The Pre-Natal State

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

The Pre-Natal State is a letter written by Arthur Conan Doyle published in the magazine Light on 19 november 1927.

The Pre-Natal State

Light (19 november 1927, p. 573)

Sir, — I think the Rev. A. H. Waddington, whose letter appears in LIGHT of the 5th inst., is misinformed about the pre-natal state. Unless matters have changed since I was a student of biology, the foetus of man and of animal are undistinguishable from each other in the earlier months of gestation. This has always seemed to me a strong argument for Darwin.

I do not know what Mr. Waddington means by "very materialistic Spiritualism," but I alluded to the views of Russel Wallace, Crookes, Lodge, and many other great men. Bishop Barnes has certainly at different times waived these views aside with what appeared to be contempt, and has condemned facts which he has not sufficiently explored. This is what I meant, and what I repeat.

Mr. Waddington objects to my saying that many of the Churches seem to think that God cut His connection with the physical world 2,000 years ago. I mean, of course, in a visible, tangible sense. Such belief is shown by such expressions as "The age of miracles is past," "The apostolic age is past," and it is shown by the unreasonable incredulity exhibited by many in high places in the Church when they are confronted with proofs of the present-day immanence of spiritual forces.

My remarks were correctly reported, but, of course, in a short report of a forty-minute address all the connecting points of an argument are necessarily omitted. But Mr. Waddington may take it that he has not misunderstood me, and that I am ready to repeat, or to defend, upon a public platform, all my conclusions.

Yours, etc.,