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Activity Of Consciousness
Aim And Method Of Naturalism
Autonomy Of Spirit
Consciousness Of The Ego
Constructive Criticism
Contrast Between Darwinian And Post-darwinian Views
Creative Power Of Consciousness
Criticisms Of The Mechanistic Theory Of Life
Crities Of Darwinism
Darwinish In General
Darwinism And Teleology
Darwinism In The Strict Sense
De Vries's Mutation-theory
Differences Of Opinion As To The Factors In Evolution
Eimer's Orthogenesis
Evolution And New Beginnings
Feeling Individuality Genius And Mysticism
Freedom Of Spirit
Fundamental Principles Of Naturalism
Goethe's Attitude To Naturalism
Haeckel's Evolutionist Position
How All This Affects The Religious Outlook
How The Religious And The Naturalistic Outlooks Conflict
Individual Development
Intuitions Of Reality
Is There Ageing Of The Mind?
Lamarckism And Neo-lamarckism
Machnical Theories Criticism
Mind And Spirit The Human And The Animal Soul
Mystery : Dependence : Purpose
Natural Selection
Naturalistic Attacks On The Autonomy Of The Spiritual
No Parallelism
Other Instances Of Dissatisfaction With The Theory Of Descent
Pre-eminence Of Consciousness
Preyer's Position
Religion And The Theory Of Descent
Spontaneous Generation
Teleological And Scientific Interpretations Are Alike Necessary
The Antimony Of Our Conception Of Space
The Antimony Of Our Conception Of Time
The Antimony Of The Conditioned And The Unconditioned
The Characteristic Features Of Darwinism
The Conservation Of Matter And Energy
The Constructive Work Of Driesch
The Contingency Of The World
The Dependence Of The Order Of Nature
The Development Of Darwinism
The Ego
The Fundamental Answer
The Law Of The Conservation Of Energy
The Mechanics Of Development
The Mystery Of Existence Remains Unexplained
The Organic And The Inorganic
The Position Of Bunge And Other Physiologists
The Problema Continui
The Real World
The Recognition Of Purpose
The Religious Interpretation Of The World
The Spontaneous Activity Of The Organism
The Supremacy Of Mind
The Theory Of Descent
The True Naturalism
The Two Kinds Of Naturalism
The Unconscious
The Unity Of Consciousness
The Views Of Albrecht And Schneider
The Views Of Botanists Illustrated
The World And God
Theory Of Definite Variation
Theory Of Life
Various Forms Of Darwinism
Virchow's Caution
Virchow's Position
Weismann's Evolutionist Position
What Is Distinctive In The Naturalistic Outlook
What Is Distinctive In The Religious Outlook

Darwinism And Teleology

But the essential and most characteristic importance of Darwin and his
work, the reason for which he was called the Newton of biology, and which
makes Darwinism at once interesting and dangerous to the religious
conception of the world, is something quite special and new. It is its
radical opposition to teleology. Du Bois-Reymond, in his witty lecture
"Darwin versus Galiani,"(4) explains the gist of the matter. "Les des de
la nature sont pipes" (nature's dice are loaded). Nature is almost always
throwing aces. She brings forth not what is meaningless and purposeless,
but in great preponderance what is full of meaning and purpose. What
"loaded" her dice like this? Even if the theory of descent be true, in
what way does it directly help the purely scientific interpretation of the
world? Would not this evolution from the lowest to the highest simply be a
series of the most astonishing lucky throws of the dice by which in
perplexing "endeavour after an aim," the increasingly perfect, and
ultimately the most perfect is produced? And, on the other hand, every
individual organism, from the Amoeba up to the most complex vertebrate, is,
in its structure, its form, its functions, a stupendous marvel of
adaptation to its end and of co-ordination of the parts to the whole, and
of the whole and its parts to the functions of the organism, the functions
of nutrition, self-maintenance, reproduction, maintenance of the species,
and so on. How account for the adaptiveness, both general and special,
without causae finales, without intention and purposes, without guidance
towards a conscious aim? How can it be explained as the necessary result
solely of causae efficientes, of blindly working causes without a
definite aim? Darwinism attempts to answer this question. And its answer
is: "What appears to us 'purposeful' and 'perfect' is in truth only the
manifold adaptation of the forms of life to the conditions of their
existence. And this adaptation is brought about solely by means of these
conditions themselves. Without choice, without aim, without conscious
purpose nature offers a wealth of possibilities. The conditions of
existence act as a sieve. What chances to correspond to them maintains
itself, gliding through the meshes of the sieve, what does not perishes."
It is an old idea of the naturalistic philosophies, dating from
Empedocles, which Darwin worked up into the theory of "natural selection"
through "the survival of the fittest" "in the struggle for existence." Of
course the assumption necessary to his idea is that the forms of life are
capable of variation, and of continually offering in ceaseless flux new
properties and characters to the sieve of selection, and of being raised
thereby from the originally homogeneous to the heterogeneous, from the
simple to the complex, from the lower to the higher. This is the theory of
descent, and it is, of course, an essential part and the very foundation
of Darwin's theory. But it is the doctrine of descent based upon natural
selection that is Darwinism itself.

Next: The Characteristic Features Of Darwinism

Previous: The Development Of Darwinism

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