Evolution and Spiritualism–Darwin and Wallace

by Al Benson Jr.

I can remember, years back now, hearing a preacher in West Virginia talk about evolution.  He was, as they say “agin it” and he gave some pretty fair country reasons for his position. One thing he said that I never forgot was that the theory of evolution absolves man from any accountability to God for his actions. If man is nothing more than a highly “evolved” animal then he is accountable to no one for his actions, no matter how good or evil they may be. He is just doing what “comes naturally” since he has no creator. If that’s the case, you have to wonder why so many people get mad over what Hitler and Stalin did. If they are responsible to no one and to no God then how can anyone condemn their actions? The Illuminist forebears  of the perpetrators of the French Revolution were absolutely shocked at the thought that they might, somehow, be responsible for their actions.The very thought was anathema to them.

So you can see that, among those that do not care to be judged for their deeds, that the theory (and it is only a theory) of evolution would have a particular appeal.

You always hear about “Darwin’s theory of evolution” but the “history” books, if such they can even be called anymore don’t say much about Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace, who might well be called Darwin’s alter ego.

According to an article on http://evolution.berkeley.edu  Darwin and Wallace worked together on a theory they had both come up with independently. Darwin started working on his “natural selection” theory in the 1830s and kept at it for about twenty years, during which time he “corresponded briefly” with Wallace. At a certain point, Wallace decided to ask Darwin’s help to publish his own ideas about evolution, so he sent Darwin a copy of his theory in 1858, which, “to Darwin’s shock, nearly replicated Darwin’s own.” This is about where most histories stop.  There is, however, a little more information about Dr. Wallace we should all be aware of–and maybe that’s why it’s usually left out.

According to the informative book To The Victor Go The Myths And Monuments by Arthur R. Thompson, Spiritualism played a part in all this. Mr. Thompson notes, on page 203, that: “Spiritualism began in the U.S. and spread to Britain among the Owenites. One of England’s most prominent spiritualists was Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace.  He was the co-originator with Darwin on the natural selection theory of evolution.  Wallace was also involved in socialist theory and activism. His youthful education that started him on this path included reading the works of Robert Owen and Thomas Paine. In other words, there was a socialist influence on the development of the theory of Darwin, and it was tied to spiritualism.”

Ann Braude in Radical Spirits, on page 158, confirms Wallace’s ties to spiritualism when she writes: “In 1876, Alfred Russel Wallace’s defense of Spiritualism from the chair of the Anthropological Section of the British Association made it an issue in the transatlantic scientific community.”

Mr. Thompson, in his book, made another interesting observation on page 262 where he said: “Since all Marxists profess a belief in Darwin, it is strange that people do not see through the rhetoric advocating justice for all races embodied in communist organizations’ propaganda. How can Marxists advocate equality when they believe in a Darwinian system that says that all men are not equal? It becomes obvious that Marxist leaders are lying about what they stand for in order to enlist the gullible, bleeding-heart activist.”

Now I am no expert on all the in’s and out’s of evolution. Some folks I know have probably forgotten more about it than I will ever know, but just looking at this background would make the whole proposition a little dicey for me. As a Christian I can’t buy evolution because it leaves God and our responsibility to Him out. The church my wife and I attend doesn’t believe it either. I realize that, among the “scientific” community that makes us anachronisms or Neanderthals or whatever. Well, that’s tough. I’ve been called worse and I expect to be again–just don’t call me late for supper!

When you add all this together–the spiritualist and socialist influence, then this becomes the shakiest of propositions. Anything with spiritualist and socialist connections does not bode well for Christians or for the Church and when you look at the fact that some form of Darwin’s theory is, basically, the only theory allowed to be discussed in government schools you have to realize that the fact they are not willing to debate or discuss anything else means that this theory is the accepted socialist dogma they plan to teach your kids. That thought, alone would make me, if I still had school age children, want to secede from the public school system. So think about all of this–and more importantly, pray about it.

From the Copperhead Chronicle Original Story