About the Book
Table of Contents
Part IV: The Suvival of the UN-fit
The True Harmony
of Natural Communities
Are Animals Always
Selfish and Competitive?
IT IS an interesting reflection upon
the way in which our minds work that we should evince a convenient
mental blindness to evidence which conflicts with strongly held
convictions. Our attention is filtered. Were it not so, we might
perhaps find ourselves almost totally unable to form any convictions
at all. So we pay a price for what, after all, provides tremendous
stimulus. The view that Nature is in a state of warfare, individual
against individual, has led to most people being very largely
unaware of the fact that animals upon occasion do sacrifice themselves
for one another. In a recent book Human Evolution, two
of the contributing authors make this observation: (39)
human pattern of gathering and hunting to share is unique to
man. In its small range a monkey gathers only what it itself
needs to eat at the moment; the whole complex of economic reciprocity
that dominates so much of human life is unique to man.
This statement would probably be unchallenged
by the general public who have come to accept a view of Nature
as being composed entirely of individuals fighting for their
own survival in a completely selfish way. Yet if it were not
for a tremendous power of control which the pundits of evolution
hold over what many publishing houses publish, there is no doubt
that an entirely different side of what goes on in Nature would
become equally well known -- and probably read with far greater
interest and enjoyment. For it has been known for a very long
time that animals cooperate in helping each other quite widely
in Nature and often at some cost to themselves. They may deliberately
gather food in order to share it with other members of their
own species who for one reason or another cannot help themselves.
And I am not thinking now of the feeding
39. Washburn, S. L., and Lancaster,
C. S., "The Evolution of Hunting," in Human Evolution,
edited by N. Korn and F. Thompson, Holt, Rinehart & Winston,
New York, 1967, p.74.
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newborn, but of adults helping other disabled adults. Nor do
I have in mind only cases where domesticated animals help one
another, though it occurs here also.
the English journal Country Life, (40) a case
was reported of one man who owned a spaniel and an alsatian.
The spaniel apparently gradually went blind, and as its eyesight
failed, the alsatian took over its guidance, stopping frequently
when they journeyed together to make sure the spaniel was all
right. In due course the spaniel went totally blind. Thereafter,
the alsatian would take her gently by the ear and guide her wherever
they went, in the field, in the house from room to room, and
even up and down stairs. The spaniel trusted the alsatian so
completely that they would go romping together on long country
walks even among the trees.
perhaps domesticated animals are not properly representative
of Nature in the wild. Yet the same altruistic interdependence
has been reported here too. Driving along a country lane at night,
one correspondent in Country Life tells how his carlights
picked up two rats running down one of the wheel tracks ahead
of him. (41) Having a strong dislike of rats,
he accelerated at once and ran a wheel over them. Then he stopped
his car, being a humane individual, intending to finish them
off should either of them be still alive but wounded. To his
amazement, one rat, though quite unharmed, did not run away.
In its mouth was a long straw which was also held in the mouth
of the dead animal, and the survivor was quite blind. The two
rats were evidently companions, the "seeing" rat being
his blind mate's seeing eye, guiding his mate with a straw held
was aware of a number of reports of similar nature. (42)
He referred to J. C. Woods's narrative of a weasel which picked
up and carried away an injured comrade in a time of danger. He
referred to a certain Max Perty who observed rats feeding a blind
couple. He told of a reported instance of two crows feeding in
a hollow tree a third crow which was wounded, and which apparently
had been wounded several weeks previously. He referred to cases
where other crows have been reported as caring for blind comrades,
in some cases as many as two or three such helpless fellow crows.
Darwin himself was aware of these things. He recorded an observation
by a Captain Stansbury who during a journey to Utah saw a blind
pelican which was being fed, and well fed, by other
40. Country Life, October
26, 1967, p.1069.
