The illustrated story of evolution- PDF book (1921) by Marshall Gauvin

The illustrated story of evolution 

The illustrated story of evolution




Excerpt

The Greek philosophers from Thales to Aristotle, more than two thousand years ago, entertained the notion that all things have been developed from primitive beginnings. 

This view was shared in the fourth century of the Christian era by St. Augustine, probably the greatest of the church “Fathers.” Then came the Dark Age,— an intellectual night of a thousand years—an era when reason and science were buried in the grave of superstition,—and at its close, the. Revival of Learning, the dawn of the modern period. 

In that golden Renaissance of rational thought and scientific speculation, philosophical thinkers —Bruno. Campanella and others—influenced by the theories of the Greeks and by the astronomical discoveries of Kepler, Copernicus and Galileo, sought to explain the universe as an unfoldment from a simple, early condition of matter. But such speculation was denounced as 6 Introduction dangerous, and Bruno died a martyr in the flames. Still the idea that there has been an evolution in nature persisted and grew, and the writings of Spinoza in Holland, of Locke in England, of Kant in Germany, of Lamarck in France,—to mention but a few philosophers—encouraged men to think that the secret of existence lay in the fact of growth. 

Then came the greatest of books on the development of living things. In 1859, Darwin gave the world his “Origin of Species/’ a work that laid the foundation of the science of evolution. Earlier thinkers had groped and guessed with little knowledge of Nature’s laws. But Darwin had discovered the laws of organic life, and, with an amazing array of evidential facts patiently observed and gathered in a score of years, he was able to support his view that species have been evolved “by means of natural selection” through “the preservation of favoured races in the struggle of life.” 

In the interest of the six-day creation legend, a storm of theological wrath assailed the great man’s head. Knowing that truth was on his side, the saint of science paid no heed to slander and patiently worked on. 

And in twenty-three years he wrought a greater, a more far-reaching revolution in the thoughts of intelligent mankind than was ever accomplished by any other of the sons of men; and when he died, England was glad to honour his dust with burial in her sacred Westminster Abbey. Evolution is as firmly established today as the fact of gravitation. The intellect of the whole world acclaims it as the one and only principle that explains the phenomena of existence. 

True it is, that many naturalists disagree with Darwin with respect to some of the details of the process by which evolution has been brought about, but these men are one and all thoroughgoing evolutionists. There is no man of science living who believes in special creation. Every university now teaches evolution.

 Every science studies its facts today, in the light of growth and change from simplicity to complexity. The astronomer traces the course of evolution in the heavens; the geologist follows the path of evolution in the crust of the earth; the biologist threads the process of growth through succeeding forms of life; the psychologist considers the gradual emergence of mind from the lowly animal to civilized man; the sociologist elucidates the progressive development of society from its rude barbaric dawn; the inquiries of the anthropologist illuminate the evolution of relig¬ ion, of government, of law. 

Every phase of exstence and life and thought opens its treasury of secrets when touched by evolution’s master key. Where all the facts point resistlessly to one conclusion, that conclusion must perforce be accepted as true. 


The foundations of evolution are laid in all the active phenomena of nature and the super¬ structure is being fashioned by all the facts of growth and change.

the book details :
  • Author: Marshall Gauvin
  • Publication date: 1921<:1921 li="">
  • Company:New York: P. Eckler Pub. Co.

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