Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 15.djvu/80

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After that, can any rational being doubt that Mr. Darwin has much to answer for? "Such," the author triumphantly cries, "being some of the Darwinian theory's proved results (!), its suppression on the ground of being contrary to Nature and her true interpretation is clearly an object much to be desired"!!

When our author descends from generalities and comes to tackle Mr. Darwin on his own ground, his intellectual feats are simply marvelous. In answer to the philosopher's question whether differences of bodily structure and mental faculties are transmitted to offspring, he replies that the "answer is in the negative, because we every day see tall fathers with short sons, and the reverse—wise men and thrifty, with fools and spendthrifts for children!" Nevertheless, he naively confesses a little further on that "hereditary peculiarities certainly exist." His reflections are both profound and elevating: "Facially there are men and women who bear strong resemblance to owls, baboons, and other of the lower order of animals. In fact, an illustrated book has been published concerning these peculiarities; but these are not to the point, and prove nothing." Then why adduce them? a poor heathen might demand; but really we can not follow our author through the phases of his deep and dangerous argument. He gives it to Mr. Darwin tremendously, and is very high and haughty with him whenever he catches him prevaricating. Sometimes, indeed, he is barely civil: "This argument is of the lucus a non lucendo order, and the premises are as false as the conclusion." When the poor philosopher mildly dissents, he is ready to disconcert him altogether with an aside to the reader: "And here I may remark that the French Academy deliberately and wisely refused him (Mr. Darwin) admission into their body (three times, I have heard), for the reason that his views of Nature were not legitimately founded on facts or science." He adds loftily, in the finest manner of Mr. Podsnap: "Of this I have not personal knowledge; I have only been told so."

Here and there he is almost too hard on Mr. Darwin, as when he says: "His approach to the deep mysteries of Nature is in the veni, vidi, vici style, little affected by the fact that he has no power of himself to make the lowest living form of being." Really, Mr. Darwin makes no pretense to any powers of creation, unless it be in a modest literary way. Again, our critic says that, on a review of the whole "Descent of Man," this strikes him: "That any one, who can discover legitimate proof of the origin of man in its assumption, may truly be said to see with the eyes of Darwin, and not with those of God." Really, all an ordinary man can do is to see with his own eyes, if he possesses any, and not even a critic of superhuman stupidity could do much more. We regret to see these blemishes on so characteristic a book, for we are sure that it is one that will be welcomed by many a frightened matron, and by not a few seraphic spinsters. Such a work was wanted, not only to exhibit the dangers of Darwinism in its pos-