A Good Point by William Gladstone

I plucked this nugget from the Weekly Standard (Wray Herbert, “Faith of Their Fathers,” December 7, 2015, reviewing Private Doubt, Public Dilemma:  Religion and Science Since Jefferson and Darwin by Keith Stewart Thomson):  William Gladstone, the longtime British prime minister, responded to the emerging fossil record by noting that “the order of origins was identical in both Genesis and the fossil record — ‘water populations’ and ‘air populations’ first, followed by ‘land population’ — and humans last of all.  The clear principle was primitive first, followed by increasing complexity ….”  The review then quotes Gladstone directly:

How came the author of the first chapter of Genesis, to know that order, to possess knowledge which natural science has only within the present century for the first time dug out of the bowels of the earth?  It is surely impossible to avoid the conclusion that … his knowledge was divine.