A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom

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A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom was written 1896 by Andrew Dickson White, and was the culmination of over thirty years of research and publication on the conflict thesis. His research was stimulated by difficulties in assisting Ezra Cornell in the establishment of Cornell University to be free from official religious affiliation. The following quotes are from the 1922 edition of Volume 1 and the 1920 edition of Volume 2. However, the "warfare" characterization is not taken seriously by current historians who reject the conflict thesis, arguing that it is inappropriate to employ martial metaphors in this historical relationship.

Quotes[edit]

Vol.1, Introduction[edit]

  • My hope is to aid—even if it be but a little—in the gradual and healthful dissolving away of this mass of unreason, that the stream of "religion pure and undefiled" may flow on broad and clear, a blessing to humanity.
    • p. vi.
  • It is something over a quarter of a century since I labored with Ezra Cornell in founding the university which bears his honored name. Our purpose was to establish... an institution for advanced instruction and research, in which science, pure and applied, should have an equal place with literature; in which the study of literature, ancient and modern, should be emancipated as much as possible from pedantry; and which should be free from various useless trammels and vicious methods which at that period hampered many, if not most, of the American universities and colleges. We had especially determined that the institution should be under the control of no political party and of no single religious sect, and with Mr Cornell's approval I embodied stringent provisions to this effect in the charter.
    • p. vi.
  • It had certainly never entered into the mind of either of us that in all this we were doing anything irreligious or unchristian. ...As for myself I had been bred a churchman, had recently been elected a trustee of one church college, and a professor in another; those nearest and dearest to me were devoutly religious; and... my most cherished friendships were among deeply religious men and women, and my greatest sources of enjoyment were ecclesiastical architecture, religious music, and the more devout forms of poetry. So far from wishing to injure Christianity, we both hoped to promote it; but we did not confound religion with sectarianism, and we saw in the sectarian character of American colleges and universities, as a whole, a reason for the poverty of the advanced instruction then given in so many of them. ...The reasons for the new foundation seemed to us, then, so cogent that we expected the co-operation of all good citizens, and anticipated no opposition from any source.
    • p. vi-vii.
  • As I look back across the intervening years, I know not whether to be more astonished or amused at our simplicity. Opposition began at once.
    • p. vii.
  • The clause in the charter of the university forbidding it to give predominance to the doctrines of any sect, and above all the fact that much prominence was given to instruction in various branches of science, seemed to prevent all compromise, and it soon became clear that to stand on the defensive only made matters worse. Then it was that there was borne in upon me a sense of the real difficulty—the antagonism between the theological and scientific view of the universe and of education in relation to it...
    • p. viii.
  • Having been invited to deliver a lecture the great hall of the Cooper Institute at New York, I took as my subject The Battlefields of Science, maintaining the thesis which follows:

In all modern history, interference with science in the supposed interest of religion, no matter how conscientious such interference may have been, has resulted in the direst evils both to religion and to science, and invariably; and, on the other hand, all untrammelled scientific investigation, no matter how dangerous to religion some of its stages may have seemed for the time to be, has invariably resulted in the highest good both of religion and of science.

    • p. viii.
  • The lecture was next day published in the New York Tribune at the request of Horace Greeley, its editor, who was also one of the Cornell University trustees. As a result of this widespread publication and of sundry attacks which it elicited, I was asked to maintain my thesis... My lecture grew—first into a couple of magazine articles, and then into a little book called The Warfare of Science, for which, when republished in England, Prof. John Tyndall wrote a preface.
    • p. viii-ix.
  • Meanwhile Prof. John W. Draper published his book on The Conflict between Science and Religion, a work of great ability, which, as I then thought, ended the matter, so far as my giving it further attention was concerned.
    • p. ix.
  • Two things led me to keep on developing my own work in this field: First, I had become deeply interested in it, and could not refrain from directing my observation and study to it; secondly, much as I admired Draper's treatment of the questions involved, his point of view and mode of looking at history were different from mine. He regarded the struggle as one between Science and Religion. I believed then, and am convinced now, that it was a struggle between Science and Dogmatic Theology. ...it was the conflict between two epochs in the evolution of human thought—the theological and the scientific. So I kept on, and from time to time published New Chapters in the Warfare of Science as magazine articles in The Popular Science Monthly.
    • p. ix.
  • It has been my constant endeavor to write for the general reader, avoiding scholastic and technical terms as much as possible and stating the truth simply as it presents itself to me. That errors of omission and commission will be found here and there is probable—nay, certain; but the substance of the book will, I believe, be found fully true. I am encouraged in this belief by the fact that, of the three bitter attacks which this work in its earlier form has already encountered, one was purely declamatory, objurgatory, and hortatory, and the others based upon ignorance of facts easily pointed out.
    • p.x.
  • This book is presented as a sort of Festschrift—a tribute to Cornell University as it enters the second quarter-century of its existence, and probably my last tribute. The ideas for which so bitter a struggle was made at its foundation have triumphed. ...But there has been a triumph far greater and wider. Everywhere among the leading modern nations the same general tendency is seen. During the quarter-century just past the control of public instruction, not only in America but in the leading nations of Europe, has passed more and more from the clergy to the laity. ...At my first visit to Oxford and Cambridge, forty years ago, they were entirely under ecclesiastical control. Now, all this is changed. An eminent member of the present British Government has recently said, "A candidate for high university position is handicapped by holy orders." I refer to this with not the slightest feeling of hostility toward the clergy, for I have none; among them are many of my dearest friends; no one honors their proper work more than I; but the above fact is simply noted as proving the continuance of that evolution which I have endeavored to describe in this series of monographs—an evolution, indeed, in which the warfare of Theology against Science has been one of the most active and powerful agents.
    • p.xi.
  • My belief is that in the field left to them—their proper field—the clergy will more and more, as they cease to struggle against scientific methods and conclusions, do work even nobler and more beautiful than anything they have heretofore done. And this is saying much.
    • p.xii.
  • My conviction is that Science, though it has evidently conquered Dogmatic Theology based on biblical texts and ancient modes of thought, will go hand in hand with Religion; and that, although theological control will continue to diminish, Religion, as seen in the recognition of "a Power in the universe, not ourselves, which makes for righteousness," and in the love of God and of our neighbor, will steadily grow stronger and stronger, not only in the American institutions of learning but in the world at large.
    • p.xii.
  • Thus may the declaration of Micah as to the requirements of Jehovah, the definition by St. James of "pure religion and undefiled," and, above all, the precepts and ideals of the blessed Founder of Christianity himself, be brought to bear more and more effectively on mankind.
    • p.xii.
  • The sun of spring has done its work on the Neva; the great river flows tranquilly on, a blessing and a joy; the mujiks are forgotten.
    • p.xii.

Vol.1, Ch.1: The Visible Universe[edit]

