4. The Incomplete and Speculative
Knowledge of Darwin's
Theory of Evolution
Before Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution in 1859, he frequently corresponded with A.R. Wallace, one of his contemporary naturalists. In one of his letters to A.R. Wallace (December 22, 1857), Darwin wrote, "...I am a firm believer that without speculation there is no good and original observation....'Philip Appleman, ed., Darwin (New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1970), p. 66.1 Thus, one does not need to make an extensive study in order to understand his theory. His theory was completely based on his own speculation and mental manipulation, based on some data collected during his "Voyage of the Beagle" (1831-1836). Every sensible person knows that speculative knowledge is quite fallible.
How his theory was developed is given in his own words: "When onboard H.M.S. Beagle as naturalist, I was much struck with certain facts in the distribution of the organic beings inhabiting South America, and in the geological relations of the present to the past inhabitants of that continent. These facts ...seemed to throw some light on the origin of species, that mystery of mysteries. On my return home, it occurred to me, in 1837, that something might perhaps be made out on this question by patiently accumulating and reflecting on all sorts of facts which could possibly have any bearing on it. After five years work I allowed myself to speculate on the subject, and drew up some short notes; these I enlarged in 1844 into a sketch of the conclusions, which seemed to me probable: from that period to the present day I have steadily pursued the same object. In considering the Origin of Species, it is quite conceivable that a naturalist might come to the conclusion that species had not been independently created, but had descended, like varieties from other species."Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1883), pp. 1-2 (italics added).2
Darwin has no knowledge about the nature of the spirit soul. He has no clear information as to how the living entity (spirit soul) is transmigrating from one species to another. He does not know whether there is further evolution from the human platform, and he hasn't the slightest idea as to the total number of species through which the cycle of evolution goes on. He also has no infonnation whether the spirit soul can transmigrate from the human platform to lower species of life.
There has been great confusion regarding Darwin's Theory. His critics are very legitimately asking, "If the theory of natural selection of Darwin is correct, why can't we see the intermediate forms of species, the connecting links?" Darwin himself was completely confused in this respect. He could not provide any logical answer except his speculative argumentation. His own answer was that "extinction and natural selection will ...go hand in hand."Alvar Ellegard, Darwin and the General Reader (Goteberg: Elanders Boktryckeri Aktiebolag, 1958), p. 217.3 He did not know that all the species of life have been existing since the dawn of creation. "The different species of life are created immediately along with the universe. Men, animals, beasts, birds--everything is simultaneously created, because whatever desires the living entities had at the last annihilation are again manifested."A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita As It Is (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1972), p. 456.4 As a crude example, the species portrayed in the ancient Egyptian pyramids were the same as those we meet at the present day. Similarly, since time immemorial the peacock, whose colorful feathers so nicely decorate the transcendental head of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna, has been the same as the species we find today. With his poor fund of knowledge, Darwin concluded that some species became extinct in the process of evolution. This is completely wrong.