Such ground there must be, or seem to be, to justify or excuse a veteran divine and scholar like Dr.Hodge in his deduction of pure atheism from a system produced by a confessed theist, and based, as we have seen, upon thoroughly orthodox fundamental conceptions.’ Leaving aside all subsidiary and incidental matters, let us consider–1. He is simply a naturalist, a careful and laborious observer, skillful in his descriptions, and singularly candid in dealing with the difficulties in the way of his peculiar doctrine. The positive charge appears to be equally gratuitous. Hodge must have overlooked the beginning as well as the end of the volume which he judges so hardly.
Hodge takes to be the denial of any such thing as final causes); and that the interactions and processes going on which constitute natural selection may suffice to account for the present diversity of animals and plants (primordial organisms being postulated and time enough given) with all their structures and adaptations–that is, to account for them scientifically, as science accounts for other things.
A good deal may be made of this, but does it sustain the indictment?
Darwin postulates, upon the first page of his notable work, and in the words of Whewell and Bishop Butler: 1.
The establishment by divine power of general laws, according to which, rather than by insulated interpositions in each particular case, events are brought about in the material world; and 2.
‘The point to be proved is, that it is the distinctive doctrine of Mr. Not to the original intention of the divine mind; 2.
Not to special acts of creation calling new forms into existence at certain epochs; 3. How all living things on earth, including the endless variety of plants and all the diversity of animals, . Second, the law of Variation; that is, while the offspring are in all essential characteristics like their immediate progenitor, they nevertheless vary more or less within narrow limits from their parent and from each other. have descended from the primordial animalcule, he thinks, may be accounted for by the operation of the following natural laws, viz.: First, the law of Heredity, or that by which like begets like–the offspring are like the parent.Even if we may not hope to reconcile the difference between the theologian and the naturalist, it may be well to ascertain where their real divergence begins, or ought to begin, and what it amounts to.Seemingly, it is in their proximate, not in their ultimate, principles, as Dr.Hodge insists when he declares that the whole drift of Darwinism is to prove that everything ‘that the complicated organs of plants and animals are the product of the divine intelligence?If God made them, it makes no difference, so far as the question of design is concerned, how he made them, whether at once or by process of evolution.’ and likens their origination to the origination of individuals; species being series of individuals with greater difference. After a time, another and another of such favorable variations occur, with like results. Soon these favored ones gain the ascendency, and the less favored perish, and the modification becomes established in the species.Moreover, the counts of the indictment may be demurred to.It seems to us that only one of the three points which Darwin is said to deny is really opposed to the fourth, which he is said to maintain, except as concerns the perhaps ambiguous word ’- One or both of these Mr. Hodge says, a theist) must needs hold to in some form or other; wherefore he may be presumed to hold the fourth proposition in such wise as not really to contradict the first or the third.