  • Among... theories, of especial interest to us are those which controlled theological thought in Chaldea. The Assyrian inscriptions which have been recently recovered and given to the English-speaking peoples by Layard, George, Smith, Sayce, and others, show that in the ancient religions of Chaldea and Babylonia there was elaborated a narrative of the creation which, in its most important features, must have been the source of that in our own sacred books.
    • p. 2.
  • It has now become perfectly clear that from the same sources which inspired the accounts of the creation of the universe among the Chaldeo-Babylonian, the Assyrian, the Phoenician, and other ancient civilizations came the ideas which hold so prominent a place in the sacred books of the Hebrews. In the two accounts imperfectly fused together in Genesis, and also in the account of which we have indications in the book of Job and in the Proverbs, there is presented, often with the greatest sublimity, the same early conception of the Creator and of the creation—the conception, so natural in the childhood of civilization, of a Creator who is an enlarged human being working literally with his own hands, and of a creation which is "the work of his fingers." To supplement this view there was developed the belief in this Creator as one who, having ..."from his ample palm Launched forth the rolling planets into space," sits on high, enthroned "upon the circle of the heavens," perpetually controlling and directing them.
    • p. 2.
  • From this idea of creation was evolved in time a somewhat nobler view. Ancient thinkers, and especially, as is now found in Egypt, suggested that the main agency in creation was not the hands and fingers of the Creator, but his voice. Hence was mingled with the earlier, cruder belief regarding the origin of the earth and heavenly bodies by the Almighty the more impressive idea that "he spake and they were made"—that they were brought into existence by his word.
    • p. 2-3.
  • Among the early fathers of the Church this general view of creation became fundamental; they impressed upon Christendom more and more strongly the belief that the universe was created in a perfectly literal sense by the hands or voice of God. Here and there sundry theologians of larger mind attempted to give a more spiritual view regarding some parts of the creative work, and of these were St. Gregory of Nyssa and St. Augustine. Ready as they were to accept the literal text of Scripture, they revolted against the conception of an actual creation of the universe by the hands and fingers of a Supreme Being, and in this they were followed by Bede and a few others; but the more material conceptions prevailed, and we find these taking shape not only in the sculptures and mosaics and stained glass of cathedrals, and in the illuminations of missals and psalters, but later, at the close of the Middle Ages, in the pictured Bibles and in general literature.
    • p. 3.
  • As late as the middle of the eighteenth century, when Buffon attempted to state simple geological truths, the theological faculty of the Sorbonne forced him to make and to publish a most ignominious recantation which ended with these words: "I abandon everything in my book respecting the formation of the earth, and generally all which may be contrary to the narrative of Moses."
  • The long series of efforts by the greatest minds in the Church, from Eusebius to Archbishop Usher... arrived at... the general conclusion arrived at by an overwhelming majority of the most competent students of the biblical accounts was that the date of creation was, in round numbers, four thousand years before our era; and in the seventeenth century, in his great work, Dr. John Lightfoot, Vice Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, and one of the most eminent Hebrew scholars of his time declared... that "heaven and earth, centre and circumference, were created all together, in the same instant, and clouds full of water," and that "this work took place and man was created by the Trinity on October 23, 4004 B.C. at nine o'clock in the morning."
    • p. 9.
  • Yet, alas! within two centuries after Lightfoot's great biblical demonstration as to the exact hour of creation, it was discovered that at that hour an exceedingly cultivated people, enjoying all the fruits of a highly developed civilization, had long been swarming in the great cities of Egypt, and that other nations hardly less advanced had at that time reached a high development in Asia.
    • p. 9-10.
  • Various stages in the evolution of scholastic theology were... embodied in sacred art, and especially in cathedral sculpture in glass staining in mosaic working and in missal painting. The creative Being is thus represented sometimes as the third person of the Trinity, in the form of a dove brooding over chaos; sometimes as the second person, and therefore a youth; sometimes as the first person, and therefore fatherly and venerable; sometimes as the first and second persons, one being venerable and the other youthful; and sometimes as three persons, one venerable and one youthful, both wearing papal crowns...
    • p. 11.
  • The Creator was sometimes represented with a single body, but with three faces, thus showing that Christian belief had... gone through substantially the same cycle which an earlier form of belief had made ages before in India, when the Supreme Being was represented with one body but with the three faces of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva.
    • p. 11.
  • In 1512, after four years of Titanic labor, Michael Angelo uncovered his frescoes within the vault of the Sistine Chapel. They had been executed by the command and under the sanction of the ruling Pope, Julius II, to represent the conception of Christian theology then dominant, and they remain today in all their majesty to show the highest point ever attained by the older thought upon the origin of the visible universe. ...With a simple gesture he divides the light from the darkness, rears on high the solid firmament, gathers together beneath it the seas, or summons into existence the sun, moon, and planets, and sets them circling about the earth.
    • p. 11-12.
  • Down to a period almost within living memory, it was held, virtually "always, everywhere, and by all," that the universe, as we now see it, was created literally and directly by the voice or hands of the Almighty, or by both—out of nothing—in an instant or in six days, or in both—about four thousand years before the Christian era—and for the convenience of the dwellers upon the earth, which was at the base and foundation of the whole structure.
    • p. 13-14.
  • But there had been implanted along through the ages germs of another growth in human thinking, some of them even as early as the Babylonian period. In the Assyrian inscriptions we find recorded the Chaldeo-Babylonian idea of an evolution of the universe out of the primeval flood or "great deep," and of the animal creation out of the earth and sea. This idea, recast, partially at least, into monotheistic form, passed naturally into the sacred books of the neighbors and pupils of the Chaldeans—the Hebrews; but its growth in Christendom afterward was checked, as we shall hereafter find, by the more powerful influence of other inherited statements which appealed more intelligibly to the mind of the Church. ...In the minds of Ionians like Anaximander and Anaximenes it was most clearly developed: the first of these conceiving of the visible universe as the result of processes of evolution, and the latter pressing further the same mode of reasoning, and dwelling on agencies in cosmic development recognized in modern science. ...Aristotle sometimes developed it in a manner which reminds us of modern views. ...Lucretius caught much from it extending the evolutionary process virtually to all things. ...Scotus Erigena and Duns Scotus, among the schoolmen, bewildered though they were, had caught some rays of this ancient light, and passed on to their successors, in modified form, doctrines of an evolutionary process in the universe. ...In the latter half of the sixteenth century these evolutionary theories seemed to take more definite form in the mind of Giordano Bruno... but with his murder by the Inquisition at Rome this idea seemed utterly to disappear.
    • p. 14.
  • Within the two centuries divided by Bruno's death [in 1600] the world was led into a new realm of thought in which an evolution theory of the visible universe was sure to be rapidly developed. For there came, one after the other, five of the greatest men our race has producedCopernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Descartes, and Newtonand when their work was done the old theological conception of the universe was gone. "The spacious firmament on high"—"the crystalline spheres"—the Almighty enthroned upon "the circle of the heavens," and with his own hands, or with angels as his agents, keeping sun, moon, and planets in motion for the benefit of the earth, opening and closing the "windows of heaven," letting down upon the earth the "waters above the firmament," "setting his bow in the cloud," hanging out "signs and wonders," "hurling comets," "casting forth lightnings," to scare the wicked, and "shaking the earth" in his wrath: all this had disappeared. These five men had given a new divine revelation to the world; and through the last, Newton, had come a vast new conception, destined to be fatal to the old theory of creation, for he had shown throughout the universe, in place of caprice, all-pervading law.
    • p. 15.
  • The bitter opposition of theology to the first four of these men is well known; but the fact is not so widely known that Newton, in spite of his deeply religious spirit, was also strongly opposed. It was vigorously urged against him that by his statement of the law of gravitation he "took from God that direct action on his works so constantly ascribed to him in Scripture and transferred it to material mechanism," and that he "substituted gravitation for Providence."
    • p. 16.
  • The great work of Descartes, erroneous as many of its deductions were, and, in view of the lack of physical knowledge in his time, must be, had done much to weaken the old conception. His theory of a universe brought out of all-pervading matter, wrought into orderly arrangement by movements in accordance with physical laws—though it was but a provisional hypothesis—had done much to draw men's minds from the old theological view of creation; it was an example of intellectual honesty arriving at errors, but thereby aiding the advent of truths. Crippled though Descartes was by his almost morbid fear of the Church, this part of his work was no small factor in bringing in that attitude of mind which led to a reception of the thoughts of more unfettered thinkers.
    • p. 16.
  • In 1678 Ralph Cudworth published his Intellectual System of the Universe. To this day he remains, in breadth of scholarship, in strength of thought, in tolerance, and in honesty, one of the greatest glories of the English Church... He purposed to build a fortress which should protect Christianity against all dangerous theories of the universe, ancient or modern. ...while genius marked every part of it, features appeared which gave the rigidly orthodox serious misgivings. From the old theories of direct personal action on the universe by the Almighty he broke utterly. He dwelt on the action of law, rejected the continuous exercise of miraculous intervention, pointed out the fact that in the natural world there are "errors" and "bungles" and argued vigorously in favor of the origin and maintenance of the universe as a slow and gradual development of Nature in obedience to an inward principle. The Balaks of seventeenth century orthodoxy might well condemn this honest Balaam.
    • p. 16-17.
  • The archaeologists and philologists, the devoted students of ancient monuments and records; of these are such as Rawlinson, George Smith, Sayce, Oppert, Jensen, Schrader, Delitzsch, and a phalanx of similarly devoted scholars, who have deciphered a multitude of ancient texts, especially the inscriptions found in the great library of Assurbanipal at Nineveh, and have discovered therein an account of the origin of the world identical in its most important features with the later accounts in our own book of Genesis. These men have had the courage to point out these facts and to connect them with the truth that these Chaldean and Babylonian myths, legends, and theories were far earlier than those of the Hebrews, which so strikingly resemble them, and which we have in our sacred books; and they have also shown us how natural it was that the Jewish accounts of the creation should have been obtained at that remote period when the earliest Hebrews were among the Chaldeans, and how the great Hebrew poetic accounts of creation were drawn either from the sacred traditions of these earlier peoples or from antecedent sources common to various ancient nations.
    • p. 20.
  • Rev. Dr. Driver, Professor of Hebrew and Canon of Christ Church at Oxford, has recently stated the case fully and fairly. ..."of the theories current in Assyria and Phoenicia fragments have been preserved, and these exhibit points of resemblance with the biblical narrative sufficient to warrant the inference that both are derived from the same cycle of tradition. ...The materials which with other nations were combined into the crudest physical theories or associated with a grotesque polytheism were vivified and transformed by the inspired genius of the Hebrew historians, and adapted to become the vehicle of profound religious truth."
    • p. 20-21.
