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time：2023-12-03 09:38:24 Source: Originally writtenedit：theory
Perhaps Prometheus was the first Darwin of antiquity, for he is said to have begun his creation from below, and after passing from the invertebrate to the sub-vertebrate, from thence to the backbone, from the backbone to the mammalia, and from the mammalia to the manco- cerebral, he compounded man of each and all:-
Fertur Prometheus addere principi Limo coactus particulam undique Desectam et insani leonis Vim stomacho apposuisse nostro.
One word more about barrel-organs. We have heard on the undoubted authority of ear and eyewitnesses, that in a neighbouring province there is a church where the psalms are sung to a barrel-organ, but unfortunately the psalm tunes come in the middle of the set, and the jigs and waltzes have to be played through before the psalm can start. Just so is it with Darwinism and all similar theories. All his fantasias, as we saw in a late article, are made to come round at last to religious questions, with which really and truly they have nothing to do, but were it not for their supposed effect upon religion, no one would waste his time in reading about the possibility of Polar bears swimming about and catching flies so long that they at last get the fins they wish for.
DARWIN ON SPECIES: [From the Press, 21 February, 1863.]
Sir--In two of your numbers you have already taken notice of Darwin's theory of the origin of species; I would venture to trespass upon your space in order to criticise briefly both your notices.
The first is evidently the composition of a warm adherent of the theory in question; the writer overlooks all the real difficulties in the way of accepting it, and, caught by the obvious truth of much that Darwin says, has rushed to the conclusion that all is equally true. He writes with the tone of a partisan, of one deficient in scientific caution, and from the frequent repetition of the same ideas manifest in his dialogue one would be led to suspect that he was but little versed in habits of literary composition and philosophical argument. Yet he may fairly claim the merit of having written in earnest. He has treated a serious subject seriously according to his lights; and though his lights are not brilliant ones, yet he has apparently done his best to show the theory on which he is writing in its most favourable aspect. He is rash, evidently well satisfied with himself, very possibly mistaken, and just one of those persons who (without intending it) are more apt to mislead than to lead the few people that put their trust in them. A few will always follow them, for a strong faith is always more or less impressive upon persons who are too weak to have any definite and original faith of their own. The second writer, however, assumes a very different tone. His arguments to all practical intents and purposes run as follows:-
Old fallacies are constantly recurring. Therefore Darwin's theory is a fallacy.
They come again and again, like tunes in a barrel-organ. Therefore Darwin's theory is a fallacy.
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