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Evolution
I First Read Charles Darwin's "Origin Of Species" In The Library Of My
Sainted Uncle, John Schaller, At New Ulm, Minnesota, In 1892. I Did Not
Comprehend All Of It Then, A Cause, To Me, Of Considerable Chagrin, For
Which I Later Found Some Consolation In The Opinion Of Dr. Frederick
Lynch, Who Pronounces Darwin's Epochal Work "One Of The Two Most
Difficult Books In The English Language." But Like Many Others, I
Understood Enough Of Darwin's Book To Catch Glimpses Of The Grandeur Of
The Conception Which Underlies Its Argumentation. It Was Then That My
Beloved Uncle, Out Of That Wide And Accurate Reading Which So
Frequently Astonished His Friends, And With That Penetrating Dialectic
Of His, Opened My Eyes To Certain Fallacies In Darwin's Argument,
Especially To The Fatal Weakness Of The Chapter On Instinct. The
Reading Of St. George Mivart's Book "The Genesis Of Species" Later
Convinced Me Of The Accuracy Of My Uncle's Judgment. But The Fascination
Of The Subject Persisted, And For A Time Herbert Spencer's "Synthetic
Philosophy," By The Comprehensiveness Of Its Induction And Its Vast
Array Of Data, Exercised Its Thrall. Alfred Russel Wallace's
"Darwinism," Huxley's "Lectures On Evolution," Tyndall's "The Beginning
Of Things," Grant Allen's "The Evolutionist At Large," Eimer's
"Orthogenesis," Clodd's "Story Of Creation," Occupied Me In Turn, Until
The Apodictic Presentation Of John Fiske's Essays On Darwinism, No Less
Than The Open And Haggard Opposition To Christianity Which Prevails In
Huxley's "Science And Hebrew Tradition" And In Spencer's Chapters On
"The Unknowable" (So The Synthetic Philosophy Denominates God), Caused
A Revulsion Of Sentiment,--The Anti-Religious Bias Of Evolution
Standing Forth The Clearer To My Mind, The Longer I Occupied Myself With
The Subject.

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