Full Text for CTM Miscellanea 6-12 (Text)

real crea.tion of the stuff of the universe is now treated as an established fact of science, the logical next ste·p would be to extend the idea. of creation to include also the grea,t pI'ima.l kinds of plant!> and animals, or all those units which axe essentially distinct from one another. All this is o·f course wholly contra.ry to the dominant theory of evolution. Nevertheless scientists are being driven to it, and it seems the next grea,t 932 Miscellanea. intellectual advance of mankind. I do not mean by this that I expect the world as a, whole to accept such an idea,. It may be sufficient if all the loyal people of God recognize such a, literal creation as taught by both science and revelation. F'or the full realization of this basic truth could not fail to work a, transformation in the timid voice' of the Church as now heard on many points of belief and practise. Former "Proofs" Discredited. VV €I aU realize how universally the' evolutionary theory in some form prevaEs to-day. Yet the detailed "proofs" on which the theory was accepted some two generations ago 11&,ve all become, discredited. The evolutionists now are all quarreling among themselves over the interpretation of the new discoveries. They cannot agreC' on the method of C'voJution, which seemed so fixed and sure three or four decade'S ago. The' prestige of wha,t they regard as, a grea,t victory for science some seventy-five years ago is still constantly appealC'd to. They keep on repea,ting that evolution is now a, fa.ct" not a, mere theory. Yet sadly and reluctantly the leading biologists now own tha,t they do not know how the various kinds of living things, came into existence. For great hosts of facts ha,ve come to light within the past two or three decades which seem destructive of any con- tinued faith in their th60ry. Each well-informed man knows about the troublesomel nmv facts which ha,ve bobbed up within his own na,rrow spe- cialty. He wrangles with his f!lllow-specialists about these curious new fads, but thinks tha,t all is quiet along the evolutionary front in the other departments of science. For on a,ccount of the modern extreme specialization of science few are aware of wha,t is ha,ppening in any other deparbnents but theh' own. Faith in the testimony of the experts in the other depaTtments is the universa,l rule to-day. But within ea,ch of these na,ITOW, water-tight compa,rtments, the men are quarreHng among them- selves as, to how their new discoveries a,re to be interpretC'd so as to present a, united front to the world on these aU-absorbing problems of origins. New Discoveries in Embryology. Some of thel ea.rliest discoveries to, give uneasines8 to the theorists wm'e in the field of embryology. Some fmty yeMs ago Hans Driesch and his foUowe'rs, found that the developing embryo often beha;ves in waiVs that WeTe never dreamt of in Haeckel's philosophy. The evolutionary theory of course is obliged to say that instinct is merely inherited habit and that the developing embryo' grows in the way it does because it is reca,pitulating the' history of its remote ancesto,rs. And in its very earliest stages, when it is in the four-cell or the e'ight-cell s,tage, each of these cells, it was said, always represents one particula,r fourth or eighth of the adult organism. Each of thesel cells is just one specific, predetermined part uI the' adult and nothing e~se. But Driesch found that he could sepa,rate the four-cleavage cells from ea.ch other; yet each one of them would go on and develop intO' a, whole, complete mganism, maldng four where there would ha,ve been one. He forced another embryo completely around, so that the relative positions of the, eight cells with respect to each other were' completely reversed. Miscellanea. 938 But this did not bother the young thing a, bit. It developed as, it was into a, perfect and normal individual the other wa,y a,round. Then he found tha,t, if he, took the embryo at about the 1,OOO-cell stage, he could cut awa,y 50 cells, or 100' cells, or 20.3 cells, or jus,t about as many as he liked and from any place he liked, and the remainder would go on and develop into a, normal individual, though of smaller size. Lastly he found he' could force two original cells to combine; and the result was that the cells accepted the situation and again produced a g,ingle, complete organism, each of the two. cells develo.ping into one half of it. These, experiments were originally perfo.rmed with the eggs of the sea,-urchin; they ha,ve' been repea,ted by many others besides Driesch and have' been extended to the eggs o.f fishes, newts, medusae, and insects. Such facts make nonsense of the o.lder theo.ries, recapitulation and all. Logically also. they sound