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Full text of "Evolution and its consequences : a reply to Professor Huxley"

EVOLUTION AND ITS CONSEQUENCES. 

A PtEPLY TO PKOFESSOE HUXLEY. 



N reading the criticism which Professor Huxley has done me the 
honour to make upon a little book (the " Grenesis of Species ") which 
I ventured to publish in the early part of this year, I felt that, as a 
subaltern in science, I was being severely reprimanded by my 
superior officer ; that I might apprehend a sentence of degradation to 
the ranks, if not actual expulsion from the service. I found myself 
taxed, if not with positive desertion to an enemy with whom no 
truce is to be allowed, yet, at least, suspected of treasonable commu- 
nication with a hostile army, and treacherous dalliance with ministers 
of Baal. 

Now, recognising as I do that, in physical science, Professor Huxley 
is indeed my superior officer, having his just claims to respect and 
deference on the part of all men of science, I also feel that I am 
under special obligations to him, both many and deep, for knowledge 
imparted and for ready assistance kindly rendered. No wonder then 
that the expression of his vehement disapproval is painful to me. 

It was not however without surprise that I learned that my one 
unpardonable sin the one great offence disqualifying me for being 
" a loyal soldier of science" was my attempt to show that there is 
no real antagonism between the Christian revelation and evolution ! 

^ly " Genesis of Species" was written with two main objects : 

My first object was to show that the Darwinian theory is un- 



E } r OL ( r TION AXD ITS CONSEQUENCES. 1 69 

tenable, and that natural selection is not lie origin of species. This 
was ami is my conviction purely as a man of science, and I maintain 
it upon scientific grounds only. 

My second object was to demonstrate that nothing- even in Mr. 
Darwin's theory, as then put forth, and d fortiori in evolution 
rally, was necessarily antagonistic to Christianity. 

Professor Huxley ignoring the arguments by which I supported 
my first point, fastens upon my second; and the gist of his criticism is 
an endeavour to show that Christianity and science are necessarily 
and irreconcilably divorced, and that the arguments I have advanced 
to the contrary are false and misleading. 

In-fore replying to Professor Huxley's observations and miscon- 
ceptions on this head, I may be excused for saying a few words 
as to my first point, namely, the scientific reasons which seem to 
oppose themselves to the reception of the Darwinian theory as 
originally propounded by its author ; and here I claim to be acting, 
and to have acted, as " a loyal soldier of science" in stating the 
scientific facts which have impressed me with certain scientific 
convictions (on purely scientific grounds), in opposition to Mr. 
Darwin's views. 

Professor Huxley does not so much dispute the truth of my con- 
clusions as deny their distinctness from those at which Mr. Darwin 
himself has arrived, or indeed originally put forth, asserting that my 
book is but " an iteration of the fundamental principle of Darwinism." 

I shall then shortly endeavour to show more distinctly wherein my 
view radically differs from that first propounded by Mr. Darwin, and 
still maintained, or at least not distinctly repudiated by him ; though 
I believe that the admissions he has of late made amount to a virtual, 
but certainly not to an explicit, abandonment of his theoiy. 

The Professor expresses his doubt as to the existence of an " abso- 
lute and pure Darwinian," a doubt which is certainly a surprise to 
me, as I had always understood him as guarding himself carefully 
against the identification of his own views with those of Mr. Darwin, 
and as allowing that it was one thing to hold the doctrine of evo- 
lution and another to accept the Darwinian hypothesis. In a 
lecture* delivered in 1868 at the Royal Institution, he observed, " I 
can testify, from personal experience, it is possible to have a complete 
faith in the general doctrine of evolution, and yet to hesitate in 
accepting the Xebular, or the Uniformitarian, or the Darwinian 
hypothoes in all their integrity and fulness." 

It is plain then that at a recent period, Professor Huxley distin- 
guished himself from thorough- going disciples of Mr. Darwin; 
implying by this distinction a recognition of the existence of such 
* See " Proceedings of the Royal Institution," vol. v. p. 279. 



170 THE CONTEMPORARY REVIEW. 

disciples, pure Darwinians, like those of whom he now ignores the 
existence. 

The very essence of Mr. Darwin's theory as to the "origin of 
species " was, the paramount action of the destructive powers of 
nature over any direct tendency to vary in any certain and definite 
line, whether such direct tendency resulted mainly from internal 
predisposing or external exciting causes. 

The benefit of the individual in the struggle for life was announced 
as the one determining agent, fixing slight beneficial variations into 
enduring characters, and the evolution of species by such agency is 
justly and properly to be termed formation by " natural selection." 

That in this I do not misrepresent Mr. Darwin is evident from 
his own words. He says : 

"If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which 
could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight 
modifications, my theory would absolutely break down." * Also : " Every 
detail of structure in every living creature (making some little allowance 
for the direct action of physical conditions) may be viewed, either as having 
been of special use to some ancestral form, or as being now of special use 
to the descendants of this form either directly, or indirectly, through the 
complex laws of growth ; " and "if it could be proved that any part of the 
structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of 
another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have 
been produced by natural selection." f 

Mr. Darwin could hardly have employed words by which more 
thoroughly to stake the whole of his theory on the non-existence or 
non- action of causes of any moment other than natural selection. 
For why should such a phenomenon " annihilate his theory ? " Be- 
cause the very essence of his theory, as originally put forth, is to 
recognise only the conservation of slight variations directly beneficial 
to the creature presenting them, by enabling it to obtain food, escape 
enemies, and propagate its kind. 

Such being the case, my first object, as I have before said, was to 
show not only that " natural selection" is inadequate to the task 
assigned it, but that there is much positive evidence of the direct 
action both of external influences sufficient to dominate and over- 
power in certain instances the ordinary processes of "natural selection/' 
and also of still more influential internal powers ; moreover, that these 
latter powers are so efficient as to present themselves as probably the 
main determining agent in specific evolution, although I admitted 
that a certain subordinate action of natural selection plainly obtained. 

The various arguments I advanced space does not allow me here 
to reproduce, but referring to my book, I may point out that therein 
I endeavoured to show : 

* " Origin of Species," p. 208. f Op. cit. p. 220. 



E VOL UTION AND ITS CONSEQUENCES. 1 7 1 

1. That no mere survival of the fittest accidental variations can 
account for the incipient stages of structures useful enough when 
once developed. Such, e.g., as the whalehone of the whale's mouth, 
the larynx of the kangaroo, pedicellaricc and bird's head processes, 
and many other structures. 

'2. That the sexual colours of apes, the beauty of shell-fish, and the 
complex mechanisms by which fertilisation is effected in many orchids, 
are quite beyond the power of natural selection to develop. 

3. That modes of formation, such as in the human eye and ear, in 
that they spring from simultaneous and concurrent modifications of 
distinct parts, have a remarkable significance. 

4. That the independent origin of similar structures in very 
different animal forms should be noted,* and I adduced evidence to show 
that similar modifications are sometimes directly induced by obscure 
external conditions, as in the sudden acclimatization of English grey- 
hounds in Mexico, and in the loss of the tail in certain butterflies of 
certain regions, and in the direct modification of young English 
oysters when transported to the shore of the Mediterranean. Moreover, 
it was shown that certain groups of organic forms exhibit a common 
tendency to remarkable developments of particular kinds, as is the 
case with birds of paradise. 

5. That facts may be cited to support the theory of specific 
stability (different in degree in different species), and to demonstrate 
that reversion may take place in spite of the most careful selection in 
breeding. The value of the facts of sterility in hybrids was also 
considered. 

6. That data bearing on the relation of species to time may be 
brought forward, apparently fatal to their origin by the action of 
natural selection. 

7. That the significant and important facts of the deep-seated 
resemblances existing not only between different individual animals, . 
but between different parts of one and the same individual, should 
be pondered over; these points being, as was shown, capable of 
reinforcement by others drawn from the abnormalities of monstrous 
births, and the symmetrical character of certain diseases. 

From all these considerations, a cumulative argument seemed to 
me to arise conclusive against the theory that species have had their 
specific characters fixed solely by the action of "natural selection." 

The hypothesis which I ventured to offer as my view of the evolu- 

* Professor Huxley corrects me as to "a slip" I have made in laying too much 
stress on the amount of similarity existing between the eyes of vertebrates and cepha- 
lopods. After all, however, the resemblance is very great and striking. It is grati- 
fying to me to find no more important error noted, even by such a master of the subject 
as Professor Huxley. 



i;2 THE CONTEMPORARY REVIEW. 

tionary process was and is, that just as all admit the universe to Lave 
been so ordered or to so exist that on the mixing of chemical sub- 
stances under certain conditions new and perfectly definite species of 
minerals are suddenly evolved from potentiality to existence, and as 
by the juxtaposition of inorganic matters under certain influences* 
a new form of force " vitality "appears upon the scene so also in 
animals, the concurrence of certain external exciting causes acts in 
such a manner on internal predisposing tendencies as to determine by 
a direct seminal modification the evolution of a new specific form. 
The action of " natural selection/' I admitted, and admit, to be real 
and necessary, but I ascribe to it an altogether subordinate role. 

