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Extra resources for A Book that Shook the World: Essays on Charles Darwin's Origin of Species
And so, we recognize, the last chapter of the story of biological evolution has not yet been written, certainly not by man and perhaps not by nature. At the present time, it appears that the more significant components of the progressing evolutionary synthesis are carrying us forward in two directions: on the one hand, we are looking backward in time and outward in space to explore the external or cosmic framework of biological evolution, and this carries us into the domain of what one investigator has termed "cosmecology"the study of the dynamics of our solar system and the revolving galaxy of which it is a part.
This event, of course, was the influx of the Judaeo-Christian world-view into the main stream of Western thought. For better or for worse, the Hebrew-Christian tradition was soon committed to an anti-evolutionary view. This is obviously a case of historical determinism: having embraced the "special creation" theory of Genesis, and recognizing the Old Testament as the spiritual precursor of the Christian ideology with its inherent notions of "original sin," the Messianic role of the Savior, and the like, the early Christian Fathers had no escape from the theory that the human family began with our first parents, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden.
It would be foolish to hold Darwin responsible for all the foolish illusions which were generated in his name. It would also be idle to celebrate the triumph of science over religious obscurantism without noting the triumph of enlightened religion and the consequent triumph of illusion. 36 Thus, the imposing achievements of a great scientist in the past century entered into the complex pattern of man's cultural history and prompted both enlightenment and illusion about the human situation. 37 THE CONCEPT OF EVOLUTION IN PIIII~OSOPlIY Oliver L.