet no specimen is
ever fledged without them, though nature seems to
deny their having them long.

But nothing could surpass the inconsistency of



DIFFICULTIES OF THE E. THEORY. 79

developists when all the results of artificial selection,
and of even greater ones, are unhesitatingly ascribed
to natural selection, since the direction given in the
former is altogether wanting in the latter case. In
ages gone by great changes may have taken place,
but to produce them no arresting of the steady pro-
gression must have intervened ; but the smallest
evidence that such a process has taken place does not
exist. Referring to Thomson's calculations, accord-
ing to which the earth has been inhabitable " for
only five hundred millions of years," a reviewer, in
the North British Review, holds that this period is
far too narrow to account for the changes said to
have been achieved by natural selection ; but Huber
and Seidel have mathematically demonstrated that
in no space of time, however wide, could such results
have been produced.

We will assume, for argument's sake, that among
a hundred individuals, there are four, two of each
gender, endowed with a certain new formation which
is to be transmitted ; and if we take one at random
out of this hundred, the probability that it belongs
to the chosen or specially gifted individuals would
be 4. 100 or 0,04, and that for both genders. If we
were to pick out an individual from the children of
the original hundred, the probability of its belonging
to the accidentally full-blooded descendants of the
first two pairs endowed with the peculiarity would
be 0,04 x = (0,04) 2 =0,0016... (Probability i.), and
this independent of the gender.

In taking asrain an individual at random out of
the second generation of descendants, the probability
of its being full-blooded would be equal to the square
figure of the probability of the preceding generation,
because now as then, the concurrence of the full-



80 CHAP. II. GENESIS AND EVOLUTION.

bloodedness of both the parents is indispensably
necessary. The probability is, therefore, now as
follows :— (0,0016) 2 =0,00000256... (Probability if).
In the third generation the analogous probability is
again the square of the previous figures and would
stand as follows :— (0,00000256) 2 = 0,00000000000
554... (Probability iii). In the fourth generation
there would be a further quadruplication of the
previous figures as follows : —
0,00000000000000000000004295 ... (Probability iv.)
etc., etc.

It will be seen that the numbers decrease very
rapidly, and more rapidly with each successive
generation. The decrease after a few stages by far
exceeds the increase of the full-blooded descendants
from generation to generation, so that after a few
stages the probability of full-blooded descendants
surviving wholly vanishes. If we take the usual
increase of population assumed by Malthus, that
every succeeding generation counts one hundred
times as many individuals as the preceding one,
which we assumed to be one hundred, the first
generation will count ten thousand individuals, the
second one million, the third one hundred millions,
etc. In order to obtain the probable number of the
full-blooded descendants in the first generation we
shall have to multiply the number under Probability
i. with 10,000 as follows :— 10,000 x 0,0016=16.
In other words, there are about 16 full-blooded ones
among the children. Just so we have to multiply
Probability ii. with the million of the grandchildren,
in order to obtain the probable number of the full-
blooded descendants, and we receive the following
figures, 100.0000 x 0,00000256=2,56. In other
words, it is highly improbable that there are three, but



DIFFICULTIES OF THE EVOLUTION TD.EORY. 81

very probable that there are at least two full-blooded
descendants surviving. In the following generation
of great-grand-children, Probability iii. is to be
multiplied with 100,000,000 and we receive : —
0,000006554, already a very small figure. In other
words, it is highly improbable that a full-blooded
great-great-grandchild survives, and of course still
smaller will be the chance of such being the case in
the next generation.

There will be much the same result, if we substi-
tute a greater increase of a whole race, so as to mul-
tiply the numbers by 1,000 instead of 100 in each
succeeding generation. In this case we should receive
100,000 children, 100 millions of grandchildren, and
100,000 millions of great-grandchildren, and if the
numbers of Probabilities i. and ii., etc., are respec-
tively multiplied with the above figures we should
probably receive 160 full-blooded children, 256
full-blooded grandchildren, 0,6554 great-grand-
children, and 0,000000004295 great-great-grand-
children. In this case we could, therefore, expect
only one great-grandchild of the pure race, but
altogether improbable it would be that in the fourth
generation there would still subsist a trace of the
full blood. *

* Professor Seidel gives the following mathematical proof for the above,
which I insert in the origiual, from Huber's Lehre Darwins, page 253.