This view may be true or false, but it is a very different one from 
that advocated by the author of the " Origin of Species," and I am 
at a loss to understand how Professor Huxley can consider it identical 
with Mr. Darwin's, more especially as (at p. 237) I have enumerated 
the points in which my theory coincides with Professor Owen's 
''Derivation," and differs from that of the author of the " Origin of 
Species." It seems to me strange that Professor Huxley should now 
assert the " very pith and marrow " of Darwinism to have been the 
affirmation that " species have been evolved by variation, aided by 
t/ie subordinate action of natural selection," when he himself, in his 
" Lay Sermons " (p. 321), has enunciated simply that Mr. Darwin's 
hypothesis is the origin of species " by the process of natural selec- 
tion," without one word of qualification ; and five pages further on, 
has considered the possibility of the refutation of Mr. Darwin's view 
by the discovery of residual phenomenaf not explicable by ft natural 
selection " just such phenomena as I have endeavoured to call atten- 
tion to in my book. 

I question whether Mr. Darwin even now does admit that 
" natural selection-" has only a subordinate action. I do not recollect 
to have met with such a declaration, although I think that it should 
logically follow from the various admissions he has latterly made. 
If he does admit it, then a cause which is subordinate cannot be the 
determining agent. If he does not admit it, then there is a radical 
difference between my hypothesis and Mr. Darwin's. 

Professor Huxley blames the Quarterly Reviewer's treatment of 
Mr. Darwin as " unjust and unbecoming," because he endeavours to 
show how Mr. Darwin has changed his ground without (in spite of 



* Though Professor Huxley is disinclined as yet to admit that such evolution of 
living things takes place now, he none the less admits the principle, though he relegates 
.such evolution to a remote epoch of the world's history. See "Address to the British 
iation, Liverpool, 1870," p. 17. 

f His words are "What if species should offer residual phenomena, here and there, 
not explicable by natural selection ? " Lay Sermons, p. 326. 



EVOLUTION AND ITS CONSEQUENCES. 173 

his generally scrupulous candour) disavowing " natural selection " as 
the origin of species. 

I confess that it seems to me that the reviewer was fully justified 
in so doing ; for Mr. Darwin's reputation as a man of science stands 
so high, that it was plainly the reviewer's duty to endeavour to pre- 
vent the public attaching, in mere deference to Mr. Darwin's autho- 
rity, a greater weight to his assertions than the evidence adduced 
warranted. The reviewer sought to do this by showing, by Mr. 
Darwin's own words, he had been compelled to admit that 
''abrupt strongly marked changes " may occur "neither beneficial 
nor injurious " to the creatures possessing them, produced " by un- 
known agencies" l} T ing deep in "the nature of the organism." In 
other words, that Mr. Darwin has in fact,* though not in express 
words, abandoned his original theory of the " origin of species/' 

I am grateful, however, to Professor Huxley for having spoken of 
"injustice" in connection with Mr. Darwin. I am so because it 
affords me an opportunity for declaring myself more fully with 
respect to the distinction between Darwinism and Mr. Darwin. 

In common, I am sure, with all those who have been privileged to 
know not only Mr. Darwin's works, but Mr. Darwin himself, I have 
ever entertained, and shall continue to entertain for that amiable 
gentleman and most accomplished naturalist the warmest sentiments of 
esteem and regard. Convinced as I am that he is actuated by a pure 
love of truth, admiring, nay, venerating him for his acute, his 
unwearied and widely- extended researches, it has been to me a most 
painful task to stand forth as his avowed and public opponent. 

The struggle between my inclination to praise and to acquiesce, 
and my sense of duty which impelled me to dissent, led me to express 
myself very imperfectly, and I thank Professor Huxley for thus 
giving me occasion to acknowledge my regret that these sentiments 
should have led me to give such very inadequate expression to my 
dissent from, and reprobation of, Mr. Darwin's views, especially as 
manifested in their later developments. 

As to the principles embodied in Mr. Darwin's "Origin of Species," 
the further study of them more and more brings home to me their 
unsatisfactoriness, as pointed out by me in my " Genesis of Species." 

* Professor Huxley now tolls us that Mr. Darwin is inclined to admit that varieties 
can " he perpetuated, or even intensified, when selective conditions are indifferent, or 
perhaps unfavourable" to their "existence." Surely, if species may ho evolved in the 
teeth of all the opposition "natural selection" can offer, it is, to say the least, some- 
what paradoxical to affirm that nevertheless natural selection i w. For all 
this Mr. Darwin has not, 1 i \pres.sly said that the action of "natural selec- 
tion " is only subordinate^ though he implies that it is but co-ordinate. So that though 
ho has virtually given up his original theory, his view does not yet coincide with mine, 
as far as I can gather from his words. 



1 74 THE CONTEMPORARY RE VIE W. 

Indeed, "natural selection," as the agent for the determination of 
specific animal forms, is, I am convinced, utterly insufficient to the 
task assigned it ; while the reasoning employed in the " Descent of 
Man " to support the hypothesis of our ape origin* seems to me, to 
say the least, unworthy of Mr. Darwin's earlier productions. 

Professor Huxley attributes to the Quarterly Reviewer " peculiar 
notions of probability," because he affirms that if all animals below 
man have been evolved one from the other, then a close resemblance 
in man's body to any particular animal's does not increase that d 
priori probability as to his bodily evolution, which springs from the 
fact of his being " an animal at all." But surely if it was of the 
essence of an animal to be " evolved," so that to be an animal 
implied being a creature formed by evolution, then the fact of man 
being an animal would necessarily have a similar implication, and I 
fail to see what additional force that probability would obtain through 
any particular resemblance. On the other hand, if there is authority 
for believing "that man's body was miraculously created, such parti- 
cular resemblance would not render such a miracle one bit less 
credible ; for there is no necessity, on the hypothesis of such miraculous 
creation, for more than even a specific difference between his body and 
that of some other animal. 

Professor Huxley also speaks of the Quarterly Reviewer's making 
the admission as to the similarity of man's body to that of brutes 
"grudgingly" With regard to myself, no one is better aware than 
Professor Huxley how I have worked at the demonstration of the 
close resemblance between the bodily structures of men and apes. 

Another objection is brought both against me and the Quarterly 
Reviewer by Professor Huxley. We are declared to make a " con- 
spicuous exhibition " of the " absence of a sound philosophical basis," 
in that we agree in asserting that man differs more from an ape than 
does an ape from inorganic matter. 

But surely this is the position every one must assume who believes 
that man is immortal, and has a moral responsibility to God. For it 
is manifest that such distinctions (e.g. growth, nutrition, locomotion, 
&c.) as exist between apes and minerals are as nothing compared 
with the transcendent distinction above referred to. If, then, in 
saying this we are in " philosophical error," we share that error with 
all those who assert the immortality of the soul, and a moral responsi- 
bility of each man to God such as no brute possesses. We can also 
claim as more or less on our side even one of the originators of the 
theory of " natural selection " itself, and his followers. For Mr. 

* The much-ridiculed Lord Monboddo has been successfully redeemed from very 
unjust depreciation in an interesting article which has lately appeared. See the Month 
for November, 1871. 



E VOL UTIOX < I .\7) ITS CONSEQUENCES. 1 75 

TVullace, if I understand him rightly, teaches us that for the evolution 
of man's body special spiritual agencies were required, which were not 
needed for the rest of the organic world. So that, according to this 
view, man is marked off from all the rest of nature by a very special 
distinction. 

I will turn now to the main point of Professor Huxley's paper 
namely, that in which he applies himself to controverting the second 
object aimed at in my " Genesis of Species." As I have before said, 
my second object was to demonstrate that there is no necessary anta- 
gonism between the Christian revelation and evolution. 

In meeting me on this ground (to discuss what seems to have 
interested the Professor more than anything else in my book), he 
endeavours to create a prejudice against my arguments, and to 
narrow my base, by representing me as a mere advocate for specially 
Catholic doctrine. * 

I altogether decline to allow the issue to be thus limited. I decline 
it because neither did I intend such limitation, nor do any words of 
mine justify such a construction of my purpose. I took up, and I 
take up, only the ground common to me and to all who hold the 
Christian religion as expressed in the Apostles' Creed, or who main- 
tain the inspiration of Scripture. The better to make sure of my 
position I made use of an extreme case, knowing that if I could 
maintain even that, then all within that extreme term could not 
certainly be questioned. Purposely then I set out to show, and I 
did show, that even the strictest Ultramontane Catholics are per- 
fectly free to hold the doctrine of evolution, thereby making evident 
that with regard to Christians in general there could not be a 
doubt as to their freedom in the matter. For this end I expresslj* 
selected just such persons as would commonly be supposed not to be 
those from whom (in Professor Huxley's words) "modern science 
was likely to receive a warm welcome," and amongst others the 
Spanish Jesuit, Father Suarez, precisely because, as Professor Huxley 
says, " the popular repute of that learned theologian and subtle 
casuist was not such as to make his works a likely place of refuge for 
liberality of thought." 

My critic shows how he misapprehends my aim and intention 
when he speaks of " Mr. Mivart citing Father Suarez as his chief 
witness in favour of the scientific freedom enjoyed by Catholics." 
Had he been such a witness I should not for one moment have 
thought of citing him ; it was precise^ as one of the most rigid 

* At p. 454, Professor Huxley gives the words "Catholic, theology" with marks of 
quotation as if miiie, though in fact they were not so. This typographical error does 
not misrepresent my substantial moaning, but it none the less tends to create a 
prejudice against my statements in the mind of the public. 



i 7 6 TPIE CONTEMPORARY REVIEW. 

theologians, and of "unspotted orthodoxy" (as Professor Huxley 
justly remarks), that I called him into court where he testifies so 
completely to my satisfaction. 

