Continuing my book outline, "Problems of Evolution,"
[Right: Herbert Spencer (1820-1903), Wikipedia]
with subsection, 1.1.3. Herbert Spencer's meaning of "evolution."
References cited are supported by the `tagline' quotes below (emphasis italics original, emphasis bold mine).
© Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology).
1.1. What is "evolution"?
1.1.2. The original meaning of "evolution"
1.1.3. Herbert Spencer's meaning of "evolution."
The word "evolution" was first used by the English philosopher Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) in the sense of the progress of life from lower to higher forms (Gould, 1978, pp.36-37). It was also Spencer who most popularized the term "evolution" in that sense (Bowler, 1989, p.8; Gould, 2002, p.245).
Spencer defined "evolution" as "an integration of matter and concomitant dissipation of motion; during which the matter passes from an indefinite, incoherent homogeneity to a definite, coherent heterogeneity" (Spencer, 1945, p.358; Gould, 1978, pp.36-37; Mayr, 1982, pp.385-386). But Spencer's "evolution" was "a metaphysical principle" that "has nothing to do with real biology" (Mayr, 1982, pp.385-386). Although Spencer "was not a specialist in biology, and his speculations on biological problems have not advanced that science to any very great extent" nevertheless "he became one of the most influential promoters of the new doctrine of evolution." (Nordenskiold, 1928, p.493).
It was Spencer's a priori belief in universal natural causation that led him to accept evolution, in the absence of scientific proof (Burrow, 1966, pp.205-206). But once Spencer had accepted this metaphysical naturalism, his only alternative was some form of evolution (Pearcey,1998, pp.79-80).
To Spencer there were only "two hypotheses" to choose between, either "the hypothesis of Special Creation" or "the hypothesis of Evolution" (Spencer, 1910, p.415). The "only alternative to the hypothesis of Evolution is the hypothesis of Special Creation" (Spencer, 1910, pp.453-454). That is, either the many different "kinds of organisms ... have been from time to time separately made; or they have arisen by insensible steps, through actions such as we see habitually going" (Spencer, 1910, p.416). But then Spencer dismissed special creation as "not even a thinkable hypothesis" (Spencer, 1910, p.554) and "illegitimate" (Spencer, 1910, pp.420; 435).
Therefore, by "evolution" Spencer meant the very antithesis of supernatural creation. Spencer regarded "the hypothesis of evolution" and "the hypothesis of special creation" as "antagonist hypotheses" (Spencer, 1910, pp.416; 439-440).
Spencer defined "special creation" as "the belief that each species of organism was specially created" (Spencer, 1910, p.419), by a supernatural act" (Spencer, 1910, pp.431-432), such that"a new organism, when specially created, is created out of nothing" (Spencer, 1910, p.420). Evolution on the other hand was defined by Spencer as all the different "kinds of organisms" have "arisen by insensible steps, through actions such as we see habitually going on" (Spencer, 1910, p.415).
Therefore Spencer had set up a Fallacy of False Dilemma, which "presumes that only two alternatives exist when in actuality there are more than two" (Schick & Vaughn, 1995, pp.285-286). According to Spencer, it was "as if there were nothing in heaven and earth except an omnipotent deity acting as his own agent or natural selection of chance variations." (Fix, 1984, p.195). But there is a third alternative, that God did not separately create whole "organisms" but rather supernaturally guided and/or supernaturally intervened in those "insensible steps" to bring about genetic changes that would not have otherwise occurred naturalistically.Having thus set up a straw man caricature of the creationist position, "set up only to be knocked down" (Gale, 1982, p.139); "misrepresenting an opponent's position ... then ... arguing against the imputed position as though it were really that of your opponent" (Honderic, 1995, p.854), "in order to improve the appearance of his own case" (Gillespie, 1979, pp.19-20), Creation to Spencer was "absolutely without evidence to give it external support" (Spencer, 1910, p.420, 430).
So Spencer coined the word "evolution" to mean fully naturalistic evolution, the opposite of supernatural creation.
The quotes below are hyperlinked from inline references above. Emphasis in italics are original and in bold are mine.
Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology).
My other blogs: TheShroudofTurin & Jesus is Jehovah!
"The progressionist implication was retained in a rather different form by the philosopher Herbert Spencer, the person who did most to popularize the term `evolution' in its modern context. Spencer advocated a system of cosmic progress, which included a theory of the inevitable evolution of life toward higher forms. Darwin's theory came to be tagged `evolution,' even though he seldom used the term himself; and most people still imagine that evolution is an essentially progressive process" (Bowler, P.J., 1989, "Evolution: The History of an Idea," , University of California Press: Berkeley CA, Revised edition, p.8).
