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Special Creation or Evolution?

    Naturevolume 135page987 (1935) | Download Citation



    MR. DEWAR does not say so, but probably he would agree with the view of the president of the Victoria Institute, Sir Ambrose Fleming, that man and every other genus began as a special creation. In support of that thesis, Sir Ambrose regards the Java, Heidelberg, Piltdown and Pekin ‘men’, as biological abnormalities, passing over the probabilities against the disappearance of all the normal forms of their time, and the preservation of abnormalities only. He holds that “if nearly as many [human] individuals die as are born in a year, there can be no particular contest for food and one of the factors in the Darwinian causes of evolution is thereby removed” (“Modern Anthropology versus Biblical Statements on Human Origin”. Second edition. London: Victoria Institute, 1935. 1s.) But this mortality rate is what actually happens in every stable species of plant and animal, and the enormous destruction has generally been regarded as affording just that opportunity for selection which Darwin postulated. These and other aspects of the anti-Darwin controversy are dealt with in a lively booklet by Sir Arthur Keith, “Darwinism and its Critics” (The Forum Series, No. 20. Pp. vii + 56. London: Watts and Co., 1935. Paper, 1d. net; cloth, 1s. net), in which he defends the theory of evolution against the arguments of Sir Ambrose Fleming, and of other critics, some obviously ill-informed as to the facts. Sir Arthur clings to his hard-hitting style, but his punches are clean, and he swings a good knock-out. Also he adheres to the adage of a recent school grammar book—“explain clearly, as if to a Scots.…

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