Gordon Review 5 (1959) 2-13.
Copyright © 1959 by
IS THERE AN ALTERNATIVE TO
JAMES O. BUSWELL, III
For over one hundred years there has been a continuous controversy,
between evolutionists and anti-evolutionists over the body of data and
theory of the origin, antiquity, and development of life and of man.
While the controversy has been continuous, it has by no means been
uniform. For a long time each dogmatically defended positions of
some truth mixed with considerable error, in violent and fruitless de-
bate, whose brilliance was in many cases mostly oratorical or literary.
As the factual and scientific aspects of the evolutionary position increased
and became more widely accepted, however, the bases for the anti-evo-
lutionary or creationist1 opposition remained comparatively constant,
with the result that, while the anti-evolutionists continued to actively
oppose the evolutionist position, their attacks were less and less fre-
quently reciprocated. Finally the evolutionist's entanglements with anti-
evolutionists dwindled to an occasional defense or debate, the last of
which of any consequence in this country was the famous Scopes trial of
Interaction still persists in the
chiefly due to the seemingly tireless efforts of the Evolution Protest
Movement with active branches in
Quite another pattern also emerges from a general review of this
question. It is quite evident that in the view each has taken, and still
takes of the other, whether in opposition or reaction, there is a tre-
mendous degree of ignorance as to progress made in the past hundred
years. The creationist exhibits in almost all of his anti-evolutionary
literature an antiquated, "moth-ball" variety of "ever onward, ever up-
ward" conception of evolutionism reminiscent of the latter nineteenth
century, while the evolutionist on his part tends to identify all crea-
tionists with an immutability of species - deluge geology -- Ussher
chronology type of position, sometimes referred to as "hyperorthodox",
* This article constitutes part of Mr. Buswell's chapter in the forthcoming book,
Hundred Years After
1. For present purposes other "anti-" evolutionary views like neo-Darwinian, or
neo-Lamarckian, or other variations within scientific circles are ignored.
2. The term "hyperorthodox" has been recently brought into prominence by Dr.
Bernard Ramm (1954: 27-31 et passim). Because of its relationship to the
terms "fundamentalist" and "orthodox" and because of rather consistent objection
3 Buswell: Organic Evolution?
The complicating factor in all this is that while the anti-evolutionist
is wrong in his usual appraisal of evolution today, the creationist
position is still widely represented by the hyper-traditionalist point of
view, from which has split a Creationist group which seeks to keep itself
up-to-date scientifically while adopting a non-evolutionary rather than
to its use, it should be clearly defined and its usage clarified. The term "funda-
mentalist" is today the most widely known label for the Bible-believing creationist
in scientific circles. It is important, however, to understand the crucial distinc-
tion between at least two meanings of this widely misused term:
Fundamentalism originally referred to the belief that there are certain great truths in
Christianity, which, if changed, would dissolve Christianity. Each Christian is allowed
personal conviction in respect to a great number of doctrines and interpretations but that
personal liberty is hedged about by key infallible and eternal doctrines. This is the
term in its historic and good sense. The movement included such stalwarts as James Orr,
J. Gresham Machen, Benjamin Warfield, W. H. Green and the numerous contributors to
the famous Fundamentals papers.
In more recent years another movement has given the word an odious
connotation. Alen with much zeal, enthusiasm and conviction, yet lacking frequently in
education or cultural breadth, and many times individualistic, took to the stump to defend
the faith. Many times they were dogmatic beyond evidence, or were intractable of
disposition, or were obnoxiously anti-cultural, anti-scientific and anti-educational. Hence
the term came to mean one who was bigoted, an obscurantist, a fideist, a fighter and an
anti-intellectual [Ramm 1955: 131.
The creationist position which this paper attempts to advance is to be identified with the first, and
not the second meaning of "fundamentalist" as defined above. It is fully recognized, however,
that all creationists who do not agree with this position are not automatically considered in the second category.