the' death-knell of mate,riaTism and mechanism, but they a,re especially clear against the theories of Weismann and Haeckel. Other discQCI'eries in the embryology of both vertebra,tes and invertebra,tes have assis,ted in this work. About thirty years ago the facts o.f Mendelism began to dawn upon the world. It was lea,rned that the various chara,cters of plants and animals are all transmitted sepa,rately in heredity. Though they may be suppressed for a, time or ma,y be combined in one way or another, yet they a,re always transmitted full and unimpaired when they a,re transmitted at all. Thus the old Da,rwinian idea, of organisms slowly changing in one direction or another to suit their environment is now known to be all wrong. Apparently whatever changes do come at all come suddenly and a,re the result of hybridiza,tion. Oertain characters ma,y drop out entirely, and many mutations nf one kind or another ma,y OCCUT, mnst of them being pa,thologic or degenerative in nature. But of bioJogic progress in an upward direction from the simple to the complex, a la Da,rwin and Lamarck, mode'rn genetics know absolutely nothing. Folly of the Fossil Theory. The study of the fossils also has had its hard messages for the evolu- tionist. Fnssil botany has reveaIed the sobering fa·ct that the great fam- ilies of plants have always been as distinct as they are at the, present day. And there seems no possible, way in which the fossil plants can be arranged so as, to show a develnpment of one kind into another. This, is essentially the verdict nf such eminent fossil botanists as D. H. Scott and A. O. Seward. In additinn, the great a,reas where such fossil animals as the trilobites, occur (in a, perfectly natural way) above dinosaurs and other "higher" kinds ha,ve' served to. call the attention of the world to the shameful subject of the illogical and tricky methods of dating the rocks nf the' ea.rth in an evolutionary order by Illeans of the fosaHs they contain and then proving their evolutionary theory by Illeans of the fossils thus, a.rtificiaUy arranged. The nutcome of this. little episode has been to discredit the entire scheme of e,volutionary geology and to rehabilita,te the former Flood theo.ry of the fossils. The' laUer is now seen to furnish the most sensible' as well as the simplest and most truly scientific explana,tion of the fossils and the' stratified rocks. These: surprising and conclusive discoveries ha,ve: brought great search- ings of heart to many who were formerly full believers in organic evolution. 934 Miscellanea. True, open admowledgments of this state of things are not often made. Particularly do the orthodox geologists shy at openly admitting that the modern reha.bilitation of the l<"lood theory has made any impression upon them. Tha.t the latter, however, have no ra.tional answer to the modern Flooe] theory is evident from the bitterness and savagery with which any mention of this theory or of the name of its modern advocatc is always greeted among evolutionary geologists. The net results of the present situation are, however, tangible and of a permanent nature; for seldom does anyone but a. fanatic and a. dogma.tist retain his former faith in the theory after he has. once come face to face with these many modern scientific facts. Summarizing the Facts. Let us briefly summarize the sitmLtion in order to forecast the outlook. 1. Spontaneous generation is to-day as logically essential for starting the scheme of organic evolution as ever it was. But since the days of Louis Pasteur (whose work came after the establishment of Da.rwin's theory) spontaneous generation has become more and more discredited with each passing yea.r. 2. Both Lamarck's theory of the inheritance of acquired clmracters and Darwin's theory of natural selection ha.ve been completely discredited as real causes or explanations of transformism. Not a baker's dozen of scientists in all parts of the world now believe in either of them. Believers in creation of course have a right to insist that this faHure of every alleged cause sbould throw doubt upon the actuality of the process itself. 3 . .All the la.rge fads of embryology which used to be pointed to as evidence for organic evo~ution a,re now seen to be far better understood as be-ing merely the best and most natural methods fo·r the various kinds of animal embryo!'! to develop. Incidentally I may say that most of the alleged "facts" which we·re capitalized by Haeckel are now known to have been founded upon mistakes, some even upon sheer misrepresentation of the actual facts as then known. 