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The evolution of the Theory of Evolution

Who really started the theory of evolution? And why?


IT MAY come as a surprise! But the "modern" theory of evolution did not begin in the lifetime of Charles Darwin. It commenced over 2000 years ago with the ancient pagan Greek philosophers!


Theory of Evolution Not New

It may surprise you even more to discover that the ancient pagan Greek theories of evolution sound almost exactly like the pronouncements of modern-day, world-famous scientists. Here is an example!

One of the first Greek philosophers known to have speculated on the origin of life was Thales (640-546 B.C.). He "taught that living things developed from . . . slime under the influence of heat" (A.I. Oparin, The Origin of Life, P. 3).

Doesn't that ancient theory sound surprisingly modern? How many times have you read a similar assertion in the newspapers or heard it over the radio?

Another Greek philosopher, Anaximander (611-547 B.C.) "claimed that everything living arises in sea ooze and goes through a succession of stages in its development" (A. Makovelski, The Pre-Socratians, 1914).

These mouthing’s might have come from almost any famous scientist living today — in our time. That's why the Encyclopedia Britannica remarks that "Anaximander agrees with modern evolutionists . . . in assigning to organic life on origin in the inorganic materials of the primitive earth" (Article "Evolution," 11th Edition).

That statement is misleading, however. The truth is that modern evolutionists fundamentally agree with the ancient Greek philosopher, Anaximander. Any modern scientist might well win world acclaim by taking Anaximander's ancient theory of evolution and claiming it as his own. Few people would know the difference!

Another Greek philosopher who knew God but refused to acknowledge Him (Rom. 1:20-21, 25, 28) was Aristotle (384-322 B.C.). He carried Anaximender's theory one step further. Aristotle taught the theory of spontaneous generation of living things. He taught that living things arise and always have arisen from dead, lifeless matter (Encyclopedia Britannica, Article "Evolution," 1961 Edition).

According to Aristotle: "Ordinary worms, larvae of the bee or wasp, ticks, fireflies and many other insects develop from the morning dew, or from decaying slime and manure, or from dry wood, hair, sweat, and meat" (The Origin of Life, p. 6).

Aristotle claimed that worms were generated by moist soil. "Man," he speculated, "may have a similar origin." Aristotle refused to believe that life can come only from life!

Aristotle's vain speculations were blindly accepted as truth for many centuries.


Aristotle's Theories Become Church Dogma

Ridiculous at it was, Augustine, of the Roman Catholic Church (354-430 A.D.), "accepted Aristotle's theory of spontaneous generation of living creatures as an irrefutable truth" (The Origin of Life, p. 7). Augustine chose to reject the Bible account of creation and accept the evolutionary theory of atheist pagan philosophers.

Augustine not only claimed that the spontaneous generation of living things was the will of God, but he also established this dogma as Church doctrine.

Aristotle's theory was blindly accepted as divine revelation for hundreds of years. For a long time no one even attempted to prove by scientific experiment whether spontaneous generation actually did take place. After all, who should doubt the "divine revelation" pronounced by the Roman Catholic Church?

The first recorded attempt to demonstrate this long-cherished superstition by scientific experiment was made by the famous Brussels physician, Van Helmont (1577-1644). Van Helmont placed a sweaty shirt and wheat kernels in a room, and 21 days later found mice in them!

Van Helmont claimed his experiments proved that vapors from a sweaty shirt mixed with vapors from wheat kernels would generate live mice (W. Bulloch, "History of Bacteriology" in A System of Bacteriology, Vol. 1, 1930).

Most of the leading scholars of the time blindly accepted Van Helmont's experiments as scientific proof that spontaneous generation was occurring. The Dark Ages still had a complete strangle hold on the "best" minds of Europe.


Aristotle's Theories Questioned

In 1668 these scholars were badly shaken when the Italian biologist, Francesco Redi, proved that spontaneous generation does not occur. Redi astounded the world when he described how he had proved by carefully controlled experiments that little white worms came from eggs laid by adult flies, instead of being spontaneously generated by decaying meat, as the whole world had for so long assumed (Redi, "Esperienze intorno alla generazione degl' insetti," 1688).