It is abundantly clear from his discussion of the matter (1954) that Ramm is employing
the term "hyperorthodox" to refer to this second brand of fundamentalist so as not to perpetuate
the "odious connotation" with the term. Ramm's reason for this is that
we can sin to the right as well as to the left. Patriotism can degenerate into jingoism and
enthusiasm into fanaticism and virtue into prudishness. It is possible not only to have
slack theological views, but have views far more rigid and dogmatic than Scripture itself.
Hyperorthodoxy in trying to be loyal to the Bible has developed an exaggerated sense of
what loyalty to the Bible means [1954: 291.
He evidently got the term from J. W. Dawson, who, he points out (1954: 28), referred to
"pedantic hyperorthodoxy" in evangelical apologetics in 1877.
Certain objections to my use of the term have been raised, however, chiefly upon the
basis of a possible mss-identification of this position with sound, theological orthodoxy. Thus the
alternatives "distorted orthodoxy" and "blind orthodoxy" have been suggested. Even more
significant, perhaps, is the objection to the form of the term itself. Thus the Rev. John Buswell,
my brother, wrote me, "Can anyone be hyperorthodox? Is not orthodoxy an ultimate-in one
sphere anyway? In other words, many would regard 'hyper-orthodox' as they would 'hyper-
straight' or 'hyper-sterilized.' "
Since these objections, and others, seem to have some value, I have chosen to use instead
the term "hyper-traditionalist" suggested by my colleague, Professor Joseph Free. Although a bit
more cumbersome, this term carries none of the theological associations invariably attached to
"orthodoxy" and "fundamentalism", and seems in addition to refer a bit more precisely to those
who being bound by tradition, prefer to retain the peripheral, relative, and changeable
interpretations with the fundamental truths, without being able to distinguish the difference.
Gordon Review 1959 4
an anti-evolutionary position. It is this position which the modern
evolutionist has tended to overlook, and which constitutes the alterna-
tive to organic evolution that I wish to set forth here.
The hyper-traditionalist position, however, is the most often heard,
though seldom listened-to, expression of creationism. Thus it is not
without reason that G. G. Simpson could dispense with a consideration
of creationism in a public lecture in
to the effect that "creationists are found today only in non- or anti-
One of the chief drawbacks to the
early critics to the present day, familiar as some of their leaders are with
the data, is that their activities and literature have been almost com-
pletely wrapped up in arguments over petty fragments of the record,
assuming that to attack evolution as a total philosophy one must show
the data upon which the assumptions are based to be untrue. Instead of
offering a positive, non-evolutionary interpretation of the data them-
selves, they have been guilty of treating them with scorn and sarcasm
for no other reason than that the evolutionist has done something with
What results is that both parties claim to have truth on their side
and at the same time charge the other with falsity and ignorance. The
creationist attacks the evolutionist's total philosophy from the stand-
point of revelation, while the evolutionist answers with scientific data.
Since the evolutionist is seldom caught up in an argument over revelation,
the creationist is inevitably drawn to argue on the evolutionist's own
ground in terms of genetic processes or paleontological remains, where
he is generally over his depth. This anti-evolutionary position has been
characteristically negative and unscientific in spite of its strong adherence
to the scriptural fundamentals of the historic Christian faith.
Now to a consideration of the non-evolutionary creationist position.
There are three major areas to consider, each with its relevant body of
evidences and various interpretations. They are:
a. The origin of life.
b. The origin and age of man.
c. The processes of development since their origin.
The consideration of these areas is not simply a question of whether
evolution" or "creation" is the exclusive explanation. Organic evolu-
tion is so inclusive and so complex a system that it must be broken down
into its constituent elements. This may be attempted on various levels
of abstraction. One of the most obvious and important steps which can
5 Buswell: Organic Evolution?
be taken is a separation of the consideration of origins from the con-
sideration of process. I have the impression that British evolutionists are
perhaps oftener involved in considerations of origins than are American
evolutionists. The American, at least in anthropological circles, tends to
leave questions of the origin of the earth and of life to the astronomers.
physicists, and biologists on the one hand, or to the philosophers on the
other. William Howells has stated the position thus:
We are totally bewildered, of course, about the beginnings of life and
the reasons for our existence, and these are questions which have been
grist to the mills of philosophers and myth-makers alike. But we know,
roughly, what happened along the way, and that is the story of human
Considerations of process, then, make up the major concerns of the evo-
lutionist. Therefore let us postpone the consideration of origins to another
I find Simpson's three "modes" or aspects of evolution extremely use-
ful for purposes of analysis, and comparison with the Creationist position.
