Punch,  57 (1869), 176.

Development and Demonstration



Letter, Spoof


Darwinism, Evolution, Human Species, Human Development, Sex, Descent, Theory, Proof, Charlatanry, Religion, Religious Authority, Ancient Authority

    Draws Mr Punch's attention to a recent article in the Academy (see AC1/1/1bi/4) announcing that Charles R Darwin will be applying the conclusion of his Origin of Species to the human species. Presents an extract from the article describing the importance of sexual selection in human evolution, but insists that philosophers will be 'curious to see how Mr. Darwin traces his series of zoological love-tales from Man through his immediate progenitors, the anthropoid apes', to a 'Monad'—an ascent comprising 'milliards of milliards' of 'grades or links'. Wonders whether Darwin can demonstrate one of these links. Draws parallels between Darwin's 'theory of Development' and that of 'Dr. Newman' (a reference to John H Newman's Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine) asserting that they are 'incompatible' theories, but that both 'require confirmation'. Similarly notes that both Darwin and Pope Pius IX are trying to 'establish Assumptions' (a reference to the basis of a scientific argument and the doctrine of the assumption of the Virgin Mary), and that both 'appear to assume facts that have no foundations'. However, suggests that Darwin, unlike representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, may be able to prove his theory, and that he will send his book to Mr Punch who, like the author, will be able to see how far human ancestry extends beyond Adam.

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