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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

Evolution And New Beginnings

All this throws an important light upon two subjects which are relevant in
this connection, but which cannot here be exhaustively dealt
with,--evolution and new beginnings. Let us consider, for instance, the
marvellous range and diversity of the characteristic chemical properties
and interrelations of substances. Each one of them, contrasted with the
preceding lower forms and stages of "energy," contrasted with mere
attraction, repulsion, gravitation, is something absolutely new, a new
interpolation (of course not in regard to time but to grade), a phenomenon
which cannot be "explained" by what has gone before. It simply occurs, and
we find it in its own time and place. We may call this new emergence
"evolution," and we may use this term in connection with every new stage
higher than those preceding it. But it is not evolution in a crude and
quantitative sense, according to which the "more highly evolved" is
nothing more than an addition and combination of what was already there;
it is evolution in the old sense of the word, according to which the more
developed is a higher analogue of the less developed, but is in its own
way as independent, as much a new beginning as each of the antecedent
stages, and therefore in the strict sense neither derivable from them nor
reducible to them.

It must be noted that in this sense evolution and new beginnings are
already present at a very early stage in nature and are part of its
essence. We must bear this in mind if we are rightly to understand the
subtler processes in nature which we find emerging at a higher level. It
is illusory to suppose that it is a "natural" assumption to "derive" the
living from lower processes in nature. The non-living and the inorganic
are also underivable as to their individual stages, and the leap from the
inorganic to the organic is simply much greater than that from attraction
in general to chemical affinity. As a matter of fact, the first
occurrence--undoubtedly controlled and conditioned by internal necessity--of
crystallisation, or of life, or of sensation has just the same
marvellousness as everything individual and everything new in any
ascending series in nature. In short, every new beginning has the same

Perhaps this consideration goes still deeper, throwing light upon or
suggesting the proper basis for a study of the domain of mind and of
history. It is immediately obvious that there, at any rate, we enter into
a region of phenomena which cannot be derived from anything antecedent, or
reduced to anything lower. It must be one of the chief tasks of naturalism
to explain away these facts, and to maintain the sway of "evolution," not
in our sense but in its own, that is "to explain" everything new and
individual from that which precedes it. But the assertion that this can be
done is here doubly false. For, in the first place, it cannot be proved
that methods of study which are relatively valid for natural phenomena are
applicable also to those of the mind. And in the second place we must
admit that even in nature--apart from mind--we have to do with new
beginnings which are underivable from their antecedents.

All being is inscrutable mystery as a whole, and from its very foundations
upwards through each successively higher stage of its evolution, in an
increasing degree, until it reaches a climax in the incomprehensibility of
individuality. It is a mystery that does not force itself into nature as
supernatural or miraculous, but is fundamentally implicit in it, a mystery
that in its unfolding assuredly follows the strictest law, the most
inviolable rules, whether in the chemical affinities a higher grade of
energies reveals itself, or whether--unquestionably also in obedience to
everlasting law--the physical and chemical conditions admit of the
occurrence of life, or whether in his own time and place a genius

Next: The Dependence Of The Order Of Nature

Previous: The Mystery Of Existence Remains Unexplained

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