  • The statement recently made by the Rev. Dr. Ryle Hulsean, Professor of Divinity at Cambridge... says that, if we adopt a natural interpretation, "we shall consider that the Hebrew description of the visible universe is unscientific as judged by modern standards, and that it shares the limitations of the imperfect knowledge of the age at which it was committed to writing." Regarding the account in Genesis of man's physical origin, he says that it "is expressed in the simple terms of prehistoric legend, of unscientific pictorial description."
    • p. 21-22.
  • Thus, from the Assyrian researches as well as from other sources, it has come to be acknowledged by the most eminent scholars at the leading seats of Christian learning that the accounts of creation with which for nearly two thousand years all scientific discoveries have had to be "reconciled"—the accounts which blocked the way of Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and Laplace—were simply transcribed or evolved from a mass of myths and legends largely derived by the Hebrews from their ancient relations with Chaldea, rewrought in a monotheistic sense, imperfectly welded together, and then thrown into poetic forms in the sacred books which we have inherited.
    • p. 22.
  • On one hand then we have the various groups of men devoted to the physical sciences all converging toward the proofs that the universe, as we at present know it, is the result of an evolutionary process—that is, of the gradual working of physical laws upon an early condition of matter; on the other hand, we have other great groups of men devoted to historical, philological, and archaeological science whose researches all converge toward the conclusion that our sacred accounts of creation were the result of an evolution from an early chaos of rude opinion.
    • p. 22.
  • The great body of theologians who have so long resisted the conclusions of the men of science have claimed to be fighting especially for the "truth of Scripture," and their final answer to the simple conclusions of science regarding the evolution of the material universe has been the cry, "The Bible is true." And they are right—though in a sense nobler than they have dreamed. Science, while conquering them, has found in our Scriptures a far nobler truth than that literal historical exactness for which theologians have so long and so vainly contended. More and more as we consider the results of the long struggle in this field we are brought to the conclusion that the inestimable value of the great sacred books of the world is found in their revelation of the steady striving of our race after higher conceptions, beliefs, and aspirations, both in morals and religion.
    • p. 22-23.
  • Each of the great sacred books of the world is precious, and all, in the highest sense, are true. Not one of them, indeed, conforms to the measure of what mankind has now reached in historical and scientific truth; to make a claim to such conformity is folly, for it simply exposes those who make it and the books for which it is made to loss of their just influence.
    • p. 23.
  • Herein lies the truth of all bibles, and especially of our own. ...they are eminently precious, not as a record of outward fact, but as a mirror of the evolving heart, mind, and soul of man. They are true because they have been developed in accordance with the laws governing the evolution of truth in human history, and because in poem, chronicle, code, legend, myth, apologue, or parable they reflect this development of what is best in the onward march of humanity. To say that they are not true is as if one should say that a flower or a tree or a planet is not true; to scoff at them is to scoff at the law of the universe. In welding together into noble form, whether in the book of Genesis, or in the Psalms, or in the book of Job, or elsewhere, the great conceptions of men acting under earlier inspiration, whether in Egypt, or Chaldea, or India, or Persia, the compilers of our sacred books have given to humanity a possession ever becoming more and more precious; and modern science, in substituting a new heaven and a new earth for the old—the reign of law for the reign of caprice, and the idea of evolution for that of creation...
    • p. 23.
  • At the Reformation the vast authority of Luther was thrown in favor of the literal acceptance of Scripture as the main source of natural science. The allegorical and mystical interpretations of earlier theologians he utterly rejected. ..."I hold that the animals took their being at once upon the word of God, as did also the fishes in the sea."
    • p. 26.
  • Not less explicit in his adherence to the literal account of creation given in Genesis was Calvin. He warns those who, by taking another view than his own, "basely insult the Creator, to expect a judge who will annihilate them." He insists that all species of animals were created in six days, each made up of an evening and a morning, and that no new species has ever appeared since.
    • p. 26.
  • Great men for eighteen hundred years developed the theory that before Adam's disobedience there was no death, and therefore neither ferocity nor venom. ...St. Augustine expressly confirmed and emphasized the view that the vegetable as as well as the animal kingdom was cursed on account of man's sin. Two hundred years later this utterance had been echoed on from father to father of the Church until it was caught by Bede; he declared that before man's fall animals were harmless, but were made poisonous or hurtful by Adam's sin, and he said, "Thus fierce and poisonous animals were created for terrifying man (because God foresaw that he would sin), in order that he might be made aware of the final punishment of hell." In the twelfth century this view was incorporated by Peter Lombard into his great theological work, the Sentences which became a text-book of theology through the middle ages. He affirmed that "no created things would have been hurtful to man had he not sinned; they became hurtful for the sake of terrifying and punishing vice or of proving and perfecting virtue; they were created harmless, and on account of sin became hurtful." John Wesley... declared that before Adam's sin "none of these attempted to devour or in any wise hurt one another"; "the spider was as harmless as the fly, and did not lie in wait for blood." ...not until, in our own time, geology revealed the remains of vast multitudes of carnivorous creatures, many of them with half-digested remains of other animals in their stomachs, all extinct long ages before the appearance of man upon earth, was a victory won by science over theology in this field.
    • p. 28-29.
  • Some difficulties arose here and there as zoology progressed and revealed ever-increasing numbers of species; but through the Middle Ages, and indeed long after the Reformation, these difficulties were easily surmounted by making the ark of Noah larger and larger, and especially by holding that there had been a human error in regard to its measurement.
    • p. 31.
  • Naturally there was developed among both ecclesiastics and laymen a human desire to... know what the creation really is. ...Aristotle had made the first really great attempt to satisfy this curiosity and had begun a development of studies in natural history which remains one of the leading achievements in the story of our race. ...But the feeling which we have already seen so strong in the early Church—that all study of Nature was futile in view of the approaching end of the world—indicated so clearly in the New Testament and voiced so powerfully by Lactantius and St. Augustine—held back this current of thought for many centuries. ...There was indeed an influence coming from the Hebrew Scriptures themselves which wrought powerfully to this end. ...the grand utterances in the Psalms regarding the beauties and wonders of creation, in all the glow of the truest poetry, ennobled the study even among those whom logic drew away from it. But as a matter of course... too much prying into the secrets of Nature was very generally held to be dangerous both to body and soul; only for showing forth God's glory and his purposes in the creation were such studies praiseworthy. The great work of Aristotle was under eclipse. The early Christian thinkers gave little attention to it. ...In place of research came authority—the authority of the Scriptures as interpreted by the Physiologus and the Bestiaries (mingling scriptural statements, legends of the saints, and fanciful inventions with pious intent and childlike simplicity) and these remained the principal source of thought on animated Nature for over a thousand years. ...Pope Gelasius administered a rebuke to the Physiologus; but the interest in Nature was too strong: the great work on Creation by St. Basil had drawn from the Physiologus precious illustrations of Holy Writ, and the strongest of the early popes, Gregory the Great, virtually sanctioned it.
    • p. 31-32.
  • Thus was developed a sacred science of creation and of the divine purpose in Nature, which went on developing from the fourth century to the nineteenth—from St Basil to St Isidore of Seville, from Isidore to Vincent of Beauvais, and from Vincent to Archdeacon Paley and the Bridgewater Treatises. Like all else in the Middle Ages, this sacred science was developed purely by theological methods. Neglecting the wonders which the dissection of the commonest animals would have afforded them, these naturalists attempted to throw light into Nature by ingenious use of scriptural texts, by research among the lives of the saints, and by the plentiful application of metaphysics. Hence even such strong men as St. Isidore of Seville treasured up accounts of the unicorn and dragons mentioned in the Scriptures and of the phoenix and basilisk in profane writings.
    • p. 33.
  • In the middle of the thirteenth century we have a triumph of this theological method in the great work of the English Franciscan Bartholomew on The Properties of Things. The theological method as applied to science consists largely in accepting tradition and in spinning arguments to fit it. In this field Bartholomew was a master. Having begun with the intent mainly to explain the allusions in Scripture to natural objects, he soon rises logically into a survey of all Nature. Discussing the "cockatrice" of Scripture he tells us: ..."His ashes be accounted profitable in working of alchemy, and namely in turning and changing of metals." ...Naturally this good Franciscan naturalist devotes much thought to the dragons mentioned in Scripture. ...His book was translated into the principal languages of Europe, and was one of those most generally read during the Ages of Faith. It maintained its position nearly three hundred years; even after the invention of printing it held its own, and in the fifteenth century there were issued no less than ten editions of it in Latin, four in French, and various versions of it in Dutch, Spanish, and English. Preachers found it especially useful in illustrating the ways of God to man. It was only when the great voyages of discovery substituted ascertained fact for theological reasoning in this province that its authority was broken.
    • p. 34.
  • The same sort of science flourished in the Bestiaries, which were used everywhere, and especially in the pulpits, for the edification of the faithful. ...Pious use was constantly made of this science, especially by monkish preachers. The phoenix rising from his ashes proves the doctrine of the resurrection; the structure and mischief of monkeys proves the existence of demons; the fact that certain monkeys have no tails proves that Satan has been shorn of his glory; the weasel, which "constantly changes its place, is a type of the man estranged from the word of God, who findeth no rest."
    • p. 35.
  • The moral treatises of the time often took the form of works on natural history, in order the more fully to exploit these religious teachings of Nature. Thus from the book On Bees of the Dominican Thomas of Cantimpre, we learn that "wasps persecute bees and make war on them out of natural hatred"; and these, he tells us, typify the demons who dwell in the air and with lightning and tempest assail and vex mankind—whereupon he fills a long chapter with anecdotes of such demonic warfare on mortals. In like manner his fellow-Dominican, the inquisitor Nider, in his book The Ant Hill, teaches us that the ants in Ethiopia, which are said to have horns and to grow so large as to look like dogs, are emblems of atrocious heretics, like Wyclif and the Hussites, who bark and bite against the truth; while the ants of India, which dig up gold out of the sand with their feet and hoard it, though they make no use of it, symbolize the fruitless toil with which the heretics dig out the gold of Holy Scripture and hoard it in their books to no purpose.
    • p. 35-36.
  • This pious spirit not only pervaded science; it bloomed out in art, and especially in the cathedrals. In the gargoyles overhanging the walls, in the grotesques clambering about the towers or perched upon pinnacles, in the dragons prowling under archways or lurking in bosses of foliage, in the apocalyptic beasts carved upon the stalls of the choir, stained into the windows, wrought into the tapestries, illuminated in the letters and borders of psalters and missals, these marvels of creation suggested everywhere morals from the Physiologus, the Bestiaries, and the Exempla.
    • p. 36.
  • Here and there among men who were free from church control we have work of a better sort. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries Abd Allatif made observations upon the natural history of Egypt which showed a truly scientific spirit, and the Emperor Frederick II attempted to promote a more fruitful study of Nature; but one of these men was abhorred as a Mussulman and the other as an infidel.
    • p. 37.