"Spencer's belief in the universality of natural causation was, together with his laissez-faire political creed, the bedrock of his thinking. It was this belief, more than anything else, that led him to reject Christianity, long before the great conflict of the eighteen-sixties. Moreover, it was his belief in natural causation that led him to embrace the theory of evolution, not vice versa. ... His faith was so strong that it did not wait on scientific proof. Spencer became an ardent evolutionist at a time when a cautious scientist would have been justified at least in suspending judgement. ... for him the belief in natural causation was primary, the theory of evolution derivative." (Burrow, J.W., 1966, "Evolution and Society: A Study in Victorian Social Theory," Cambridge University Press: London, Reprinted, 1968, pp.205-206).
"It is easy enough to set up a straw man, to point to the whale's vestigial pelvic bones, for example, and to say that if God had created the whale, directly and from nothing, he wouldn't have included these useless parts. Typically, neo-Darwinists then argue that it simply does not make sense to attribute the whale to divine creation-as if there were nothing in heaven and earth except an omnipotent deity acting as his own agent or natural selection of chance variations." (Fix, W.R. , 1984, "The Bone Peddlers: Selling Evolution," Macmillan: New York NY, p.195).
"Darwin's contrast of the explanatory powers of his theory with the Creationist, especially in the areas of geographical distribution, morphology embryology, and rudimentary organs, represents, I think, the strongest line of arguments in the Origin. ... Yet even here, where Darwin's arguments are strongest, nagging questions remain. For example, a reader of the Origin might be justified in wondering what Creationist view Darwin is referring to. Perhaps this is a problem more for the present-day reader. Darwin's contemporaries may have known exactly what he meant, though I doubt it. Often the Creationist position seems merely a straw man-set up only to be knocked down. The constraints on space in the Origin, which led Darwin to abandon his original intention of arguing on both sides of the mutability issue, add to this feeling. The result is that the Creationist position is never clearly defined in the Origin." (Gale, B.G., 1982, "Evolution Without Evidence: Charles Darwin and The Origin of Species," University of New Mexico Press: Albuquerque NM, p.139).
"Charles Darwin's hostile preoccupation with the belief that God had separately and individually created each of the animal and plant species in the world is one of the most intriguing but neglected features of the Origin of Species. Historians have disagreed about what to make of it. ... Some have accused Darwin of setting up a straw man in order to improve the appearance of his own case. Lastly, there are those who believe, correctly I think, that Darwin's rejection of special creation was part of the transformation of biology into a positive science, one committed to thoroughly naturalistic explanations based on material causes and the uniformity of the laws of nature, a change to which the Origin was a signally important contribution. ... Consequently, it was not a harmless straw man, but a traditional bias found among scientists and laymen alike and one that stood in the path of any novel way of viewing the problem of species. Darwin, then, was not engaged in anachronistic shadowboxing, but had selected his target well and knew exactly what he was doing. His attack on special creation was a response to the crisis and an attempt to resolve it by helping to promote the restructuring of biology along positivist lines. The critique of special creation in the Origin was systematically organized to that end. ... There were then, in 1859, a minority of naturalists, some of them influential, who believed in miraculous creation; others, of shifting number, who believed in direct divine intervention in some mysterious but lawful manner to create each new species; a third group, a small minority, who had accepted the descent theory; a fourth, larger group who were moving away from a belief in direct divine intervention in favor of a natural cause, but who were either skeptical of its being found or who were engaged in a quest for laws rather than true causes; and, lastly, a group that busied itself with practical work and renounced theory altogether. All of these save the third combined willy-nilly to create a genuine obstacle in the path of the project Charles Darwin had undertaken." (Gillespie, N.C., 1979, "Charles Darwin and the Problem of Creation," University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, pp.19-20,39).