Redi described how he had placed meat in a large vessel and covered it with Neapolitan muslin. He found that even when flies swarmed over the muslin and laid eggs on the cloth and the eggs then hatched into worms, the meat remained free of worms. He proved that flies had to lay eggs before the worms would appear (Garrett Hardin, Biology, Its Principles and Implications, p. 224, 1961). What an astounding discovery!

Many scholars now saw for the first time that life can come only from life. Redi had proved the theory of spontaneous origin of life from the non-living elements to be a pagan myth, or at best an ignorant superstition. The theory of spontaneous origin of life from the dead inorganic matter was discredited.

This all-but-dead theory was unexpectedly revived in 1675 when a brilliant Dutch naturalist, Leeuwenhoek, made a startling new discovery which gave the scholars the excuse they were looking for, an excuse to again teach the theory of spontaneous generation.

Leeuwenhoek astonished the world by announcing that, while looking through lenses at stagnant water, he saw swarms of tiny living creatures which he called "wee beasties."

This careful scientist made accurate drawings of these "wee beasties," and sent them to the London Royal Society (V. Omeljanski, Principles of Microbiology, 1922).

Leeuwenhoek's startling claim slowly began to arouse world-wide interest. Other scientists began making microscopes to look at tiny microscopic life. Bacteria, yeast and other organisms were discovered, named and studied.

Scientists soon found that bacteria caused meat broth and other organic liquids to spoil. They were all too willing to tell the world that bacteria were being spontaneously generated by meat broth and other organic solutions. This "great new truth" was quickly accepted by teachers and professors the world over, who began teaching their students that organic matter spontaneously generates bacteria.

Again the world was taught a lie that had been carelessly assumed to be a proven fact.

The leaders of the educational and scientific world were embarrassed when in 1862 Pasteur proved spontaneous generation of bacteria impossible by surprisingly simple, though carefully carried out, experiments. He sterilized meat broth by boiling it in flasks. He then proved that this meat broth would not spoil whenever he kept air-borne bacteria from reaching it. He proved that meat broth, as well as other organic solutions, did not spontaneously generate bacteria. Pasteur went on to prove that bacteria can come only from other bacteria.

He also showed that when bacteria fell into organic solutions, the bacteria rapidly grew and reproduced (Harry J. Fuller, Oswald Tippo, College Botany, p. 24, 1954).

The 1961 Encyclopedia Britannica admits that Pasteur and others have definitely proved "that all known living organisms arise only from pre-existing living organisms" (Article "Abiogenesis").

In other words, evolutionists admit that Pasteur proved spontaneous generation does not take place. But, on the other hand, since they believe the earth was once a barren, lifeless planet, how else can they explain how life began? What a dilemma!

Evolutionists were faced with a problem they could not solve. They knew there HAD TO BE a time when life first appeared (Encyclopedia Britannica, Article "Evolution").

Yet, since they stubbornly refused to acknowledge God, to them there was only one possible solution. They had to look for another new proof that spontaneous origin of life from dead, inorganic matter takes place.

Those who chose to believe in evolution, rather than a Creator, cleverly revived the long-disproved theory of spontaneous generation in still another form, a form they believed no scientist would be able to disprove. They claimed the spontaneous origin of the amoeba occurred from inorganic matter a billion or so years ago.

Darwin's boob, The Origin of Species, added strong support to this new theory.

Students soon were taught that all species of life that we know today evolved by gradual change over millions of years. They were taught that in the "struggle for existence," the law of "survival of the fittest" caused each succeeding generation to be better "adapted" Or developed than the last, until new species gradually evolved.

At first this new theory was presented for what it was — a guess — but as more and more people began to accept and believe it, this theory began to be called a proven generalization. Teachers, professors and writers began filling our books, newspapers and magazines full of stories about the "facts" of evolution.