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I’m a Creationist, worse yet I’m a Young Earth Creationist (colors to the mast!), which is a bit of an outdated belief but let’s face it, I quit trying to be cool years ago.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!
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:
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.