41. Country Life, February 2, 1967, p.245.
42. Kropotkin, Prince Petr, Mutual Aid, Extending Horizon
Books, Bosto, 1955, p.59.
upon fishes which had to be brought a distance of thirty miles.
is one case in which, within a species, provision is made by
the stronger members for the weaker ones in a way which is rather
wonderful. I have in mind the wheeling of birds taking off together
before beginning a long flight. In his Social Life of Animals,
(44) W. C. Allee pointed out that this habit during flight
allows the younger, aged, or weaker birds to reach the proper
altitude at a more leisurely pace and yet within the same time
frame by the simple device of arranging that the stronger birds
will describe a larger circle as they gain altitude. Thus as
they spiral into the air, they travel a greater distance than
the weaker members of the flock and so all reach the same altitude
without undue dispersion. It has been observed that during flight,
if dispersion of the flock is excessive the stronger fliers will
wheel several times until the other birds have been able to catch
up again. It is true that, in this instance, the action probably
does not endanger those creatures who decide to delay their flight
somewhat for the benefit of their weaker brethren, so that there
is no altruism involved, or self-sacrifice. Nevertheless, one
must admit here to a certain built-in sensitivity which renders
Nature by and large a cooperative and not merely a competitive
web of life.
Closer observation of Nature has suggested to naturalists
that there are probably far more instances of cooperation between
animals than of conflict. Not only is this true between individuals
within a species, as in all the above instances, but it is true
between species. Conrad Limbaugh related the following example
of the Pederson shrimp off the coasts of the Bahamas: (45)
body of this tiny animal is striped with white and spotted with
violet, and its conspicuous antennae are considerably longer
than its body. It establishes its station in quiet waters where
fishes congregate or frequently pass, always in association with
the sea anemone. . . .
When a fish
approaches, the shrimp will whip its long antennae and sway its
body back and forth. If the fish is interested, it will swim
directly to the shrimp and stop an inch or two away. The fish
usually presents its head or a gill cover for cleaning, but if
it is bothered by something out of the ordinary, such as an injury
near its tail, it presents itself tail first. The shrimp swims
or crawls forward, climbs aboard and walks rapidly over the fish,
checking irregularities, tugging at parasites with its claws
and cleaning injured areas. The fish remains almost motionless
during this inspection and allows the shrimp to make minor incisions
in order to get at subcutaneous parasites. As
43. Darwin, Charles, The
Descent of Man, Merrill & Baker, London, revised edition,
1874, p.166; and L. H. Morgan, The American Beaver, no
publisher, 1868, p.272.
44. Allee, W. C., The Social Life of Animals, Beacon Hill
Press, Boston, 1938, p.146.
45. Limbaugh, Conrad, "Cleaning Symbiosis," Scientific
American, August, 1961, p.49.
the shrimp approaches
the gill covers, the fish opens each one in turn and allows the
shrimp to enter and forage among the gills. The shrimp is even
permitted to enter and leave the fish's mouth cavity.
quickly learn the location of these shrimp. They line up or crowd
around for their turn and often wait to be cleaned when the shrimp
has retired into the hole beside the anemone.
So many illustrations of this can
be found in marine life that Conrad Limbaugh concluded:
standpoint of the philosophy of biology, the extent of cleaning
behavior in the ocean emphasizes the role of cooperation in nature
as opposed to the tooth-and-claw struggle for existence.
Darwin stated categorically that if
one single instance of real and complete interdependence between
two species could be demonstrated, he would be willing to abandon
his theory, for such interdependence could not be (he felt) accounted
for upon evolutionary principles. But, as we know, when many
such instances began to be reported to him, he did not abandon
his evolutionary ideas. Such interdependences are so numerous
and are now so familiar to naturalists ‹ between birds and
reptiles, between birds and mammals, between fishes of different
species, between insects and plants (pollination by bees) ‹
that it would be tiresome to record them. (46)
effect of our misconceptions regarding Nature as a battle ground,
a view to which Darwin contributed in no small fashion, has been
most unfortunate in terms of human behaviour. W. C. Allee noted
many years ago in another of his works: (47)
as in Darwin's time, the average biologist apparently still thinks
of a natural selection which acts primarily on egoistic principles,
and intelligent fellow thinkers in other disciplines, together
with the much cited man-in-the-street, cannot be blamed for taking
the same point of view.
In spite of the fact that Naturalists
are increasingly insisting upon the harmony of Nature, there
is still no question that an element of "savagery"
seems to remain. Predators still pounce upon and rend
their struggling victims, victims which give every appearance
of suffering. But it is not absolutely certain that this appearance
of suffering is an indication of actual inflicting of pain in
the sense that man hurts his fellow. Some years ago Crowther
Hirst studied this matter in the only way accessible to man that
is really capable of
46. Materials illustrating
this point will be found in The Wonders of Life on Earth,
Lincoln Barnett and the editors of Life, Time-Life Inc.,
New York, 1960, pp.228-241.
