Sir,-Why should Mr. Watkin consider it so incredible if Man appeared on the Earth sudden]) by Direct Creation? Would he set bounds to the Creator acting in His Own Creation?
Personally, only because modern secular knowledge seems to prove it, I consider the creation of man's hod) was through some evolution. To Catholics it cannot make any difference whatever method, or process. Divine Wisdom for His Own Design adopted. Peradventure, actually, it is something definitely, now, beyond human imagination. Maybe through scientific searching man may at last unravel it; who knows?
We must surely avoid such
general dogmatic statements that " God would he lying " if the walled " likeness of monkeys to man " did not infer a close relationship. One could argue many things. inaccurately, from similar premises. Might not such statements, if gencralls adopted, bring ridicule on Our Faith, especially if man's increase of secular knowledge should prove something contrary ?
Remember, too. some Modern ists suggest it incredible that Divine Wisdom should operate through the " shadow of Peter." the cloths from the hods of Paul " or the relics of such as Cuthbert Mayne. Mr. Watkin, as these. would appear to know too much of the Divine Mind and to set bounds to Divine Activity.
As one interested for over 30
years in propagating Catholic Truth I know the harm done by such slogans and platitudes. Let us insist and talk of Certainty only where the Church has given us Certainty, and avoid interpretations of secular knowledge and events as a part of Divine Truth when (as so often in the past) future knowledge may prove such statements false. " God is honoured by silence" (St. Thomas).
Leonard T. Warran. 25, Glenhurst Road,
Another Plain Question
Sir,-Mr. E. I. Watkin concludes his letter las, asking the opponents of evolution if they believe that on a certain date an observer from Mars could have observed the sudden appearance on earth of an adult man with no parents.
I will ask Mr. Watkin an equally plain question: Does he believe that on a certain date an observer from Mars could have observed the sudden appearance on earth of an adult monkey with no parents? Cyprian Rice, 0.P. Holy Cross Priory,
Philosophers and Fossils
Sir,-Mr. E. I. Watkin's question to " opponents of evolution " reduces the subtle, complex and intensely .interesting puzzles about Man's origin to a naive alternative unworthy of a professional philosopher and Catholic author.
Revelation and theology tell us that Man first appeared in the world in a non-" fallen " state, and not subject to death and the details of mortality. (By him " came death "-1. Con XV. 21.) That such a being (a body-soul unit) could have appeared on the earth without natural birth. adult. and possessing human faculties just as animals possess instincts and ahilities, is no more " utterly incredible" than the virgin birth. resurrection and ascension of Christ- a true man. This is a Stet ter parallel than the one given by Mr. Watkin-normal birth today. And there is no scientific objection. seeing the strange phenomena now known to occur.
Mr. Watkins clinging to Darwinian a priorism, probably makes him unaware of the large number of discoveries in recent years. all converging towards the probability of a change of ideas in biology and anthropology as great as the recent ones in physics. Perhaps Mr. Watkin has been too busy with hagiography to take note of chemistry. biology (especially biochemistry , genet ics, brain-phy si ology, comparative anatomy. ernbryologs ). anthropology. psychology (especially research into telepathy. E.S.P.. and the other psi faculties), geology. archaeology, phssics-and the mysterious rays and vibrations said to be unique for each individual.
Most lay people, and many scientists, are still so enslaved by the Darwinian philosophy that nothing of all this (truly scientific as it is) comes within the range of their notice---or perhaps their possibilities of thought.
One thing that really ought to be cleared away at once is the old belief that there is a significant similarity between apes and Man. (No space to give facts, except that Wood Jones showed that Mivart's important book, Man and Apes (1873). was right and had been promptly killed ": and that Wiedenreich re-published the famous picture of ape and human skeletons to show how T. H. Huxley had tricked the public).
Zoologists now point out the many similarities between animals with similar habits but with no possible evolutionary connection. F. Z. Young. F.R.S., gives instances, e.g.: " the large mouth of
insect eating animals frogs, swallows. swifts, bats," and says, " one could continue with endless examples." " It is as if vertebrate organisation produced time after time slightly different variations on a series of themes." (The Life of Vertebrates, p. 732-3.) The allusion to Cardinal Newman is most unfair to him: a snippet out of context. Fr. Henry Tristram (the Newman expert) sent me the whole passage, from an unpublished note book. Part of it (about time) is very interesting: near our thought. but still too far ahead to be useful just yet. To see his true views on the scientific errors he suspected, but thought it best to give plenty of rope to (his own simile). get the Everyman Edition of " University Education,'' and read the lecture on scientific investigation printed at the end of the volume-a lecture written the very year Darwin's views were made public. Page 246 specially important. The lecture's last two paragraphs hold a prophecy worth noting; and a searching remark about Catholics which should make your correspondents examine their scientific as well as religious consciences.
Vera Barclay. 17. The Midway,