Considerable space has been given in this issue to a report on the institution of the second congregation of the E.R.C.S. in Singapore, and therefore my editorial space will have to be limited in this issue. However, I recently received a new recording, taken from the sound track of a video recording, of the speech by Prof. Hodgson at Hillsdale, Michigan. This is a very clear recording, and in the interest of accuracy I shall quote again, in corrected form, the concluding paragraphs of Prof. Hodgson’s speech, so that there can be no question as to what he said in them. Here they are:
“Do mammals, for example, have a common ancestor? Do all taxonomic phyla and kingdoms go back to a single ancestral line? They are good questions, and they are not easily answered. On the basis of presently available scientific evidence, I think we cannot be totally sure. The studies of the earliest mammals and birds, too, for that matter, show strong reptilian skeletal structures, indicating a highly likely reptile ancestry.
“Again, a transition from fish to lung fish to amphibians does, to some extent, seem to be in evidence in the discovery of some species that have been found.
“Furthermore, if we look at the history of earth rocks—and some micro-fossils go back more than three billion years—we are confronted with the fact that the simpler kingdoms, like Kingdom Monera, occurred before the more complex forms of life. So there seems to be a gradual divergence over time into more and more complex life forms. The earliest life forms were exceedingly simple and did not even have nucleated cells. More recent life forms have been, of course, multi-celled, with some very complicated organs that are involved.
“So to summarize the point, I would like to say the following. The case for evolution, I believe, is a good one on the basis of available scientific evidence. The possibility, however, of divine creation of some basic life forms, particularly at higher taxonomic levels, over widely spaced intervals of time—not just a few thousand years now—is a possibility which cannot be ruled out on the basis of present scientific observational evidence. And so, I think that that is about where we really have to leave it. I think that there are some things that strongly suggest evolution as an explanation for a lot of the varieties of life that we find. Whether it will explain everything, of course, will remain somewhat for the future to discover.”