The success of my mode of procedure is, I confess, gratifying to 
me. Not only was my argument " most interesting " to Professor 
Huxley, but he tells us his " astonishment reached its climax," and 
that he shall "look anxiously" for additional references "in the 
third edition of the ' Genesis of Species.' ' Fortunately I have no 
need to keep the Professor waiting, but shall shortly proceed to give 
him these additional references at once. 

Let it be borne in mind that in view of the popular conceptions 
current in England on the subject, my argument was that if even 
those who receive the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas and the 
Jesuits, and who look to Rome for doctrinal decisions if even those 
are free to accept evolution, then, d fortiori, other Christians, sup- 
posed to be comparatively untrammelled, need not hesitate as to the 
harmony and compatibility of Christianity and evolution. 

Of all I said in my book on the subject I have nothing to retract ; 
but I repeat yet more confidently than before that " evolution is 
without doubt consistent with the strictest Christian theology;" that 
" it is notorious that many distinguished Christian thinkers have 
accepted, and do accept, both ideas;" that "Christian thinkers are 
perfectly free to accept the general evolution theory ;" and, finally, 
that " it is evident that ancient, and most venerable theological 
authorities distinctly assert derivative creation, and thus their teach- 
ings harmonize with all that modern science can possibly require." 

The point I had to prove was that the assertion of the evolution of 
new species (whether by Mr. Darwin's "natural selection " or accord- 
ing to my hypothesis) was in no opposition to the Christian faith as 
to the creation of the organic world. 

In order to prove this I had to consider the meaning of the word 
" creation," and I found that it might be taken in three senses,. with 
only two of which, however, we had to do. 

The first of these was direct creation out of nothing, of both matter 
and form conjoined absolute creation such as must have taken place 
when the earliest definite kind of matter appeared. 

The second was derivative or potential creation : the creation by 
God of forms not as existing, but in potentia, to be subsequently 
evolved into actual existence by the due concurrence and agency of 
the various powers of nature. 

Searching for information on the subject, I found to my surprise 
that the regular teaching of theology adopted this view, which was 
maintained by a complete consensus of authorities. Of these I 
purposely chose but a few telling ones as types ; and, amongst the 



EVOLUTION AND ITS CONSEQUENCES. 177 

rest, Suarez, who without any doubt, and as I shall proceed to 
demonstrate more at length, is a thorough-going supporter of it. 

Professor Huxley has quite misapprehended * my meaning, hence 
the disappointment he speaks of. What he did not find, I never 
.said was to be found. What he actually did find is what everybody 
knew before, but is a matter totally different from and utterly irre- 
levant to the point I maintained. 

^ly critic fails to distinguish between the question as to the nature 
of creation as an act, and that concerning ike fact of creation. 

Now, what my intention was is plainly shown by the words I used. 
I said : " Considering how extremely recent are these biological 
speculations, it might hardly be expected d priori that writers of 
earlier ages should have given expression to doctrines harmonising in 
any deqree with such very modern views ; nevertheless, this is cer- 
tainly the case." And so it is. 

Of Suarez I said, he opposes those who maintain the absolute 
creation of substantial forms, and he distinctly asserts derivative 
(potential) creation. And this is true. 

Although Professor Huxley has conveyed the impression that I 
adduced Suarez as a witness to evolution, I cannot think he intended 
so to do. He surely could not have imagined me so absurd as to 
maintain that ancient writers held that modern view ; to attribute to 
them the holding of such a conception would be to represent them as 
nothing less than inspired. For certainly no notion of the kind 
could have been present, even in a dream, to the minds of such 
thinkers. In their eyes (as in the eyes of most till within the last 
century) scientific facts must have seemed to tell in the opposite 
direction. 

All I maintained, and all that I thought any one could have 
supposed me to maintain, was that these writers asserted abstract 
principles such as can perfectly harmonise with the requirements of 
modern science, and have, as it were, provided for the reception of 
its most advanced speculations. 

My words were : " The possibility of such phenomena, though 
by no means actually foreseen, has yet been/^/y provided for in the 
old philosophy centuries before Darwin." And that this is the case 
can be proved to demonstration. The really important matter, how- 

* Not only this, but he has even misrepresented my words. He says (p. 445) : 
' According to Mr. Mivart, the greatest and most orthodox authorities upon matters of 
( 'atholic doctrine agree in distinctly asserting 'derivative creation ' or 'evolution' " 
as if "derivative creation " and "evolution" were the same thina. Having thus made 
me enunciate what I never thought of, consequences aro deduced which, of course, are 
not of my deducing. Derivative or potential creation such authorities do assert : evo- 
lution of species, however, was no more thought of in their days than tho electri 
telegraph. 

VOL. XIX. X 



178 THE CONTEMPORARY REVIEW. 

ever, is not what were my expressions, but what is the fact as to the 
compatibility of evolution with the strictest orthodoxy ? We shall 
see how, by Professor Huxley's very fortunate misapprehension of my 
meaning, this truth will be brought out yet more clearly than before. 
Far from maintaining that Suarez was a. teacher of development 
or evolution, what I quoted him for was this : 

I. As an opponent of the theory of a perpetual, direct creation of 
organisms (which many held, and still hold). 

II. To show that the principles of scholastic theology are such as 
not to exclude the theory of development, but, on the contrary, to 
favour it, even before it was known or broached. 

What Professor Huxley quotes in his article amply confirms my 
position. For if there are innumerable substantial forms in the 
potentia of matter, which are evolved according to the proximate 
capacity of matter to receive such forms, it is evident that if the 
organisation of matter, through chemical or other causes, progresses 
by the ever-increasiugly complex reactions between bodies and their 
environment, then it necessarily follows that new and higher sub- 
stantial forms may be evolved, and consequently new and higher forms 
of life. 

Such a principle, firmly established against opponents, becomes 
applicable to the evolution of new species, as soon as ever physical 
science shows good reason to regard the origin of species not as 
simultaneous but successive. 

It may be objected that Suarez, in the passage referred to, only 
adverts to new individuals of known kinds in the ordinary course of 
nature. Professor Huxley says : " How the substantial forms of 
animals and plants primarily originated, is a question to which, so 
far as I am able to discover, he does not so much as allude in his 
' Metaphysical Disputations.' J; Most certainly, in his day, no one 
entertained the modern notion as to origin, of species ; and it was 
hardly to be expected that Suarez should say anything directly in 
point. That he should establish the needful principle was all we 
could reasonably demand or expect. 

Nevertheless, in a remarkable manner, even Father Suarez does 
refer to the origination of certain kinds of animals, and admits their 
actual evolution by natural causes. These are partly exceptional 
forms such as hybrids, and partly such as were believed to originate 
by cosmical influences direct from the inorganic world, or through 
the agency of putrefaction. 

In lib. ii., de Opere Sex Dierum,c.x.,n. 12, speaking of such animals 
as the mule, leopard, lynx, &c., after stating the opinion that individuals 
of their kinds must have been created from the beginning, he says, 
"nihilominus contrarium censeo esse probabilius; " and he gives his 



E VOL UTION A ND f TS CONSEQ UENCES. 1 7 9 

reason, "quia liujusmodi species animalium sufficienter contine- 
bantur potentialiter in illis iudividuis diversarum specierum ex 
quorum conmixtione generantur ; et ideo non fuit necessarium 
aliqua eorum iudividua ab auctore naturae immediate produci." 
This in principle is absolutely all that can be required, for it reduces 
the matter simply to a question of fact. He asserts the principle that 
those kinds of animals which are potentially contained in nature need 
not be supposed to be directly and immediately created. In deter- 
mining what kinds were or were not so contained, he followed the 
scientific notions of his time as he understood them. He would have 
written according to the exigences of science now. 

But this matter is really unmistakable. For, so far was Suarez 
from teaching that all life requires direct creative action, that he 
speaks of certain creatures, " quaa per influentiam ccelorum ex putrida 
materia terras aut aqua generari solent." (Ibid., n. 10.) 

It is also interesting to see that (in n. 11) he positively asserts 
the improbability and incredibility that certain kinds of animals now 
living were actually created at first at all : " Alias dicendum esset in 
omnibus speciebus quantumvis imperfectis aliqua individua in prin- 
cipio fuisse facta quia non est major ratio de quibusdam quam de 
aliis. Consequens est incredibile" He then instances certain insects, 
but as far as the principle of evolution in itself is concerned he might 
as well have selected crocodiles. 

Moreover, with respect to certain vegetable productions, he says 
(ib. c. vi. n. 1), " an vero hujusmodi herbse sint factse hoc die tantum 
in potentia vel etiam in actu magis dubitari potest." Finally, even 
with regard to the production of animals altogether, he tells us that 
it was not a real creation (c. x. n. 3), " sed ex prrcjacente materia 
modo tamen proprio auctoris nature." It is strange that Professor 
Huxley should have overlooked these passages which so directly con- 
tradict his assertions. 

Nevertheless these passages are not, let it be recollected, adduced 
to show that Suarez held the doctrine of evolution, or that he main- 
tained as a fact that species were evolved, except in peculiar cases, or 
that he took St. Augustin's view as to the fact of creation ; but to 
demonstrate that he distinctly admits principles compatible with 
evolution, and that even where he asserts direct and immediate 
divine action, yet that even there the exceptions he admits bring 
out still more clearly how completely I was justified in adducing him 
as a witness to the compatibility of evolution with the principles of 
the scholastic philosophy. 

So much then for the teaching of Suarez as to the nature of the 
creative act and the admission of the evolution of even certain new 
organic forms by natural causes. 

N 2 



i8o THE CONTEMPORARY REVIEW. 

