highest measure of certitude at present attainable by man. If the evolution of ideas is toward truth instead of falsehood, it is the part of wisdom to act upon the hypothesis that our primitive belief is veracious.
Martineau. Study, 2:26 ? ?Nature is as worthy of trust in her processes, as in her gifts.? Bowne, Examination of Spencer, 163, 164 ? ?Are we to seek truth in the minds of pre-human apes, or in the blind stirrings of some primitive pulp? In that case we can indeed put away all our science, but we must put away the great doctrine of evolution along with it. The experience-philosophy cannot escape this alternative: either the positive deliverance of our mature consciousness must be accepted as they stand, or all truth must be declared impossible.? See also Harris, Philos. Basis Theism, 137-142.
Charles Darwin, in a letter written a year before his death, referring to his doubts as to the existence of God, asks: ?Can we trust to the convictions of a monkey?s mind?? We may reply: ?Can we trust the conclusions of one who was once a baby?? Bowne, Ethics, 3 ? ?The genesis and emergence of an idea are one thing; its validity is quite another. The logical value of chemistry cannot be decided by reciting its beginnings in alchemy: and the logical value of astronomy is independent of the fact that it began in astrology...11 ? Even if man came from the ape, we need not tremble for the validity of the multiplication table or of the Golden Rule. If we have moral insight, it is no matter how we got it; and if we have no such insight, there is no help in any psychological theory...159 ? We must not appeal to savages and babies to find what is natural to the human mind...In the case of anything that is under the law of development we can find its true nature, not by going back to its crude beginnings, but by studying the finished outcome.? Dawson, Mod. Ideas of Evolution, 13 ? ?If the idea of God be the phantom of an apelike brain, can we trust to reason or conscience in any other matter? May not science and philosophy themselves be similar fantasies, evolved by mere chance and unreason?? Even though man came from the ape, there is no explaining his ideas by the ideas of the ape: ?A man?s a man for a? that.??
We must judge beginnings by endings, not endings by beginnings. It matters not how the development of the eye took place nor how imperfect was the first sense of sight, if the eye now gives us correct information of external objects. So it matters not how the intuitions of right and of God originated, if they now give us knowledge of objective truth. We must take for granted that evolution of ideas is not from sense to nonsense. G. H. Lewes, Study of Psychology, 122 ? ?We can understand the amuba and the polyp only by a light reflected from the study of man.? Seth, Ethical
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