Projekt Gutenberg: 'At the Deathbed of Darwinism' von E. Dennert.
From the account which Goette gives of the present status of Darwinism we may safely conclude that Darwinism had entered upon a period of decay; it is in the third stage of a development through which many a scientific doctrine has already passed.Und warum muss "Darwinismus" abgelehnt werden?
The four stages of this development are the following:
1. The incipient stage: A new doctrine arises, the older representatives of the science oppose it partly because of keener insight and greater experience, partly also from indolence, not wishing to allow themselves to be drawn out of their accustomed equilibrium; among the younger generation there arises a growing sentiment in favor of the new doctrine.
2. The stage of growth: the new doctrine continually gains greater favor among the young generation, finding vent in bursts of enthusiasm; some of the cautious seniors have passed away, others are carried along by the stream of youthful enthusiasm in spite of better knowledge, and the voices of the thoughtful are no longer heard in the general uproar, exultingly proclaiming that to live is bliss.
3. The period of decay: the joyous enthusiasm has vanished; depression succeeds intoxication. Now that the young men have themselves grown older and become more sober, many things appear in a different light. The doubts already expressed by the old and prudent during the stage of growth are now better appreciated and gradually increase in weight. Many become indifferent, the present younger generation becomes perplexed and discards the theory entirely.
4. The final stage: the last adherents of the "new doctrine" are dead or at least old and have ceased to be influential, they sit upon the ruins of a grandeur that even now belongs to the "good old time." The influential and directing spirits have abandoned this doctrine, once so important and seemingly invincible, for the consideration of living issues and the younger generation regards it as an interesting episode in the history of science.
With reference to Darwinism we are in the third stage which is characterized especially by the indifference of the present middle-aged generation and by growing opposition on the part of the younger coming generation. This very characteristic feature is brought into prominence by the discussion of Goette. If all signs, however, are not deceptive, this third stage, that of decay, is drawing to an end; soon we shall enter the final stage and with that the tragic-comedy of Darwinism will be brought to a close.
If some one were to ask me how according to the count of years, I should determine the extent of the individual stages of Darwinism, this would be my answer:
1. The incipient stage extends from 1859 (the year during which Darwin's principal work, The Origin of Species, appeared) to the end of the sixties.
2. The stage of growth: from that time, for about 20 years, to the end of the eighties.
3. The stage of decay: from that time on to about the year 1900.
4. The final stage: the first decade of the new century.
I am not by choice a prophet, least of all regarding the weather. But I think it may not be doubted that the fine weather, at least, has passed for Darwinism. So having carefully scanned the firmament of science for signs of the weather, I shall for once make a forecast for Darwinism, namely: Increasing cloudiness with heavy precipitations, indications of a violent storm, which threatens to cause the props of the structure to totter, and to sweep it from the scene.
To place this whole wonderful, and so minutely regulated world of organisms at the mercy of chance is utterly monstrous, and for this very reason Darwinism, which is throughout a doctrine of chance, must be rejected; it is indeed a myth. We are grateful to Grottewitz for undertaking to tear the assumed mask of science from this myth and expose it before his associates. He should, however, have done so even more vigorously and unequivocally and should have stated plainly: Darwinism is a complete failure; we believe indeed in a natural development of the organic world, but we are unable to prove it.Das Buch ist von 1904.
In the conclusion of the article quoted there is, of course, again to be found the cloven-hoof: by all means no teleological principle! But why in the world should we not accept a teleological principle, since it is clearly evident that the whole world of life is permeated by teleology, that is, by design and finality? Why not? Forsooth, because then belief in God would again enter and create havoc in the ranks of the "brethren."
Ist das deprimierend...