The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, April 01, 1921, Page 7, Image 7

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    '" V
The Commoner
APRIL, 1921
basis and ignoring spiritual values, attacks the
Yery foundations of Christianity. I shall later
ftrace tho influence of Darwinism on world peace
when the doctrine is espoused by one bold
enough to carry it to its. logical conclusion, but
II must now point out its effect upon young
A boy is born into a Christian family; as soon
as ho is able to join words together into sen-
'EMtences his mother teaches him to lisp the child's
:: "Now I lay mo down to sleep; I pray
Aim T nl mir n-nl f r Irnnni tP T nVimilrl ?fn tiafnra
4':Ii wake. I Dray the Lord my soul to take." A
.'?. rjr. .. . . ., . . . , . .. ....
-?;3iiuie later tne ooy-is taugnc tno .uoru s jtrayer -
JMH ... a j.
and each day ne lays his petition oeiore tno
eavenly Father: "Give us this day our daily
bread." "Lead us not into temptation." "De
liver us from evil." "Forgive our trespasses,"
He talks with God. He goes to Sunday School
and learns that the Heavenly Father is even
more kind than earthly parents: he hears the
poacher tpll how precious our lives are in the
lght of God now even a sparrow cannot tail
to the ground without His notice. All his faitht
ij built upon the Book that informs him that he
;-jjjfiB$ in tho image of God; that Christ came to
; 4?jFeveal God to man and to be man's Saviour.
Then he goes to college and a learned pro
fessor leads him through a book 600 pages thick,
largely devoted to resemblances between man
6! the beasts about him. His attention is called
So a point in the ear that is like the point of the
ar of the ourang, to canine teeth, to-muscles like
ose by which a horse moves its ears. He is as-
ured that the development of the moral sense
can be explained on a brute basis without any
met of, or aid from, God. (See pages 113-114.)
No mention of religion, the only basis for
ibrality; not a suggestion of a sense of respon
sibility to God nothing but cold, clammy ma
JjlSrialisml Darwinism transforms the Bible Into
wfetory book and reduces Christ to the stature of
The instructor gives the student a new family
millions ot years long, with its roots in the
.-water marine animals') and then SETS HIM
is Is done. Jn schools and colleges where the
Ible cannot be taught, but where infidelity,
agnosticism, and atheism are taught in the name
.science and philosophy. This is not neutral
ly The Christians should at least insist upon
real neutrality, jli tne aetense oi tne .hi Die is
t permitted in schools supported by taxation,
teacher should be allowed to attack the Bible
such schools.
volution is tho basis of higher criticism a
rase used to describe a school of critics who,
tarting out with the proposition fcftat the Bible
ust be wrong because its account of Creation
flitters from the evolutionary hypothesis, pro
ved to eliminate all that is supernatural in it
jjfad to undermine the faith of their followers in
It authority. They put the Bible on the operat
ing table and cut out the parts that they think
(iiseased. When they are through, it is no longer
jk&e Book of Books It i3 "a scrap of paper."
No wonder so large a percentage of the boys
nd girls who go from Sunday Schools and
(Churches to colleges (sometimes as high as 75
5r cent) never return to religious work. How
ah one feel uoq'b presence in nis aaiiy lire ix
Darwin's reasoning Is sound? This restraining
influence, more potent than any external force,
"Si, paralyzed when God is put so far away. How
can one believe In prayer if, for millions of years,
bd has never touched a human life or laid His
$fand upon the destiny of the human race? What
mockery to petition or implore, if God neither
illears nor answers. Elijah taunted tho prophets
wfcBaal when their god failecPto answer with fire;
JtCry aloud," he said, "Peradventure he
Sleepeth." Darwin mocks tho Christians even
or cruelly; he tell3 us that our God has been
asleep for millions of years. He does not em
phasize the fact that Jehovah was ever awake.
bwhere does he collect for tne reader the evi
dences of a Creative Power and call upon man
lb worship and obey God. The great scientist
fa, if I may borrow a phrase, "too much absorbed
'in the things infinitely small to consider the
Swings infinitely great." Darwinism chills the
ipiritual nature and quenches the fires of re
ligious enthusiasm. If the proof in support of
arwinism does not compel acceptance and it
aoes not why substitute It for an account of the
feroation that links man directly with the Creator
nd holds before him an example to be imitated?