4. If the facts about the fossils and the stmtified rocks are more simply and more logically understood as having been caused by a wodd catastrophe or, in other wmds, by the Flood recorded in Genesis, then indeed there would have to be an end of all discussion a.bout evolution, so fa.r as those are concerned who have any respect for the' Bible as a revelation from God. Even one who rejects' the, Bible will always be driven to sore straits when asked to show cause why we should credit his magic ability to discrimina.te among the fossils and assign some to an age long befme· (or long aHer) the others. For this boasted ability to· date the fossils is a. matter of sheer pretense· and assumption which nobody who knows the facts will credit in the leas.t, unless he has more faith in pompously asserted dogmatisms than in truth and common sense. In the light of all these facts we may well ask: - Where are we now? J~et us list some results which are impo·rtant in this connection. a) Bible believers should be cautious about taking too narrow a view of "species." Many kinds classed as. goocl species have been crossecl with Miscellanea. 935 resulting fertile progeny. This is true amDng bOoth plants and animals. So we get ourselves into an impG·ssible pGsitiDn if we cling to the DId view Df the extreme fixity nf species. .And we dn nDt help ma,tters by beginning tOo quibble a,bGut the meaning nf species. That line Df tactics always heads back Dver the same dreary IGgGmachies Df tWD generatiGns agD. FaT better to shift the grDund fnrthwith tOo the la,rge'r group, the "families." Here we are .on snlid scientific ground. Nn .one can pGssibly drive us from the pns~tiGn that the grea.t families Df plants and animals a,re' funda- mentally distinct frDm ea.ch Dther. They are dis,tinct nDW, and even the fDssils do nOot shOow any intergrades nr intermedia,tes between them. Thus we can always be safe in asserting that these grea,t families a.re sepa.ra,te and distinct because they were created tha,t way. .And if this is true Oof the families, it is the mGre true .of the orders, the classes, and the phyla. That these grea,t grGUpS have permanent and unbridgeable gaps be- tween them is essentially the pGBitiGn .of such eminent men as. Austin H. CIa.rk Oof the U. S. NatiGnal Museum and Leo S. Berg Oof the University Df Leningra.d, Russia" amOong ZOGIGgists; Df D. H. Scott, A. C. Seward, and Dthers, amOong fGssil bOotanists·. .And this distinctness nf the classes, the Oorders, and the families, with nn intergrades Dr intermediates between them either am.ong the living or am.ong the fDssil types" is gGod proo·f that they were created thus. and ha.ve remained thus distinct frDm the beginning. The mixing which has gGne .on amGng the genera, and species .only serves to. bring Gut into. strOonger cGntrast this a.bsOolute distinctness Df the larger grGups. b) Man as an animal is distinot from all others. Says Austin H. Clark, Dne Oof the mGst eminent .of Ame,rican ZGOIDgists: "Man is nOot an ape, and in spite Oof the simila,rity between them there is nOot the slightest evidence tha.t man is descended frGm an ape." (The New Evolution, p. 224.) Again: "FrGm what ha.s. just been said it is impOossible tOo belie,ve that such 'missing links? ever actually existed. . .. There is no. justifica.tiOon in assuming that such a thing as a, 'missing link' ever e'xisted Oor indeed cOould ever have existed." (Pp. 226. 22·7.) 0) Bible Ohris·tians have a solid scientifio support for believing in a real creation. This nOot Dnly means the crea,tiOon Oof man and aU the Oother distinct "kinds" Oof animals and plants, but the return tOo the dDctrine Oof God's direct Oor fiat oontrol nOow and cGntinuOously Oof all the things which He originally made. ND .one can deny that GGd's direct cGntrOoI Oof all the phen.omena . .of nature is taught thrOoughDut the whGle Bible, the Old and the New Testament alike. But nGW m.odern science convinces us that this is the .only sensible' view to. take. The Great Absente'e. The .old deistic theory .of God as the Great Absentee, governing His universe by delegated agents called the "fOorces." .of gravitatiGn, cGhesion, and radia.tiOon, is, and always· has been, grntesque nGnsense. There are no independent fGrces Oor pr.operties .or hws of ma,tter. G.od carries . .on all phenGmena directly, except what ma.y be due tG the initiative .of beings like men and angels, to whGm He has granted free' will, or the ability t.o becGme true· causes., or Griginat.ors, .of phenGmena.. Pr.obably tG a, lesser 936 Miscellanea. degree we may grant that the anima,ls, in gradually descending degree, can also o,riginate action. All else must be assigned to God's direct action and control. The la,ws' of the interrelation of forces and the conservation of energy show tha,t all the phenomena. of the universe a·re ineoctricably tied up together. If we, admit a, God at aU, we must a,Elsign aU natural phenomena to Him. But all this means