  • This general employment of natural science for pious purposes went on after the Reformation. Luther frequently made this use of it, and his example controlled his followers. In 1612, Wolfgang Franz, Professor of Theology at Luther's university, gave to the world his sacred history of animals, which went through many editions. It contained a very ingenious classification, describing "natural dragons," which have three rows of teeth to each jaw, and he piously adds, "the principal dragon is the Devil."
    • p. 37-38.
  • Near the end of the same [17th] century, Father Kircher, the great Jesuit professor at Rome, holds back the skeptical current, insists upon the orthodox view, and represents among the animals entering the ark sirens and griffins.
    • p. 38.
  • Yet even among theologians we note here and there a skeptical spirit in natural science. Early in the same seventeenth century [Par F.] Eugène Roger published his Travels in Palestine. As regards the utterances of Scripture he is soundly orthodox: he prefaces his work with a map showing... the place where Samson slew a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass, the cavern which Adam and Eve inhabited after their expulsion from paradise, the spot where Balaam's ass spoke, the place where Jacob wrestled with the angel, the steep place down which the swine possessed of devils plunged into the sea, the position of the salt statue which was once Lot's wife, the place at sea where Jonah was swallowed by the whale, and "the exact spot where St. Peter caught one hundred and fifty three fishes." As to natural history he describes and discusses with great theological acuteness the basilisk. ...about a foot and a half long, is shaped like a crocodile, and kills people with a single glance. The one which he saw was dead fortunately for him, since in the time of Pope Leo IV—as he tells us—one appeared in Rome and killed many people by merely looking at them; but the Pope destroyed it with his prayers and the sign of the cross. ...Providence has wisely and mercifully protected man by requiring the monster to cry aloud two or three times whenever it leaves its den. ...the same divine mercy has provided that the crowing of a cock will kill the basilisk. Yet even in this good and credulous missionary we see the influence of Bacon and the dawn of experimental science; for, having been told many stories regarding the salamander, he secured one, placed it alive upon the burning coals, and reports to us that the legends concerning its power to live in the fire are untrue. He also tried experiments with the chameleon...
    • p. 38-39.
  • In the second half of the same [17th] century Hottinger in his Theological Examination of the History of Creation breaks from the belief in the phoenix; but his skepticism is care fully kept within the limits imposed by Scripture.
    • p. 39.
  • Prof. [Georg Casper] Kirchmaier [1635-1700] at the University of Wittenberg, treats phoenix and basilisk alike as old wives' fables. As to the phoenix, he denies its existence, not only because Noah took no such bird into the ark, but also because, as he pithily remarks, "birds come from eggs, not from ashes." But the unicorn he can not resign, nor will he even concede that the unicorn is a rhinoceros; he appeals to Job and to Marco Polo to prove that this animal, as usually conceived, really exists, and says, "Who would not fear to deny the existence of the unicorn, since Holy Scripture names him with distinct praises?" As to the other great animals mentioned in Scripture, he is so rationalistic as to admit that behemoth was an elephant and leviathan a whale.
    • p. 39-40.
  • These germs of a fruitful skepticism grew, and we find Dannhauer going a step further and declaring his even in the unicorn, insisting that it was a rhinoceros—only that and nothing more.
    • p. 40.
  • Still the main current continued strongly theological. In 1712 Samuel Bochart published his great work upon the animals of Holy Scripture. ...Mixed up in the book, with the principal mass drawn from Scripture, were many facts and reasonings taken from investigations by naturalists; but all were permeated by the theological spirit.
    • p. 40.
  • The inquiry into Nature having thus been pursued nearly two thousand years theologically, we find by the middle of the sixteenth century some promising beginnings of a different method—the method of inquiry into Nature scientifically—the method which seeks not plausibilities but facts. At that time Edward Wotton led the way in England and Conrad Gesner on the Continent, by observations widely extended, carefully noted, and thoughtfully classified.
    • p. 40-41.
  • This better method of interrogating Nature soon led to the formation of societies for the same purpose. In 1560 was founded an Academy for the Study of Nature at Naples, but theologians, becoming alarmed, suppressed it, and for nearly one hundred years there was no new combined effort of that sort, until in 1645 began the meetings in London of what was afterward the Royal Society. Then came the Academy of Sciences in France, and the Accademia del Cimento in Italy; others followed in all parts of the world, and a great new movement was begun.
    • p. 41.
  • Fortunately, one thing prevented an open breach between theology and science: while new investigators had mainly given up the mediaeval method so dear to the Church, they had very generally retained the conception of direct creation and of design throughout creation—a design having as its main purpose the profit, instruction, enjoyment, and amusement of man. ...Science, while somewhat freed from its old limitations, became the handmaid of theology in illustrating the doctrine of creative design...
    • p. 41.
  • About the middle of the seventeenth century came a great victory of the scientific over the theologic method. At that time Francesco Redi published the results of his inquiries into the doctrine of spontaneous generation. For ages a widely accepted doctrine had been that water, filth, and carrion had received power from the Creator to generate worms, insects, and a multitude of the smaller animals; and this doctrine had been especially welcomed by St. Augustine and many of the fathers, since it relieved the Almighty of making, Adam of naming, and Noah of living in the ark with these innumerable despised species. But to this fallacy Redi put an end. ...he showed that every one of these animals came from an egg; each, therefore, must be the lineal descendant of an animal created, named, and preserved from "the beginning."
    • p. 42.
  • In the same seventeenth century... John Ray... produced a number of works on plants, fishes, and birds; but the most widely read of all was entitled The Wisdom of God manifested in the Works of Creation. ...Ray argued the goodness and wisdom of God from the adaptation of the animals not only to man's uses but to their own lives and surroundings.
    • p. 42.
  • Shortly before the middle of the nineteenth century the main movement culminated in the Bridge water Treatises. ...the President of the Royal Society selected eight persons... for writing and publishing a treatise on the "power, wisdom, and goodness of God, as manifested in the creation." ...It was a marked advance on all that had appeared before, in matter, method, and spirit. Looking back... now we can see that it was provisional, but that it was none the less fruitful in truth, and we may well remember Darwin's remark on the stimulating effect of mistaken theories, as compared with the sterilizing effect of mistaken observations: mistaken observations lead men astray, mistaken theories suggest true theories. An effort made in so noble a spirit certainly does not deserve the ridicule that, in our own day, has sometimes been lavished upon it. ...this is far from just to the conceptions of such men as Butler, Paley, and Chalmers, no matter how fully the thinking world has now outlived them.
    • p. 43-44.
  • More and more it was seen that the number of different species was far greater than the world had hitherto imagined. Greater and greater had become the old difficulty in conceiving that, of these innumerable species, each had been specially created by the Almighty hand; that each had been brought before Adam by the Almighty to be named; and that each, in couples or in sevens, had been gathered by Noah into the ark.
    • p. 44.
  • But the difficulties... were as nothing compared to those raised by the distribution of animals. Even in the first days of the Church this had aroused serious thought... St. Augustine... in his City of God he had stated the difficulty as follows: "But there is a question about all these kinds of beasts which are neither tamed by man nor spring from the earth... as to how they could find their way to the islands after that flood which destroyed every living thing not preserved in the ark. ...some islands are so remote from continental lands that it does not seem possible that any creature could reach them by swimming. ...and it cannot be denied that the transfer may have been accomplished through the agency of angels commanded or allowed to perform this labor by God."
    • p. 44-45.
  • This difficulty had now assumed a magnitude of which St. Augustine never dreamed. Most powerful of all agencies to increase it were the voyages of Columbus, Vasco da Gama, Magellan, Amerigo Vespucci, and other navigators of the period of discovery. Still more serious did it become as the great islands of the southern seas were explored. Every navigator brought home tidings of new species of animals and of races of men living in parts of the world where the theologians, relying on the statement of St. Paul that the gospel had gone into all lands, had for ages declared there could be none; until finally it overtaxed even the theological imagination to conceive of angels, in obedience to the divine command, distributing the various animals over the earth, dropping the megatherium in South America, the archeopteryx in Europe, the ornithorhynchus in Australia, and the opossum in North America.
    • p. 45.
  • The first striking evidence of this new difficulty was shown by the eminent Jesuit missionary, Joseph Acosta. In his Natural and Moral History of the Indies published in 1590, he proved himself honest and lucid. Though entangled in most of the older scriptural views, he broke away from many; but the distribution of animals gave him great trouble. Having shown the futility of St Augustine's other explanations, he quaintly asks: "Who can imagine that in so long a voyage men woulde take the paines to carrie Foxes to Peru... Who woulde likewise say that they have carried Tygers and Lyons? Truly it were a thing worthy the laughing at to thinke so. It was sufficient yea very much for men driven against their willes by tempest in so long and unknowne a voyage to escape with their owne lives without busying themselves to carrie Woolves and Foxes and to nourish them at sea."
    • p. 46.
  • In 1667 Abraham Milius published at Geneva his book on The Origin of Animals and the Migrations of Peoples This book shows like that of Acosta the shock and strain to which the discovery of America subjected the received theological scheme of things. ...Milius especially grapples is the distribution of animals. ...he asks, "What of the beasts which neither fly nor swim?" ...As to fishes he says, "They are very averse to wandering from their native waters." ...he asks: "Who would like to get different sorts of lions, bears, tigers, and other ferocious and noxious creatures on board ship? Who would trust himself with them, and who would wish to plant colonies of such creatures in new desirable lands?" His conclusion is that plants and animals take their origin in the lands wherein they are found; an opinion which he supports by quoting from the two narrations in Genesis passages which imply generative force in earth and water.
    • p. 46-47.
  • Eminent Benedictine, Dom Calmet, in his Commentary, expressed the belief that all the species of a genus had originally formed one species, and he dwelt on this view as one which enabled him to explain the possibility of gathering all animals into the ark. This idea, dangerous as it was to the fabric of orthodoxy, and involving a profound separation from the general doctrine of the Church, seems to have been abroad among thinking men, for we find in the latter half of the same century even Linnaeus inclining to consider it.
    • p. 47.
  • The great Linnaeus himself, in spite of his famous declaration favoring the fixity of species, had dealt a death blow to the old theory. In his Systema Naturæ, published in the middle of the eighteenth century, he had enumerated four thousand species of animals, and the difficulties involved in the naming of each of them by Adam and in bringing them together in the ark appeared to all thinking men more and more insurmountable.
    • p. 47.
  • What was more embarrassing, the number of distinct species went on increasing rapidly, indeed enormously... Already there were premonitions of the strain made upon Scripture by requiring a hundred and sixty distinct miraculous interventions of the Creator to produce the hundred and sixty species of land shells found in the little island of Madeira alone, and fourteen hundred distinct interventions to produce the actual number of distinct species of a single well-known shell.
    • p. 47-48.
  • As new explorations were made in various parts of the world, this danger to the theological view went on increasing. The sloths in South America suggested painful questions: How could animals so sluggish have got away from the neighborhood of Mount Ararat so completely and have traveled so far? The explorations in Australia and neighboring islands made matters still worse, for there was found... a whole realm of animals differing widely from those of other parts of the earth. ...for example, how to explain the fact that the kangaroo can have been in the ark and be now only found in Australia... and, if the theory were adopted that at some period a causeway extended across the vast chasm separating Australia from the nearest mainland, why did not lions, tigers, camels, and camelopards force or find their way across it?
