JF Ptak Science Books Post 1423
I wasn't going to write anything at all about this pamphlet, but the vocabulary was so strong and vehement, and reminded me so much of what we can read in today's daily press, that I thought to at least pick out some of the choice morsels.
Darwinism Reproved and Refuted, published in Washington D.C. in 1873, is left without any attribution to the author, the writer not caring to sign his/her name, not even to use as the wood into which some shingle with a weak social sciences/psych/religious Ph.D. could be nailed. It is just left to the imagination or indignation that the writer didn't or couldn't feel confident enough to actually sign their work. It is also one of hundreds if not thousnads of anti-Darwin vehemence--there is a chance I guess that there were more of these things written than there are visible-to-the-naked-eye stars in the night sky. (The original pamphlet is available at our blog bookstore.)
The author has little room for Mr. Darwin's work1, clearly on a super-rant over The Descent... and on the theory of evolution, using such colorful words in runny purple prose like "\repugnant, revolting, unsophisticated, outrage, deadening influence, peculiar, fallacious, cunning"--and this coming from the first two paragraphs. Needless to say, even though the writer was too weak to sign their name, they did have some strong opinions.
"Utterly false, radically and fundamentally wrong, futile in the extreme, unreliable, ungrounded, false, short-sighted (in relation to god), ridiculous..." continues the author. The endowments of the Creator stuff doesn't work its way in until the third page, when the adjectival and adverbial assault was already on it way, all without the assistance of any scientific counterexamples--but then the rest of the work is dedicated to proving the godless nature of Darwin's work and its escape from scientific reality.
We find this: "Evolution is founded on materialism, which is another term for atheism"...."let this doctrine be compared with the Mosaic account of creation, and then the student of nature determine if he will choose for his progenitors Darwin's pair of ring-tailled [sic] monkeys, or 'Adam...' "
And so that's what we get to in the refutation: the Creator. Old version of a contemporary complaint to get Darwin tossed out of classrooms to protect the youth of America, replacing it with divination. The author writes: "In the investigation of nature which is the proper province of the scientist, the most effectual method of studying it, in order to render this subject clearly intelligible to the human mind, is to regard the economy of nature as a form of government, having God for its founder, its Supreme Ruler, and Law-giver."
There's not too much one can do with that, and even though it sounds antique, isn't necessarily so, because the philosophy exists today, only with fewer commas.
1. By 1873 Darwin already had produced an epochal body of work, including but not limited to On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1859), On the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilised by insects (1862), On the Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants (1865), The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication (1868), The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871), and The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals (1873)