Let us turn now to a much, more important subject. 
Besides and in addition to this view it is a most remarkable cir- 
cumstance that ideas should have been expressed of a distinctly- 
evolutionary character by the highest theological authority, even as 
regards the very fact of creation, as an historical event. 

Few things seem to me more striking than that such an antici- 
pation, as it were, should have been enunciated by one of the greatest 
teachers the Church has ever known, a doctor, the authority of 
whose writings is not surpassed by that of any of the Fathers I 
mean St. Augustin. As I said in my book, " it must be borne in 
mind that no one had disputed the generally received belief as to the 
small age of the world, or of the kinds of animals and plants inha- 
biting it." Nevertheless, as I have shown, the teaching of St. Augus- 
tin was distinct with respect to the potential creation of animals and 
plants. That great source of western theology held that the whole 
creation spoken of in Genesis took place in one instant ; that all 
created things were created at once, " potentialiter atqm causaliter" 
so* that it accords with his teaching if we believe in the gradual 
development of species, the slow evolution, "per temporum moras," 
into actual existence of what God created potentially in the be- 
ginning. 

Now the greatest representatives of Catholic theology are unques- 
tionably St. Augustin and St. Thomas Aquinas, and this being, as 
almost every one knows, the case, it is inconceivable how a teacher 
like Professor Huxley could write as he has done regarding the con- 
sequences of a divergence of Suarez from their expressed opinions. 

If, as Suarez suggests, St. Thomas followed St. Augustin rather 
through deference than from identity of opinion, it would only 
bring out more strongly the paramount authority of the latter. But 
in fact Suarez was here mistaken, for we have St. Thomas's own 
words as to the matter, where speaking of St. Augustin's view, lie 
tells us, "et hrcc opinio plus mihi placet" (2 Sent. dis. 12, quaest. 1, 
a. 2). 

Here it rnay be well to explain (as Professor Huxley seems quite 
to have misapprehended me), that when I spoke of the "wide 
reception" of Suarez and of his being "widely venerated" and of 
"unquestioned orthodoxy" I never thought of placing him on a 
level with St. Thomas and St. Augustin. Moreover, " wide vene- 
ration" and " orthodoxy," by no means imply authority in the sense 
of binding consciences. Many Catholic teachers altogether reject the 
teaching of Suarez on certain points, though they none the less con- 
sider him an authority to be respectfully consulted, indeed, but by 
no means to be necessarily followed. 

Multitudes of teachers, all agreeing in matters of faith, yet belong 



A / r OL UTION . 1 \D ITS CONSEQUENCES. 181 

to very different theological schools, and the idea that any one of them 
can bind the others is simply laughable to those who know anything 
of the matter. 

Professor Huxley seems to imagine in showing that Suarez (like 
most teachers of his day, Catholic or not, e.g. Tycho Brahe) adopts 
an extreme literalism of scripture interpretation, he has made a 
notable discovery. But (as before remarked) I referred to Suarez 
for principles of interpretation with regard to derivative creation, 
and his views as to the historical. facts of Genesis are quite beside the 
question. St. Thomas explains the diversity of opinion among theo- 
logians in a way which exactly meets my purpose : " Quoad mundi 
principium, aliquid est quod ad substantiam fidei pertinet scilicet 
mundum incepisse creatum et hoc omnes sancti concorditer dicunt. 
Quo autem modo et ordine factus sit non pertinet ad fidem nisi per 
accidens, in quantum in Scriptura traditur, cujus veritatem diversa 
expositione sancti salvantes diversa tradiderunt (2 Sent., dist. 12, 
q. 1., a. 2). 

My critic also appears to think that because one side of a question 
is perfectly orthodox, that its contradictory cannot also be so. If he 
knew the A B C of Catholic doctrine, he would know that in open 
questions it is perfectly allowable to maintain either side. 

Professor Huxley says, that Suarez in this question (as in other 
matters) is in opposition to St. Augustin. He is so ; but other 
theologians of equal weight severely took him to task for his ex- 
pressions on this subject, as I shall proceed to show, and there is not 
the slightest difficulty in bringing forward many theological au- 
thorities, both before and since the time of Suarez, who approve or 
positively affirm the position which St. Augustin took. Therefore, 
even if I had made the mistake which Professor Huxley supposes 
I had, it would not be of the slightest moment, and my thesis could 
repose as securely on the support of other theologians. 

Thus I may mention St. Thomas, St. Bonaventure, Albertus 
Magnus, Denis the Carthusian (1470), Cardinal Cajetan (1530), 
Melchior Canus(15GO), Bannes (1580), Vincentius Contenson (1670), 
Macedo and Cardinal Noris (1673), Tonti (1714), Serry (1720), 
Berti (1740), and others down to the present day. 

St. Bonaventure calls St. Augustin's exposition, " Multum ratio- 
nabilis et valdc subtilis," and speaks of his method as a "via 
philosophica ; " nay, he calls the contrary opinion " Minus ratio- 
nabilis quam alia " (Librum secund. Sent. Dist. xii. Quocst. ii. art. 1 
conclusio). 

St. Thomas, as I have shown, supports and approves St. Augustin, 
but he even admits (" Sumrn," par. i. qurcs. Ixxiii. art. 1 ad. 3) the 
possibility of new species himself. He sa} r s : " Species ctiam novae 



1 82 THE CONTEMPORARY REVIEW. 

si qusc apparent, praeextiterunt in quibusdain activis virtutibus sicut 
et animalia ex putrefactione generata producuntur ex virtutibus stel- 
larum et elementorum quas a principio acceperunt, etiam si novso 
species talium animalium producuntur." 

Professor Huxley will hardly dispute the weight and significance, 
in this controversy, of the distinct adoption of St. Augustin's view by 
an eminent Roman Cardinal of the latter part of the seventeenth 
century. 

Yet Cardinal Noris (" Vindicioc Augus.," c. iv. ix. ; see Migne's 
"Patrologia Cursus Completus," torn, xlvii. p. 719) speaks in the 
following uncompromising words : 

" Hie etiam recentiorum querelse, imo censurse, quibus insignem Sancti 
Doctoris interpretationem in cap. i. Geneseos excipiunt, refellendoe sunt. . . 
Augustinus, quod videbat sex priores dies queis Moyses mundum a Deo 
creatum scribit, si litteraliter accipiantur, gravissimis difficultatibus subjici, 
quas ipsemet in libris de Genesi ad littcram proponit, subtilem prorsus ac 
se difjnam sententiam excogitavit, nempe dies illos intelligendos esse mystice,. 
juxta cognitionem angelicam de rebus in Deo, et in proprio genere, et juxta 
ordinem rerum simul a Deo creatarum, dierum etiam ordinem in angelorum 

mente designavit Ex nostris scriptoribus Magister Emmanuel 

Oerda Lusitanus, publicus in Academia Conimbriccnsi theologiae professor, 
in suis Quodlibetis theologicis, acerrime contra recentiorum impetum Magni 
Parentis sententiam propugnat, eorumque et in censurando audaciam, et in 
impugnando debilitatem ostendit ; idem quoque praastitit Carolus Morcau,, 
noster Bituricencis in vindiciis pacificis." 

Speaking of Cornelius a Lapide, he adds : 

"Verum Augustino consentit Albertus, qui ob multiplicem ac niirabilem 
litteraturam Magni cognomento insignitus fuit, his plane verbis ; sine 
prasjudicio sententiao melioris videtur Augustino consentiendum. Part I. 
Summa3 q. 12, de quatuor coaevis. Addit Sanctus Thomas proxime 
laudatus : Hsec opinio (Augustini) PLUS MIHI PLACET. Itane Cornell 
sentcntia ilia, quam Albertus Magnus ac Sanctus Thomas, Scholasticoruin 
lamina ac columnar, probant et sequuntur, hac aetate erronea evasit ? 
Quasnam illam Synodi, qui Romani prassules, quas doctorum academic pro- 

scripserc ? An quia tibi tuisquo displicet erronea censenda est ? 

Naa Sanctus Thomas, Albertus Magnus, Sanctus Bonaventura, et zEgidius 
Romanus inter accuratiores thcologos minirne recensendi sunt ? Erunt 
ne illi de ultima theologorum plebe, Senatores vero Suarez, Molina et 
Martinon ? Imo omnium nobilissimi illi sunt quibus et Suarez et Molina 
assurgant, Martinon vero nee eadem cum illis die nominetur." 

Berti, who was Assistant- General of his order, who published his 
book at Home, and belongs to a period more than half a century later 
than Cardinal Noris, proposes the following thesis (" DC Theologicis 
Disciplinis," lib. xi. c. ii.) : 

" Propositio I. Audacite potius et fidentia3 vitio, quam doctrinal laude 
debent notari, qui maledico dente carpunt Augustianam de x&mdbmea 
creationc sententiam. 

" Propositio II. Augustini de sirnultanca creationo sententia non solum 
ab omni animadversione immunis est, i-crum etiam probabilis <:t pro)>* cv -rla. " 



E I r OL UTION A ND ITS CONSEQUENCES. 1 83 

And in n. 9 he says : 

" Quare in distributione operum Dei omnia quidem spectant ad illos dies 
invisibiles in quibus creavit oninia simul, videlicet ad diversas cognitiones 
angelorum ; sed plura, hoc est, qua3 primuui in rationibus seminalibus, 
deinde visibiliter facta sunt, si accipiantur secundum priorem condi- 
tionem, pertinent ad dies intelligibiles, et unico moinento fuerunt et 
ipsa producta ; si vero inspiciantur, ut in propria forma aspectabili con- 
stitutse, istorum creatio perficitur in tempore, et post sex illos dies 
invisibiles ; spectatque ad dies naturales in quibus Deus operatur quotidic, 
quidquid ex illis tanquani involucris prirnordialibus in tempore evolvitur. 
Sed legite S. Patrem Lit. v. de Gen. ad lit." 