"Evolution entered the English language as a synonym for `descent with modification' through the propaganda of Herbert Spencer, that indefatigable Victorian pundit of nearly everything. Evolution, to Spencer, was the overarching law of all development. And, to a smug Victorian, what principle other than progress could rule the developmental processes of the universe? Thus, Spencer defined the universal law in his First Principles of 1862: `Evolution is an integration of matter and concomitant dissipation of motion; during which the matter passes from an indefinite, incoherent homogeneity to a definite coherent heterogeneity.' Two other aspects of Spencer's work contributed to the establishment of evolution in its present meaning: First, in writing his very popular Principles of Biology (1864-67), Spencer constantly used `evolution' as a description of organic change. Second, he did not view progress as an intrinsic capacity of matter, but as a result of `cooperation' between internal and external (environmental) forces. This view fit nicely with most nineteenth-century concepts of organic evolution, for Victorian scientists easily equated organic change with organic progress. Thus evolution was available when many scientists felt a need for a term more succinct than Darwin's descent with modification." (Gould, S.J., 1978, "Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History," Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1991, pp.36-37).
"Herbert Spencer's progressivist view of natural change probably exerted most influence in establishing `evolution' as the general name for Darwin's process-for Spencer held a dominating status as Victorian pundit and grand panjandrum of nearly everything conceptual. In any case, Darwin had too many other fish to fry, and didn't choose to fight a battle about words rather than things. He felt confident that his views would eventually prevail, even over the contrary etymology of word imposed upon his process by popular will. (He knew, after all, that meanings of words can transmute within new climates of immediate utility, just as species transform under new local environments of life and ecology!) Darwin never used the `E' word extensively in his writings, but he did capitulate to a developing consensus by referring to his process as `evolution' for the first time in The Descent of Man, published in 1871. (Still, Darwin never cited `evolution' in the title of any book-and he chose, in labeling his major work on our species, to emphasize our genealogical `descent,' not our `ascent' to higher levels of consciousness.)" (Gould, S.J., 2002, "I Have Landed: Splashes and Reflections in Natural History," Vintage: London, Reprinted, 2003, p.245).
"The straw man fallacy is the tactic in argument of misrepresenting an opponent's position, making it appear more implausible, so that it can more easily be refuted, then going ahead and arguing against the imputed position as though it were really that of your opponent." (Honderic, T., ed., 1995, "The Oxford Companion to Philosophy," Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, p.854).
"Herbert Spencer is often cited as having anticipated Darwin in propounding a theory of evolution, but there is little validity in this assertion. Evolution, for Spencer, was a metaphysical principle. The vacuousness of Spencer's theory is evident from his definition: `Evolution is an integration of matter and concomitant dissipation of motion; during which the matter passes from an indefinite, incoherent homogeneity to a definite, coherent heterogeneity; and during which the retained motion undergoes a parallel transformation' ([Spencer, H., "First Principles,"Williams & Norgate: London, Second edition, [1870: 396). The stress on matter, movement, and forces in this and other discussions of evolution is a typical example of an inappropriate eighteenth-century-type physicalist interpretation of ultimate causations in biological systems, and has nothing to do with real biology." (Mayr, E.W., 1982, "The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance," Belknap Press: Cambridge MA, pp.385-386).
"Spencer's idea of evolution HERBERT SPENCER was not a specialist in biology, and his speculations on biological problems have not advanced that science to any very great extent. He nevertheless deserves a place in the history of biology as a rare example of a consummate and typical representative of that evolutional mode of thought which was awakened to life by the general tendency of the times in the middle of last century and which was promoted by Darwinism. He is commonly called the most consistent philosopher of evolution which that period produced - evolution forms the very groundwork of his system. In its essential features this system was already pretty definite before the advent of Darwin; it was promulgated in a number of small articles in periodicals, often characterized by masterly penetration and lucidity, afterwards brought together to form an imposing work entitled A System of Synthetic Philosophy, which was the fruits of thirty years' work and which gives `a broad, often too broad, development of what is recorded in the short treatises' (Hoffding). When Darwin produced his theory, Spencer associated himself with it, although he interprets it after his own mind, and he became one of the most influential promoters of the new doctrine of evolution. Otherwise he is said not to have been in favour of extensive studies; he preferred to think for himself and was very jealous of his independence." (Nordenskiold, E., 1928, "The History of Biology: A Survey," [1920-24], Eyre, L.B., transl., Tudor Publishing Co: New York NY, p.493. Emphasis original).
