Thursday, February 12, 2009

To commemorate Darwin on the 200th anniversary of his birth, I'm going to follow Allen MacNeill's lead and recall these words from his classic:
Authors of the highest eminence seem to be fully satisfied with the view that each species has been independently created. To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes, like those determining the birth and death of the individual.
I like to think Aquinas and Darwin would have enjoyed each other's company.

2 comments:

Mike Flynn said...

Why sure. Secondary causation is where it's at. As Aquinas once wrote:

Nature is nothing but the plan of some art, namely a divine one, put into things themselves, by which those things move towards a concrete end: as if the man who builds up a ship could give to the pieces of wood that they could move by themselves to produce the form of the ship.
-- Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the Physics II.8, lecture 14, no. 268

Or as Cardinal Schoenborn pointed out, that God said "let the sea bring forth" and "let the earth bring forth", sounds a lot like the same thing.

John Farrell said...

Exactly! And yet...look at the conclusion Allen draws from it instead.

Humans are a strange species.

See you at Boskone.

(reading your nebula award nominee online--nicely done!)