    • p. 48.
  • By the middle of the nineteenth century the whole theological theory of creation—though still preached everywhere as a matter of form—was clearly seen by all thinking men to be hopelessly lost: such strong men as Cardinal Wiseman in the Roman Church, Dean Buckland in the Anglican, and Hugh Miller in the Scottish Church, made heroic efforts to save something from it, but all to no purpose. Neither the powerful logic of Bishop Butler nor the nimble reasoning of Archdeacon Paley availed.
    • p. 49.
  • Just as the line of astronomical thinkers from Copernicus to Newton had destroyed the old astronomy, in which the earth was the center, and the Almighty sitting above the firmament the agent in moving the heavenly bodies about it with his own hands, so now a race of biological thinkers had destroyed the old idea of a Creator minutely contriving and fashioning all animals to suit the needs and purposes of man.
    • p. 49.
  • We have seen thus far, how there came into the thinking of mankind upon the visible universe and its inhabitants the idea of a creation virtually instantaneous and complete. ...But while this idea was thus developed... through thousands of years, another conception... equally ancient, was developed ...the conception of all living beings as wholly or in part the result of a growth process—of an evolution. This is clearly seen in those records of Chaldaeo-Babylonian thought... a watery chaos which under divine action, brings forth the earth and its inhabitants; first the sea animals and then the land animals ...there is placed over the whole creation a solid, concave firmament; in both, light is created first, and the heavenly bodies are afterward placed "for signs and for seasons"; in both, the number seven is especially sacred, giving rise to a sacred division of time ...followed by a legend regarding "the fall of man" and a deluge, many details of which clearly passed, in slightly modified form, from the Chaldean into the Hebrew accounts.
    • p. 50.
  • Since the researches of Layard, George Smith, Oppert, Schrader, [Peter] Jensen, Sayce, and their compeers, there is no longer a reasonable doubt that this ancient view of the world, elaborated if not originated in that earlier civilization, came thence as a legacy to the Hebrews...
    • p. 51.
  • The Rev. Prof. Sayce, of Oxford.. has recently declared his belief that the Chaldaeo-Babylonian theory was the undoubted source of the similar theory propounded by the Ionic philosopher Anaximander—the Greek thinkers deriving this view from the Babylonians through the Phoenicians; he also allows that from the same source its main features were adopted into both the accounts given in the first of our sacred books, and... the most eminent Christian Assyriologists concur.
    • p. 51.
  • There was still another ancient source of evolution ideas. Thoughtful men of the early civilizations... along the great rivers... noted how the sun-god, as he rose in his fullest might, caused the water and the rich soil to teem with the lesser forms of life. In Egypt, especially, men saw how under this divine power the Nile slime brought forth "creeping things innumerable." Hence mainly this ancient belief that the animals and man were produced by lifeless matter at the divine command, "in the beginning," was supplemented by the idea that some of the lesser animals, especially the insects, were produced by a later evolution, being evoked after the original creation from various sources, but chiefly from matter in a state of decay. This crude, early view aided doubtless in giving germs of a better evolution theory to the early Greeks. Anaximander, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, and greatest of all, Aristotle, as we have seen, developed them, making their way at times by guesses toward truths since established by observation. Aristotle especially, both by speculation and observation... reached something like the modern idea of a succession of higher organizations from lower, and made the fruitful suggestion of "a perfecting principle" in Nature. With the coming in of Christian theology this tendency toward a yet truer theory of evolution was mainly stopped, but the old crude view remained...
  • We may note the opinion of St. Basil the Great in the fourth century. Discussing the work of creation, he declares that, at the command of God, "the waters were gifted with productive power"; from slime and muddy places frogs, flies, and gnats came into being"; and he finally declares that the same voice which gave this energy and quality of productiveness to earth and water shall be similarly efficacious until the end of the world. St. Gregory of Nyssa held a similar view. This idea of these great fathers of the Eastern Church took even stronger hold on the great father of the Western Church. For St. Augustine, so fettered usually by the letter of the sacred text, broke from his own famous doctrine as to the acceptance of Scripture and spurned the generally received belief of a creative process... In his great treatise [De Cenesi contra Manichæos] on Genesis he says: "To suppose that God formed man from the dust with bodily hands is very childish. ...God neither formed man with bodily hands nor did he breathe upon him with throat and lips."
    • p. 52-53.
  • St. Augustine... suggests the adoption of the old emanation or evolution theory, [and] shows that "certain very small animals may not have been created on the fifth and sixth days, but may have originated later from putrefying matter," argues that, even if this be so, God is still their creator, dwells upon such a potential creation as involved in the actual creation, and speaks of animals "whose numbers the after-time unfolded." In his great treatise [De Trinitate] on the Trinity... we find the full growth of this opinion. He develops at length the view that in the creation of living beings there was something I like a growth—that God is the ultimate author, but works through secondary causes; and finally argues that certain substances are endowed by God with the power of producing certain classes of plants and animals.
    • p. 53.
  • More and more it became difficult to reconcile the dignity of the Almighty with his work in bringing each of these creatures before Adam to be named; or to reconcile the human limitations of Adam with his work in naming "every living creature"; or to reconcile the dimensions of Noah's ark with the space required for preserving all of them, and the food of all sorts necessary for their sustenance. ...Origen had dealt with it by suggesting that the cubit was six times greater than had been supposed. Bede explained Noah's ability to complete so large a vessel by supposing that he worked upon it during a hundred years. ...He also lessened the strain on faith still more by diminishing the number of animals taken into the ark—supporting his view upon Augustine's theory of the later development of insects out of carrion.
    • p. 54.
  • Theological necessity was among the main reasons which led St. Isidore of Seville, in the seventh century, to incorporate this theory [see preceding quote], supported by St. Basil and St. Augustine, into his great encyclopedic work [Etymologiae] which gave materials for thought on God and Nature to so many generations. He familiarized the theological world still further with the doctrine of secondary creation, giving such examples of it as that "bees are generated from decomposed veal, beetles from horseflesh, grasshoppers from mules, scorpions from crabs," and, in order to give still stronger force to the idea of such transformations, he dwells on the biblical account of Nebuchadnezzar, which appears to have taken strong hold upon medieval thought in science, and he declares that other human beings had been changed into animals, especially into swine, wolves, and owls.
    • p. 55.
  • In the twelfth century, Peter Lombard, in his theological summary, The Sentences, so powerful in molding the thought of the Church, emphasized the distinction between animals which spring from carrion and those which are created from earth and water; the former he holds to have been created "potentially," the latter "actually."
    • p. 55.
  • St. Thomas Aquinas ...in the Summa, which remains the greatest work of medieval thought, accepts the idea that certain animals, spring from the decaying bodies of plants and animals, and declares that they are produced by the creative word of God either actually or virtually.
    • p. 55.
  • Biblical theology continued to spin its own webs out of its own bowels, and all the lesser theological flies continued to be entangled in them; yet here and there stronger thinkers broke loose from this entanglement and helped somewhat to disentangle others.
    • p. 56.
  • At the close of the Middle Ages in spite of the devotion of the Reformed Church to the letter of Scripture the revival of learning and the great voyages gave an atmosphere in which better thinking on the problems of Nature began to gain strength. On all sides in every field men were making discoveries which caused the general theological view to appear more and more inadequate.
    • p. 57.
  • First of those... beginning to develop again that current of Greek thought which the system drawn from our sacred books by the fathers and doctors of the Church had interrupted for more than a thousand years was Giordano Bruno.
    • p. 57.
  • After Bruno's death, during the first half of the seventeenth century, Descartes seemed about to take the leadership of human thought... in promoting an evolution doctrine as regards the mechanical formation of the solar system... but his constant dread of persecution, both from Catholics and Protestants, led him steadily to veil his thoughts and even to suppress them. The execution of Bruno had occurred in his childhood, and in the midst of his career he had watched the Galileo struggle in all its stages. He had seen his own works condemned by university after university under the direction of theologians and placed upon the Roman Index. ...Since Roger Bacon, perhaps, no great thinker had been so completely abased and thwarted by theological oppression.
    • p. 57.
  • Leibnitz, though not propounding any full doctrine on evolution, gave it an impulse by suggesting a view contrary to the sacrosanct belief in the immutability of species... His punishment at the hands of the Church came a few years later, when in 1712, the Jesuits defeated his attempt to found an Academy of Science at Vienna.
    • p. 58.
  • Spinoza, Hume, and Kant... might have done much to aid in the development of a truer theory had not the theologic atmosphere of their times been so unpropitious.
    • p. 58.
  • Early in the eighteenth century Benoist de Maillet, a man of the world, but a wide observer and close thinker upon Nature... was led into the idea of the transformation of species and so into a theory of evolution, which in some important respects anticipated modern ideas. ...But he fell between two ranks of adversaries ...the Church authorities denounced him as a freethinker... Voltaire ridiculed him as a devotee.
    • p. 58.
  • De Maillet had seen in the presence of fossils on high mountains a proof that these mountains were once below the sea, Voltaire, recognizing in this an argument for the deluge of Noah, ridiculed the new thinker without mercy.
    • p. 59.
  • De Maillet received no recognition until, very recently, the greatest men of science in England and France have united in giving him his due. But his work was not lost, even in his own day; Robinet and Bonnet pushed forward victoriously on helpful lines.
    • p. 59.
  • Linnaeus... was the most eminent naturalist of his time, a wide observer, a close thinker; but the atmosphere in which he lived and moved and had his being was saturated with biblical theology, and this permeated all his thinking. ...Toward the end of his life he timidly advanced the hypothesis that all the species of one genus constituted at the creation one species; and from the last edition of his Systema Naturæ he quietly left out the strongly orthodox statement of the fixity of each species, which he had insisted upon in his earlier works. ...warnings came speedily both from the Catholic and Protestant sides.
    • p. 59.
  • Church authorities was so shocked by Linnaeus's proofs of a sexual system in plants that for many years his writings were prohibited in the Papal States and in various other parts of Europe... Not until 1773 did one of the more broad minded cardinals—Zelanda—succeed in gaining permission that Prof. Minasi should discuss the Linnaean system at Rome.
    • p. 60.
  • In a letter to Eloius, Linnaeus tells of the rebuke given to science by one of the great Lutheran prelates of Sweden, Bishop Svedberg. From various parts of Europe detailed statements had been sent to the Royal Academy of Science that water had been turned into blood... Linnaeus looked into it carefully and found that the reddening of the water was caused by dense masses of minute insects. News of this explanation having reached the bishop, he took the field against it; he denounced this scientific discovery as a Satanic abyss.
    • p. 60.
  • To all appearance he [Linnaeus] continued to adhere to the doctrine that all existing species had been created by the Almighty "in the beginning," and that since "the beginning" no new species had appeared.
    • p. 61.
