Nature and Man's Fate

Nature and Man's Fate

Nature and Man's Fate

Nature and Man's Fate


The lecture was over. I had tried to explain heredity to a general audience in one hour's time, a task that requires about forty hours in a college course. I asked for questions--and got them.

"You say that X rays and atomic radiations cause mutations, and that almost all mutations are bad?"


"But isn't it true that all evolutionary progress has been made possible by new mutations?"

I could see it coming--but I answered simply, "Yes."

"Don't those two statements contradict each other?"

So: he had seen the binding point. Now what was I to do? I knew there was no real contradiction--but could I convince others with less than a twenty-hour lecture? That was plainly out of the question, so I tried to resolve the apparent paradox in a few words. But I don't think the questioner was satisfied. I hope he wasn't.

His question had uncovered a point that has only recently become clear: that the truth or falsity of the theory of evolution is now seen to be a matter of the most practical political importance. It doesn't much matter whether you think man was created out of the dust six thousand years ago or came from the apes a million years . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.