"In his autobiography Herbert Spencer recounts in excruciating detail the process by which he developed a naturalistic outlook, beginning when he was a boy. Over time, he writes, `a breach in the course of [physical] causation had come to be, if not an impossible thought, yet a thought never entertained' (Spencer 1904, 1:172). As in Darwin's case, members of Spencer's family described his adherence to naturalism in near-religious terms. His father drew a parallel between the son's naturalism and the father's own religion: `From what I see of my son's mind, it appears to me that the laws of nature are to him what revealed religion is to us, and that any wilful infraction of those laws is to him as much a sin as to us is disbelief in what is revealed' (Spencer 1904, 1:655). This semireligious attachment to naturalism explains why Spencer eventually became a tireless promoter of Darwinism. It was not because he was persuaded by Darwin's scientific theory; he rejected Darwinism and embraced Lamarckianism. Yet Spencer saw clearly that once he had embraced philosophical naturalism, he had no alternative but to accept some form of naturalistic evolution. As he puts it, having discarded orthodox Christianity, he developed an `intellectual leaning towards belief in natural causation everywhere operating.' And in that naturalistic leaning, `doubtless ... a belief in evolution at large was then latent.' Why latent? Because `anyone who, abandoning the supernaturalism of theology, accepts in full the naturalism of science, tacitly asserts that all things as they now exist have been evolved.' Spencer accepted naturalism first and then accepted evolution as a logical consequence. He goes on: `The doctrine of the universality of natural causation, has for its inevitable corollary the doctrine that the Universe and all things in it have reached their present forms through successive stages physically necessitated' (Spencer 1904, 2:7). Just so: Once one accepts the philosophy of naturalism, some form of naturalistic evolution is an `inevitable corollary.' Finding a plausible scientific theory is secondary. In Spencer's writings we get a glimpse of the intellectual pressure that impelled him toward a naturalistic view of evolution. `I cheerfully acknowledge,' he writes in The Principles of Psychology, that the hypothesis of evolution is beset by `serious difficulties' scientifically. Yet, `save for those who still adhere to the Hebrew myth, or to the doctrine of special creations derived from it, there is no alternative but this hypothesis or no hypothesis.' And no one can long remain in `the neutral state of having no hypothesis' (Spencer 1896, 1:466n). Similarly, in an 1899 letter, he writes that already decades earlier, `in 1852 the belief in organic evolution had taken deep root'-not for scientific reasons but because of `the necessity of accepting the hypothesis of Evolution when the hypothesis of Special Creation has been rejected.' He concludes with these telling words: `The Special Creation belief had dropped out of my mind many years before, and I could not remain in a suspended state: acceptance of the only conceivable alternative was peremptory' (Duncan 1908, 2:319). Here is a candid admission that Spencer was driven by a sense of philosophical necessity-naturalistic evolution was `the only conceivable alternative' to creation- more than by a dispassionate assessment of the scientific evidence." (Pearcey, N.R., "You Guys Lost: Is Design a Closed Issue?," in Dembski, W.A., ed., "Mere Creation: Science, Faith & Intelligent Design," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1998, pp.79-80).
"An argument proposes a false dilemma when it presumes that only two alternatives exist when in actuality there are more than two. For example, `Either science can explain how she was cured or it was a miracle. Science can't explain how she was cured. So it must be a miracle.' These two alternatives do not exhaust all the possibilities. It's possible, for example, that she was cured by some natural cause that scientists don't yet understand. Because the argument doesn't take this possibility into account, it's fallacious. Again: `Either have your horoscope charted by an astrologer or continue to stumble through life without knowing where you're going. You certainly don't want to continue your wayward ways. So you should have your horoscope charted by an astrologer.' If someone is concerned about the direction his or her life is taking, there are other things he or she can do about it than consult an astrologer. Since there are other options, the argument is fallacious." (Schick, T. & Vaughn, L., 1995, "How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age," Mayfield: Mountain View CA, California, Second edition, pp.285-286).
"We have to choose between two hypotheses-the hypothesis of Special Creation and the hypothesis of Evolution. Either the multitudinous kinds of organisms which now exist, and the far more multitudinous kinds which have existed during past geologic eras, have been from time to time separately made; or they have arisen by insensible steps, through actions such as we see habitually going on. Both hypotheses imply a Cause. The last, certainly as much as the first, recognizes this Cause as inscrutable. The point at issue is, how this inscrutable Cause has worked in the production of living forms. This point, if it is to be decided. at all, is to be decided only by examination of evidence. Let us inquire which of these antagonist hypotheses is most congruous with established facts." (Spencer, H., 1910, "The Principles of Biology," , D. Appleton & Co: New York NY, Vol. I, Revised, pp.415-416).
