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Darwin - The Descent Of Man

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

In the General Summary and Conclusion to his book Descent of Man, Mr. Darwin states :

"The main conclusion here arrived at, and now held by many naturalists who are well competent to form a sound judgment, is that man is descended from some less highly organized form. The grounds upon which this conclusion rests will never be shaken, for the close similarity between man and the lower animals in embryonic development, as well as in innumerable points of structure and constitution, both of high and the most trifling importance,—the rudiments which he retains, and the abnormal reversions to which he is occasionally liable,—are facts which cannot be disputed."

The same main conclusion is stated by Professor Ernst Haeckel on page 65 of The Riddle of the Universe in the following language :

"The substantial similarity in outer form and inner structure which characterizes the embryo of man and other vertebrates in this early stage of development is an embryo-logical fact of the first importance : from it, by the fundamental law of biogeny, we may draw the most momentous conclusions. There is but one explanation of it—heredity from a common parent form. When we see that, at a certain stage, the embryos of man and the ape, the dog and the rabbit, the pig and the sheep, although recognizable as higher vertebrates, cannot be distinguished from each other, the fact can only be elucidated by assuming a common parentage."

It is evident, and it is granted, that Mr. Darwin and Professor Haeckel could only elucidate the facts of embryology by assuming a common parentage. However, without disputing any of the facts as given but only the assumption of a common parentage, I have reached a very different conclusion. In order to make clear the vast difference, I have formulated the following questions

1. Are the subsequent divergences, which distinguish the developed man, ape, dog, rabbit, pig and sheep, inherent in the embryos or are they caused by later additions thereto?

2. If added later, at what stage and by what agency?

3. If they exist in the embryos, is it not an insignificant point that we do not perceive them? In other words, are they not there, even though we do not perceive them?

4. Are the similarities of the embryos more significant than the dissimilarities of the developed man, ape, dog, rabbit, pig and sheep ?

5. If the similarities of the embryos prove a common parentage, what do the dissimilarities of the developed species prove?

Distinguished and learned men have presented us with a "Theory of Descent with Modification."

Nature presents us continually with facts which contradict the theory.

Which shall we adopt ?

Embryos look alike. But we know that the embryos of man and the ape, the dog and the rabbit, the pig and the sheep, do not come from the same parents. No one ever claims that they do. Must we set aside our knowledge because it is considered necessary to have some theory to account for the facts? Is it better to hold a theory, no matter how far it may be from explaining facts, than to admit frankly, we do not know ?

When a biologist is inspecting germs or embryos, he will admit that he cannot tell the parentage. How does he find out? He watches until they have developed. Then does he say, has any biologist ever said, "I do not know their parents," or "I think they came from a common parentage"? No. Every biologist knows the parents when the species have developed and he never entertains a doubt. To do so would be to deny all his science. Furthermore, he knows that two species did not have a common parentage. He never questions this fact of nature. Then similarities in appearance of embryos do not prove descent from a common parentage ages ago any more conclusively than they prove it today.

Compare the physical organisms of a man and an ape and there seems to be much reason in the Darwinian theory that "man is descended from a hairy, tailed quadruped, probably arboreal in its habits."

However, those who believe this theory have compared only the physical organisms. Also, they know no better working hypothesis and they feel constrained to formulate some explanation.

The moment they consider the dissimilarities of the individual entities, taking into account their whole natures, then the theory utterly fails to account for the vast differences. The distinction between man and the animal is not in physical form, structure or composition but in rational and moral capacity. There is a gulf fixed which is impassable to any resident powers in any animal. That a new Life Element has been added can be demonstrated.

It is recognized that animals can be made more intelligent than they now are, through man's long-continued influence in breeding and training. But no amount of care in breeding or education can produce men from apes.

Even with man's intelligence added to nature's processes and with the pattern of humanity now known, no process of developing apes into human beings can be proposed which will overcome the obstacles. None has ever been seriously considered even by the most strenuous advocate of the Darwinian theory.

Then it is a fearful strain on the rational faculties to conceive of apes as having accomplished this for them-selves even when aided by all the reputed powers of "Natural Selection" and "Sexual Selection" and all the other factors noted in Table A. If man cannot form any rational plan of how to attempt it now with the patterns given, how could the ape have performed the miracle before any pattern was formed?

Those who believe that the Darwinian theory is sufficient should write at least a brochure on HOW THE MONKEY DID IT.

Until Darwinian evolutionists explain the causes of the dissimilarities, or variations, in species, especially the causes of the vast discrepancies in rational and moral capacities, even in the absence of a more satisfactory theory, we are warranted in holding the conclusion that APES PLUS NATURAL SELECTION WERE NEVER SUFFICIENT TO PRODUCE HUMAN BEINGS.

Darwinians should also explain the absence of hybrids except as results of human agency. Why are there not visible all degrees of hybrids and monstrosities? Why are species "constant"? If one species has descended from another, why has nature discontinued the process? The explanations given of the great "extent of time" required and the "imperfection of the geological record," do not remove all the discrepancies and objections.

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