But now, coming down to our own day, the same complete refuta- 
tion of Professor Huxley's position is most easily effected. 

Father Pianciani, a Jesuit, was president of the College of Philo- 
sophy in the Roman University. His work, " Cosmogonia Naturale 
Comparata al Genes.," was published at Rome in 1862, at the press 
of the "Civilta Catholica." Professor Huxley will hardly dispute 
as to his orthodoxy. This author, in his "Historia Creationis 
Mosaicas" (published at Naples as long ago as 1851), p. 29, shows 
that the whole of the first chapter of Genesis must be read as a most 
sublime and magnificent poetical description. Concerning St. 
Augustin's special view, he tells us (p. 15), " Ejus doctrina ad hasc 
capita revocatur : " 

" 1 Omnia simul a Deo fuisse producta : 2 Cuin ipsa ita disponi queant, 
ut infimuni gradum rnateria eleinentaris, supremum puri spiritus occupent, 
interjectos et medios turn mixta, seu chirnica composita, turn corpora physice 
composita, ut saxa, turn praecipue corpora organica. Hinc quoa ad infiinum, 
supremumque gradum spectant et si qua3 alia sunt, quse naturae viribus 
neque nunc producuntur, plene et perfecte tune fuisse producta ; qua? vero 
interjectis gradibus continentur et nunc naturae viribus producuntur, virtute 
duntaxat et seminaliter seu causaliter, tune Dei imperio extitisse. Augustini 
opinio, semper ab errore immunis habita pluribus placuit theologis quos inter 
Alberto Magno. St. Thomas in Summa, p. 1, q. 74, a. 2 earn reveretur, 
et nee ipsi nee vulgar! doctrine praejudicandum censet, p. 15, 16." 

No liberal-minded man can see with anything but regret how 
eagerly Professor Huxley endeavours to restrict within the narrowest 
limits the faith of the greater part of the Christian world, saying, 
" I, for one, shall feel bound to believe that the doctrines of Suarez 
arc the only ones which are sanctioned by authority," &c. 

But the attempt to represent that such literalism is binding on 
Catholics is simply preposterous. There is no need for the present 
Archbishop of Westminster to give any such permission as Professor 
Huxley speaks of (as to the six days), because such freedom existed 
long before His Grace occupied the see, and was accepted by his 
predecessor, Cardinal Wiseman. It would be restriction, not freedom, 
which could alone require him to make any declaration on the subject. 



i8 4 THE CONTEMPORARY REVIEW. 

We might really suppose that at this day it would be superfluous 
to assert that Catholics are free and unembarrassed in their geology 
and palaeontology. But that I may not seem to shirk a point on 
which the Professor lays such stress, namely, the "six days" of 
creation, I will say a few words as to the position of Catholics with 
regard to this matter. 

Now, authorities showing the freedom of Catholics in this respect 
are so numerous, that it is only difficult to choose. In the first 
place we have St. Augustin and his many followers, also St. Hilde- 
gard, Bertier, Berchetti, Ghici, Robebacher, and Bossuet. Cardinal 
Cajetan says distinctly that the six days were not real days, but 
meant to indicate order. And I may cite also Cardinal Gousset, 
"Theol. Dogmatique," t. i. p. 103, seq. ; Frayssinous, "Defense du 
Christianisme," conf. " Mo'ise, historien des temps primitifs;" Perrone, 
S. J., "Prelect. Theol.," vol. i. p. 678 (edit. Migne, 1842). But it 
is really needless to speak of writers during the last few years, for 
books]are daily printed at Rome with the permission of authority such as 
Perrone, just mentioned, also Tongiorgi and Pianciani (" Cosmogonia 
$"aturale," p. 24), before referred to. In English we have Cardinal 
Wiseman's " Science and Revealed Religion," Lectures v. and vi., 
and only last year a similar work was published in London by the 
Rev. Dr. Gerald Molloy. 

So much for the question of the six da}^s. But before leaving the 
subject of Christianity and evolution, there is yet one more point 
which it may be well to notice. With respect to the hypothesis I 
advanced that Adam's body might have been formed by evolution 
like those of other animals, the soul being subsequently infused, Pro- 
fessor Huxley remarks : 

"If Suarez is any authority it is not Catholic doctrine. ' Nulla est in 
homine forma educta de potentia materia3 ' is a dictum which is absolutely 
inconsistent with the doctrine of the natural evolution of any vital mani- 
festation of the human body. Moreover, if man existed as an animal before 
he was provided with a rational soul, he must, in accordance with the 
elementary requirements of the philosophy in which Mr. Mivart delights, 
have possessed a distinct sensitive and vegetative soul or souls. Hence, 
when the ' breath of life' was breathed into the manlike animal's nostrils, 
he must have already been a living and feeling creature. But Suarez par- 
ticularly discusses this point, and not only rejects Mr. Mivart's view, but 
4 adopts language of very theological strength regarding it.' " 

Professor Huxley then quotes from Suarez a passage ending " ille 
enim spiritus, quern Deus spiravit, anima rationalis fuit, et PER EAMDEM 

FACTUS EST HOMO V1VENS, ET CONSEQUENTER, KTIAM SKNTIENS/ and 

a conciliar decree condemning the assertion of the existence of two 
souls in man. 

It is surely not less prudent than it is just to refrain from speak- 
ing authoritatively of that which we have not studied and do not 



EVOLUT10X AND ITS CONSEQUENCES. 185 

comprehend. The fact is that Professor Huxley has completely mis- 
apprehended the significance of the passages he quotes. No wonder 
if reasoning perfectly lucid to those who have the key appears a 
mere "darkening of counsel" to those who have not mastered the 
elements of the systems they criticise. 

To say that Suarez " rejects Mr. Mivart's view " is absurd, because 
no such view could by any possibility have been present to the mind 
of any one of his day. To say that anything in the passage quoted 
veil in the faintest degree, inconsistent with that view,, is an 
utter mistake. This is plain, from the doctrine as to the infusion 
of every soul into every infant, which was generally received at the 
period when Suarez wrote. 

This doctrine was that the human, foetus is at first animated by a 
ative soul, then by a sentient soul, and only afterwards, at some 
period before birth, with a rational soul. Not that two souls ever 
Coexist, for the appearance of one coincides with the disappearance 
or' its predecessor the sentient soul including in it all the powers 
of the vegetative soul, and the rational soul all those of the two 
others. The doctrine of distinct souls, which Professor Huxley 
attributes to me as a fatal consequence of my hypothesis, is simply 
the doctrine of St. Thomas himself. He says (Quacst. Ixxvi., art. 3, 
ad. 3) : "Dicendum quod prius embryo habet anirnam quae est 
sensitiva tantum, qua ablata advenit perfectior anima quaa est simul 
M'ii>itiva et intellective ut infra plenius ostendetur." Also (Quacst. 
cxviii., art. 2, ad. 2): "Dicendum est quod anima praaexistit in 
embryone, a principio quidem nutritiva, postmodum autem sensi- 
tiva et tandem intellectiva." 

He then answers the objection that we should thus have three 
souls superposed, which he says is false because 

'Xulla forma substantial accipit majus aut minus, sod superadditio 
majoris perfectionis facit aliain speciem sicut additio unitatis facit aliam 
speciem in numero. . . . Ideo dicendum quod cum generatio unius sit 
corruptio alterius, necessc est dicere quod tarn in honiine quam in ani- 
malibus aliis, quando perfectior forma advenit fit corruptio prioris, ita 
tamen quod sequens forma habet quidquid habebat prima et adhuc amplius. 
... Sic igitur dicendum quod anima intellectiva creatur a Deo in fine 
k'enerationis humaiue qua3 siniul est et sensitiva et nutritiva corruptio 
fornris pracexistentibus." 

Now I am not saying anything about the truth of this doctrine, 
but only that it perfectly harmonizes with the hypothesis thrown out ; 
while that it was the doctrine generally held in Stiarez's day should 
be known to everyone who writes upon such a subject at all. This 
agreement between the doctrine and the hypothesis will readily be 
apprehended, for if Adam was formed in the way of which I suggested 
the possibility, he would, till the infusion of the rational soul, be 
only animal vivens et sentiens, and not " homo " at all. But when 



1 86 THE CONTEMPORAR Y RE VIE W. 

the rational soul was infused, he thereby, as Suarez justly says, 
" factus est homo vivens, et consequenter, etiam sentiens." 

The dictum, " Nulla est in nomine forma educta de potentia 
materise," is nothing to the point, because I never supposed that the 
" forma rationalis" was in potentia materise, but only the "for ma 
sentiens," which would disappear and become non-existent as soon as 
the " animal/' by the infused rationality, becomes " homo." Thus, 
so far from being inconsistent with my hypothesis, it supports it ; for 
the dictum must have been applied by Suarez to every child, the 
" forma sentiens " of which he must have allowed to be " educta de 
potentia materice/' although the " forma rationalis " in his doctrine, as 
in my hypothesis, is directly created by God, and is in no way " educta 
de potentia materise." Professor Huxley has read Suarez ad hoc, and 
evidently without the guidance of any one familiar with that author, 
or with his philosophy, and the necessary consequence of writing on 
such a subject under such circumstances follows of course. 

