Thursday, September 15, 2005

Who was the first Darwinist?

King David about 1000BC spoke of those in his own day who said in their hearts "There is no God!"

Atheists have been around for a long time!

It is also important to remember that Darwin was not the first Darwinist. There have been many who seek to create God free zones in the universe in the past and there will be many more in the future. Lucretius the Roman poet gave a startlingly up to date account of natural selection about 60 years before Christ.

"In those days also the telluric world
Strove to beget the monsters that upsprung
With their astounding visages and limbs-
The Man-woman- a thing betwixt the twain,
Yet neither, and from either sex remote-
Some gruesome Boggles orphaned of the feet,
Some widowed of the hands, dumb Horrors too
Without a mouth, or blind Ones of no eye,
Or Bulks all shackled by their legs and arms
Cleaving unto the body fore and aft,
Thuswise, that never could they do or go,
Nor shun disaster, nor take the good they would.
And other prodigies and monsters earth
Was then begetting of this sort- in vain,
Since Nature banned with horror their increase,
And powerless were they to reach unto
The coveted flower of fair maturity,
Or to find aliment, or to intertwine In works of Venus.
For we see there must Concur in life conditions manifold,
If life is ever by begetting life
To forge the generations one by one...

And in the ages after monsters died,
Perforce there perished many a stock, unable
By propagation to forge a progeny.
For whatsoever creatures thou beholdest
Breathing the breath of life, the same have been
Even from their earliest age preserved alive
By cunning, or by valour, or at least
By speed of foot or wing. And many a stock
Remaineth yet, because of use to man...

But those beasts to whom
Nature has granted naught of these same things-
Beasts quite unfit by own free will to thrive
And vain for any service unto us
In thanks for which we should permit their kind
To feed and be in our protection safe-
Those, of a truth, were wont to be exposed,
Enshackled in the gruesome bonds of doom,
As prey and booty for the rest, until
Nature reduced that stock to utter death. "

(Lucretius De Rerum Natura 5 837-77)

Lucretius was a brilliant poet and it was his superb Latin poetry that ensured that the ideas of the materialist Philosopher Epicurus remained current in peoples minds following the Renasiance. It was this kind of thinking that prepared the intellectual world for the ideas of Charles Darwin.

King David in his Psalms connects heart atheism with the lowering of moral standards and the disruption of society... that connection is still obvious following Darwins efforts.


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