The first of these is speciation or "splitting" which, as Simpson points out,
"is almost the only mode accessible for experimental biology, neozoology.
and genetics. It embraces almost all the dynamic evolutionary phenomena
subject to direct experimental attack." The second mode Simpson calls
"phyletic" evolution, which "involves the sustained, directional (but not
necessarily rectilinear) shift of the average characters of populations. It is
not primarily the splitting up of a population, but the change of the popu-
lation as a whole." While speciation may be called an explanation for
races, species, and sometimes genera, Simpson points out that the phyletic
mode "is typically related to middle taxonomic levels, usually genera, sub-
families, and families." He also observes that "nine tenths of the pertinent
data of paleontology fall into patterns of the phyletic mode" (1944: 202-203).
Thus, although evolution does not consist of wholly distinct processes,
and a fossil series, for example, can exhibit speciation, or splitting, in a
phyletic pattern through geological time, nevertheless the well documented
data of natural selection on these levels--the genetic and geological pro-
cesses--may be abstracted from the over-all theory of organic evolution.
It is the position of the creationist, at this point, that he can accept all of
the facts within these two areas of consideration. Thus the creationist
need have no quarrel with the transmutation of species or other taxonomic
categories, and may fully accept the genetic explanation for variation.
Similarly he may accept the evidence of the "evolution" of the horse, and
other such well documented paleontological series, upon the basis of the
adaptive dynamic interaction of genetic and environmental change called
Gordon Review 1959 6
Turning to more anthropological matters, the creationist accepts the
evidence for the age of prehistoric man and his culture. He has no quarrel
with an antiquity of hundreds of thousands of years; there is nothing in
the Bible to indicate how long ago man was created. The date of 4004
B.C. which has been an item of ridicule by evolutionists and a rallying
point for the hyper-traditionalist, now finds itself a cultural survival, firmly
ensconced in the notes on page 1 of certain editions of the Bible, but with-
out a valid function in either modern Christian theology or chronology.
Neither has the creationist any quarrel with morphological features of
ancient man. The Bible, which is the creationist's basis of belief and life,
simply says nothing about what Adam looked like. And, although the
creationist, Protestant and Catholic alike, must of necessity hold to the
belief (which will be further discussed below) that there was a "first man,"
it is of no consequence whether he looked like a pithecanthropoid or a
Caucasoid. Furthermore, if anthropological opinion swings in favor of
calling some prehistoric types by separate specific or generic names, and
other types Homo Sapiens with modern man, this is of relatively little con-
sequence. For the creationist recognizes the arbitrary and non-qualitative
nature of taxonomic categories and is not bound to equate any one of
them with the "kind" spoken of in Genesis 1.
Thus the creationist looks on with the same interest, or relief, as any
anthropologist, when a classic Neanderthaloid posture is straightened up,
or a Piltdown forgery exposed. Here, of course, is a characteristic difference
from the hyper-traditionalist reaction. When the Piltdown news hit the
press early in 1954 the anti-evolutionist and many religious journals were
full of "I told you so's" and another major pillar of evolution had fallen!
One creationist on the other hand simply expressed "relief that one of the
more perplexing riddles of man's prehistory is finally solved." Presumably
the same sort of reactions can be expected once Professor Strauss's re-analysis
of the La Chappele bones3 gains wider circulation.
So far we have discussed chiefly those areas of concurrence between
the evolutionary and the creationist positions. With the consideration of
Simpson's third mode, however, we introduce the area of disagreement
between the two. Essentially it boils down to a matter of facts vs. theory,
data vs. interpretation, or a matter of attitudes and pre-suppositions.