47. Allee, W. C., "Where Angels Fear to Tread: A Contribution
from General Sociology to Human Ethics," Science,
vol.97, 1943, p.520.
a decisive answer to the question, Is Nature cruel? (48)
He interviewed personally, or corresponded with, or studied carefully
all available records written by those who had been attacked
or mauled by animals. He was able to examine some 60 instances,
mostly reporting the experience of travellers, missionaries,
or big game hunters, who had been severely injured in this way.
Only two of them experienced any pain at the time of the attack,
and he felt that in these particular instances the circumstances
were rather special. Of the balance, he was able to state with
assurance the rather surprising fact that not one of those mutilated
experienced any pain at the time, even though their injuries
were gross in some cases.
have written in a similar vein, expressing the view that the
struggle of animals is a reflex which is triggered by unwanted
restraints imposed by the predator. (49) This aspect
of the matter has been discussed at greater length in another
Doorway Paper. (50) The shedding of blood seems unavoidable
in the present economy of Nature, but in the wild it does not
appear that animals inflict pain upon each other in the way that
man does. I have said, in the wild, because where man
has interfered and, by domestication of either the predators
or their prey, upset the normal operation of animal instincts,
or for his own selfish reasons has crowded creatures together
unnaturally, or disturbed the balance in some other way, what
are normally swift, necessary, and comparatively merciful killings
become prolonged, meaningless, and vicious. (51)
enough, it now appears that even within a living organism the
healthy may be assisting the sick. Graham Chedd in an article
entitled, "Cellular Samaritans," remarked upon recently
reported instances of cooperation between cells, where one cell
is temporarily unable to function properly. He wrote: (52)
cells are rather selfish individuals, even those which have to
subjugate themselves to the organism as a whole. But in the last
two weeks, two papers have been published which report very different
examples of an unexpected and remarkable help-your-neighbor cooperation
among cells. In both instances, a cell which is metabolically
incompetent to deal with a given situation is helped out by a
neighboring competent cell.
48. Hirst, J. Crowther, Is
Nature Cruel? James Clark & Co., London, 1899.
49. Wood, Theodore, "On the Apparent Cruelty of Nature,"
Transactions of the Victoria Institute, vol.25, 1891,
50. Custance, Arthur, "Nature as Part of the Kingdom of
God," Part II in Man in Adam and in Christ, vol.3
in The Doorway Papers Series.
51. Foxes will kill domesticated hens indiscriminately, but not
wild fowl, wolves will kill domesticated sheep indiscriminately,
but not wild goats. The responsive behaviour of the domesticated
animals is apparently unnatural, and the predator's behaviour
is accordingly disturbed.
52. Chedd, Graham, "Cellular Samaritans," New Scientist,
October 31, 1968, p.256.
One report concerns like cells, cells of the
same "race." The other is apparently a straight case
of "Good Samaritanism": cells of one species aiding
cells belonging to a different race altogether.
In complete contrast to this picture
of cooperation, R. E. D. Clark pointed out that Darwin applied
the principle of competition even to the buds on the branches
of a tree which he viewed as engaged in a mad scramble to see
which of them could best appropriate the available supplies of
sap. (53) In Germany the concept was carried
even further. A book entitled The Struggle of the Parts of
the Organism, published in 1881, proposed that the general
shape and structure of organisms was determined by the struggle
of the various cells with one another. Organisms arose as the
result of cells fighting and competing. According to Clark, Romanes
and others "hailed this as a discovery of gigantic importance."
Darwin even imagined that molecules themselves were engaged in
the same struggle.
and large, naturalists as a whole increasingly commend to the
reader a view of Nature that is very different from the picture
presented to us over the past 80 years or so, as the result of
Darwin's Origin of Species. Ardrey said: (54)
fruitless to attempt to explain everything in the natural world
in terms of selective value and survival necessity. There are
times when one can only record what is true, and dissolve in
Yet for all that, these same naturalists still cling
tenaciously to the theory of evolution. It is the mechanism which
is today under question. Perhaps in time it will be more widely
recognized that any theory firmly held in the absence of a satisfactory
mechanism is held by an act of faith. And when this act of faith
is camouflaged in order to present it as though it were an unquestionable
fact, it becomes nothing less than dogma. It is no longer science.
Do Only the Fit Survive?
