Man on Earth - Theosophy and the Fossil Record, by George McNamara,

3. Other Aspects of Evolution

A theory of evolution must cover ALL OF :-

  1. evolution of skeleton and organs
  2. evolution of methods of sexual reproduction
  3. evolution of language
  4. evolution of brain and mind
  5. the development stages of the human foetus
  6. the problem of gigantism

For these issues, the relevant passages from the Secret Doctrine are:-

  1. has already been covered extensively above
  2. Is it …. an Evolution which starts from the beginning with sexual propagation? Or …. which shows the gradual development of organs; their solidification, and the procreation of each species,
    - at first by simple easy separation from one into two or even several individuals
    - then follows a fresh development-the first step to a species of separate distinct sexes-the hermaphrodite condition;
    - then again, a kind of Parthenogenesis, "virginal reproduction," when the egg-cells are formed within the body, issuing from it in atomic emanations and becoming matured outside of it;
    -until, finally, after a definite separation into sexes, the human beings begin procreating through sexual connection? (SD p.657)
  3. Languages have their phases of growth, etc., like all else in nature. It is almost certain that the great linguistic families pass through three stages.
    (1) All words are roots and merely placed in juxtaposition (Radical languages).
    (2) One root defines the other, and becomes merely a determinative element (Agglutinative).
    (3) The determinative element (the determinating meaning of which has longed lapsed) unites into a whole with the formative element (Inflected).
    The problem then is: Whence these ROOTS? Max Müller argues that the existence of these ready-made materials of speech is a proof that man cannot be the crown of a long organic series. This potentiality of forming roots is the great crux which materialists almost invariably avoid. (SD p.662)
  4. …… and Tyndall. The latter expresses the opinion of all the great men of science, as of the greatest thinkers of this and the past ages, in saying that "the passage from the physics of the brain to the corresponding facts of Consciousness is unthinkable. Were our minds and senses so . . . illuminated as to enable us to see and feel the very molecules of the brain; were we capable of following all their motions, all their groupings . . . electric discharges . . . we should be as far as ever from the solution of the problem . . . The chasm between the two classes of phenomena would still remain intellectually impassable." But the complex function of the nerve-cells of the great German EMPIRIC, or, in other words, his Consciousness, will not permit him to follow the conclusions of the greatest thinkers of our globe. He is greater than they. He asserts this, and protests against all. (SD p.673)
  5. This shows to us that every living creature and thing on earth, including man, evolved from one common primal form. Physical man must have passed through the same stages of the evolutionary process in the various modes of procreation as other animals have: he must have divided himself; then, hermaphrodite, have given birth parthenogenetically (on the immaculate principle) to his young ones; the next stage would be the oviparous-at first "without any fructifying element," then "with the help of the fertilitary spore"; and only after the final and definite evolution of both sexes, would he become a distinct "male and female," when reproduction through sexual union would grow into universal law. So far, all this is scientifically proven. There remains but one thing to be ascertained: the plain and comprehensively described processes of such ante-sexual reproduction. This is done in the Occult books, a slight outline of which was attempted by the writer in Part I. of this Volume. (SD p.659-60)
  6. How is it that, on the dictum of authoritative science, one can trace the animal life from the mollusc up to the great Sea Dragon, from the smallest land-worm up again to the gigantic animals of the Tertiary Period; and that the latter were once crossed is shown by the fact of all those species decreasing, dwindling down and being dwarfed. If the seeming process of development working from the less to the more perfect, and from the simpler to the more complex, were a universal law indeed, instead of being a very imperfect generalization of a mere secondary nature in the great Cosmic process, and if there were no such cycles as those claimed, then the Mesozoic fauna and flora ought to change places with the latest Neolithic. It is the Plesiosauri and the Ichthyosauri that we ought to find developing from the present sea and river reptiles, instead of giving place to their dwarfed modern analogies. (SD p.732-3)

Modern science struggles to solve all of these problems individually, and the prospect of it answering them all at once seems slight.

It is also fair to say that many pages of the Secret Doctrine have not stood the test of time. The discovery of DNA is not anticipated, and the controversies of the 1880's are irrelevant to the modern reader. The style of writing is not helpful - one has to 'dig out' the relevant bits. The excavation process hardly seems worth it sometimes.

Throughout these passages, the SD insists on the existence of 30ft tall human beings in the Atlantean (Miocene) times. No conclusive evidence of this has yet been found. Your author confesses that he feels little sense of kinship with these beings, perhaps because it is very hard to imagine anything except our present humans - Theosophy might describe this as a "ring-pass-not" on our thoughts - or perhaps it is a limit of my own imagination.

Both Theosophy and Science must remain NON-PROVEN for now.

More from the SD on this topic is given in Appendix 4 - The Theosophical System

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