Despite the factual basis of speciation and phyletic evolution, there are
what Simpson refers to as "major discontinuities of the record" existing
in the paleontology of the larger taxonomic groups between which there
3. William L. Strauss, Jr., presented before Section H of the 123rd annual meeting
of the AAAS
7 Buswell: Organic Evolution?
is no fossil evidence of relationship. The origins of these larger groups are attributed
to "a particular set of evolutionary events" that are "changes of adaptive zones
such that transitional forms between the old zone and the new cannot, or at any rate
do not, persist" (1953: 389). After showing in some detail how this applies to the
perissodactyls, or horse group, Simpson concluded in 1944 that
this regular absence of transitional forms is not confined to mammals, but
is an almost universal phenomenon, as has long been noted by paleontolo-
gists. It is true of almost all orders of all classes of animals, both verte-
brate and invertebrate. A fortiori, it is also true of the classes, themselves,
and of the major animal phyla, and it is apparently also true of analogous
categories of plants [1944: 107).
Now Simpson's third mode called "quantum" evolution purports to be the
explanation for the jumping of these gaps. In his words, quantum evolu-
tion is "applied to the relatively rapid shift of a biotic population in dis-
equilibrium, to an equilibrium distinctly unlike an ancestral condition.
... It is . . . believed to be the dominant and most essential process in
the origin of taxonomic units of relatively high rank, such as families,
orders, and classes. It is believed to include circumstances that explain the
mystery that hovers over the origins of such major groups" (1944: 206).
Simpson candidly admits this as a "controversial and hypothetical"
attempt to establish the existence of an "inferred phenomena." He points
out that "major incidents of quantum evolution have systematically poor
records, for reasons discussed [above]. Nevertheless, we do have many
partial records of quantum evolution, even at high levels (e.g., origin of
classes), which can be completed by sound and unequivocal inference."4
Of course, Simpson doesn't necessarily represent all evolutionists, but
his three-fold breakdown is, de facto, applicable to organic evolution in
its present-day form. Thus we conclude that it is at this point--quantum
evolution--that the creationist and the evolutionist must part company.
Again the question, "What is the alternative?" needs explicit definition.
In other words, how will "creation" as an alternative to the quantum
interpretation still fit the facts? As mentioned above, it becomes a matter
of pre-supposition: for the creationist, supernaturalism; for the evolution-
ist, naturalism. I propose then that since in a percentage of orders, major
gaps appear between them, perhaps the order is as near to being what
Genesis 1 means by the term "kind" as any single taxonomic category can
4. 1953: 389. It should be added that Dr. Simpson points out as "the most im-
portant point about this mode of evolution and one of the reasons for its separate
designation and special study" that "quantum evolution may lead to a new group
at any taxonomic level. It is probable that species, either genetic or phyletic,
often arise in this way. Certainly genera and all higher categories may do so.
The phenomenon naturally becomes clearer and more readily definable when
the change in adaptation and structure is relatively large, and such changes
commonly eventuate in the development of higher categories. There is no level
at which clear-cut quantum evolution is the only mode of origin of new groups,
but at high levels some element of quantum evolution is usually involved" (Ibid.).
Gordon Review 1959 8
be. This proposal implies simply that God created the orders, and natural,
selection took it from there. Of course this cannot be maintained con-
sistently as far as orders are concerned, since in some cases classes or even
phyla could be applied, and obviously in the case of man, a much lower
category, perhaps genus, would apply.5 In other words, "an honest crea-
tionist will ask the paleontologist what he knows of the time of origin of
animals, and draw his conclusions from the data" (Mixter 1953: 18).
Thus, if a supernatural presupposition is allowed, the interpretation
may still remain consistent with the facts. One of the basic postulates of
evolution, for example, is that similarity implies genetic relationship. How
ever, with a supernatural agency pre-supposed, it becomes exactly as reason-
able to postulate that similarity implies a common creator.
