XIX.—FROM CREATION TO EVOLUTION.
By ANDREW DICKSON WHITE, LL.D., L.H.D.,
EX-PRESIDENT OF CORNELL UNIVERSITY.
THE VISIBLE UNIVERSE.
ABOVE the portal of the beautiful cathedral of Freiburg may be seen one of the most interesting of thought fossils. A mediæval sculptor, working into stone various theological conceptions of his time, has there represented the creation. The Almighty, in human form, sits benignly making and placing upon the heavens, like wafers upon paper, sun, moon, and planets; and, at the center, platter-like and largest of all — the earth.
The furrows of thought on the Creator's face show that he is obliged to contrive; the masses of muscle upon his arms show that he is obliged to toil; naturally, then, the sculptors and painters of the mediæval and early modern period frequently represented him as the writers whose conceptions they embodied had done: as, on the seventh day, weary after thought and toil, enjoying well-earned repose and the plaudits of the hosts of heaven.
In this fossilized thought at Freiburg, and in others revealing the same idea in sculpture, painting, and engraving during the middle ages and the two centuries following, culminated a development of human thought which had existed through thousands of years, and which has controlled the world's thinking until our own time.
Its beginnings lie far back in human history; we find them among the early records of nearly all the great civilizations, and