"If, then, of this once-numerous family of beliefs the immense majority have become extinct, we may not unreasonably expect that the few remaining members of the family will become extinct. One of these is the belief we are here considering-the belief that each species of organism was specially created. Many who in all else have abandoned the aboriginal theory of things, still hold this remnant of the aboriginal theory. Ask any well-informed man whether he accepts the cosmogony of the Indians, or the Greeks, or the Hebrews, and he will regard the question as next to an insult. Yet one element common to these cosmogonies he very likely retains: not bearing in mind its origin. For whence did he get the doctrine of special creations? Catechise him, and he is forced to confess that it was put into his mind in childhood, as one portion of a story which, as a whole, he has long since rejected. Why this fragment is likely to be right while all the rest is wrong, he is unable to say. May we not then expect that the relinquishment of all other parts of this story, will by and by be followed by the relinquishment of this remaining part of it?" (Spencer, 1910, p.419).
"The belief which we find thus questionable; both as being a primitive belief and as being a belief belonging to an almost-extinct family, is a belief not countenanced by a single fact. No one ever saw a special creation; no one ever found proof of an indirect kind that a special creation had taken place. It is significant, as Dr. Hooker remarks, that naturalists who suppose new species to be miraculously originated, habitually suppose the origination to occur in some region remote from human observation. Wherever the order of organic nature is exposed to the view of zoologists and botanists, it expels this conception; and the conception survives only in connexion with imagined places, where the order of organic nature is unknown." (Spencer, 1910, pp.419-420).
"Besides being absolutely without evidence to give it external support, this hypothesis of special creations cannot support itself internally-cannot be framed into a coherent thought. It is one of those illegitimate symbolic conceptions which are mistaken for legitimate symbolic conceptions (_First Principles_, § 9), because they remain untested. Immediately an attempt is made to elaborate the idea into anything like a definite shape, it proves to be a pseud-idea, admitting of no definite shape. Is it supposed that a new organism, when specially created, is created out of nothing? If so, there is a supposed creation of matter; and the creation of matter is inconceivable-implies the establishment of a relation in thought between nothing and something-a relation of which one term is absent-an impossible relation. Is it supposed that the matter of which the new organism consists is not created for the occasion, but is taken out of its pre-existing forms and arranged into a new form? If so, we are met by the question-how is the re-arrangement effected? Of the myriad atoms going to the composition of the new organism, all of them previously dispersed through the neighbouring air and earth, does each, suddenly disengaging itself from its combinations, rush to meet the rest, unite with them into the appropriate chemical compounds, and then fall with certain others into its appointed place in the aggregate of complex tissues and organs? Surely thus to assume a myriad supernatural impulses, differing in their directions and amounts, given to as many different atoms, is a multiplication of mysteries rather than the solution of a mystery. For every one of these impulses, not being the, result of a force locally existing in some other form, implies the creation of force; and the creation of force is just as inconceivable as the creation of matter. It is thus with all attempted ways of representing the process." (Spencer, 1910, pp.420-421).
"The belief in special creations of organisms arose among men during the era of profoundest darkness; and it belongs to a family of beliefs which have nearly all died out as enlightenment has increased. It is without a solitary established fact on which to stand; and when the attempt is made to put it into definite shape in the mind, it turns out to be only a pseud-idea. This mere verbal hypothesis, which men idly accept as a real or thinkable hypothesis, is of the same nature as would be one, based on a day's observation of human life, that each man and woman was specially created -an hypothesis not suggested by evidence but by lack of evidence-an hypothesis which formulates ignorance into a semblance of knowledge. Further, we see that this hypothesis, failing to satisfy men's intellectual need of an interpretation, fails also to satisfy their moral sentiment. It is quite inconsistent with those conceptions of the divine nature which they profess to entertain. If infinite power was to be demonstrated, then, either by the special creation of every individual, or by the production of species by some method of natural genesis, it would be better demonstrated than by the use of two methods, as assumed by the hypothesis. And if infinite goodness was to be demonstrated, then, not only do the provisions of organic structure, if they are specially devised, fail to demonstrate it, but there is an enormous mass of them which imply malevolence rather than benevolence. Thus the hypothesis of special creations turns out to be worthless by its derivation; worthless in its intrinsic incoherence; worthless as absolutely without evidence; worthless as not supplying an intellectual need; worthless as not satisfying a moral want. We must therefore consider it as counting for nothing, in opposition to any other hypothesis respecting the origin of organic beings." (Spencer, 1910, pp.429-430).