I have read
somewhere that a number of years ago a group of competent aeronautical
engineers were asked to design a flying vehicle of a certain
size with a certain wing span, a stated degree of manoeuverability
and speed, and of a certain body shape. They were also given
a fairly accurate specification as to the available power and
rate of fuel consumption. After some months, they concluded that
the task was quite impossible. The limitations placed upon
53. Clark, R. E. D., Darwin:
Before and After, Grand Rapids International Publication,
Michigan, 1958, p.98.
54. Ardrey, Robert, ref.35, p.175.
of design were far too severe. It was then pointed out to them
that, scaled down, all the specifications were precisely met
in the common bumblebee -- which ought therefore, according to
the best informed principles of aeronautical engineering, be
quite unable to fly.
fact is that Nature somehow delights to do the impossible. I
would prefer to restate this and say rather that God is full
of surprises. If the conclusions of evolutionists had any basic
validity, then a great many creatures in the web of life ought
to have disappeared long ago, and some other creatures ought
still to be around.
the case of the common shrew as an example. The longtailed shrew
Cryptotis parva parva is the smallest known mammal, weighing
about four grams, approximately one-seventh of an ounce (according
to some, only one-tenth of an ounce) . Being a mammal, it must
maintain its body temperature within a very narrow range regardless
of environmental conditions. In order to do this it has to be
eating constantly. Medawar said: (55)
studied under conditions particularly conducive towards repose,
this species of shrew ate its own weight of worms and insects
daily and would have died of starvation if food had been withheld
for as little as 12 hours.
For comparative purposes, this would
mean that a man of average weight would have to eat somewhere
around 150 pounds of food per day or, let us say, 40 pounds for
breakfast, 50 pounds for lunch, and 60 pounds for supper. As
a matter of fact even this would not fill the requirement, for
the shrew and the man could obviously not contain this much food
if taken as a "lump sum," as it were. It could only
be managed by eating all the time -- which is precisely what
the shrew has to do, or very nearly so. So that in terms of survival
the shrew must surely be the most "unlikely" animal
in existence. According to Baldwin, since the animal must rest
and cannot be food-hunting for twenty-four hours a day, it actually
has to ensure for itself this total food intake not in a period
of twenty-four hours but of twelve hours approximately. Consequently,
it is not unfair to say that in practice it must eat twice its
weight every day. Baldwin commented on this: (56)
only a slight increase in size would relieve its hunger pinch,
it ceased to evolve long ago, having reached its pre-determined
that Natural Selection has had nothing to do with the size
55. Medawar, Sir Peter B.,
The Uniqueness of the Individual, Basic Books, New York,
56. Baldwin, James L., A New Answer to Darwinism, published
privately, Chicago, 1957. p.69.
increase in species.
Despite its severe handicap selection has not been able to add
a fraction of an inch to its size in 55 million years.
By its very size the shrew may be,
to some extent, protected from the observation of predators.
But there are many creatures which are quite conspicuous and
yet, though virtually helpless in defending themselves, have
nevertheless also survived. The Australian koala is certainly
one of the most helpless of all wild animals, since he can neither
fight nor run. In the presence of man he has no defenses whatever.
And yet in Nature his defenselessness, his unfitness in the struggle
of life, has apparently had no bearing whatever on his continued
survival. Some species, like the opossum which is considered
to be one of the most stupid animals in the world and which probably
has the smallest brain relative to body size of any mammal species,
survives -- and may in fact be still extending its range ‹
because of its fecundity. (57) But this is not true of the koala,
which bears only one cub at a time.
contrast with such creatures as these, which it might be argued
ought not to have survived as a species, there are not a few
creatures whose structure is such that by all normal standards
of judgment they ought never to have disappeared. Such a case
perhaps is the Glyptodont clavipes, a mammal found as
a fossil in Brazil. This creature was protected by armor somewhat
like a cross between a tortoise and an armadillo, though much
larger, being about 10 feet long. W. K. Parker remarked, (58)
"Why such a form as the Glyptodont
should have failed to hold his ground (in the evolutionary struggle
for existence) is a great mystery; nature seems to have built
him, as Rome was built, for eternity." However, it is always
possible in such a case as this in which a species seems to have
come and gone, to postulate that disease, climatic change, or some other cause than strife
between animals may have brought it to extinction.
trouble is that the evolutionists will, when it suits their purposes,
argue that in spite of its defenses, other circumstances may
bring about its extinction, whereas in spite of its lack of defenses
certain circumstances will allow it to survive. By adopting this
principle one can in fact support virtually anything. If a species
with notable defenses has survived, one can say that it has survived
on that account. In the struggle to survive its better defenses
gave it an advantage. But as soon as one comes on a creature
well equipped for
57. Moore, J. N., and Slusher,
H. S. (editors.), Biology: A Search for Order in Complexity,
Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1970, p.457.