  • Buffon... had caught the idea of an evolution in Nature by the variation of species, and was likely to make a great advance with it; but he, too, was made to feel the power of theology. As long as he gave pleasing descriptions of animals the Church petted him, but when he began to deduce truths of philosophical import the batteries of the Sorbonne were opened upon him; he was made to know that "the sacred deposit of truth committed to the Church" was, that "in the beginning God made the heavens and the earth"; and that "all things were made at the beginning of the world."
    • p. 61-62.
  • For his [Buffon's] simple statement of truths in natural science which are today truisms, he was... dragged forth by the theological faculty, forced to recant publicly, and to print his recantation. In this he announced, "I abandon everything in my book respecting the formation of the earth, and generally all which may be contrary to the narrative of Moses."
    • p. 62.
  • About the end of the eighteenth century fruitful suggestions and even clear presentations of this or that part of a large evolutionary doctrine came thick and fast, and from the most divergent quarters. Especially remarkable were those which came from Erasmus Darwin in England, from Maupertuis in France, from Oken in Switzerland, and from Herder, and, most brilliantly of all, from Goethe in Germany.
    • p. 62.
  • From Treviranus came, in 1802, his work on biology, and in this he gave forth the idea that from forms of life originally simple had arisen all higher organizations by gradual development; that every living creature has a capacity for receiving modifications of its structure from external influences; and that no species had become really extinct, but that each had passed into some other species.
    • p. 62-63.
  • From Lamarck came... his Researches, and a little later his Zoölogical Philosophy, which introduced a new factor into the process of evolution—the action of the animal itself in its efforts toward a development to suit new needs—and he gave as his principal conclusions the following: 1) Life tends to increase the volume of each living body and of all its parts up to a limit determined by its own necessities. 2) New wants in animals give rise to new organs. 3) The development of these organs is in proportion to their employment. 4) New developments may be transmitted to offspring.
    • p. 63.
  • Lamarck's declaration, especially, that the development of organs is in ratio to their employment, and his indications of the reproduction in progeny of what is gained or lost in parents by the influence of circumstances, entered as a most effective force into the development of the evolution theory.
    • p. 63.
  • Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire... As early as 1795... had begun to form a theory that species are various modifications of the same type, and this theory he developed, testing it at various stages... It fell to his lot to bear the brunt in a struggle against heavy odds which lasted many years.
    • p. 63.
  • Cuvier... the dignity given by ... high administrative positions was as nothing compared to his leadership in natural science. ...But there was in him, as in Linnaeus, a survival of certain theological ways of looking at the universe and certain theological conceptions of a plan of creation... Amid the plaudits... of the foremost churchmen he threw across the path of the evolution doctrines the whole mass of his authority in favor of the old theory of catastrophic changes and special creations.
    • p. 64.
  • Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire stoutly withstood him [Cuvier], braving non-recognition, ill-treatment, and ridicule. Treviranus, afar off in his mathematical lecture-room at Bremen, seemed simply forgotten.
    • p. 64.
  • The current of evolutionary thought could not thus be checked: dammed up for a time, it broke out in new channels and in ways and places least expected: turned away from France, it appeared especially in England, where great paleontologists and geologists arose whose work culminated in that of Lyell. Specialists throughout all the world now became more vigorous than ever, gathering facts and thinking upon them in a way which caused the special creation theory to shrink more and more. Broader and more full became these various rivulets, soon to unite in one great stream of thought.
    • p. 64.
  • In 1813 Dr. Wells developed a theory of evolution by natural selection to account for varieties in the human race. About 1820 Dean Herbert, eminent as an authority in horticulture, avowed his conviction that species are but fixed varieties. In 1831 Patrick Matthews stumbled upon and stated the main doctrine of natural selection in evolution; and others here and there, in Europe and America, caught an inkling of it.
    • Note: although the printed version was incorrect, Patrick Matthew was the person intended in the above.
    • p. 65.
  • In 1844, Robert Chambers published his Vestiges of Creation. ...In Chambers's view the several series of animated beings, from the simplest and oldest up to the highest and most recent, were the result of two distinct impulses, each given once and for all time by the Creator. The first of these was an impulse imparted to forms of life, lifting them gradually through higher grades; the second was an impulse tending to modify organic substances in accordance with external circumstances; in fact, the doctrine of the book was evolution tempered by miracle—a stretching out of the creative act through all time—a pious version of Lamarck.
    • p. 65.
  • Eight years later [1852] Herbert Spencer published an essay contrasting the theories of creation and evolution—reasoning with great force in favor of the latter, showing that species had undoubtedly been modified by circumstances; but still only few and chosen men saw the significance of all these lines of reasoning which had been converging during so many years toward one conclusion.
  • On July 1, 1858, there were read before the Linnæan Society at London two papers—one presented by Charles Darwin, the other by Alfred Russel Wallace—and with the reading of these papers the doctrine of evolution by natural selection was born. Then and there a fatal breach was made in the great theological barrier of the continued fixity of species since the creation.
    • p. 66.
  • The scientific world realizes... more and more, the power of character shown by Darwin in all this great career; the faculty of silence, the reserve of strength seen in keeping his great thought—his idea of evolution by natural selection—under silent study and meditation for nearly twenty years, giving no hint of it to the world at large, but working in every field to secure proofs or disproofs, and accumulating masses of precious material for the solution of the questions involved.
    • p. 67.
  • To one man only did he [Darwin] reveal his thought—to Dr. Joseph Hooker, to whom in 1844, under the seal of secrecy, he gave a summary of his conclusions.
    • p. 67.
  • Wallace sent Darwin a memoir, asking him to present it to the Linnæan Society: on examining it, Darwin found that Wallace had independently arrived at conclusions similar to his own—possibly had deprived him of fame; but Darwin was loyal to his friend, and his friend remained ever loyal to him. He publicly presented the paper from Wallace, with his own conclusions; and the date of this presentation—July 1, 1858—separates two epochs in the history, not merely of natural science, but of human thought.
    • p. 67.
  • The book of Malthus on the Principle of Population, mainly founded on the fact that animals increase in a geometrical ratio, and therefore, if unchecked, must encumber the earth, had been generally forgotten, and was only recalled with a sneer. But the genius of Darwin recognised in it a deeper meaning, and now the thought of Malthus was joined to the new current. Meditating upon it in connection with his own observations of the luxuriance of Nature, Darwin had arrived at his doctrine of natural selection and survival of the fittest.
    • p. 68.
  • Masses of accumulated observations, which had seemed stale and unprofitable, were made alive; facts formerly without meaning now found their interpretation. Under this new influence an army of young men took up every promising line of scientific investigation in every land. Epoch-making books appeared in all the great nations. Spencer, Wallace, Huxley, Galton, Tyndall, Tylor, Lubbock, Bagehot, Lewes, in England, and a phalanx of strong men in Germany, Italy, France, and America gave forth works which became authoritative in every department of biology.
    • p. 68.
  • One source of opposition deserves to be especially mentioned—Louis Agassiz. ...his religious and moral nature, so beautiful to all who knew him, was especially repelled by sundry evolutionists, who, in their zeal as neophytes, made proclamations seeming to have a decidedly irreligious if not immoral bearing. In addition to this was the direction his thinking had received from Cuvier. Both these influences combined to prevent his acceptance of the new view. He was the third great man who had thrown his influence as a barrier across the current of evolutionary thought. Linnæus the second half of the eighteenth century, Cuvier in the first half, and Agassiz in the second half of the nineteenth—all made the same effort. Each remains great; but not all of them together could arrest the current.
    • p. 68-69.
  • In support of the new doctrine came a world of new proofs those which Darwin himself added... led the way and these were followed by the discoveries of Wallace, Bates, Huxley, Marsh, Cope, Leidy, Haeckel, Müller, Gaudry, and a multitude of others in all lands.
    • p. 69-70.
  • Darwin's Origin of Species had come into the theological world like a plough into an ant-hill. Everywhere those thus rudely awakened from their old comfort and repose had swarmed forth angry and confused. Reviews, sermons, books light and heavy, came flying at the new thinker from all sides.
    • p. 70.
  • In the Quarterly Review... Wilberforce Bishop of Oxford... declared that Darwin was guilty of "a tendency to limit God's glory in creation"; that "the principle of natural selection is absolutely incompatible with the word of God"...
    • p. 70.
  • In an address before the "Academia," which had been organized to combat "science falsely so called," Cardinal Manning declared his abhorrence of the new view of Nature, and described it as "a brutal philosophy—to wit, there is no God, and the ape is our Adam." ...These attacks from such eminent sources set the clerical fashion for several years.
    • p. 71.
  • Dr. Perry, Lord Bishop of Melbourne, in a most bitter book on Science and the Bible, declared that the obvious object of Chambers, Darwin, and Huxley is "to produce in their readers a disbelief of the Bible."
    • p. 72.
  • In 1863... Sir Charles Lyell the most eminent of living geologists, a man of deeply Christian feeling and of exceedingly cautious temper, who had opposed the evolution theory of Lamarck and declared his adherence to the idea of successive creations, then published his work on the Antiquity of Man, and in this and other utterances showed himself a complete though unwilling convert to the fundamental ideas of Darwin. The blow was serious... withdrawing all foundation in fact from the scriptural chronology and... discrediting the creation theory. ...Lyell, like the honest man he was, yielded unreservedly to the mass of new proofs arrayed on the side of evolution against that of creation. ...At the same time came Huxley's Man's Place in Nature, giving new and most cogent arguments in favour of evolution by natural selection.
    • p. 74.
  • In 1871... Darwin's Descent of Man... made... a great stir; again the opposing army trooped forth... The Dublin University Magazine... charged Mr. Darwin with seeking "to displace God by the unerring ring action of vagary," and with being "resolved to hunt God out of the world." ...the eminent French Catholic physician, Dr. Constantin James... in On Darwinism or the Man Ape ...1877 ...not only refuted Darwin scientifically but poured contempt on his book, calling it "a fairy tale,"... that a work "so fantastic and so burlesque" was, doubtless, only a huge joke, like Erasmus's Praise of Folly or Montesquieu's Persian Letters. ...Pope Pius IX... thanked... the writer for the book in which he "refutes so well the aberrations of Darwinism. ...A system," His Holiness adds, "which is repugnant at once to history, to the tradition of all peoples, to exact science, to observed facts, and even to Reason herself, would seem to need no refutation, did not alienation from God and the leaning toward materialism, due to depravity, eagerly seek a support in all this tissue of fables... And, in fact, pride, after rejecting the Creator of all things and proclaiming man independent, wishing him to be his own king, his own priest, and his own God—pride goes so far as to degrade man himself to the level of the unreasoning brutes, perhaps even of lifeless matter, thus unconsciously confirming the Divine declaration, When pride cometh, then cometh shame. But the corruption of this age, the machinations of the perverse, the danger of the simple, demand that such fancies, altogether absurd though they are, should—since they borrow the mask of science—be refuted by true science."
    • Ref. Pius IX May 17, 1877 Letter to Dr. Constantin James
    • p. 74-75.
  • All opposition had availed nothing; Darwin's work and fame were secure. As men looked back over his beautiful life—simple, honest, tolerant, kindly—and thought upon his great labours in the search for truth, all the attacks faded into nothingness.
    • p. 84.
  • The theory of an evolution process in the formation of the universe and of animated nature is established, and the old theory of direct creation is gone forever. In place of it science has given us conceptions far more noble, and opened the way to an argument for design infinitely more beautiful than any ever developed by theology.
    • p. 86.