The fact that the evolutionary hypothesis as a total explanation for
all major transitions is so firmly established in our scientific and educational
system is due to at least three important factors. 1. Based upon the ex-
perimental knowledge of genetics, the sequential data of paleontology, and
the logical consistency of the processes of adaptation and natural selection
as presently conceived, this major jumping of gaps, in Simpson's words.
"has a probable mechanism and would be expected under given conditions"
(1944: 207). 2. The only alternative, creation, or the allowance of a super-
naturalistic presupposition in the tradition of science, has been considered
as clearly "incredible.”6 3. The creationists, due to their own peculiar tra-
dition of fending off the advances of science, have failed to formulate this
alternative in a scientifically respectable manner.
The primary point of difference, then, between evolutionism and
creationism is not a matter of accepting or rejecting facts. There are no data
as such that conflict with the Genesis account of creation as interpreted in
the context of the author's language and culture. The primary point of
difference is on the level of mechanistic vs. supernatural presuppositions.
Most evolutionists claim with G. S. Carter, that "man is an animal, and
5. Mixter arrives at a similar conclusion suggesting that the order is at present a
reasonable approximation of "kind". The obvious fact that "kind" cannot be
equated consistently with any one taxonomic category is also explained as follows,
"Because marsupials are separated by structural gaps unbridged by intermediate
forms from other orders of mammals, a creationist may conclude that the first
marsupials were specially created, if there are gaps between families or genera
within the order of marsupials, he may believe that such families also had sep.
arately created beginnings. Whenever a gap is filled then a revision of the idea
of what are the special creations should be made" (Mixter 1953: 17).
6. "Evolution itself is accepted by zoologists . . . because no alternative explana-
tion is credible" (Watson 1929: 231). "The only alternative (to evolution) the doctrine
of special creation which may be true but is irrational" (Morf
22). "... If
admitted, no satisfactory alternative to take its place" (Scott 1917: 26). I am
indebted to Dr. John R. Howitt,
9 Buswell: Organic Evolution?
however greatly his present state differs from that of the rest of the animal
kingdom, we must accept that he arose from sub-human ancestors by a
process of evolution" (1953: 327). And, despite their acknowledgment that
man is a wholly unique, or culture-bearing animal, most would tend to agree
with Simpson that "man is the result of a purposeless and materialistic
process that did not have him in mind. He was not planned. He is a state
of matter, a form of life, a sort of animal, and a species of the Order Primates,
akin nearly or remotely to all of life and indeed to all that is material"
(1949: 344-45). The creationist claims that man is more than a unique
animal, and that he was both planned and created by God.
In summary on these three modes of evolutionary process, the crea-
tionist may well hold, with Professor Mixter (1953: 10-11, 23), the fol-
1. Speciation. "Whenever geneticists can show common genes, they
are entitled to infer common ancestry."
2. Phyletic evolution. "When animals are traceable to other animals
by a closely graded series of transitional forms, [the paleontologist is en-
titled to infer that] the early forms have given rise to the later ones."
3. Quantum evolution. "When a group of animals is separated from
another group by an unbridged gap, then until bridges are found, one may
hold that the groups so separated have arisen from independently created
The questions may well be asked, how does this creationist position
differ essentially from the Roman Catholic position, and, does the Catholic
position also constitute an alternative to organic evolution?
The crux of the whole matter lies in the question of origins. The crea-
tionist, while he fully accepts the facts of genetics and the fossil record,
believes that God created life and man, and that man did not arise from
a previously existing organism. This position is frequently, but erroneously,
called "theistic evolution,” because it allows for some process in God's
creative activity instead of necessitating an instantaneous creation. But
while genetics and paleontology have played a big part in the expression
of organic evolution, they neither alone nor in combination constitute evo-
lution. One might as logically call the creationist a "theistic speciationist"
or a believer in "theistic Mendelism" or "theistic stratigraphy" because he
grants that God has instituted the hereditary process of genetics and the
geological dynamics of prehistory or one might call a Bible-believing
weather forecaster a "theistic meteorologist" simply because he believes that
the laws which God instituted at creation, are believed and relied upon by
non-Christian observers as well!
