The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 31
The popular craving for Creation by Fiat, inconsistent
The popular craving for Creation by Fiat, inconsistent.
Still, popular sentiment craves for a creation by fiat, something scenic, dramatic, a method of creation that will stand out to the senses. A creation which progresses from the zoophyte to man in a million centuries is as good as no creation at all. To locate the creative force so far away as the nebulae is to push it out of the universe.
But this sentiment is inconsistent. To say that the universe is the product of Evolution is to dispense with the Creator, we are told. What Creator, then, has the existing generation of plants and animals? The organisms we now see were not created by fiat. They are the product of causes set in motion, at any rate, six thousand years ago. Has the world then been God-forsaken for six thousand years?
It is a truer theology and a more reasonable science to say that progressive development needs a creative force as strictly as the summoning a new existence out of nothing. "Forces of nature are God's energies; "laws" are the modes in which they work. "It is but reasonable," says Herschel, in his "Outlines of Astronomy," "to regard the force of gravitation as the direct or indirect result of a Consciousness or Will existing somewhere." Much more reasonably may this be supposed of the evolutionary forces, whatever they are, which are for ever throwing up new phases of life. It is through them that—
Out of darkness come the hands
That reach through nature, moulding men.
The objector who, in his zeal for the honour of the Creator, refuses to recognize His plastic hand in Evolution, is shut up to the absurdity of excluding creative force from the world since the Bible-date of Adam, for manifestly, since then, creation has been by Evolution. The whole relation of Evolution to Theism is well expressed by the Duke of Argyll in a single sentence:—"Creation by Law, Evolution page 10 by Law, Development by Law, or, as including all these kindred ideas—the Reign of Law—is nothing but the reign of Creative Force, working under the control of Creative Power, and in fulfilment of Creative Purpose."