I think that it must now be plain to all readers, from the passages 
referred to, that there is perfect freedom for even the very strictest 
Christians, not only as regards the question of the six days, but also 
with respect to the full doctrine of Evolution. 

Professor Huxley, indeed, must know well that, in addition to the 
authority of approved writers of ancient and modern times, there is a 
living authority in the Church. That authority, moreover, is ready 
at any moment to condemn heresy in the published expressions of 
any of her children, and certain to detect it ; the question as to such 
views as evolution being tenable solntur ambulando. The Professor 
congratulates himself prematurely on the (i spontaneous retreat of the 
enemy from nine-tenths of the territory which he occupied ten years 
ago." Not one step backwards has been taken by the enemy Professor 
Huxley seems to detest above all. In proof of this I can refer to the 
Rambler of March, 1860, wherein a position was at once taken up, 
which is substantially identical with that which I maintain now. 

A word as to what I cannot but consider the very regretable 
animus which Professor Huxley displays in this matter. AVe have 
been accustomed to hear again and again the assertion that men of 
science differ from the devotees of theology, in that they enter 011 
their inquiries cequo ammo, free from prejudice, and desirous only of 
truth. Believers have been warned, usque ad nauseam, that a wish 
to believe vitiates all their arguments. But what weight can we 
attach to Professor Huxley's conclusions when he tells us with regard 
to the doctrine of Evolution that "the position of complete and 
irreconcileable antagonism which, in his opinion, it occupies to 
the Catholic Church, is ' one of its greatest merits in my eyes' ' A 
similar, though less striking, theological prejudice is also exhibited 
by Mr. Darwin himself. He tells us, in his "Descent of Man," with 



EVOLUTION AND ITS CONSEQUENCES. 187 

characteristic candour, that in his "Origin of Species " his first 
object ) show that species had not been separately created/' 

and he consoles himself for admitted error, by the reflection that " I 
have at least, as / hope, done good service in aiding to overthrow the 
dogma of separate creations*"* 

I have already refused to allow that I contend for less than the 
intellectual and religious interests of all Christians. But, in fact, I 
may claim :: yet wider sympathy ; for in my book I have supported 
the dogma of creation as against all those w r ho decline to assert the 
existence of a God, on the one hand, or those who identify him with, 
the creation on the other; and I have endeavoured to uphold the 
Theistic conception as opposed to Antitheismf and Pantheism 
respectively. 

Professor Huxley tells us that the necessity of a belief in a personal 
God, in order to a religion worthy of the name, " is a matter of 
opinion ! " Of course the word may be employed in some unusual 
sense. I recollect reading of a certain Emersonian who, having 
accompanied his wife to see Fanny Elsler dance, and being charmed, 
remarked to her during the performance "Margaret, this is poetry." 
To which, his wife replied " JSTo, Paul, it is religion ! " Of such 
religion I willingly make a present to Professor Huxley. But, apart 
from such bizarre employments of the word, I firmly adhere to my 
proposition. I know that Buddhism is sometimes asserted to be 
atheistic, but the conception of a power or principle apportioning 
after death rewards and punishments according to a standard of 
virtue, necessarily involves the existence of an entity, which, as being 
most powerful, intelligent, and good, is] virtually/ and logically, a 
personal Gocl, whatever be the name habitually applied to it. 

I do not know what precise meaning Professor Huxley would give 
to the word religion. He speaks of " worship, ' for the most part of 
the silent sort/ at the altar of the Unknown and the Unknowable," 
but he has not (as far as I recollect) explained to us as yet the full 
and exact nature and tenets of that religion the ritual of which is 
thus hinted at. Mr. Darwin's conception of religion is, however, 
sufficiently definite. He tells us } that it consists "of love, complete 
submission to an exalted and mysterious superior, a strong sense of 
dependence, fear, reverence, gratitude, hope for the future, and 
perhaps other elements." 

Let us apply this to the Unknown and the Unknowable. " Love " 

* I am in-leUcil to Mr. Chauncey Wright for calling my attention to this remark, 
which had < scaped my notice. 

t I5y antilhi 'ism 1 mrui that opinion which is oppi ism, without dogmati- 

cally denying tho existence of God. Antilhei.sts deny that wo can make- any assertion, 
whatever about that which underlies phenomena, and which they term the "unknow- 
able." 

+ "Descent of Man," vol. i. G8. 



i88 THE CONTEMPORARY REVIEW. 

for that of which we can by no possibility know anything whatever, 
and to which we may as reasonably attribute hidcousness and all 
vileness, as beauty and goodness ! " Dependence" on that of which 
treachery and mendacity may be as much characteristics as are faith- 
fulness and truth! "Reverence" for an entity, whose qualities, if 
any, may resemble as much all we despise as all we esteem, and which, 
for all we know, may be indebted to our faculties for any recognition 
of its existence at all ! " Gratitude " to that which we have not the 
faintest reason to suppose ever willingly did anything for us, or ever 
will ! " Hope " in what we have no right whatever to believe may 
not, with equal justice, be a legitimate cause for despair as pitiless, 
inexorable, and unfeeling, if capable of any sort of intelligence 
whatever ! 

This is no exaggeration. Every word here put down is strictly 
accurate, for if that which underlies all things is to us the unknowable, 
then there can be no reason to predicate of it any one character rather 
than its opposite. If, on the other hand, we have any reason to 
predicate goodness rather than malice, nobility rather than vileness, 
then let preachers of the unknowable abandon their unmeaning 
jargon, for it is no longer with the unknowable we have to deal, and 
we are plunged at once into a whole world of as distinctly dogmatic 
theology as can be conceived a theology the dogmas of which are 
profoundly mysterious, while they are even more trying, and at the 
same time more illuminating, to the reason, than any others of the 
whole catena which logically follow. 

Although I have taken up this broad ground in controversy, and 
only contended for truths common to all believers in revelation, 
nevertheless I would not have it supposed that I in any way shrink 
from openly avowing my position as a Catholic Christian, and I can- 
not consider it other than a compliment to my creed that Professor 
Huxley, in his attack on Christianity generally, singles it out for his 
special hostility. All Christians owe a debt of gratitude to Professor 
Huxle3 r , for calling forth more clearly the certainty that their religion 
has nothing to fear from the doctrine of evolution. It is, however, 
Catholic Christians who are pre-eminently beholden to him for 
occasioning a fresh demonstration of the wonderful way in which 
their greatest teachers of bygone centuries, though imbued with the 
notions and possessing only the rudimentary physical knowledge of 
their days, have yet been led to emit fruitful principles by -which the 
Church is prepared to assimilate and harmonize even the most 
advanced teachings of physical science. 

Professor Huxley indulges in rhetorical declamation as to a "blind 
acceptance of authority/' but such acceptance is as much repudiated 
by me as by Professor Huxley. The Church, in addressing unbe- 



ETOL I 'TIOX AND ITS ( 'ONSEQl r &NCES. 189 

Hovers, appeals to " reason " and " conscience " alone for the estab- 
lishment of that Thcistic foundation on which she reposes, and no 
acceptance of authority can be called "blind" which results from 
a clear perception both of its rational foundation and of the harmony 
of its dogmas and precepts with those highest faculties of our nature, 
reason and conscience. 

I confess myself weary of these tedious declamations as to tin* 
incompatibility of science with Christianity on the one side, as also 
of timid deprecations on the other. The true position of these two 
powers justifies neither such hopes nor such fears; for, in truth, no 
possible development of physical science (and as to Biology I claim 
to speak with some slight knowledge) can conflict with Christian 
dogma, and therefore cyery attempt to attack from that basis is neces- 
sarily futile. 

On the other hand, so far from the Christian religion tending to 
cramp or fetter intellectual development, it is notorious that some 
of the profoundest thinkers of recent as of more ancient times, have 
been believers in Christianity, and I am convinced that every man 
who rejects that belief is ip so facto necessarily condemned not only 
to a moral but also, and as inevitably, to an intellectual inferiority 
as compared with what he might attain did he accept that system 
in its fulness. The Christian creed has long been before the world. 
I would invite Professor Huxley to formulate his system in distinct 
propositions, that it also may be tested by our supreme and ultimate 
standards " reason " and " conscience." 

\Tith the extreme hatred of Catholicity which animates my critic, 
it is easy to understand the irritation which my demonstration of 
the harmony which exists between the Church and modern science 
has caused him. He lets it be seen that he had supposed science to 
have thoroughly refuted some of the Church's fundamental dogmas, 
hence the vehement reproaches I have unwittingly drawn down upon 
my head by my endeavour to promote concord. I feel persuaded, 
however, that an intolerance which would exclude from the band of 
" loyal soldiers of science," a Secchi, a Van Beneden, and a Sullivan, 
merely because they happen to be at the same time "true sons of the 
Church," will not commend itself to the great bulk of my scientific 
fellow-countrymen any more than the wish to deprive Catholics of 
their common rights as citizens will be approved of by the English- 
king races generally. 

Turning to Professor Huxley's observations in another branch of 
philosophy, I proceed now to say a few words as to his strictures on 
the psychology of the Quarterly llcviewer. 