Kjj the eminent theologian, Charles Hodge, says:
JThe Scriptural doctrine (of Creation) accounts
- d.
r ,
for the spiritual nature of man, and moots all 5iia
spiritual necessities. It gives him an object of
adoration, love and confidence. It reveals tho
Being on whom hia indestructible sense of re
sponsibility terminates. The truth of this doc
trine, therefore, rests not only upon tho author
ity of the Scriptures but on tho very constitution
of our nature."
Acceptance of Darwin's doctrine tends to de
stroy one's belief in immortality as taught by
the Bible. If there has been no break in the lino
between man and the beasts no time when by
the act of tho Heavenly Father man became "a
living Soul," at what period in man's develop
ment was he endowed with the hope of a futuro
life? And, if the brute theory leads to tho
abandonment of belief in a future iifo with its
rewards and punishments, what stimulus to
righteous living is offered in its place?
Darwinism leads to a denial of God. Neitzscho
carried Darwinism to its logical conclusion and it
made him the most extreme of anti-Christians.
I had read extracts from his writings enough
to acquaint me with his sweeping denial of God
and of tho Saviour but not enough to make mo
familiar with his philosophy.
As the war progressed I became more and
more impressed with the conviction that tho Gor
man propaganda rested upon a materialistic
foundation. I secured the writings of Neitzsche
and found in them a defense, made in advance,
of all the cruelties and atrocities practiced by
the militarists of Germany. Neitzsche tried to
substitute the worship of the "Superman" for
the worship of God. He not only rejected the
Creator, but he rejected all moral standards. Ho
praised war and eulogizod hatred because it led
to war. He denounced sympathy and pity as at
tributes unworthy of man. He believed that tho
teachings of Christ made degenerates and, logi
cal to the end, he regarded Democracy as the
refuge of weaklings. ' He saw in man nothing
but the animal and In that animal the highest
virtue he recognized was "Tho Will to Power"
a will which should know no let or hindrance,
no restraint or limitation.
Neitzsche's philosophy would convert the
world into a -ferocious conflict between beasts,
each brute trampling ruthlessly on everything in
his way. In his book entitled "Joyful Wisdom,"
Neitzsche ascribes to Napoleon the very same
dream of power Europe under one sovereign
-and that sovereign the master of the world
that lured the Kaiser into a sea of blood from
which he emerged an exile seeking security un
der a foreign flag. Neitzsche names Darwin as
one of the three great men of his century, but
tries to deprive him of credit (?) for the doc
trine that bears hia name by saying that Hegel
made an earlier announcement of it. Neitzsche
died in an insane asylum, but his philosophy
has wrought the moral ruin of a mulitltude, if it
is not actually responsible for bringing upon the
world its greatest war.
His philosophy, if it is worthy tho name of
philosophy, is tho ripened fruit of Darwinism
and a tree is known by Its fruit.
In 1900 over twenty years ago while an
International Peace Congress was in session in
Paris the following editorial appeared in
"The spirit of peace has fled the earth be
cause evolution has taken possession of it. The
plea for peace in past years has been inspired
by faith in the divine nature and the divine
origin 'of man; men were then looked upon as
children of one Father and war. therefore,
was fratricide. But now that men are looked up
on as children of apes, what matters it whether
they are slaughtered or not?"
To destroy the faith of Christians and lay the
foundation for the bloodiest war in history
would seem enough to condemn Darwinism, but
there are still two other indictments to bring
against it. First; that it is the basis of the
gigantic class struggle that is now shaking so
ciety throughout the world. Both the capitalist
and the laborer are increasingly class conscious.
.Why? Because the doctrine of the "Individual
-efficient for himself" the bruto doctrine of the
"survival of the fittest" is driving men into
a life and death struggle from which sympathy
and the spirit of brotherhood are eliminated. It
Is transforming the industrial world into a
slaughter-house. Benjamin Kidd in a masterly
work entitled, "The Science of Power," points
out how Darwinism furnished Neitzsche with a
. scientific basis for his godless system of philoso
phy. He also quotes eminent English scientists to
support the last charge in the indictment, name
ly, that Darwinism robs the reformer of hope.
Its plan of operation is to improve the race by
"scientific breeding" on a purely physical basis.
