What I found surprising is that Romanes used the very same arguments that we use here in arguing for evolution AND arguing against special creation. For example, he asks why God would put animals into a nested hierarchy.
quote:Now, this tree-like arrangement of specific organisms in nature is an arrangement for which Mr. Darwin is not responsible. I mean that the framing of this natural classification has been the work of naturalists for centuries past; and although they did not know what they were doing, it is now evidence to evolutionists that they were tracing the lines of genetic relationship. . .
Now, since the days of Linnaeus this principle has been carefully followed, and it is by its aid that the tree-like system of classification has been established. No one, even long before Darwin's days, ever dreamed of doubting that this system is in reality, what it always has been in name, a natural system. What, then, is the inference we are to draw from it? An evolutionist answers, that it is just such a system as this theory of descent would lead him to expect as a natural system. For this tree-like system is as clear an expression as anything could be of the fact that all species are bound together by the ties of genetic relationship. If all species were separately created, it is almost incredible that we should everywhere observe this progressive shading off of characters common to larger groups, into more and more specialized characters distinctive only of smaller and smaller groups. At any rate, to say the least, the law of parsimony forbids us to ascribe such effects to a supernatural cause, acting in so whimsical a manner, when the effects are precisely what we should expect to follow from the action of a highly probable natural cause.
There are many places in the article where Romanes speaks directly to the debate between evolution and special creation, and those arguments are nearly the same as those used today. Again, this article is from 1882 and it contains the very same challenges we are giving creationists today, and they still can't address those challenges. Interesting indeed.