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Evolution - Some General Principles

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

1. It is considered that the ultimate fact, behind which we cannot go with our present knowledge, is that this planet and all the various forms of life upon it, are the results of continuous efforts of one Universal Intelligence, or Life Force, operating under laws or methods which are established, not arbitrarily, but because of the nature and inherent capacities of the various Life Elements and Material Elements.

2. It is considered that the elective affinity or repulsion which exists in the eighty-three Material Elements sup-plies an energy or motion which is the immediate cause or active force of all the inorganic combinations found in nature.

3. It is considered that the cooperation of various Life Elements is secured through the same law of attraction operating on higher planes. All bodies are composed of different combinations of some of the eighty-three Material Elements. The combination is dominated by the intelligence of the Life Elements which cooperate in the efforts of each organic species to reproduce itself.

4. It is considered that Biogenesis, or life from life, is the only method of reproduction of which we have any knowledge. Spontaneous generation from powers inherent in the eighty-three Material Elements is considered impossible. The origin of species is unknown.

5. It is considered that the various existing species are the results established by and through successive cooperations and coordinations of Life Elements with Material Elements amid the vicissitudes of "the struggle for existence" and "natural selection." A series of efforts seems to have been made in the remote past with varying degrees of success. The gaps between species are unequal.

6. It is considered that Evolution is the continuous unfoldment of Life Principles and Possibilities, requiring organisms of various degrees of refinement, capacity and power, accomplished by successive modifications of mechanical design and structure, accompanied by gradual increase of individual intelligence and cooperation in effort. In other words, Evolution is accomplished primarily by Universal Intelligence acting through Life Elements integrating, vivifying and animating plant and animal forms; and finally by Individual Intelligences cooperating with the Universal Intelligence with more or less harmony. This is a new theory of variations. A good theory of variations is a great lack in the Darwinian hypothesis.

7. It is considered that nature's powers, methods and laws are producing worthy results and that the best that man can do is to study to understand them and to cooperate with them. It is recognized that man has the power to neglect or refuse to cooperate, but his ignorance and failures are regarded as similar to the abortive attempts which accompany every great enterprise. Effort, many failures, and final success seem to have characterized the entire evolutionary process. The general course of Evolution is upward and onward. Even the failures may be necessary as experiences and object lessons to the individual concerned or to others.

8. It is considered that Evolution, or Gradual Development, will finally secure the production of the Fittest and the preservation of the Best, intellectually and morally. Apparently nature is not limited in methods, means, processes or organisms through which to accomplish results. Though millions of each species may seem to fail as individuals, successive accomplishments of other individuals are. certainly realized. There may be compensations for the apparent failures of which we know nothing as yet. Only from continued observation of successive results can we judge the nature of an eternal. process occupying the universe.

9. Nature's plan for the human race provides an apparently infinite series of object lessons through observation of a universe, and successive personal experiences under the tuition of inexorable, unchangeable laws. This method seems to promise to secure the evolution of intelligent beings who will learn to obey law and possibly attain the power of indefinite persistence on future higher planes of existence.

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