Friday, June 3, 2016

A Voice from the Past - Chesterton

All we can say of this notion of reproducing things in shadow or representative shape is that it exists nowhere in nature except in man; and that we cannot even talk about it without treating man as something separate from nature. In other words, every sane sort of history must begin with man as man, a thing standing absolute and alone. How he came there, or indeed how anything else came there is a thing for theologians and philosophers and scientists, and not for historians. But an excellent test case of this isolation and mystery is is the matter of the impulse of art.

G. K, Chesterton, 1874-1936, The Everlasting Man,The Man in the Cave (Dover Publications, 2007, p. 29)

Are human beings clearly distinct from animals? What are the implications of this?


  1. I have heard a pastor talk about a time in evolution when God made man from a monkey. I simply disagree for reasons similar to what Chesterton said here. Humans are unique creations. While there are similarities between us and animals, we are not descended from them.

    1. I agree, Chesterton argues not only in the quote I chose, but in its whole context, that if human beings are an animal they the only truly "wild" animal, since there is such a huge gap between the two.