58. Parker, W. K.: quoted by McCready Price, Common-Sense
Geology, Pacific Press Publishing Association, California.
which nevertheless did not survive, one immediately has to account
for its extinction by saying that it was unfit in some other
way. As has been pointed out time and again, fitness is judged
by survival and is not the cause of it. The phrase "survival
of the fittest" becomes mere tautology. It has to be admitted
that the catch phrase becomes vacuous, for it simply means that
for whatever the reason, regardless of size, fertility, strength
of defenses, immunity to disease, or environmental change, some
animals survive and some don't: This is merely a statement of
fact; it is not an explanation, and contributes nothing to theory.
As we noted previously, Medawar's criticism of current evolutionary
theory is that it is flexible enough to be able to explain anything,
to be able to explain why A equals B, and why A doesn't equal
B. W. H. Thorpe said: (59)
selectionist's argument is one that can be expanded or elaborated
to cover anything that may conceivably have happened during the
evolution of animals and plants. If selection is taken as an
axiomatic and a priori principle it is always possible
to imagine auxiliary hypotheses ‹ unproved and by nature
unprovable ‹ to make it work in any special case.
But as von
Bertalanffy points out, this procedure corresponds exactly to
that of epicycles in the Ptolemaic system: if planetary motion
is a priori cyclic, then any orbit, however seemingly
irregular, can be explained by introducing more epicycles.
An excellent example of the meaninglessness
of this kind of theorizing was borne out by a report of a simple
experiment carried out by one scientist among a number of his
colleagues. J. C. Fentress of the University of Rochester's Brain
Research Center became involved in the study of two British voles.
(60) He was intrigued to find that one species of vole
would "freeze" on sighting a moving test object representing
a predator to it, whereas the other species, under the same circumstances,
would run for cover. The species which adopted the habit of freezing
lived in the open where no cover existed, whereas the other one
lived among the trees and bushes.
as an experiment, Fentress reported his findings to a group of
zoologists asking them for an evolutionary explanation. But he
did this after he had reversed the behaviour of the open-field
and woodland species, reporting that the woodland species froze
when frightened and the open-field species immediately ran in
search of cover. From this group of zoologists he received rationalized
evolutionary explanations of equal force. The answers he received
were convincing enough, and had they been quoted in a textbook
59. Thorpe, W. H., "Retrospect,"
in Beyond Reductionism, edited by A. Koestler and J. R.
Smythies, Hutchinson, London, 1969, p.430.
60. Fentress, J. C., Scientific Research, November, 1967.
have been considered authoritative. In point of fact, of course,
they were completely wrong.
This may not be a fair test in
the minds of many people since the data supplied were incorrect.
Yet having been told how these two species supposedly behaved,
it does seem that competent and unbiased zoologists ought to
have given the matter second thoughts and to have questioned
whether the original data had not been misreported. At any rate,
so strong is the bias of a mind cmpletely convinced, that a sufficient
measure of self-criticism may be entirely lacking. Dependence
upon logic is all very well provided that one starts with the
truth. Charles Kettering warned, "Beware of logic. It is
an organized way of going wrong with confidence." (61)
Wood Jones argued for years that,
contrary to popular opinion, a great many of Darwin's conclusions
were not based upon observation but upon the logical extensions
of a basic idea which had captured and imprisoned his mind. That
his premisese were at fault had become increasingly apparent,
and this applies with particular force to his concept of the
"survival of the fittest". A few years ago, L. R. Richardson
of the Department of Zoology in Victoria University College (New
Zealand), wrote an article which he entitle significantly, "The
Survival of the Unfit", a title that provided the inspiration
for the present Paper. (62) He wrote:
one hundred years ago, Darwin published his theory of the way
in which evolution takes place. Through simplification and dramatization,
there is now firmly planted a general belief that evolution is
controlled by a "natural law" known as the Survival
of the Fittest. Such a law is recognized as operating in our
own daily life and is accepted as a primary principle in commerce:
the fit survive, the weak fail.
The present day zoologist has available
a wider knowledge than did Darwin and his immediate supporters,
sufficient to leave some zoologists with the highest degree of
doubt that there is any such law as "survival of the fittest"
operating under ordinary conditions in nature.
