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that at successive periods in the Earth's history, old Floras and Faunas had been abolished and others introduced ; just as though, to use Professor Huxley's figure, the table had been now and again kicked over and a new pack of cards brought out. And it is true that Lamarck, while he rejected this absurd creed, assigned for the facts reasons some of which are absurd.
But in consequence of the feeling described, his defensible belief was forgotten and only his indefensible ones remembered. This one-sided estimate has become traditional; so that there is now often shown a subdued contempt for those who suppose that there can be any truth in the conclusions of a man. whose general conception was partly sense, at a time when the general conceptions of his contemporaries were wholly nonsense. Hence results unfair treatment-hence result the different dealings with the views of Lamarck and of Weismann.
o Where are the facts proving the inheritance of acquired characters " ? ask those who deny it. Well, in the first place, there might be asked the counter-question~Where are the facts which disprove it? Surely if not only the general structures of organisms, but also many of the modifications arising in them, are inheritable, the natural implication is that all modifications are inheritable; and if any say that the inheritableness is limited to those arising in a certain way, the onus lies on them of proving that those otherwise arising are not inheritable. Leaving this counter-question aside, however, it will suffice if we ask another counter-question. It is asserted that the dwindling of organs from disuse is due to the successive survivals in posterity of individuals in which the organs had varied in the direction of decrease. Where now are the facts supporting this assertion?
Not one has been assigned or can be assigned. Not a single case can be named in which panmixia is a proved cause of diminution. Even had the deductive argument for panmixia been as valid as we have found it to be invalid, there would still have been required, in pursuance of scientific method, some verifying inductive evidence.
Yet though not a shred of such evidence has been given, the doctrine is accepted with acclamation, and adopted as part of current biological theory. Articles are written and letters published in which it is assumed that this mere speculation, justified by not a tittle of proof, displaces large conclusions previously drawn. And then, passing into the outer world, this unsupported belief affects opinion there too; so that we have recently had a Right Honourable lecturer who, taking for granted its truth, represents the inheritance of acquired characters as an exploded hypothesis, and thereupon proceeds to give revised views of human affairs.
Finally, there comes the reply that there are facts proving the inheritance of acquired characters. All those assigned by Mr. Darwin, together with others such, remain outstanding when we find that
the interpretation by panmixia is untenable. Indeed, even had that hypothesis been tenable, it would have been inapplicable to these cases; since in domestic animals, artificially fed and often overfed, the supposed advantage from economy cannot be shown to tell; and since, in these cases, individuals are not naturally selected during the struggle for life in which certain traits are advantageous, but are artificially selected by man without regard to such traits. Should it be urged that the assigned facts are not numerous, it may be replied that there are no persons whose occupations and amusements incidentally bring out such facts; and that they are probably as numerous as those which would have been available for Mr. Darwin's hypothesis, had there been no breeders and fanciers and gardeners who, in pursuit of their profits and hobbies, furnished him with evidence. It may be added that the required facts are not likely to be numerous, if biologists refuse to seek for them.
See, then, how the case stands. Natural selection, or survival of the fittest, is almost exclusively operative throughout the vegetal world and throughout the lower animal world, characterised by relative passivity. But with the ascent to higher types of animals, its effects are in increasing degrees involved with those produced by inheritance of acquired characters; until, in animals of complex structures, inheritance of acquired characters becomes an important, if not the chief, cause of evolution. We have seen that natural selection cannot work any changes in organisms save such as conduce in considerable degrees, directly or indirectly, to the multiplication of the stirp; whence failure to account for various changes ascribed to it. And we have seen that it yields no explanation of the co-adaptation of co-operative parts, even when the co-operation is relatively simple, and still less when it is complex. On the other hand, we see that if, along with the transmission of generic and specific structures, there tend to be transmitted modifications arising in a certain way, there is a strong a priori probability that there tend to be transmitted modifications arising in all ways. We have a number of facts confirming this inference, and showing that acquired characters are inherited—as large a number as can be expected, considering the difficulty of observing them and the absence of search. And then to these facts may be added the facts with which this essay set out, concerning the distribution of tactual discriminativeness. While we saw that these are inexplicable by survival of the fittest, we saw that they are clearly explicable as resulting from the inheritance of acquired characters. And here let it be added that this conclusion is conspicuously warranted by one of the methods of inductive logic, known as the method of concomitant variations. For throughout the whole series of gradations in perceptive power, we saw that the amount of the effect is proportionate to the amount of the alleged cause.
DEEPLY regret that by my paper on the “ Policy of the Pope,”
which appeared in the October issue of this REVIEW, I contrived to pour abundant oil not, as I had fondly hoped, upon troubled waters, but upon tongues of consuming fire ; and that the views which, in the interests of our Church and in the name of numerous coreligionists, I ventured respectfully there to put forward, are answerable for much wrath, bitterness, and, I fear, less venial sin. А reply to my paper-universally regarded as semi-official—appeared recently in Rome over the signature of the Rev. “Salvatore M. Brandi, of the Society of Jesus, Editor of the Civiltà Cattolica," and is now being distributed broadcast in Europe and America.
