Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/788

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

cases, and probably in most, passively accept the belief Mr. Mozley suggests.

Seeing this, I have felt it requisite definitely to raise the issue; and for this purpose have written to Mr. Mozley the following letter. It is made long by including a general outline of the doctrine of evolution, which it was needful to place before him that he might be in a position to answer my question definitely. Perhaps I may be excused for reproducing the letter in full, since ninety-nine out of a hundred do not know what the doctrine of evolution in its wider sense is, but suppose it to be simply another name for the doctrine of the origin of species by natural selection:

 

"My dear Sir: The passages from three letters of my father, sent herewith—one written in 1820, which was about the date referred to in your account of him, one written some thirteen years later, and the other twenty years later—will prove to you how erroneous is the statement you have made with regard to his religious beliefs. Having in this case clear proof of error, you will, I think, be the better prepared to recognize the probability of error in the statements which you make concerning his philosophical ideas and the ideas which, under his influence, you in early life elaborated for yourself.

"The passage in which you refer to these gives the impression that they were akin to those views which are developed in the 'System of Synthetic Philosophy.' I am anxious to ascertain in what the alleged kinship consists. Some twelve years ago an American friend requested me, with a view to a certain use which he named, to furnish him with a succinct statement of the cardinal principles developed in the successive works I have published. The rough draft of this statement I have preserved; and, that you may be enabled definitely to compare the propositions of that which you have called 'the younger philosophy' with that which you have called 'the elder,' I copy it out. It runs as follows:

"'1. Throughout the universe in general and in detail there is an unceasing redistribution of matter and motion.

"'2. This redistribution constitutes evolution where there is a predominant integration of matter and dissipation of motion, and constitutes dissolution where there is a predominant absorption of motion and disintegration of matter.

"'3. Evolution is simple when the process of integration, or the formation of a coherent aggregate, proceeds uncomplicated by other processes.

"'4. Evolution is compound when, along with this primary change from an incoherent to a coherent state, there go on secondary changes due to differences in the circumstances of the different parts of the aggregate.

"'5. These secondary changes constitute a transformation of the homogeneous into the heterogeneous—a transformation which, like the first, is exhibited in the universe as a whole and in all (or nearly all) its details; in the aggregate of stars and nebulæ; in the planetary system; in the earth as an inorganic mass; in each organism, vegetal or animal (Von Baer's law otherwise ex-