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Back to Methuselah   By: (1856-1950)

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A Metabiological Pentateuch





The Infidel Half Century The Dawn of Darwinism The Advent of the Neo Darwinians Political Inadequacy of the Human Animal Cowardice of the Irreligious Is there any Hope in Education? Homeopathic Education The Diabolical Efficiency of Technical Education Flimsiness of Civilization Creative Evolution Voluntary Longevity The Early Evolutionists The Advent of the Neo Lamarckians How Acquirements are Inherited The Miracle of Condensed Recapitulation Heredity an Old Story Discovery Anticipated by Divination Corrected Dates for the Discovery of Evolution Defying the Lightning: a Frustrated Experiment In Quest of the First Cause Paley's Watch The Irresistible Cry of Order, Order! The Moment and the Man The Brink of the Bottomless Pit Why Darwin Converted the Crowd How we Rushed Down a Steep Place Darwinism not Finally Refutable Three Blind Mice The Greatest of These is Self Control A Sample of Lamarcko Shavian Invective The Humanitarians and the Problem of Evil How One Touch of Darwin makes the Whole World Kin Why Darwin Pleased the Socialists Darwin and Karl Marx Why Darwin pleased the Profiteers also The Poetry and Purity of Materialism The Viceroys of the King of Kings Political Opportunism in Excelsis The Betrayal of Western Civilization Circumstantial Selection in Finance The Homeopathic Reaction against Darwinism Religion and Romance The Danger of Reaction A Touchstone for Dogma What to do with the Legends A Lesson from Science to the Churches The Religious Art of the Twentieth Century The Artist Prophets Evolution in the Theatre My Own Part in the Matter In the Beginning: B.C. 4004 (In the Garden of Eden) The Gospel of the Brothers Barnabas: Present Day The Thing Happens: A.D. 2170 Tragedy of an Elderly Gentleman: A.D. 3000 As Far as Thought Can Reach: A.D. 31,920


The Infidel Half Century


One day early in the eighteen hundred and sixties, I, being then a small boy, was with my nurse, buying something in the shop of a petty newsagent, bookseller, and stationer in Camden Street, Dublin, when there entered an elderly man, weighty and solemn, who advanced to the counter, and said pompously, 'Have you the works of the celebrated Buffoon?'

My own works were at that time unwritten, or it is possible that the shop assistant might have misunderstood me so far as to produce a copy of Man and Superman. As it was, she knew quite well what he wanted; for this was before the Education Act of 1870 had produced shop assistants who know how to read and know nothing else. The celebrated Buffoon was not a humorist, but the famous naturalist Buffon. Every literate child at that time knew Buffon's Natural History as well as Esop's Fables. And no living child had heard the name that has since obliterated Buffon's in the popular consciousness: the name of Darwin.

Ten years elapsed. The celebrated Buffoon was forgotten; I had doubled my years and my length; and I had discarded the religion of my forefathers. One day the richest and consequently most dogmatic of my uncles came into a restaurant where I was dining, and found himself, much against his will, in conversation with the most questionable of his nephews. By way of making myself agreeable, I spoke of modern thought and Darwin. He said, 'Oh, thats the fellow who wants to make out that we all have tails like monkeys.' I tried to explain that what Darwin had insisted on in this connection was that some monkeys have no tails. But my uncle was as impervious to what Darwin really said as any Neo Darwinian nowadays. He died impenitent, and did not mention me in his will.

Twenty years elapsed. If my uncle had been alive, he would have known all about Darwin, and known it all wrong... Continue reading book >>

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