Having read that and other pamphlets, I owe it to my readers frankly to acknowledge, and sincerely to deplore, the circumstance, that when dealing with the political events of many years and many countries, the records of which were not at hand at the time of writing, certain inaccuracies unavoidably crept into my article ; and I owe it to the advocates of the Papal policy to express my profound regret that these slips leave each and every one of my contentions as to the final aim and immediate results of the policy of our Holy Father absolutely unweakened and untouched,
And here the matter would naturally have rested, were it not for two unlooked-for circumstances, which will grievously pain every Catholic who refuses to admit that the spirit of our holy Church, in order to be orthodox, must necessarily be hostile to the truths of profane science, and that the methods of our theological controversialists, in order to be effective, must be potent solvents of the
1 "Die Politik des Papstes Leo XIII., vertheidigt gegenüber der Contenporary Review, von P. Salvatore M. Brandi, S.J., Redakteur der Civiltà Cattolica, 1893, p. 17. All the following references are to the pages of this pamphlet.
principles of ethics. In the first place, the Rev. Father Brandi, S.J., proclaims the existence in the Church of a hitherto unknown agency warranted to discover, and empowered to impose, new articles of belief upon the “crowd of the faithful”; 1 and he then goes on to prove by the help of overwhelming evidence, the cogency of which I am unable to impair, that some of the members of this new and important body, in their zeal for theological truth, display a very rudimentary sense of that veraciousness which plain people hold to be an indispensable condition of all relations between man and man.
In the course of my article, I repeated an assertion which many eminent members of our communion, like the late Cardinal Newman, had made over and over again in the course of their lives—namely, that no Catholic is bound to believe that it is absolutely indispensable to the weal of Catholicism that his Holiness should be the kinglet of a few thousands of discontented Italians, as well as the supreme Head of the whole Catholic Church. I might have gone further, and contended that no such proposition could possibly be the subject-matter of a revelation to Pope or Council; because the temporal power of the Pontiffs having been acquired centuries after the time of the Apostles, there can be no apostolic traditions on which to ground any such dogma. This line of reasoning, I take it, is simple and clear
We refuse to believe in the necessity of the temporal power of the Pope, for reasons which strongly appeal to our intellect, our humanity, and our religious sense. We would willingly waive these considerations, if the contrary proposition were embodied in a dogma obligatory upon all Catholics. This however, we submit, is out of the question, because the apostolic tradition, which is the indispensable basis of all such dogmas, never existed.
The reply to this argument is a declaration so astounding as, if true, to mark the beginning of a new era in the history of our Church. We were grievously mistaken, Father Brandi tells us, in supposing this question to be still open to discussion. It has been decided long ago, “ solemnly decided, that the temporal power is necessary to the freedom of the Church," and "the crowd of the faithful ”I must bow before the decision. And by what mysterious agency has this important truth been discovered and promulgated ? By the “ teaching Church,” answers Father Brandi," and for a Catholic that must suffice."
If this be indeed the doctrine of the Catholic Church, I humbly submit to its ruling; but only on condition that the Copernican system of astronomy be proclaimed heretical and damnable. For it was the same “teaching Church” which condemned as false and heretical the proposition of the " starry Galileo” that the earth revolves round the sun and whenever non-Catholics attempt to impale
1 “Die Menge der Gläubigen," p. 17.
2 P. 17.
us on one of the horns of the dilemma :-either the Copernican system is false, or else the infallible Church was then mistaken, our only chance of escape is to protest that the " teaching Church" is not infallible, nor its views binding upon Catholics. It will not answer, even as a mere matter of policy, for our theologians in this last decade of the nineteenth century to blow hot in one case, and cold in the other. It must be either yea or nay; we cannot deny, in order to confound our enemies, what we affirm in order to convince our friends. And the thought that any such attempt should have been made by a venorable Father of the influential Order of the Jesuits, and at the very moment when his Eminence Cardinal Vaughan announces that he is about to begin his "gigantic task of converting thirty millions of Englishmen” to our faith,' sends a pang of despair to the heart of every zealous Catholic. Tactics of this kind are eminently calculated to render the missionary's task more difficult, and provoke disheartening replies similar to that made by an uneducated English woman, to the priest who endeavoured to induceher to enter our communion: “I shouldn't object so strongly to the Catholic Church, if it were not for oracular confusion; but that goes, against the grain of the English people.”
It does, and likewise against the grain of all fair-minded people, whatever their nationality or religion. As a Catholic, I protest . against such methods in the name of thousands of my co-religionists. We refuse to accept the doctrine that the belief of the teaching, Church” at any given time suffices, without Ecumenical Council or Papal declaration ex cathedrá, to transform a mere opinion into a binding dogma, which the infallible Church will be at liberty to disavow whenever it is proved false. If the necessity of the temporal power of the Pope is indeed such a momentous truth that our eternal salvation depends on our professing it, and if, as Father Brandi declares, his Holiness is truly competent to make it the subject of an infallible declaration ex cathedra, then in God's name let it be promulgated at once and opposition silenced for ever.
Circumstances may possibly arise which render it imperative to believe what it is dangerous to discuss, and may afterwards be convenient to deny; but we cannot admit that an isolated case should be made the basis of an elaborate system, for the purpose of turning out one-sided dogmas which seriously hamper our reason without contributing to the purity of our faith. For the ease with which all such provisional articles of belief, when once they have served their purpose, are relegated to the limbo of pious opinions, has an insidious tendency to undermine our respect for the sacredness of all truth. I will illustrate my meaning by an instance suggested by Father Brandi's
1 Cardinal Vaughan is reported in the London papers to have publicly announced in Rome that he was about to return to England, to begin his gigantic task of converting thirty millions of his countrymen to Catholicism.