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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 53

Proof of a Creation

Proof of a Creation.

Having, therefore, seen the very foundations of Darwinism crumble away wherever a test is applied, we now come to consider Mr. Denton's favourite barricade: "I challenge anyone," said he, "to adduce scientific evidence of a Creation." If by that we are to understand that no one is equal in those days to the manufacture of a living being we leave him and his co-believers in spontaneous generation in undisputed possession of the field. If, however, he means evidence such as we ordinarily accept as a demonstration of creation when applied to the production of any article of human manufacture, we retort that there is overwhelming evidence in thousands of instances. We see a creature spring suddenly into being without parentage., endowed with life., and exhibiting a structure marvellously designed; and, applying our ordinary modes of reasoning, we say it is the handiwork of a higher intelligence. Let us suppose Mr. Huxley wandering with his friend Professor Hæckel in the midst of a trackless and uninhabited desert, when they stumble upon a well-built house. Mr. Huxley says: "Some man has been this way before us." "Oh, no," responds Hæckel, "that's impossible; look at the country, no man could live here—that house has got there by chance—it his sprung up spontaneously, or the wind has blown it from the nearest town." Huxley retorts, "Why, there are the foundations well laid, and the house is constructed of such excellent proportions that not only a man, but a very intelligent one has been at work." Hæckel, however, persists that the thing is impossible, and Huxley leaves him to his theory as a harmless sort of monomania. Instead of a miserable house, we have exquisitely-formed page 43 creatures, into the intricacies of whose structure and processes of self-development human intelligence has failed to penetrate; and yet Mr. Huxley cannot perceive any insanity in attributing this to chance. "Ah!" says Mr. Denton, "I agree with you there-the thing is utterly incredible: but then it is 'Spiritual tendency in Nature supplies the key." Despite the most earnest and respectful solicitation no definition of this "Spiritual tendency" has yet been offered; and if it had, there is a serious obstacle to its acceptance in the overwhelming weight of evidence against any succession of life by transmutation of one species into another. We are very apt to deceive ourselves with high-sounding phrases. What is this "Spiritual tendency," and how does it operate? To produce the marvellous results in vegetable and animal life visible everywhere around us, it must either be something transmittable physically in matter, or else a constantly-operating miracle. It is surely easier of belief that creatures were called into existence by the working of the Creative Will, and endowed with all the powers necessary for perpetuating their species, after their own order, than that they have been moulded into shape by any "spilritual tendency," acting miraculously outside them, changing primitive forms, in the course of countless ages, to some ideal of which the original creatures were utterly unconscious.

If, however, Creation, in these days, is outside our own experience, Mr. Denton has assured us it is within his. He has gravely stated that a spasmodic female, sitting in trance condition, can materialise out of the air the substance of the human body. He has, himself, if we may believe him, taken casts in clay of hands so created. He refers us with perfect faith to Professor Crookes, who declares that he has hugged the full figure of a materialised spirit of the feminine gender, and found it very substantial. He points us to Professor Zollner, who testifies that a gold ring was taken from his finger and passed through that solid substance of a series of wooden boxes locked one within another, without the boxes being opened or the material of the ring: or the wood injured. The man who believes all this and asks us to show him a creation, or doubts the power of Deity to do wonders less repugnant to our knowledge of the properties of material substances than a belief in Zollner's ring experiment demands, is surely somewhat unreasonable in his alternations of scepticism and credulity.