Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

He said it: Cambrian geology pioneer Adam Sedgwick on the “active and anticipating intelligence” in nature

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Sedgwick proposed the Cambrian era in which most broad types of animals suddenly appeared – the one that Darwinists have been arguing down and misrepresenting all these years. From his retiring address as President of the Geological Society, 1831 (Proceedings of the Geological Society of London (1831) vol. 1 No. 20 313-316):

“At every step we take in physics, we show a capacity and an appetency for abstract general truth; and in describing material things, we speak of them, not as accidents, but as phenomena under the government of laws. The very language we use (and it is hardly possible for us to explain our meaning by any other), is the language in which we describe the operations of intelligence and power. And hence we admit, by the very constitution of our intellectual nature, and even in spite of ourselves, an anima mundi pervading all space, existing in all times, and under all conditions of being.

“But we do not stop here; for the moment we pass on to that portion of matter, which is subservient to the functions of life, we there find all the phenomena of organization: and in all those beings the functions of which we comprehend, we see traces of structure in many parts as mechanical as the works of our own hands, and, so far, differing from them only in complexity and perfection; and we see all this subservient to an end, and that end accomplished. Hence, we are compelled to regard the anima mundi no longer as a uniform and quiescent intelligence, but as an active and anticipating intelligence: and it is from this first principle of final causes, that we start with that grand and cumulative argument, derived from all the complex functions of organic nature.”

Strange to think how much time, effort, and money has gone into concealing or confusing such a self-evident fact in the nearly 200 years since.


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