Vol.1, Ch.2: Geography[edit]

  • The Assyrian inscriptions... represent the god Marduk as in the beginning creating the heavens and the earth: the earth rests upon the waters; within it is the realm of the dead; above it is spread "the firmament"—a solid dome coming down to the horizon on all sides and resting upon foundations laid in the "great waters" which extend around the earth. On the east and west sides of this domed firmament are doors, through which the sun enters in the morning and departs at night; above it extends another ocean, which goes down to the ocean surrounding the earth at the horizon on all sides, and which is supported and kept away from the earth by the firmament. Above the firmament and the upper ocean which it supports is the interior of heaven.
    • p. 89.
  • The Egyptians considered the earth as a table, flat and oblong, the sky being its ceiling—a huge "firmament" of metal. At the four corners of the earth were the pillars supporting this firmament, and on this solid sky were the "waters above the heavens." They believed that, when chaos was taking form [taking the form of the cosmos], one of the gods by main force raised the waters on high and spread them out over the firmament; that on the under side of this solid vault, or ceiling, or firmament, the stars were suspended to light the earth, and that the rains were caused by the letting down of the waters through its windows.
    • p. 89-90.
  • From these and doubtless from earlier sources common to them all came geographical legacies to the Hebrews. Various passages in their sacred books, many of them noble in conception and beautiful in form, regarding "the foundation of the earth upon the waters," "the fountains of the great deep," "the compass upon the face of the depth," the "firmament," the "corners of the earth," the "pillars of heaven," the "waters above the firmament," the "windows of heaven," and "doors of heaven," point us back to both these ancient [Assyrian and Egyptian] springs of thought.
    • p. 90.
  • As civilization was developed, there were evolved, especially among the Greeks, ideas of the earth's sphericity. The Pythagoreans, Plato, and Aristotle especially cherished them. These ideas were vague... but they were germ ideas, and even amid the luxuriant growth of theology in the early Christian Church these germs began struggling into life in the minds of a few thinking men, and these men renewed the suggestion that the earth is a globe. ...Among the first who took up arms against it was Eusebius. In view of the New Testament texts indicating the immediately approaching end of the world, he endeavoured to turn off this idea by bringing scientific studies into contempt. Speaking of investigators, he said, "It is not through ignorance of the things admired by them, but through contempt of their useless labour, that we think little of these matters, turning our souls to better things." Basil of Caesarea declared it "a matter of no interest to us whether the earth is a sphere or a cylinder or a disk, or concave in the middle like a fan." Lactantius referred to the ideas of those studying astronomy as "bad and senseless," and opposed the doctrine of the earth's sphericity both from Scripture and reason. St. John Chrysostom also exerted his influence against this scientific belief; and Ephraem Syrus, the greatest man of the old Syrian Church, widely known as the "lute of the Holy Ghost," opposed it no less earnestly.
    • p. 91-92.
  • The strictly biblical men of science, such eminent fathers and bishops as Theophilus of Antioch... and Clement of Alexandria... with others in centuries following, were not content with merely opposing what they stigmatized as an old heathen theory; they drew from their Bibles a new Christian theory... Taking the survival of various early traditions, given in the seventh verse of the first chapter of Genesis, they insisted... that the earth was, at creation, arched over with a solid vault, a "firmament," and to this... from Isaiah and the Psalms, in which it declared that the heavens are stretched out "like a curtain" and again "like a tent to dwell in." The universe, then, is like a house: the earth is its ground floor, the firmament its ceiling, under which the Almighty hangs out the sun to rule the day and the moon and stars to rule the night. This ceiling is also the floor of the apartment above, and in this is a cistern... containing "the waters which are above the firmament." These waters are let down upon the earth by the Almighty and his angels "through the windows of heaven." As to the movement of the sun, there was a citation of various passages in Genesis, mixed with metaphysics in various proportions, and this was thought to give ample proofs from the Bible that the earth could not be a sphere.
    • p. 92
A theoretical model of the universe of Cosmas Indicopleustes.
World picture from Cosmas' Christian Topography.
  • In the sixth century this development culminated in what was nothing less than a complete and detailed system of the universe, claiming to be based upon Scripture, its author being the Egyptian monk Cosmas Indicopleustes. Egypt was a great treasure-house of theologic thought to various religions of antiquity, and Cosmas appears to have urged upon the early Church this Egyptian idea of the construction of the world, just as another Egyptian ecclesiastic, Athanasius, urged upon the Church the Egyptian idea of a triune deity ruling the world.
    • p. 93.
  • According to Cosmas [Indicopleustes], the earth is a parallelogram, flat, and surrounded by four seas. It is four hundred days' journey long and two hundred broad. At the outer edges of these four seas arise massive walls closing in the whole structure and supporting the firmament or vault of the heavens, whose edges are cemented to the walls. These walls inclose the earth and all the heavenly bodies.
    • p. 93.
  • Starting with the expression applied in the ninth chapter of Hebrews to the tabernacle in the desert, Cosmas insists, with other interpreters of his time, that it gives the key to the whole construction of the world. The universe is therefore made on the plan of the jewish tabernacle—box-like and oblong. ..He works all this into his system, and reveals, as he thinks, treasures of science.
    • p. 93.
  • This vast box is divided into two compartments, one above the other. In the first of these, men live and stars move; and it extends up to the first solid vault, or firmament, above which live the angels, a main part of whose business it is to push and pull the sun and planets to and fro. Next he... brings out the theory that over this first vault is a vast cistern containing "the waters" ...to the effect that the angels not only push and pull the heavenly bodies to light the earth, but also open and close the heavenly windows to water it.
    • p. 93-94.
  • Cosmas suggests that at the north of the earth is a great mountain, and that at night the sun is carried behind this; but some of the commentators ventured to express a doubt here: they thought that the sun was pushed into a pit at night and pulled out in the morning. ...The treatise closes with rapturous assertions that not only Moses and the prophets, but also angels and apostles, agree to the truth of his doctrine, and that at the last day God will condemn all who do not accept it
    • p. 94.
  • It was not at all strange that Cosmas, Egyptian as he was, should have received this old Nile-born doctrine, as we see it indicated to-day in the structure of Egyptian temples, and that he should have developed it by the aid of the Jewish Scriptures; but the theological world knew nothing of this more remote evolution from pagan germs; it was received as virtually inspired, and was soon regarded as a fortress of scriptural truth. Some of the foremost men in the Church devoted themselves to buttressing it with new texts and throwing about it new outworks of theological reasoning; the great body of the faithful considered it a direct gift from the Almighty.
    • p. 95.
  • From this old conception of the universe as a sort of house... flowed important theological ideas into heathen, Jewish, and Christian mythologies. Common to them all are legends regarding attempts of mortals to invade the upper apartment from the lower. ... Ascensions to heaven and descents from it, "translations," "assumptions," "annunciations," mortals "caught up" into it and returning, angels flying between it and the earth, thunderbolts hurled down from it, mighty winds issuing from its corners, voices speaking from the upper floor to men on the lower, temporary openings of the floor of heaven to reveal the blessedness of the good, "signs and wonders" hung out from it to warn the wicked, interventions of every kind—from the heathen gods coming down on every sort of errand, and Jehovah coming down to walk in Eden in the cool of the day, to St. Mark swooping down into the market-place of Venice to break the shackles of a slave—all these are but features in a vast evolution of myths arising largely from this geographical germ.
    • p. 96.
  • Naturally, in this view of things, if heaven was a loft, hell was a cellar; and if there were ascensions into one, there were descents into the other. ...Many a bold navigator, who was quite ready to brave pirates and tempests, trembled at the thought of tumbling with his ship into one of the openings into hell which a widespread belief placed in the Atlantic at some unknown distance from Europe. Hell being so near, interferences by its occupants with the dwellers of the earth just above were constant, and form a vast chapter in mediaeval literature. ...In a mediaeval text book... occur the following question and answer: "Why is the sun so red in the evening?" "Because he looketh down upon hell."
    • p. 96.
  • The ancient germ of scientific truth in geography—the idea of the earth's sphericity—still lived. Although the great majority of the early fathers of the Church, and especially Lactantius, had sought to crush it... the better opinion of Eudoxus and Aristotle could not be forgotten. Clement of Alexandria and Origen had even supported it. Ambrose and Augustine had tolerated it, and after Cosmas had held sway a hundred years, it received new life from a great churchman of southern Europe, Isidore of Seville... In the eighth century a similar declaration was made in the north of Europe by another great Church authority, Bede. ...Eminent authorities in later ages like Albert the Great, St. Thomas Aquinas, Dante, and Vincent of Beauvais, felt obliged to accept the doctrine of the earth's sphericity, and as we approach the modern period we find its truth acknowledged by the vast majority of thinking men.
    • p. 97.
  • The Reformation did not at first yield fully to this better theory [of the sphericity of the earth]. Luther, Melanchthon, and Calvin were very strict in their adherence to the exact letter of Scripture. Even Zwingli, broad as his views generally were, was closely bound down in this matter. ...But the new scientific thought as to the earth's form had gained the day. The most sturdy believers were obliged to adjust their biblical theories to it as best they could.
    • p. 97-98.
  • Every great people of antiquity as a rule regarded its own central city or most holy place as necessarily the centre of the earth. ...The book of Ezekiel speaks of Jerusalem as in the middle of the earth, and all other parts of the world as set around the holy city. Throughout the "ages of faith" this was very generally accepted as a direct revelation from the Almighty regarding the earth's form. ...Ezekiel's statement thus became the standard of orthodoxy to early map-makers. The [13th century] map of the world at Hereford Cathedral, the maps of Andrea Bianco, Marino Sanuto, and a multitude of others fixed this view in men's minds and doubtless discouraged during many generations any scientific statements tending to unbalance this geographical centre revealed in Scripture. ...Nor was this the only misconception which forced its way from our sacred writings into medieval map making: two others were almost as marked. ...First of these was the vague terror inspired by Gog and Magog. ...the mediæval map makers took great pains to delineate these monsters and their habitations on the maps. For centuries no map was considered orthodox which did not show them. The second conception was derived from the mention in our sacred books of the "four winds." Hence came a vivid belief in their real existence, and their delineation on the maps, generally as colossal heads with distended cheeks, blowing vigorously toward Jerusalem.
    • p. 98-101.
  • After these [medieval] conceptions had mainly disappeared we find here and there evidences of the difficulty men found in giving up the scriptural idea of direct personal interference by agents of Heaven in the ordinary phenomena of Nature: thus, in a noted map of the sixteenth century representing the earth as a sphere, there is at each pole a crank, with an angel laboriously turning the earth by means of it: and, in another map, the hand of the Almighty, thrust forth from the clouds, holds the earth suspended by a rope and spins it with his thumb and fingers. Even as late as the middle of the seventeenth century Heylin, the most authoritative English geographer of the time, shows a like tendency to mix science and theology. He warps each to help the other, as follows: "Water, making but one globe with the earth, is yet higher than it. This appears, first, because it is a body not so heavy; secondly, it is observed by sailors that their ships move faster to the shore than from it, whereof no reason can be given but the height of the water above the land; thirdly to such as stand on the shore the sea seems to swell into the form of a round hill till it puts a bound upon our sight. Now that the sea, hovering thus over and above the earth doth, not overwhelm it, can be ascribed only to his Providence who 'hath made the waters to stand on an heap that they turn not again to cover the earth."
    • Refer to Microcosmus: a Little Description of the Great World by Peter Heylyn
    • p. 101-102.
  • The doctrine of the sphericity of the earth naturally led to thought regarding its inhabitants, and another ancient germ was warmed into life—the idea of antipodes: of human beings on the earth's opposite sides. In the Greek and Roman world this idea had found supporters and opponents, Cicero and Pliny being among the former, and Epicurus, Lucretius, and Plutarch among the latter. Thus the problem came into the early Church unsolved. Among the first churchmen to take it up was, in the East, St. Gregory Nazianzen, who showed that to sail beyond Gibraltar was impossible; and, in the West, Lactantius who asked: "Is there any one so senseless as to believe there are men whose footsteps are higher than their heads? ...that the crops and trees grow downward? ...that the rains and snow and hail fall upward toward the earth? ...I am at a loss what to say of those who, when have once erred, steadily persevere in their folly and one vain thing by another." ...other Christian thinkers followed, who in their ardour adduced texts of Scripture, and soon the question had become theological; hostility to the belief in antipodes became dogmatic. The universal Church was arrayed against it, and in front of the vast phalanx stood, to a man, the fathers.
    • p. 102-103.
  • St. Basil and St. Ambrose were tolerant enough to allow that a man might be saved who thought the earth inhabited on its opposite sides; but the great majority of the fathers doubted the possibility of salvation to such misbelievers.
    • p. 103.
  • St. Augustine... though he seemed inclined to yield a little in regard to the sphericity of the earth, he fought the idea that men exist on the other side of it, saying that "Scripture speaks of no such descendants of Adam." He insists that men could not be allowed by the Almighty to live there, since if they did they could not see Christ at his second coming descending through the air. But his most cogent appeal, one which we find echoed... during a thousand years afterward, is to the nineteenth Psalm, and to its confirmation in the Epistle to the Romans; to the words, "Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world." He dwells with great force on... St. Paul... "Verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world."
    • p. 103-104.
  • For over a thousand years it was held in the Church, "always, everywhere, and by all," that there could not be human beings on the opposite sides of the earth, even if the earth had opposite sides; and, when attacked by gainsayers, the great mass of true believers, from the fourth century to the fifteenth, simply used that opiate which had so soothing an effect on John Henry Newman in the nineteenth century—securus judicat orbis terrarum [the verdict of the world is conclusive].
    • p. 104.
  • The sixth century Procopius of Gaza... declares that, if there be men on the other side of the earth, Christ must have gone there and suffered a second time to save them; and, therefore, that there must have been there, as necessary preliminaries to his coming, a duplicate Eden, Adam, serpent, and deluge.
    • p. 104.
  • At the end of the sixth century... St. Isidore of Seville... pondered over ancient thought in science and... dared proclaim his belief in the sphericity of the earth; but with that he stopped. As to the antipodes... he shuns the whole question as unlawful, subjects reason to faith, and declares that men can not and ought not to exist on opposite sides of the earth.
    • p. 104-105.
  • Boniface immediately declared against the revival of such a heresy the doctrine of the antipodes; he stigmatized it as an that there are men beyond the reach of the means of salvation; he attacked Virgil, and called on Zachary for aid. The Pope... cited passages from the book of Job and the Wisdom of Solomon against the doctrine of the antipodes; he declared it "perverse, iniquitous, and against Virgil's own soul"...
    • p. 105-106.
  • The great encyclopedist of the Middle Ages, Vincent of Beauvais, though he accepts the sphericity of the earth, treats the doctrine of the antipodes as disproved, because contrary to Scripture.
    • p. 106.
  • Just as it [the idea of antipodes] had been previously revived by William of Conches and then laid to rest, so now it is timidly brought out in the thirteenth century by no less personage than Albert the Great, the most noted man science in that time. But his utterances are perhaps purposely obscure. Again it disappears beneath the wave, and a hundred years later Nicolas d'Oresme, geographer of the King of France, a light of science, is forced to yield to the clear teaching of the Scripture as cited St. Augustine.
    • p. 106.