I apprehend that my critic's psychological views coincide in tho 
main with thos? of Mr. Herbert Spencer. Now it is not of course 



i go THE CONTEMPORARY REVIEW. 

possible within the limits of this article to write a treatise on psycho- 
logy, and nothing less would be requisite to explain the grounds of 
my complete and fundamental divergence from the views referred to. 
It must suffice to say here, that Professor Huxley has adduced no 
argument and has brought forward no kind of illustration which I 
have not maturely considered and deliberately rejected as inadequate 
and fallacious. Another time I hope to be able to go at length 
into this question and to endeavour to explain, according to the 
system I adopt, the facts adduced *by the opposite school ; as also 
to support my views by positive arguments. In the meantime I 
heartily re- echo Professor Huxley's tribute to the supreme import- 
ance of " the philosophical questions which underlie all physical 
science," and I am confident that vast good would result if only men 
could be brought to undergo the labour and persevering application 
necessary for their thorough investigation. 

I must here, then, confine myself to the clearing up of some mis- 
apprehensions and misrepresentations. 

In the first place, Professor Huxley objects to the assertion that 
" sensation" is not " thought," " though sensations supply the con- 
ditions for the existence of thought." He says : 

" If I recall the impression made by a colour or an odour, and distinctly 
remember blueness or muskiness, I may say with perfect propriety that I 
' think of ' blue or musk ; and so long as the thought lasts, it is simply a 
faint reproduction of the state of consciousness to which I gave the name in 
question, when it first became known to me as a sensation." 

" Now, if that faint reproduction of a sensation which we call the memory 
of it, is properly termed a thought, it seems to me to be a somewhat forced 
proceeding to draw a hard and fast line of demarcation between thoughts 
and sensations. If sensations are not rudimentary thoughts, it may be said 
that some thoughts are rudimentary sensations. No amount of sound con- 
stitutes an echo, but for all that no one would pretend that an echo is 
something of totally different nature from sound." 

To this I can now only reply by observing that according to my 
view a recalled thought is not a " rudimentary sensation," though 
the sensible memory is made use of with regard to it. I also deny 
utterly that the faint recurrence of a sensation can ever be properly 
termed a thought, and the act of " recalling" such sensation is only 
to be so named on account not of the sensation recalled, but of the 
intellectual, voluntary act of recalling. 

The analogy of an echo is false and misleading. An echo is 
merely a particular kind of sound, but a thought is not merely a 
particular kind of sensation. 

Again, Professor Huxley objects to the assertion that sensations 
supply the conditions for the existence of thought or knowledge 
saying : 



E VOL UTION A ND ITS CONSEQUENCES. i g i 

" If this implies that sensations supply the conditions for the existence 
of our memory of sensations, or of our thoughts about sensations, it is a 
truism which it is hardly worth while to state so solemnly. If it implies 
that sensations supply anything else it is obviously erroneous. And if it 
means, as the context would seem to show it does, that sensations are the 
subject-matter of all thought or knowledge, then it is no less contrary to 
fact, inasmuch as our emotions, which constitute a large part of the subject- 
matter of our thought or of knowledge, are not sensations." 

It seems to me that this argument is quite unfair, and that it is 
a false dilemma. The reviewer's words evidently point to " sensa- 
tions" as the condition of our knowledge of external objects, and 
this, at least, is no truism. For my part, if I understand Professor 
Iluxley righth', I should assert that to be "axiomatic" which he 
says is " obviously erroneous." 

The short summary in the Quarterly Review of the psychical 
characters common to man and brutes on the one hand, and peculiar 
to man as a rational animal on the other, was evidently not intended 
as an exhaustive catalogue, but merely as a concise statement of 
certain leading and essential differences. Therefore " emotion," as 
avowedly common to man and brute, and volition and memory, as 
beside the question, were reasonably left unnoticed. 

A carping criticism as to the word " agency " as applied to 
sensation in these reflex acts in which sensation intervenes, is what, 
I confess, I should not have expected from Professor Huxley. He 
certainly would never think of denying the intervention of sensation 
in such acts. 

As to his assertion that the Quarterly Reviewer in conceding to 
animals his first four groups of actions, " grants all that is necessary 
for the purposes " of his critic, it is an error which arises from the 
thorough misapprehension by Professor Huxley of the Reviewer's 
position, as will be made manifest by what I have to say concerning 
reason and predication. 

Professor Huxley gives us, in illustration of his views, a comparison 
between a gamekeeper and a greyhound, both engaged in coursing, 
the relevancy of which, I confess, escapes me. 

No one denies that man is an animal. No one denies that the 
sensitive faculties of the greyhound are possessed by the man just as 
are his digestive and locomotive faculties. No anatomist denies that 
man's bodily structure closely resembles the brutes', and I, at least, 
have been forward in asserting it. I maintain, however, that though 
man and dog agree in exhibiting the phenomena of feeling, they 
differ altogether as to the phenomena of thinking, of which man 
alone gives any evidence. 

Professor Iluxley asks a singular question. He says "What 
is the value of the evidence which leads one to believe that 



1 92 THE CONTEMPORARY REVIEW. 

one's fellow-man feels ? The only evidence in this argument of 
analogy, is the similarity of his structure and of his actions to one's 
own/' Surely it is not by similarity of actions, in any ordinary 
sense of the word, but by language that men are placed in communi- 
cation with one another, and that the rational intellect of each 
perceives the rationality and sensibility of his fellow-man. 

Professor Huxley asserts that by "a combination of sensible 
images," the Quarterly Reviewer must mean more than his words 
imply, or otherwise a greyhound would not run after a hare. 
Certainly the Reviewer could hardly have suspected that any one 
would take him to mean that brutes are destitute of appetites and 
emotions. The conjunction, however, of these appetites and emotions 
with sensible images in complex associations is certainly amply suffi- 
cient to explain all that is exhibited by dogs in " the noble art of 
coursing," and this Professor Huxley must allow if, as I suspect, he 
would attribute nothing essentially higher to the gamekeeper himself. 

On the question concerning morality I have, I conceive, some 
reason to complain of Professor Huxley's treatment of my observa- 
tions. From the remarks which he has again and again made, it 
is evident to whom he attributes the article in the Quarterly Review, 
Nevertheless, he, in the first place, misrepresents my statement in 
my book, and attributes to me an absurdity which is not in it, but 
which is distinctly pointed out and repudiated in the Quarterly 
Review. In the second place, he accuses me of neglecting a remark 
made by Mr. Darwin, which remark is not only referred to, but 
actually quoted in the same review. 

First, with regard to Mr. Darwin. In this matter Professor 
Huxley accuses me of charging that gentleman " with being ignorant 
of the distinction between material and formal goodness/' though 
Mr. Darwin himself "discusses the very question at issue in a 
passage, well worth reading, and also comes to a conclusion opposed 
to Mr. Mivart's axiom." As I have said, this passage is not only 
referred to, but actually quoted in the Quarterly Review. In that 
passage, however, Mr. Darwin, though he notices, gives no evidence 
of fully understanding my distinction, nor, though he notices an 
objection, does he meet the difficulty in the least. Professor Huxley 
seems to think that because Mr. Darwin has referred to an objection, 
that that objection has thereby lost its force. The objection, how- 
ever, has not been refuted either by Mr. Darwin or Professor Huxley, 
and hence it becomes probable that, as I am convinced is the case, 
it cannot be refuted. 

We will turn now to the more serious misrepresentation of which 
I have to complain. My critic exhibits me as committing the absurdity 
of maintaining that no act can be " good " unless it is done with 



E VOL UTION AND ITS CONSEQUENCES. 193 

deliberate and actual advertence in every instance as if I thought 
that a man must stand still, consider and reflect in each case in order 
to perform, a meritorious action. He also implies that I am so 
unreasonable as to deny "merit" to actions done unreflectingly and 
spontaneously from the love of God or one's neighbour. 

AVhat I assert, however, is, that for an act to be " good " it must 
be really directed by the doer to a good end, either actually or 
virtually. The idea of good, which he has in the past apprehended, 
must be influencing the man at the time, whether he adverts to it 
or not, otherwise the action is not moral. The merit of that virtue 
which shows itself even in the spontaneous, indeliberate actions of 
a good man, results from the fact of previous acts having been con- 
sciously directed to goodness, by which a habit has been formed. 
The more thoroughly a man is possessed by the idea of goodness, the 
more his whole being is saturated with that idea, the more will 
goodness show itself in all his even spontaneous actions, which thus 
will have additional merit through their very spontaneity. Now 
this was actually expressed in the Quarterly Review, where of such 
an act it is stated that "it is moral as the continuation of those 
preceding deliberate acts through which the good habit was originally 
formed ; and the rapidity with which the will is directed in the case 
supposed may indicate the number and constancy of antecedent 
meritorious actions."" 

Not only, however, does Professor Huxley avoid notice of this 
passage, but he quotes my words as to the unmeritorious nature of 
actions "unaccompanied by mental acts of conscious will directed 
towards the fulfilment of duty," so as to lead his readers to believe 
that I say this absolutely. He takes care not to let them know that 
here I am speaking * only of the " actions of brutes, such as those 
of the bee, the ant, or the beaver," which, of course, never at any 
period of the lives of any one of these creatures were consciously 
directed to " goodness " or " duty " as an end, so that no later 
spontaneous actions could in their case result from an acquired habit 
of virtue, on which account I was fully justified in speaking of their 
actions as devoid of morality. 

Professor Huxley speaks of " the most beautiful character to 
which humanity can attain, that of the man who does good without 
thinking about it" (p. 468). Does he mean that the absence of 
thought is the cause of the beauty ? If so, then if I do the most 
beneficial acts in my sleep, I attain this apex of moral beauty. This, 
of course, he will not allow. Therefore, it is not by reason of the 
not thinking about it that the action is beautiful, but, as Professor 
Huxley goes on to say, " because he loves justice and is repelled by 
* See " Genesis of Species," p. 221, 2nd edition. 