Richardson then went on to describe
how any zoologist who studies animals in the field will come
upon many crippled creatures thriving along with their normal
fellows. he spoke of five-legged frogs as not being uncommon,
or frogs lacking one foot; and of many sea gulls likewise lacking
one foot or having a broken or cippled leg. He spoke of rabbits,
foxes, wolves, and dingoes that have lost a foot in a trap as
being not at all uncommon. And. in passing, we may just add
61. Kettering, Charles: quoted
by R. M. Ritland, A Search for Meaning in Nature, Pacific
Press Publishing Association, California, 1970, p.40.
62. Richardson, L. R., "The Survival of the Unfit,"
New Zealand Listener, September 26, 1952, p.8.
that we have not infrequently seen one-legged chickadees, even
in the severest Canadian winter, which were able to look after
themselves at a feeding-station, where as many as twelve other
species came constantly. One winter we had two such chickadees,
and our impression was that both of them had developed a certain
dominance in terms of pecking order over their fellows.
also wrote: (63)
of fish knows of many cases where mutilated and otherwise crippled
animals not merely survive but flourish in spite of their impairment.
In my own experience I have found a minnow with no jawbones to
support the soft tissues of the jaw; many cases of fish blind
in one eye; even one fish which had been totally blinded; and
many cases of fish with permanent distortion of the backbone
so that they were hump-backed, or wry-backed and swam as clumsily
as do the most grotesque breeds of goldfish. An extreme example
was a fish whose whole tail was bent permanently at a right-angle
to the body. Many of these and other cases were congenital deformities,
and the animal had therefore survived essentially from birth
to adulthood deformed in this way.
Richardson then dealt with a second
category of animals, crippled by mutilation. Here he spoke of
fish with part or all of the tail bitten off; one particular
fish with about one third of its body bitten away; a full grown
crayfish which had lost all except one of its legs; and other
such instances in which it is hard to see how the animal could
possibly survive, and yet in which it had indeed survived. Thus
he observed: (64)
of crippled and deformed animals in the wild has profound implications.
It paves the way to reinvestigation of such ideas as adaptation
and perfection in nature. . . .
such perfection as resulting from the struggle for existence,
in which the better fitted survived to reproduce. The less suited
were progressively eliminated in the competition with their fellows.
The evidence shows that the intensity of competition necessary
for the control of evolution in this way does not exist under
natural conditions, otherwise cripples could not survive.
Richardson pointed out, furthermore,
that whereas selective pressures are supposed to guarantee only
the survival of fishes which are appropriately streamlined for
effective predation or escape, this principle constantly breaks
down in sea life. As he said, in many species the tail fin "is
not a primary organ of locomotion and we can attach no functional
value to it." He thought that there was no possibility yet
of attributing efficiency to the many ornate and
kinds of tail which occur in some of the more exotic fishes:
not developed as swimming organs, and so may develop to any size
or shape so long as they do not interfere with the activities
of the fish. On the analysis of this and many other examples,
we begin to see that ornateness and variety of structure is in
fact associated with an absence of useful value.
So he concluded that the operation
in Nature of a law of survival of the fittest would not produce
a rich variety of animal structures, but would tend towards monotony
and probably simplicity. Hence we reach, in his words, "a
reasonable doubt that such a law operates in nature, a conclusion
which is in agreement with the fact of the survival of the unfit."
does not seem to me at all unlikely that the older naturalists
had a much better understanding of things when they were quite
willing to suppose that God delighted in beauty and variety in
His handiwork, and introduced them entirely because of this delight
-- trusting that man would have sense enough to share it with
Him. The millions of flowers whose sheer beauty increases the
more closely they are examined and which bloom as often where
man does not see them as where he does, and whose form can hardly
contribute to their survival per se must surely be indicative
of His prodigality in this respect. That we have an esthetic
sense which we have reason to believe the animals do not share
must surely suggest that God's thoughts are not altogether unlike
our own in such things. Man has done himself no great service
by attempting to repaint the fabric of Nature in colours which
make it more like a battle scene than a display of God's perfection.
It can only be a matter of time, surely, before people will rebel
against this distorted view of Nature and once more seek to rediscover
the wisdom and power of God in creation. When this time comes,
our greater knowledge of Nature will so enormously enhance our
sense of wonder and delight that the famous Bridgewater Treatises
will be rewritten to the even greater glory of God.
Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights
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