" Die Probabilitaet, dass irgend em unter der n ten Descendenz
herausgegriffenes Individuum von Vollblut befundeu werde, sei p n ,
— bei der urspruenglichen Generation sei sic p (imBeispiel p = 0,04)-
So ist p n die Probabilitaet, dass gleichzeitig die beiden (der (n — l)ten
Descendenz angehoerigeu) Eltern des betreffenden Individuums von
Vollblut waren ; also p n = (pn— i) 2 , folglich pi = p 2 , p 2 =pi 2 =
p 4 ,...; allgemein p n = p 2n . Die Probabilitaet, dass ein ausgewaehltes
Individuum der n ten Descendenz kein Vollblut sei, ist dann 1 — p n .
Nimmt man 2 Individuen dicser n ten Generation, so ist die Proba-



82 CHAP. II. GENESIS AND EVOLUTION.

bilitaet, dass keines von ihnen Vollblut habe (1 — p H ) 2 , bei 3
(l_p n )3 bei M Individuen (1— p n ) M . Es werde nun angenommen,
dass die anfaengliche Anzahl der Individuen a sei, und dass jede
folgende Generation v mal mehr Individuen enthalte, als die
vorangehende, also die erste Descendenz a v, die zweite a v 2 , die
dritte a v 3 u. s. w.., die n te a v n . Man nehme jezt fuer M diese
Totalzahl der Individuen n*er Descendenz, also M = a^, so ist also
die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass unter ihnen kein einziges Vollblut
hat = (l — p n ja ^ n d. b., mit dem vorhin abgeleiteten Werthe von
p n = (1 — p 2n )a v n . Ich werde zeigen, dass bei wachsenden Werthen
von n (also wenn man zu immer spaeteren Generationen geht) dieser
Ausdruck sich sehr rasch der 1 naehert, d. h. class die Probabilitaet,
das Vollblut sei ausgestorben, sich sehr schnell der Gewissheit
annaehert. Ich betrachte zu dem Ende den Logarithmus des
gefundenen Ausdrucks, d. i.

log. (1 — p 2n ) a^n = av n l g. (1 — p 2n)
Da p ein aechter Bruch ist, kann man hier in eine Reihe entwickeln,
die wenn 2 n nur maessig gross ist, aeusserst rasch convergiren muss,
so dass nach bekannten mathematischen Betrachtungen die Summe
aller spaeteren Glieder viel kleiner ist als clas erste allein. Dies
erste ist aber (unter Boraussetzung des Gebrauchs natuerlicher
Logarithmen)— a v n p2 n . Ich setze v = 2 b oder b = g|; \ ; dann
ist v n = 2 b n oder wenn man zur Abkuerzung 2 n = N setzt, so ist
v n = N b und der Ausdruck wird — a N b p N - Da aber hier p ein
aechter Bruch ist, so wird nach einem bekannten Satze der Analysis
dieser Ausdruck bei zunehmenden Werthen von N (oder von n),
ungeachtet des Wachsens seinesFaktors N b , sehr rasch abnehmen ;
fuer maessige Werthe von n (welche bereits sehr grosse Werthe von
N bedingen) ist also das erste Glied des Logarithmus ueberaus
klein, — aind da die Summe aller folgenden, wie oben bemerkt,
noch viel kleiner sein muss, ist der Logarithmus der betrachteten
Wahrscheinlichkeit sehr nahe oder die Wahrscheinlichkeit selbst
sehr nahe 1 (sehr nahe der Gewissheit).

Only in the first generation, therefore, is an
increase to be expected ; then begins a sudden dying
out, as the figures will prove ; and yet Haeckel, the
fiery defender of Darwinism on the Continent, de-
clares that the origin of new species by the natural
selection, or their multiplication in the struggle for



DIFFICULTIES OF THE EVOLUTION THEORY. 83

existence, was a mathematical certainty, forgetting
that he had himself allowed that the full-blooded
descendants could only secure their purity of race if
they were isolated and separated from the old stock.

But over and above these calculations, which alone
are sufficient to make men pause in advocating the
theory of evolution, there is the constant effort of
nature to return to its fundamental types, by which
new formations are constantly paralysed. This law
of compensation, demonstrated by Wagner as holding
good in all new formations which have come about
in the propagation of animals in a free state, has
been observed to be a general law in nature. All
mechanical oscillation is followed by compensation.
The moon, in its orbit around the earth, has its
librations, or oscillations ; the earth, in its revolu-



Online LibraryJohn Muehleisen ArnoldGenesis and science; or The first leaves of the Bible → online text (page 7 of 27)