The most influential founders and proponents of modern evolutionism were not always objective and unemotional scientists. Most of their modern followers would like for us to think of them as interested only in discovering and teaching truth. Instead, they often seem to have been driven by very unscientific feelings and motivations. This observation does not apply to all evolutionists, of course, but such nonscientific purposes seem too common to be merely coincidental. It almost seems that some unseen powers were pulling strings behind the curtain.
For example, Thomas Huxley (without whose strong public advocacy Darwinism may well have died unnoticed) was not the cool scientist most writers have assumed. Adrian Desmond has written a biography of Huxley with the intriguing title of, Huxley: The Devil's Disciple, and a reviewer makes the following cogent observations.
We hear much of Huxley's rage and ferocity: Desmond makes it easy to picture the manic power and intensity of his moods...In portraying Huxley's mental life as frequently bordering on madness, Desmond leaves us no doubt that dark passion fed his ambition. . . . Beatrice Webb, Fabian author and Huxley's close friend, described him as "supremely sad" and as someone whose work amounted to "philosophic clashes between disabling fits."1
Consider also Julian Huxley, the grandson of Thomas Huxley. Sir Julian was probably the leading evolutionist of the twentieth century. He was made the first Director-General of UNESCO and later was selected as the keynote speaker at the famous Darwin Centennial Celebration at the University of Chicago in 1959. He had also been the first head of the biology department at Rice University where I received my undergraduate education and later served on its faculty. Huxley was gone by the time I got there, so I never met him, but his influence on the university had been profound.
He also had significant mental problems. A reviewer of a recent book about Huxley based on the proceedings of a conference held at Rice wrote:
Kenneth Waters sets out a clear chronology of Huxley's life from his birth . . . to an abortive engagement that landed him in a sanitorium. . . . Huxley . . . had two sons and a second nervous breakdown, this one caused apparently by his feelings of inadequacy as a teacher. . . . A third nervous breakdown did not keep him from becoming the first Director General of [UNESCO]. . . . He also had three more nervous breakdowns. . . .2
Huxley was an outspoken atheist and humanist and even somewhat racist, as well as a strong political leftist.
Alfred Russel Wallace, the "co-discover" with Charles Darwin of the theory of evolution by natural selection, was a confirmed spiritist—in fact, Wallace was one of the leaders of the revival of "spiritualism" in England that was taking place at the time. He wrote articles and books defending the ancient pagan belief that people could actually communicate with spirit beings (the Bible calls them demons).
In fact, he "discovered" natural selection in a very strange way. Wallace related this experience as follows:
The whole method of species modification became clear to me, and in the two hours of my fit I had thought out the main points of the theory.3
That is, Wallace, with no scientific education and little contact with scientists at all, invented in two hours the whole evolutionary scenario that Charles Darwin, in the midst of England's most distinguished scientific community, had been working on for twenty years. The noted science historian, Loren Eisely, said concerning this experience:
A man pursuing birds of paradise in a remote jungle did not yet know that he had forced the world's most reluctant author [that is, Darwin] to disgorge his hoarded volume, or that the whole of western thought was about to be swung into a new channel because a man in a fever had felt a moment of strange radiance.4
These dark influences also were present in the careers of the two most influential pioneers of evolutionary psychology, Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud.
. . . Jung was an arrogant, belligerent and intensely selfish man who destroyed several people's lives in pursuing his selfish ambitions. . . . Jung's ideas were heavily influenced by the popular German volkisch cults.5
Another reviewer of a recent book on Jung writes:
It is from his discussions with Philemon [Jung's spirit guide] . . . that Jung received his most profound insights about the nature of the human psyche.6
Jung was thus inspired by his "spirit guide"—which most certainly was not God's Holy Spirit!
Similar influences were deeply involved in Freud's life also. Paul Vitz, of New York University, has written an insightful biography of Freud. One reviewer notes the following:
. . . treats of Freud's unconscious hostility toward the faith, which, as Vitz details, was a consequence of a curious preoccupation with the Devil, Damnation and the Anti-Christ. . . . Vitz even questions if Freud made a Faustian pact with the devil.7
Then there was Karl Marx, the spiritual father of the evil system called communism, which has slain and enslaved millions in Russia, China, and many other countries. Marx was a doctrinaire evolutionist and follower of Darwin, who permeated economics and the social sciences with evolutionary principles. Richard Wurmbrand, a pastor formerly imprisoned under communist persecution in Siberia, convincingly documented the fact that Marx was not merely an evolutionary atheist, but more likely an evolutionary Satanist, who may also well have made some kind of Faustian pact with Satan.8
Charles Darwin himself was never involved in spiritualism or occultism of any kind, so far as we know. Yet, through most of his life, he was plagued with a mysterious illness, especially after he gave up his nominal belief in Christianity and began consciously searching for a naturalistic explanation of the apparent design in nature.
Throughout his life, Darwin was plagued by, in his own words, "vomiting . . . shivering, dying sensations, ringing in ears," as well as heart palpitations, blurred vision, and hysterical crying fits.9
There have been many different hypotheses published as to the basic cause of this long illness. The most thorough study was made in a book-length analysis by Colp.10 After reviewing all the different possibilities, Colp concluded that Darwin's complex of illnesses was emotionally induced, caused by his persistent advocacy of evolution, knowing the harm it would inflict on human relationships.
Space does not allow discussion of the madness of the ardent evolutionary philosopher. Friedrich Nietzsche, with his "God is dead" propaganda, or the dedicated Darwinist, Adolph Hitler, and his obsession with astrology and occultism, or others whose influential achievements on the worldly plane have been accompanied by traumatic physical problems and questions in relation to the moral and spiritual plane.
It may be difficult to define precise cause-and-effect relations in these phenomena, but we need at least to remember that "God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Galatians 6:7). All the men mentioned above are now dead and facing divine judgment, for "it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). In the meantime, we who profess Christ as our Creator, Savior, and Lord, can rejoice that "God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (II Timothy 1:7).
1 Jane Camerini, "The Power of Biography." Isis (volume 88, June 1997), p. 308.
2 David L. Hull, "A Recent Huxley," Science (volume 262, November 12, 1993), p. 1079.
3Alfred Russel Wallace, The Wonderful Century: Its Successes and Failures (New York, 1898), p. 140.
4 Loren C. Eiseley, "Alfred Russel Wallace," Scientific American (volume 200, February 1959), p. 81.
5 Linda Gamlin, "Mastery over Mind," New Scientist (volume 159, July 18, 1998), p. 46.
6 William Grigg, "Apostle of Perversion," The New American (volume 14, April 27, 1998), pp. 37,38, citing The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung, by Richard Noll (New York: Macmillan).
7 G.A. Cevasco, "Freud versus God," reviewing Sigmund Freud's Christian Unconscious (New York: Guilford Press, 1988) in Intercollegiate Press (vol. 24, Fall, 1988), p. 39.
8 Richard Wurmbrand, Marx and Satan (Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1990), 143 pp.
9 John Bowlby, Charles Darwin: A New Life (London: W. W. Norton, 1990). Copy on book jacket.
10 Ralph Colp, Jr. To Be an Invalid: The Illness of Charles Darwin (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977).
* Dr. Morris is Founder and President Emeritus of ICR.