VOL. XIX. O 



194 THE CONTEMPORARY REVIEW. 

evil." In this last, then in this habit of mind, the beauty consists. 
But will the Professor say that the man got himself into this state 
without previous acts of conscious will ? Can a man love justice 
without being able to distinguish between the just and unjust ? if 
he loves moral beauty, must he not know it ? 

Professor Huxley does not, I believe, mean what he says when he 
asserts that acts may be moral which are not directed to a good end. 
Were it so, such words as " virtue " and " goodness " would have no 
rational and logical place in his vocabulary. 

Similarly, I do not believe him when he says he "utterly rejects" the 
distinction between " material " and "formal " morality. I do not, 
because he has elsewhere asserted that " our volition counts for some- 
thing as a condition of the course of events." If, however, he 
rejects the distinction he says he rejects, he thereby absolutely 
denies every element of freedom and spontaneity to the human will, 
and reduces our volition to a rank in the " course of events," which 
counts for no more than the freedom of a match as to ignition, when 
placed within the flame of a candle. "With the enunciation of this 
view, " formal morality " most certainly falls, and together with it 
every word denoting "virtue," which thus becomes a superfluous 
synonym for pleasure and expediency. 

Adverting now to the question of " reason," according to Professor 
Huxley (p. 463), " ratiocination is resolvable into predication, and 
predication consists in marking, in some way, the succession, the 
likeness and unlikeness, of things or their ideas. Whatever does 
this, reasons ; and if a machine produces these effects of reason, I see 
no more ground for denying to it the reasoning power, because it is 
unconscious, than I see for refusing to Mr. Babbage's engine the 
title of a calculating machine on the same grounds." 

" Thus it seems to me that a gamekeeper reasons, whether he is con- 
scious or unconscious, whether his reasoning is carried on by neurosis 
alone, or whether it involves more or less psychosis." 

According to my idea of the matter, predication essentially consists 
not in marking " succession, likeness and unlikeness," but in 
recognising these relations as true. 

To this extent I may shelter myself under the authority of Mr. 
John Stuart Mill. Mr. Mill, in criticising Sir William Hamilton's 
definition of judgment, makes the following remarks (" Examination 
of Sir William Hamilton's Philosophy," p. 346) : 

"The first objection which, I think, must occur to anyone, on the 
contemplation of this definition, is that it omits the main and characteristic 
dement of a judgment and of a proposition. . . . When we judge or assert, 
there is introduced a new element, that of objective reality, and a new 
mental fact, belief. Our judgments, and the assertions which express 
them, do not enunciate our mere mode of mentally conceiving things, but 



E VOL UTIOX < i ffl) ITS CONSEQUENCES. 1 95 

our conviction or persuasion that the facts as conceived actually exist ; and 
a theory of judgments and propositions which does not take' account of 
this, cmiiiof / d true tJit'onj. In the words of Reid 'I give the name of 
judgment to every determination of the mind concerning what is ///// or 
u'lmt is fithi'. This, I think, is what logicians, from the days of Aristotle, 
called judgment.' And this is the very element which Sir Win. 
Hamilton's definition" [and I may now add Professor Huxley's also] 
" omits from it." 

Further on Mr. Mill says : 

" Belief is an essential rloncnt in a judgment. . . . The recognition of it 
as true is not only an essential part, but the essential element of it as 
a judgment ; leave that out, and jihere remains a mere piny of thought, in 
which no judgment is passed. It is impossible to separate the idea of 
judgment from the idea of the truth of a judgment ; for every judgment 
consists in judging something to be true. The element belief, instead of 
being an accident which can be passed in silence, and admitted only by 
implication, constitutes the very difference between a judgment and any 
other intellectual fact, and it is contrary to all the laws of definition to 
define judgment by anything else. The very meaning of a judgment or a 
proposition is something which is capable of being believed or disbelieved ; 
which can be true or false ; to which it is possible to say yes or no." 

In addition to this, Mr. Mill, in his notes on his father's, Mr. 
James Mill's, " Analysis of the Human Mind," ably shows, against 
Mr. Herbert Spencer, that rational belief cannot be explained as 
being identical with indissoluble association (vol. i. p. 402). 

In denying, then, reason to brutes in denying that their acts are 
rational, I do not, of course, deny for a moment that they are rational 
in the sense in which Mr Babbage's machine is calculating, but 
what I do maintain is, that brutes have not the power of forming 
judgments in the sense above explained. And I still more 
emphatically deny that brutes have any, even the very dimmest, con- 
sciousness of such ideas as " ought " and moral excellence. And 
because I further believe that no amount of sensible experiences can 
generate these conceptions, I deny that any brute is even potentially 
a moral agent. Those who credit brutes with " morality," do so by 
first eliminating from that idea all its essential characteristics. 

One word now of explanation. Professor Huxley seems much 

disturbed at my speaking of virtue as, in his view, a kind of retri 

and accuses me of imposing an " injurious nickname," and making a 

"joke." Nothing could have been further from my intention than 

either one or the other. As it happens the expression was not my 

but was picked up in conversation with as thorough a Darwinian 

even as Professor Huxley himself, who used it, as I understood, not 

nickname, but as a handy mode of bringing home his conceptions 

to my mind. I made use of it in all innocence, and I still think it 

singularly apt and appropriate, not certainly to express the conception 

o 2 



1 9 6 THE CONTEMPORARY REVIEW. 

of virtue, but to bring home the utilitarian notion of it. Professor 
Huxley says, " What if it is ? Does that make it less virtue ? " I 
answer, unhesitatingly, that it not only makes it "less virtue," but 
prevents its being virtue at all, unless it springs as a habit acquired 
from self-conscious acts directed towards an end recognised as good. 

Professor Huxley regrets that I should "eke out " my arguments 
against the views he patronises, by ascribing to them " logical 
consequences which have been over and over again proved not to flow 
from them." But it was to be expected that a disciple of Mill,* such 
as Professor Huxley, would know that in matters of this kind it is 
impossible to reason d posteriori, 011 account of the complexity of the 
conditions; and that the d priori argument, by deductions from in- 
evitable tendencies, can be alone employed. If Professor Huxley is 
persuaded of the evil consequences of Christianity, I am equally 
persuaded of the evil consequences of his system. 

No one has a greater esteem for Professor Huxley than I have, 
and no one is more convinced than I am of the uprightness of his 
intentions and his hearty sympathy with self-denying virtue. 
Nevertheless, the principles he unhappily advocates cannot but tend, 
by a fatal necessity, in one direction, and to produce results socially, 
politically, and morally, which he would be the first to deplore. They 
tend in the intellectual order to the degradation of the mind, by the 
essential identification of thought with sensation, and in the political 
order to the evolution of horrors worse than those of the Parisian 
Commune. I refrain from characterizing their tendency in the 
moral order. 

Before concluding, I must make one observation with regard to 
Mr. Wallace. I emphatically disclaim having had any intention of 
depreciating obliquely Mr. Darwin, though I desired to do justice 
to Mr. Wallace. It is an undoubted fact that there are many men 
who, if they had thought out natural selection simultaneously with 
Mr. Darwin, would have clamorously sought a recognition of the fact, 

* In speaking of the application of the experimental method to social science, Mr. 
Mill remarks : " This mode of thinking is not only general with practitioners in 
.politics, and with that very numerous class who (on a subject which no one, however 
ignorant, thinks himself incompetent to discuss) profess to guide themselves by common 
sense rather than by science ; but is often countenanced by persons with greater pre- 
tensions to instruction .... As, however, the notion of applicability of experimental 
methods to political philosophy cannot co-exist with any just conception of these 
methods themselves, the kind of arguments from experience which the chemical theory 
brings forth as its fruits (and which form the staple, in this country especially, of par- 
liamentary and hustings oratory), are such as, at no time since Bacon, would have been 
admitted to be valid in chemistry itself, or in any other branch of experimental science." 
(Mill's " Logic," vol. ii. p. 454.) " It is evident that Sociology, considered as a system 
of deductions d priori, cannot be a science of positive predictions, but only of tendencies.'" 
(Op. cit. p. 477.) 



EVOLUTION AND ITS CONSEQUENCES. 197 

and have lost no opportunity of asserting simultaneity. No one can 
affirm that Mr. Wallace has shown the faintest inclination of the kind, 
while no one can deny that if he had followed the clamorous path, 
his name would have been more widely known and more popularly 
associated with natural selection than has been, in fact, the case. 

It is a gratuitous assertion on the part of Professor Huxley to say 
I hav -ted that Mr. Darwin's eminence is due to Mr. Wallace's 

modesty, in any other sense than what I have now explained 
namely, that had Mr. Wallace put himself more prominently forward, 
he would have been seen more distinctly by the popular eye, an 
assertion no one can question. 

As a fact, I believe that Mr. Wallace, in the passage quoted by 
Professor Huxley, allows his modesty to deceive him. From what 
I know of Mr. Wallace, I venture to affirm he underrates his powers, 
and I am convinced he could have written as good a defence of natural 
selection as even the " Origin of Species." There are not wanting 
those who, though they have carefully studied Mr. Darwin's work, 
only fully understood his theory when presented to their mind in 
the clear, lucid, and admirable writings of Mr. Wallace. 

ST. GEORGE MIVART. 






"