that the grea,t Jehovah is not in any wa,y tied by the things, that Hel has made. Thus, if He, ca.rries on the affairS! of His universe directly. and without any inde'pendent "forces" or "properties" of ma,tter, then in any specific instance He is in no way hampered or re'stricted and can do exactly what Hel sees best. He' can hear and answer- my pra,yer.. He can ca,re for me individually. From His great and calm eternity He can plan everything and cany out everything that will be for my be's.t good. d) These many discoveries of modern scienoe oonverge to strengthen our oonfidenoe in the living God. Not only did God crea,te aU things in the beginning, but He still conducts all the universe according to His own purpose. From all this we return to the reverent study of all nature and find that this study is, wha,t it ought always to have been, a, genuine source of theology, of kno'wledge about God. His eternal power and divinity are Y('Jv8'Bled and understood by the things "ljvhich Ret haG ma.de; and all the genuine' discoveries which na,tural sciencH haH made known to us become of vast importance in helping us to appreciate our position a,s His eVe'r- de'pendent crea,tures and His pos,ition a,s our aU-wise, all-loving Creator. George McOready Price, in Mooay Monthly. Will of Erasmus. In July, 1914, before the outbreak of the World War, I spent a week in Basel, and at the university library I was given an opportunity to examine a volume containing original manuscripts of Erasmus. Among these I copied his last will and testament, which I now transmit to you for publication in the CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY: - In nomine Sanctae, Trinitatis Desiderius Erasmus' RoterO'damus, fretus Diploma,tibus CaesaJ'is, summi pontificis ac Magnifici magis,tra,tus, inclytae civita,tis Basiliensis, hoc meo chirogra,pllO renovO' sup rem am vohmtatem meam" quam quocumque titulO' firmam ac ra,tam haberi volo, irritum vero siquid alias te'status sum. Principio, cedm; me nullum ha,bere legitimum hae,redem, pra,estantissimum virum D. Bonifacium Amerbachium omnium fa,cultatum mea,rum haeredem ins,tituO', exequutmes, vero HierO'nymum FrO'- benum et Nicolaum Episcopium. Bibliothecam meam iam pridem vendidi D. Ioanni a, LaskO' Polono, iuxta, syngrapham super hoc contraetu inter nos confectam. N O'n tradentur libri, nisi haeredi. Quodsi ille pactum remiserit aut me prior ex vita excesserit, liberum estO' haHredi de lihris statuere quod velit. D. [domino] LudO'vico Bem lego, horologium aureum, Bea,tO' Renano cochlea,re aureum cum suscinula, aurea. 1'1:. Petro Veterio centum quin- quaginta, corona,tO's aureO's" tantumdem Philippo Montano. Lamberto Miscellanea. 937 FamulO', si mihi mQrienti a.dfuerit, ducentQs flQrenQs aureO's, mSI ego. vivus ei hanc summam numerarO'. D. IO'anni BrisgO'Q lagenam argenteam. D. PaulO' VO'ltziQ flQrenQs aureQS centum. SigismundQ GeleniQ ducatos centum et. quinquaginta. IO'anni ErasmO' FrQbeniO' duO's annulO's, qUQrum alter nOon habet gemmam, alter gemmam subviridem, GaBis dictam Turcois. HierO'nymQ FrQbeniQ legQ Qmnes vestes meas O'mnemque, supeUectilem laneam, lineam et ligneam, praeterea pO'culum, quO'd habet insignia Car- dinalis MO'guntini. UxO'ri eius annulum, qui habet imaginem mulieris in tergum respicientis. NicQlao EpisCQpio poculum cum Qperculo, quod in pede habet versiculOos insculptos. Iustinae, UXO'Ti eius" duO's annulQs, qUQrum alter habet. a,damantem, alter TurcO'is minQrem. M. CO'nradOo GocleniQ pO'culum argenteum, quod in summQ habet imaginem F'Qrtnnae. Siquis legatariQrum interciderit, quod legatum era,t, in haeredis arbi- trio esto. Haeres praeter ea" quae ipsi per syngra,pham designa,vi" sibi accipiet, quicquid supe·rfuerit. pO'culQrum aut annulorum aut rerum similium, ad haec nQmisma,ta, insignia", ut Lusitanos crucia,tcs, regis, PQIQniae ac 8werini BQneri faciem exprimentis, aliaqua his similia,. Praeterea ducatcs, O'mnes dupUces et quadruplices. Pecuniam a,pud CO'nradum GO'slenium depO'sitam, illi in Brabantia, dispensandam relinquet, quema,dmQdum ei mandavi. Siquid apud Erasmum Schetum erit reliquum, a,b eo. repetet, eamque pecuniam ac reliquam Qmnem, quae, superfuerit, suO. a,rbitriQ et ex cQnsiliQ exequutc,rum distribuat in usus pauperum, aetate aut valetudine infir- morum. Item in pueUas nupturas, in a,dole'scentes bonae spei, breviter, quoscumque subsidiQ dignO's indicaverint. Hanc extremam vQlunta,tem, quo p~aniO'r sit fides, prQpria manu descripsi ae peculiare annuli mm sigillum terminum affixi Basileae in aedibus, Hieronymi FrQbenii dUQdecimo die Februarii annQ a, natali dQmenicO' millesimo quingentesimo tricesimo sextQ. E:ra,smus died July 12;, 1536. I read the last letter Qf his own hand June 2&, 1536 - written "aegra mawu." E. G. STHLER.