Monday, 28 January 2008

C.S. Lewis On Evolution

1. The marvelous "Evolutionary Hymn":

Lead us, evolution lead us,
Up the future's endless stair,
Chop us, change us, prod us, weed us.
For stagnation is despair:
Groping, guessing, yet progressing,
Lead us nobody knows where.

It gets better still: see the whole thing here.

2. "C. S. Lewis and evolution" (by Peter Barnes):

"If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of Man was an accident too. If so, then all our present thoughts are mere accidents—the accidental by-product of the movement of atoms. And this holds for the thoughts of the materialists and astronomers as well as for anyone else’s. But if their thoughts—i.e. of materialism and astronomy—are merely accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents. It’s like expecting that the accidental shape taken by the splash when you upset a milkjug should give you a correct account of how the jug was made and why it was upset."

"What inclines me now to think you may be right in regarding [evolution] as the central and radical lie in the whole web of falsehood that now governs our lives is not so much your arguments against it as the fanatical and twisted attitudes of its defenders."

3. "C.S. Lewis and the Great Myth" by Don Hardgrave:

"They love the Myth so take care how you expose it".

4. C. S. Lewis on Creation and Evolution: The Acworth Letters, 1944-1960

To what extent Lewis came in his later years to reject his earlier belief in theistic evolution is more difficult to ascertain. His Oxford colleague Dame Helen Gardner recalled a conversation with Lewis over dinner in which she suggested that Adam was probably a "Neanderthal ape-like figure," to which Lewis coolly replied, "I see we have a Darwinian in our midst." Nothing in his published writings suggests, however, that he gave up his long-held view that biological evolution was compatible with Christianity. Nevertheless, Lewis seems to have been favorably impressed upon reading Acworth's unpublished attack on evolution. "I must confess," he wrote on September 13, 1951, "it has shaken me." Lewis's later correspondence with Acworth suggests that he had begun a gradual shift away from his earlier unquestioning acceptance of evolution, but had stopped short of adopting Acworth's antievolutionist stance.

1 comment:

IlĂ­on said...

Here is another page on Lewis and evolutionism: C.S. Lewis on Evolution (perhaps you've already referrenced this and I haven't carefully enough read the blog entry)