One sign that a philosophy is true is that it is able to give definitive explanation to all possible false philosophies. True philosophy, as a component of a broader Christian wisdom that encompasses all that created man can come to know in this earthly life, can both highlight a true conception of creation and the error of anti-Biblical evolutionist theories and assumptions. A correct understanding of creation is the key to truly understanding, then refuting, and then finally dismissing evolutionist delusion.
Contrary to evolutionist dogma, the formation of animals and plants does not proceed blindly and randomly from some original, uncreated, amorphous material mass. Instead, the formation of animals and plants, over successive generations, proceeds from the original created bodies, created in six days, which were, in themselves, fully actualized, and which carried within themselves as within so many envelopes, in preformed stasis, seeds within seeds, animated long before, from first creation. Natural selection, rightly understood, is supernatural, Providential selection: it is a God-determined, pre-determined, Providential sifting that determines which seeds, over successive generations, determine populations.
Speaking of seeds, the Holy Spirit, through the Apostle, says: "But God gives [each created, living thing, except the angels] a body as He has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish." (1 Cor. 15: 38-39)
The corn kernel or seed from the mature plant must die before it can, by the mysterious and Divine generative genetic power that (neither sows nor waters but) gives the increase, sprout into new body and life. And, it is just as easy for the Divine power, in the resurrection, to raise the dead. (1 Cor. 15: 42)
Long before Charles Darwin (1809-1882), the philosopher and Christian Father Nicolas Malebranche (1638-1715) proffered the theory of physical preformation, or of seeds within seeds, following the microscopic discoveries of Marcello Malpighi, an Italian physician and biologist, and of Jan Swammerdam, a Dutch biologist and naturalist.
Malpighi, by studying frog lung, discovered the network of tiny thin-walled microtubules which he named capillaries, in the process noting the conduction of air down the lung to absorption and exchange with red blood cells. (Malpighi also published an early work on fingerprints and handlines.) Red blood corpuscles were described by Swammerdam, and this Dutchman, as microscopist and entomologist, demonstrated how the various phases during the life of an insect — egg, larva, pupa, and adult — are different forms of the same animal.
In Christian Europe of yesteryear, pioneering scientists plunged with full fervor into exploring God's best of all possible creations. New optical inventions and instruments fueled enthusiasm and revolutionized scientific study. The microscope revealed creation in the miniscule while the telescope underscored creation's physical immensity by powering the human eye to far galaxies.
The combination of Christian faith and worldview with scientific ferment made notice of the implications of new scientific discoveries for Christian apologetics and theology inevitable. Swammerdam, for example, as one of the founders of preformationism, wrote: "Thus original sin is explained, for all men were contained in the organs of Adam and Eve." And so, for preformationists, everything about an individual was pre-determined, not just before birth but at the beginning of time.
Swammerdam clearly recognized how preformation — by its seminal concept of seeds within seeds —could explain — in bio-theological terms -- the transmission of human fallenness or sin nature over generations. The damage suffered by the image of God in man as of the Fall — as reflected in man's alienation from his Creator and his carnally impaired faculties, including his reason, will, imagination, feeling, and memory — would be transmitted from the first parents, Adam and Eve, down to the last man conceived before the Judgment.
Natural biological history, then, is a great unfolding of preformed animals and plants from originally created parents who were pregnant with future generations. Within this Providential unfolding of seed from within seed, each individual holds within itself a vital principle that guides the development and functioning of the organism which the Greeks called entelechy, from the word "telos", meaning end or goal. So, by the perfection of God's Providence, the end or goal of all individual or particular animal and plant organisms from the first, created forms until the last parent (but not breed) forms is to transfer seed (for further procreation) to their progeny.
But it was the philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716), inventor of the calculus and the last great universal genius of the modem world, who recast the theory of preformation into its most comprehensive and philosophically compelling form. Leibniz took Malebranche's physical theory of preformation and recast it as both a theory of the physical and of the mental and spiritual. For Leibniz, human minds and souls, as well as bodies, were preformed, as seeds within seeds, in our first parents, Adam and Eve. Sin is transmitted in this earthly life, then, not from soul to soul, in isolation from the bodily, but by the transmission of life through whole body-soul (human) living beings.
The theory of preformation points back to the Platonic notions that God created by the use of His own ideal or archetypal Ideas or Forms, and that the particular created things resemble and participate in, to varying degrees, the original and perfect Ideas or Forms in God's mind. Augustine and other eminent Christian thinkers have recognized that, of all the schools or sects of philosophy, the Platonists have most closely approximated the truth in reasoning about the nature of God.
God holds His creation in existence by the continuous exercise of His will. As He holds it in continuous existence by His free choice, His creation, completely pre-planned and predetermined before the beginning of the world and of time, unfolds according to His Sovereign Providential plan. Within that creation, animal and plant and human generation proceeds according to His plan by the progressive un-enveloping and germination and development to maturation of seeds from within seeds.
Meanwhile, false, evolutionist notions did not begin in the nineteenth century with Charles Darwin. Evolutionist philosophers and notions existed and were refuted by true, pious philosophers in antiquity. Plato and his followers, for example, handily dispatched 24 centuries ago the Godless materialists of their day.
Atheist evolutionists -- as metaphysical rebels against the one and only true (Triune) God — observe changes in individuals and alterations in species over time and know not how to account for them. The emergence of the races of man has also proved far beyond their explanatory powers. Fundamentally leery of the science of genetics, because it generates individual and racial differences and points back to determinate first causes and to the Creator, evolutionists mindlessly posit vast, counter-geologic times and vaguely defined and unverifiable environmental influences to account for imagined macro-evolutionary changes between species.
So, in our present wicked and Godless age that would separate God from His creation and thereby rob Him of HIs glory as Creator (Romans 1: 25), it bears repeating: Natural selection, rightly understood, is supernatural selection.
Refuting Darwin and the evolutionary biologists of our day long before they were born, Leibniz the Christian Platonist expounded his Scripturally commensurate theory of body-soul preformation. Interested readers should consult his brilliant work titled A VINDICATION OF GOD'S JUSTICE RECONCILED WITH HIS OTHER PERFECTIONS AND ALL HIS ACTIONS (1710).
Winston McCuen is a metaphysician and political philosopher and Christian apologist. He is a Reformed believer, native South Carolinian, proud son of the Confederacy, and outspoken Southern patriot. He holds a Ph.D. and an MA. in philosophy from Emory University, is a John C. Calhoun scholar, and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Furman University in history and philosophy. Formerly a welding instructor, philosophy instructor and Latin teacher, he holds multiple welding certifications and is a senior certified nuclear metallurgical welding engineer.