Origin And Destiny -- By: George Lindley

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 089:356 (Oct 1932)
Article: Origin And Destiny
Author: George Lindley


Origin And Destiny

George Lindley

The matter of origins is one that long has interested man. This is so not among the more advanced or cultured races only, but likewise among those on a much lower cultural level. As resulting from this interest in beginnings, many and exceedingly diverse schemes have been advanced as to how things came to be what they are. Usually there is something postulated with which to start, even if but a shoreless, mud-bottomed sea or an equally chimerical chaos of various kinds. From such, by the timely aid of some muskrat, raven, coyote, mantis insect, etc., or some one or more gods who themselves first sprang from the primeval abyss, things finally came into shape. Or things worked largely in a natural way, sometimes with and sometimes without the aid of nature spirits, animal gods or other arrangers or molders of the posited, pre-existent material, until things arrived at the stage where man found them. With some again, the process was altogether natural and evolutionary. By some “fortuitous concourse of atoms” it all came about, by chance or accident. For many have not held back from using these very words, chance and accident. Thus in a series of articles in the Popular Science Monthly, Dr. E. E. Free “tells the story of how the Life Force first took shape in the sea, a billion years ago; of how it grew into countless strange new forms; of how worms, lizards, reptiles and apelike creatures each in turn inherited the flame of life and passed it on to still higher animals; of how finally Man himself emerged.” “Behind this drama some may see a Divine Plan of things; others simply the thrilling work of blind chance.” (March, 1923, p. 27).

Says Dr. J. Gardner: “Many great scientists, ancient and modern, have thought that chance is a potent factor and only the fittest survive. Darwin, Bateson, William James each espoused a theory of chance. A modern biologist says, “Nature has always preferred to work by the hit-or-miss methods of chance” (Evolution and Redemption, p. 30).

In modern times the evolutionary hypothesis took to itself new life. This was so especially in the biologic realm, though it was likewise so as regards things generally, the universe at large. Things were not created. They evolved. They were not brought into being through the direct creative action of an all-powerful and all-wise Divine Being. Rather are they the resultant of changes taking place naturally in eternally existent matter. As stated in ed. 11 of Ency. Brit.: “In the modern doctrine of evolution the cosmic system appears as a natural product of elementary matter and its laws. The various grades of life on our planet are the natural consequences of certain...

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