"A kindred antithesis exists between the two families of beliefs, to which the beliefs we are comparing severally belong. While the one family has been dying out the other family has been multiplying. As fast as men have ceased to regard different classes of phenomena as caused by special personal agents, acting irregularly; so fast have they come to regard these different classes of phenomena as caused by a general agency acting uniformly-the two changes being correlatives. And as, on the one hand, the hypothesis that each species resulted from a supernatural act, having lost nearly all its kindred hypotheses, may be expected soon to die; so, on the other hand, the hypothesis that each species resulted from the action of natural causes, being one of an increasing family of hypotheses, may be expected to survive." (Spencer, 1910, pp.431-432).
"The hypothesis of evolution is contrasted with the hypothesis of special creations, in a further respect. It is not simply legitimate instead of illegitimate, because representable in thought instead of unrepresentable; but it has the support of some evidence, instead of being absolutely unsupported by evidence. Though the facts at present assignable in direct proof that by progressive modifications, races of organisms which are apparently distinct from antecedent races have descended from them, are not sufficient; yet there are numerous facts of the order required. Beyond all question unlikenesses of structure gradually arise among the members of successive generations. We find that there is going on a modifying process of the kind alleged as the source of specific differences: a process which, though slow, does, in time, produce conspicuous changes-a process which, to all appearance, would produce in millions of years, any amount of change." (Spencer, 1910, pp.435-436).
"In all respects, then, the hypothesis of evolution contrasts favourably with the hypothesis of special creation. It has arisen in comparatively-instructed times and in the most cultivated class. It is one of those beliefs in the uniform concurrence of phenomena, which are gradually supplanting beliefs in their irregular and arbitrary concurrence; and it belongs to a genus of these beliefs which has of late been rapidly spreading. It is a definitely-conceivable hypothesis; being simply an extension to the organic world at large, of a conception framed from our experiences of individual organisms; just as the hypothesis of universal gravitation was an extension of the conception which our experiences of terrestrial gravitation had produced. This definitely-conceivable hypothesis, besides the support of numerous analogies, has the support of direct evidence. We have proof that there is going on a process of the kind alleged; and though the results of this process, as actually witnessed, are minute in comparison with the totality of results ascribed to it, yet they bear to such totality a ratio as great as that by which an analogous hypothesis is justified. Lastly, that sentiment which the doctrine of special creations is thought necessary to satisfy, is much better satisfied by the doctrine of evolution; since this doctrine raises no contradictory implications respecting the Unknown Cause, such as are raised by the antagonist doctrine." (Spencer, 1910, pp.439-440).
"Von Baer lived in the days when the Development Hypothesis was mentioned only to be ridiculed, and he joined in the ridicule. What he conceived to be the meaning of these groupings of organisms and these relations among their embryological histories, is not obvious. The only alternative to the hypothesis of Evolution is the hypothesis of Special Creation; and as he did not accept the one it is inferable that he accepted the other. But if he did this he must in the first place have found no answer to the inquiry why organisms specially created should have the embryological kinships he described. And in the second place, after discovering that his alleged law was traversed by many and various nonconformities, he would have been without any explanation of these." (Spencer, 1910, pp.453-454).
"On considering the `General Aspects of the Special-creation hypothesis,' we discovered it to be worthless. Discredited by its origin, and wholly without any basis of observed fact, we found that it was not even a thinkable hypothesis; and, while thus intellectually illusive, it turned out to have moral implications irreconcilable with the professed beliefs of those who hold it. Contrariwise, the `General Aspects of the Evolution-hypothesis' begot the stronger faith in it the more nearly they were considered. By its lineage and its kindred, it was found to be as closely allied with the proved truths of modern science, as is the antagonist hypothesis with the proved errors of ancient ignorance. We saw that instead of being a mere pseud-idea, it admits of elaboration into a definite conception: so showing its legitimacy as an hypothesis. Instead of positing a purely fictitious process, the process which it alleges proves to be one actually going on around us. To which add that, morally considered, this hypothesis presents no radical incongruities. Thus, even were we without further means of judging there could be no rational hesitation which of the two views should be entertained." (Spencer, 1910, pp.554-555).
"Our formula, therefore, needs an additional clause. To combine this satisfactorily with the clauses as they stand in the last chapter, is scarcely practicable; and for convenience of expression it will be best to change their order. Doing this, and making the requisite addition, the formula finally stands thus:-Evolution is an integration of matter and concomitant dissipation of motion; during which the matter passes from an indefinite, incoherent homogeneity to a definite, coherent heterogeneity; and during which the retained motion undergoes a parallel transformation." (Spencer, H., 1945, "First Principles," , Watts & Co: London, Sixth edition, Revised, 1945, p.358).