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DARWIN, HUXLEY AND LYELL:
VIEWS OF THESE AUTHORS
IN REGARD TO
THE ORIGIN AND ANTIQUITY OF MAN.
HENRY A. DUBOIS, M. D., LL.D.
REPUBLICATION FROM THE
“AMERICAN QUARTERLY CHURCH REVIEW."
TUTTLE, MOREHOUSE & TAYLOR.
The following answer to Darwin, Huxley and Lyell, was written at our request, to combat the pernicious scientific infidelity of these authors, and is published in the July (1865) and the two following Numbers of the AMERICAN QUARTERLY CHURCH Review.
It is from the pen of the author of the “Critical Examination of • Essays and Reviews,'” which was published in our July Number for 1861, and which has attracted much attention at home and abroad.
An urgent request, emanating from high authority, coinciding with our own opinion in regard to this former Essay, induced us to present it to the public in a separate form in order that it might more readily reach the popular mind. Its wide circulation among those who were not likely to see the Church Review-and its republication in England, with eulogy, by so distinguished a scholar as the Dean of Carlisle, fully justified the expediency of the step.
Precisely the same reasons have induced us to detach the present contribution from the Church Review, and to issue it from our press in pamphlet form. We hope that this second Essay will be as successful in liberating the minds of the uninitiated from the dangerous sophistries of Science, falsely so called, as the former one was in refuting the pernicious infidelity of professed Christians.
The author is willing that his own name shall be affixed to its publication, as he seeks no exemption from scientific responsibility, by anonymously attacking the opinions of men justly celebrated for their scientific attainments.
It is a fact that cannot be denied, that many practical men of Science have an unreasonable prejudice against Revelation, which they manifest by an antagonism, more or less overt, to the statements of the Bible. Whether this prejudice proceeds from ignorance of the subject, or from pride of reason, engendered by their pursuits, we will not pretend to decide ; but it certainly exists. It is also a fact that the unlearned are generally inclined to give implicit credence to the bare opinion, on general subjects, of men distinguished in some particular branch of practical Science. Yet there is no class of men whose abstract speculations are to be received with more distrust, than those who are the most successful and diligent laborers in special fields of Science. It would seem that there is something in those habits of thought and in that structure of mind which best fits a man to accumulate the details of Science, which unfits him for generalization, as · well as for abstract speculation. The imagination can scarcely conceive any absurdity in science or philosophy, greater than what has been seriously held as truth by men renowned in those pursuits; and if all the absurdities of speculative opinion entertained by such men were carefully collated, it would present a catalogue which should justly excite our astonishment and contempt.
We think that the three works reviewed in this Essay, will furnish apt illustrations of the truth of this remark.
N. S. RICHARDSON,
EDITOR OF THE AM. QR. CHURCH Review. New YORK, 37 Bible House, ?
Jan. 9th, 1866.
ORIGIN AND ANTIQUITY OF MAN.
THREE works have been recently presented to the English and American public, emanating from authors of distinguished scientific attainments, and purporting to treat of subjects purely scientific, but which, whether designedly or not, are well calculated to sap the foundations of revealed truth.
The first of these works, published in 1860, is, “The Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection,” by Charles Darwin, M. A., Fellow of the Royal, Geological, and Linnæan Societies of England, and author of “ Journal of Researches during H. M. S. Beagle's Voyage Round the World.”
The second, which was published in 1863, is entitled “Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature.” Its author is Thomas H. Huxley, F. R. S., F.L. S., a distinguished London professor of Natural History, who had previously disseminated, by oral and published Lectures, views “On the Origin of Species,” similar to those put forth by Mr. Darwin.
The third work, also recently published in this country, is from the able pen of the justly celebrated geologist, Sir Charles Lyell, and is entitled, “ The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man, with remarks on theories of the Origin of Species by Variation.” Although much the most voluminous, as well as the ablest of the three works, it would seem to be written for the express purpose of giving currency and authority to the other two.
These three works are very closely allied, not only by the doctrinal sympathies and intimate relations of their authors,