On the Origin of Flying Dragons and Water Babies


Richard Owen and Thomas Henry Huxley are frequently referenced in the book almost always in a tongue cheek kind of a way. In this sketch they inspect a water baby in a bottle. How inhumane! I wonder if PETA has ever heard of this? Click to enlarge.

So I read chapter 2 of The Water Babies tonight. It was splendid in so many ways. Starting out as a tragedy, sad and forlorn, the chapter drew to close in true fairy-tale wonder and marvel! Most gratifying.

Again the themes progressed in much the same way as they did in chapter 1, however it was not the story of the chimney sweep Tom that interested me most this evening, it was the introduction of weighty matters of Science. Charles Kinsley was clearly an admirer of Charles Darwin’s thoughts on Natural Selection and a large part of chapter 2 deals with concepts around it (albeit aimed at a school boy audience).

The Water Babies was first published in 1863 and Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in 1859. Kinsley had received an advanced copy of Darwin’s work and had responded even before the book went on sale to say, “long since, from watching the crossing of domesticated animals and plants, learnt to disbelieve the dogma of the permanence of species.” and had “gradually learnt to see that it is just as noble a conception of Deity, to believe that He created primal forms capable of self development into all forms needful pro tempore and pro loco, as to believe that He required a fresh act of intervention to supply the lacunas which He Himself had made”, asking “whether the former be not the loftier thought.”

I’m a Creationist, worse yet I’m a Young Earth Creationist (colors to the mast!), which is a bit of an outdated belief but let’s face it, I quit trying to be cool years ago. But as a creationist I to cannot deny the fact the natural selection happens right before my eyes. My daughters have eye color determined by the dominant gene of my wife and I (well embarressingly enough they actually have blue eyes like me and their mom has brown eyes which should be dominant but believe it or not I can remember back to Standard Nine Biology class and Mrs Bielby teaching about the crossing of recessive gene strands. Shame I was a wretched pupil). So do I buy into Natural Selection? Whole heartedly. The big question is: Do I think that Natural Selection proves the Theory of Evolution? The answer to that is: No!

For more information on a Creationist perspective of Natural Selection click here or here.

Of course I’m going to quote Genesis 1. The beginning. It’s a bit tired from over use but it’s a classic. Genesis 1 picking up from verse 20 and following:

20 Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” 21 God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. 25 God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good…

Read The Water Babies? What did you think? Read On the Origin of Species? What did you think?

This is a review of the second chapter of The Water Babies. As so often happens with second chapters there is a first. To find it click here.

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