A few hundred years may be 'required possibly
a fow thousand but what is time to ono who
carries eons in his quiver and envelops his op
ponents in tho "Mist of Ages."
Kldd would substitute tho "Emotion of tho
Idoal" for scientific brooding and thus shorten
tho time necessary for tho triumph of a social
roform. Ho counts ono or two generations as
sufficient. This Is an enormous advance over
Darwin's doctrine, but Christ's plan is still more
encouraging. A man can bo born again; tho
Bprings of life can be cleansed Instantly, so that
tho heart loves tho things that it formerly hated
and hates tho things that it once loved. If this
can bo true of ono, it can bo true of any number.
Thus, a nation can bo born in a day If the ideals
of tho people can bo changed.
Many have tried to harmonize Darwinism with
tho Bible, but these efforts, while honest and
.sometimes even agonizing, have not boon suc
cessful. How could they bo when tho natural
and inevitable tendency of Darwinism is to exalt
the mind at tho expense of tho heart, to over
estimate the reliability of the reason as com
pared with faith and to impair confidence in the
Bible, wh'ch not only nowhere suggests that man
is tho offspring of the brute, but expressly ac
counts for man's origin in a way Irreconcilably
Darwinism discredits tho things that are su
pernatural and encourages the ..worship of tho
intellect an idolatry as deadly to spiritual
progress as the worship of images made by hu
man hands. The injury that it does would bo
oven greater than it is but for the moral momen
tum acquired by the student before he comes
under tho blighting influenco of the doctrine.
Many instances could be cited to show how
the theory that man descended from the brute
has, when deliberately adopted, driven reverence
from tho heart and made young Christians
' agnostics and sometimes atheists depriving
them of the joy and BQcioty of the sorvico that
come from altruistic effort inspired by religion.
I have recently read of a pathetic case in
point. In the Encyclopedia Americana you will
find a sketch of tho life of George John Romanes,
from which the following extract is taken:
"Romanes, George John; English scientist. In
1879 ho was elected fellow of the Royal Society
and in 1878 published, under the pseudonym
'Physicus' a work entitled, 4A Candid Examina
tion of Theism in which he took up a somewhat
defiant atheistic position. Subsequently his views
underwent considerable change; ho revised the
'Candid Examination,' and, toward tho close of
his life, was ongaged on 'A Candid Examination
of Religion in which ho returned to theistic
beliefs. His notes for this work were published
after his death, under the title 'Thoughts on
Religion edited by Canon Gore. Romanes was
an ardent supporter of Darwin and the evolu
tionists and in various works sought to extend
evolutionary principles to mind, both in the low
er animals and in the man. He wrote very ex
tensively on modern biological theories."
Let me use Romanes' own language to de
scribe the disappointing experiences of this in
tellectual "prodigal son." On page 180 of
"Thoughts on Religion" (written, as above
stated, just before his death but not published
until after his demise) he says, "The views that
I entertained on this subject (Plan in Revela
tion) when an undergraduate (i. o. the ordinary
orthodox views) were abandoned in the presence
of the theory of Evolution."
It was the doctrine of Evolution that led him
astray. He attempted to employ reason td the
exclusion of faith with the usual result. He
abandoned prayer, as he explains in pages lVi
and 143: "Even tho simplest act of will in re
gard to religion that of prayer has not been
performed by me for at least a quarter of a cen
tury, simply because it has seemed impossible
to pray, as it were,hypothetically, that, much as
I have always desired to be able to pray, I can
not will the attempt. To justify myself for what
my better judgment has often seemed to be es
sentially irrational, I have ever made sundry ex
cuses." ''Others have doubtless other difficulties,
but mine is chiefly, I think, that of an undue
regard to reason as against heart and will
undue, I mean, if so it be that Christianity is
true, and the conditions to faith in it have been
of divine ordination."
In time he tired of the husks of materialism
and started back to his Father's house. It was
a weary journey but, as he plodded along, his
appreciation of the heart's part increased until,
on pages 152 and 153, he says, "It is a fact that
we all feel the intellectual part of man to be
'higher than the animal, whatever our theory
of his origin. It is a fact that we all feel the
moral part of man to be 'higher' than the in
tellectual, whatever our theory of either may be.
1 it is also a fact that we all similarly feel the
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