Vol.1, Ch.4: Theological Efforts at Compromise The Final Victory of Science[edit]

  • As a rule, when there arises a thinker as great in theology as Kepler in science, the whole mass of his conclusions ripens into a dogma. His disciples labor not to test it, but to establish it; and while in the Catholic Church, it becomes a dogma to be believed or disbelieved under the penalty of damnation, it becomes in the Protestant Church the basis for one more sect.
    • p. 203.

Vol.1, Ch.5: From Genesis to Geology[edit]

  • It is a duty and a pleasure to state here that one great Christian scholar did honor to religion and to himself by quietly accepting the claims of science and making the best of them, despite all these clamors. This man was Nicholas Wiseman, better known afterward as Cardinal Wiseman. The conduct of this pillar of the Roman Catholic Church contrasts admirably with that of timid Protestants who were filling England with shrieks and denunciations.
    • p. 224.

Vol.2, Ch.16: From Diabolism to Hysteria[edit]

  • Very striking in all these cases was the alloy of frenzy with trickery. In most of the madness there was method. Sundry witches charged by the possessed had been engaged in controversy with the Salem church people. Others of the accused had quarreled with Mr. Parris. Still others had been engaged in old lawsuits against persons more or less connected with the girls. One of the most fearful charges, which cost the life of a noble and lovely woman, arose undoubtedly from her better style of dress and living. Old slumbering neighborhood or personal quarrels bore in this way a strange fruitage of revenge; for the cardinal doctrine of a fanatic's creed is that his enemies are the enemies of God.
    • p. 149.

Quotes about A History[edit]

  • White's and Draper's accounts of the actual interaction between science and religion in Western history do not differ greatly. Both tell a tale of bright progress continually sparked by science. And both develop and use the same myths to support their narrative, the flat-earth legend prominently among them.
    • Stephen Jay Gould, "The late birth of a flat earth," Dinosaur in a Haystack: Reflections in Natural History (1996) pp. 38–52.
  • A growing body of scholarship in the past twenty-five years has forged a consensus that White and Draper were "anti-Christian polemicists" who overplayed the initial evangelical resistance to evolution while ignoring the fact that many of the debates in the history of science were among Christians, not between Christians and non-Christians.
    • Barry Hankins, American Evangelicals: A Contemporary History of a Mainstream Religious Movement (2009).
  • By the time of the scopes trial... fundamentalist voices articulating the harmony position were drowned out by those clamoring for warfare. The "warfare model" had become the dominant way of understanding the relationship between religion and science. But fundamentalists did not create the model. Rather, it was created by Andrew Dickson White and John William Draper. Beginning with an 1869 lecture entitled "The Battlefields of Science," White's ideas evolved into a two-volume work called A History of Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom. Draper's book was titled History of Conflict Between Religion and Science. ...This view... became standard in the early twentieth century.
    • Barry Hankins, Jesus and Gin: Evangelicalism, the Roaring Twenties and Today's Culture Wars (2010).
  • Recent historians have shown that from Galileo to the late nineteenth century, most scientists were Christians...
    • Barry Hankins, Jesus and Gin: Evangelicalism, the Roaring Twenties and Today's Culture Wars (2010).
  • In the... monumental two volume work, the American historian Andrew Dickson White depicted the engagement of Christianity and science as a series of "battles" between narrow-minded, dogmatic theologians and truth-seeking men of science. ...Some Christian apologists have gone so far as to reframe the relationship... as an essentially harmonious engagement ...By the last quarter of the twentieth century many historians of science and Christianity were growing increasingly uncomfortable with the triumphalist narratives of both the warriors and the harmonizers. ...they laid aside polemical goals, choosing to understand rather than to judge...
    • David C. Lindberg, Ronald L. Numbers, When Science and Christianity Meet (2008).
  • One of the reigning views of modern scholarship is that it is inappropriate to employ martial metaphors such as "warfare" in discussing the historical relationship between science and religion.
    • David C. Lindberg, Ronald L. Numbers, When Science and Christianity Meet (2008).


External links[edit]

White, Andrew Dickson, A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom Vol.1 (1913) @Google Books