Gordon Review 1959 10
The theistic evolutionist, however, while believing that God is op-
crating the process, also accepts the possibility that man could have arisen
for a non-human creature, and that God merely endowed him with a soul,
which act constituted the "creation of man," culturally, mentally, and
spiritually. This position of theistic evolution is typically, but not ex-
clusively, that of the Roman Catholics, who only specify their opposition
to "materialistic" evolution. Dr. J. F. Ewing, in a recent issue of the Catholic
Anthropological Quarterly, summarizing "The Present Catholic Attitude
Towards Evolution" admits that "God may indeed have used a body pre-
pared for the soul as far as possible by evolution. . . ."; that "there is no
defined doctrine which opposes a theory of the evolution of Man's body,
... " and that "the possibility that there were true men before Adam and
Eve, men whose line became extinct (in other words, Pre-Adamites), is
This I find, at present, impossible to accept, on theological as well as
on anthropological grounds. Theologically, the fundamental doctrines of
the original perfection and subsequent fall of man and his consequent need
of redemption; and the role of the Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Son of God
in dying on the cross to pay the penalty for the fall, for all who will ac-
cept Him, are seriously jeopardized by a first man having descended organ-
ically from pre-human parents. Now theistic evolutionists likewise acknowl-
edge the necessity of retaining this doctrine of original sin. It is inex-
tricably tied up with the necessity of having all mankind arise from one
man. The Catholic statement on this from the Encyclical "Humani Generis"
No Catholic can hold that after Adam there existed on this earth true men
who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from
the first parent of all, or that Adam is merely a symbol for a number of
first parents. For it is unintelligible how such an opinion can be squared
with what the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Magis-
terium of the Church teach on original sin, which proceeds from sin
actually committed by an individual Adam, and which, passed on to all
by way of generation, is in everyone as his own [Cotter 1951: 43].
Thus the theistic evolutionist, if he allows man to have arisen from a non-
human form, is obliged to inject some creative action or other upon his
physical body in addition to giving him a soul, in order to make that body
perfect and not subject to death. To me this is simply an additional and
unnecessary complication of hypotheses to which Occam's razor could
Anthropologically, the theistic evolutionary explanation for the origin
of man seems to run counter to what we have become accustomed to
expect of the cultural assemblages in association with fossil man. The pre-
adamic theory would seem to imply that there were beings morphologically
7. Essentia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.
11 Buswell: Organic Evolution?
human, but without culture. The evidence of human paleontology seems
to argue otherwise. Of course we are at once faced with the question,
What is morphologically human? I believe that the question of "human
or non-human?" cannot be answered categorically upon morphological
grounds. The question must be answered on spiritual grounds, which I
presume are only indicated by cultural remains.
The problem of the interpretation of the Australopithecines imme-
diately arises. So far no definite indication of any cultural assemblage has
been identified.8 I readily accept the facts of the unique Australopithecine
morphology, the marked humanoid conformation of the dentition, the
ilium, and other features indicative of an upright posture.9 Nevertheless,
until such time as the chronological problem of Australopithecine's an-
tiquity in relation to true hominids is resolved, and some identifiable
cultural assemblage is discovered, I prefer to class them as "non-human”
in every sense of the word. I consider Mayr's designation of Homo trans-
vaalensis premature, and cannot yet see Robinson's inclusion of Megan-
thropus in the same genus as Paranthropus without more of the former to
go on. But, as I have attempted to point out to my hyper-traditionalist
friends, should such a cultural assemblage be identified for the Australo-
pithecines, it will necessitate perhaps a drastic revision of what we are used
to considering "human" but nothing more as far as the creationist position
By way of summarizing similarities and differences between the Roman
Catholic view of evolution and the creationist view: (a) The following
points we hold in common (adapted from
1. The body of data and the processes of speciation and the paleon-
tological record are accepted without reservation.
2. "We know of Adam and Eve only from revelation, and a belief
in an original pair is not in conflict with any real scientific evidence."
