Initial American Response to the Theory of Evolution

One of the terms that Aleister Crowley coined to describe his system of attainment was “Scientific Illuminism” and one of his slogans regarding its practice was “The method of science; the aim of religion.” So one expects that most that adhere to his doctrines consider that science and religion go hand in hand.

Meanwhile there is a current socio-political movement to disavow science and assert the primacy of literal readings of passages from the Tanakh i.e. the Old Testament when it comes to understanding the origins and workings of the material world. This is not the first time this has happened in the United States’ history, one of the best known episodes of this public conflict between science and religious Literalists being the initial dissemination of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. We note that certain Christian denominations, Roman Catholics for instance, have long embraced Darwin’s Theory and its been taught in parochial schools for many decades now.

The New York Times Book Review recently covered The Book That Changed America by Randall Fuller and looks at the different responses that different sectors of society had at the time including that of devout Christians that quickly accepted Darwin’s account of how the work of creation would have unfolded over aeons:

In part the reviewer says:

“Asa Gray, however, who had been “born again” as a young man in upstate New York, viewed evolution as compatible with religion. Or at least he tried very hard to reconcile them. Through magazine articles and lectures he did more to popularize the idea of evolution than any other American.”

read the entire review:


Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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