Christianity converts an unintelligible deism into a rational theism. It can explain how God became a creator in time, because it knows how creation has its eternal analogue in the uncreated nature; it was God?s nature eternally to produce, to communicate itself, to live.? In other words, it can explain how God can be eternally alive, independent, self-sufficient, since he is Trinity. Creation from eternity is a natural and logical outgrowth of Unitarian tendencies in theology. It is of a piece with the Stoic monism of which we read in Hatch, Hibbert Lectures, 177 ? ?Stoic monism conceived of the world as a self-evolution of God. Into such a conception the idea of a beginning does not necessarily enter. It is consistent with the idea of an eternal process of differentiation. That which is always has been under changed and changing forms. The theory is cosmological rather than cosmogonical. It rather explains the world as it is, than gives an account of its origin.?
This theory holds that creation is but the name for a natural process still going on ? matter itself having in it the power, under proper conditions, of taking on new functions, and of developing into organic forms. This view is held by Owen and Bastian. We object that
(a) It is a pure hypothesis, not only unverified, but contrary to all known facts. No credible instance of the production of living forms from inorganic material has yet been adduced. So far as science can at present teach us, the law of nature is ?omne vivum e vivo,? or ?ex ovo.?
Owen, Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates. 3:814-818 ? on Monogeny or Thaumatogeny; quoted in Argyle, Reign of Law, 281 ? ?We discern no evidence of a pause or intromission in the creation or coming to be of new plants and animals.? So Bastian, Modes of Origin of Lowest Organisms, Beginnings of Life, and articles on Heterogeneous Evolution of Living Things, in Nature, 2:170, 193, 219, 410, 431. See Huxley?s Address before the British Association, and Reply to Bastian, in Nature, 2:400, 473; also Origin of Species, 69-79, and Physical Basis of Life, in Lay Sermons, 142. Answers to this last by Stirling, in Half-hours with Modern Scientists, and by Beale, Protoplasm, or Life, Matter, and Mind, 73-75.
In favor of Redi?s maxim, ?omne vivum e vivo.? see Huxley, in Encyclopedia Britannica, art.: Biology, 689 ? ?At the present moment there is not a shadow of trustworthy direct evidence that abiogenesis does take place or has taken place within the period during which the existence
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