8. During the discussion period at the graduate seminar of the Anthropology De-
vealed that according to
communications from C. K. Brain in
had been some 50 Quartzite pebble tools discovered within the past year in the
Australopithecus-bearing deposits at Sterkfontein which Mr. Brain was cur-
Dr. Braidwood then offered the thought-provoking suggestion that as far
as he was concerned, the Australopithecines could be a perfectly good tool-making
species, yet without necessarily possessing a "cultural assemblage" as normally
considered with all of its ramifications. Perhaps the Australopithecines will pre-
cipitate a re-definition of "culture" as well as of "human".
9. One anti-evolutionary journal (The High Way, XXVI [Oct.-Dec., 1956), 20-39)
devoted some twenty pages to criticising my inclusion of the Australopithecinae
in an article on fossil man. According to the typical hyper-traditionalist views
expressed in this as well as other like periodicals, my position is that of a
"compromiser" who is "currying the favor of infidel scientists." I am an "in-
tellectual snob" who is blind to the fact that evolutionists are engaged in a
monstrous conspiracy to undermine and overthrow the teachings of the Bible!
Gordon Review 1959 12
3. "All men (and hence the first man) are endowed by God with
4. The first man was constituted a human being "by the direct and
immediate action of God, an action that affected both soul and body."
(b) The differences lie in the question of origins which may be summarized,
1. The evolutionary origin of the major taxonomic groups, or of
paleontological series between which there is only inferential evidence of
connection, sometimes referred to as "quantum" or "macro-" evolution,
is accepted implicitly by the Catholic theologian, but is rejected by the creationist.
2. The evolutionary origin of man from some pre-human form is
allowed by the Catholic theologian but is rejected by the creationist.
For a long time, evolution has been opposed by a hyper-traditionalist
brand of creationism characterized by a negative, anti-evolutionary approach.
Consequently evolutionists have erroneously considered creationists as in-
evitably of this brand, and have tended to overlook the position of a scien-
tifically-minded creationism which has attempted to be non-evolutionary
in its thinking rather than purely anti-evolutionary.10 This is not surprising
however, since these creationists have tended to be less vocal and perhaps a
bit more cautious in the expression of their views.
The Roman Catholic theologian has always represented a basically
creationist position, but has, with many Protestant scholars, accepted more
of evolutionary theory than the facts seem to demand. Thus, with theistic
presuppositions demanded, this position is termed by many "theistic evolution."
Thus we are left with three major groups based upon supernaturalistic
premises, the hyper-traditionalist, the scientific creationist, and the theistic evolutionist.
In restating our question, Is there an alternative to organic evolution?
it would seem that the answer is "yes" regarding origins; "no" regarding
processes; and. that in comparison with organic evolution, creationism is the
alternative, theistic evolution merely a variant.
10. This does not mean that they are any the less aware of the dangerous implica-
tions of evolution which run counter to a biblical position. It does mean that
they desire to concern themselves with more than mere denunciations of these.
They attempt rather to formulate a positive, non-evolutionary interpretation of
the facts which is consistent, both scientifically and theologically.
G. S., 1953. The Theory of Evolution and the Evolution of
pology Today, ed. A. L. Kroeber and others.
Cotter, A. C., 1951. The Encyclical "Humani Generis" with a Commentary. Weston,
13 Buswell: Organic Evolution?
pological Quarterly, n. s. 4: 123-139
William W., 1944. Mankind So Far.
Mixter, R. L., 1953. Creation and Evolution. 2nd ed. Monograph Two of the
American Scientific Affiliation,
More, Louis T., 1925. The
Dogma of Evolution.
Ramm, Bernard, 1954. The Christian View of Science and Scripture.
Eerdmans.1955. Quoted in United Evangelical Action, Feb. 15, p. 13.
W. B., 1917. The Theory of Evolution.
Simpson, George Gaylord, 1944. Tempo and Mode in Evolution. New York, Co-
lumbia University Press.
_____ 1949. The Meaning of Evolution.
_____ 1953. The Major Features of
Watson, D. M. S., 1929. Nature, August 10.
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