Friday, April 30, 2010

An old refutation of Darwin

The following refutation of Darwin was published in 1861 in a journal called The Theological and Literary Journal (the citation details are reproduced at the very end). It is a specific refutation of Darwin's famous classic, On the Origin of the Species, published near the end of 1859. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to locate the author of this refutation from the on-line journal in which it is found.

In my estimation, this refutation is superb. Aside from some Christian sermonizing here and there that is tangential at best to the substance of the dispute, the refutation meticulously re-presents each claim and argument by Darwin, then articulates counter-arguments for them -- counter-arguments that to me are persuasive.

The challenge for modern Evolution Theory proponents with specific regard to this refutation would be two-fold:

1) Articulate counter-arguments to the counter-arguments in this refutation;


2) if the claim will be made that Evolution Theory has, in the intervening century and a half since Darwin wrote, evolved (pun intended) such that this refutation, or any aspects of it, are no longer relevant, then articulate arguments that demonstrate and defend this claim.

This refutation is very long, and some may say, long-winded; but I have adjudged its length to be necessary for its arguments to be rendered cogent. For one thing, the anonymous author has the good habit of quoting extensively from the object of his refutation, and then addressing every point in the quotations. For another, although he may seem often to be repeating himself, the anonymous author is laying subtly distinct layers down one by one that form necessary interlocking parts to his arguments.

At any rate, here is the text from the refutation. I have excized considerable portions from it that are in my judgment peripheral to the arguments. Readers who wish to read the complete text can access it through the link noted in the first paragraph above. Even so, I have not yet closely combed through to detect peripheral text that may yet remain. I will continue to edit this refutation, even while it remains published here on my blog, and I shall do my best to find further text that needs to be excized, or typos that require correction, if they exist.

An 1861 Refutation of Darwin's book, On the Origin of the Species

. . .this great characteristic of the living natures of our world has been exemplified in all their history to the present time. They consist, now, of the same four great classes as at first; those that have their origin and life in the waters; those that have wings and fly in the air; those that creep and walk the land; and man, who bears the image of God and has dominion over the earth, and all its other inhabitants. And the distinctive natures of these four classes have been, and are, wholly incommunicable to one another. Each only produces creatures of its own kind. No other beings ever spring from the union of human beings but human beings, and human beings of identically the same distinctive nature as their parents. No other animals ever spring from four-footed beasts of the same kind but four-footed beasts of that kind; none from reptiles but reptiles; none from insects but insects; none from the inhabitants of the waters, but inhabitants of the waters; none from the fowls of the air, but fowls of the air. And this great law holds equally of all the great families into which those great classes of the animal world arc divided. The whale gives birth only to the whale; the shark only propagates sharks; the crocodile, crocodiles; the herring, herrings, and so throughout. No instance is known, of any one of the innumerable orders that people the waters, giving birth to progeny that are not of identically the same nature as themselves.

And so, also, of the birds of the air. The eggs of the eagle never yield any other young than eagles; the eggs of the ostrich never any other than ostriches; the brood of the condor are condors; of the heron, herons; of the peacock, peacocks; and the thrush, the nightingale, the jay, the robin, the wren, the humming-bird, only yield progeny of their own several natures.

So also of the inhabitants of the land. The elephant never pairs with any but its own kind, and never yields any other progeny than elephants; and so of the camel, the giraffe, the lion, the buffalo, the deer, the ox, the sheep, the bog : nor does the horse and the ass, when pairing with their own kind, ever give birth to offspring except of their own identical nature.

This law thus holds universally that creatures of the same kind give birth only to offspring of their own distinctive nature. The law holds, also, almost absolutely, that creatures of different kinds never unite and propagate; and . . . exceptions, of which the horse and the ass are the chief, yield a mixed progeny that cannot perpetuate itself. And this is verified not only by the observation and convictions of men generally of the present time, but of all past ages. All the laws which men have ever instituted for their government, whatever may have been the age or the nation in which they had their origin, have contemplated man as identically the same being in nature, sustaining essentially the same relations, owing much the same duties, exposed to the same temptations, and liable to the same physical evils. All historians have drawn precisely the same picture of his mind and his body, his passions and his actions, his enjoyments and his miseries, his life and his death. Moses, David, Solomon, Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides, the Greek and Latin orators and dramatists, painted him as exactly the same being as he is now. The sculptures and drawings of the Assyrians, Babylonians, and Egyptians, and the statues and paintings of the Greeks and Romans exhibit him as of identically the same form, size, acts, and expression as in the present age.

The descriptions also in the Pentateuch, and other most ancient parts of the Hebrew Scriptures, of the animals appointed for sacrifice, and others, as the horse, the ass, the camel, the lion, the bear, the fox, the hart, the eagle, the raven, the owl, exhibit them as of the same nature as those that now bear the same names; and the animals described by Aristotle are exactly the same in nature as those bearing the same names that now inhabit the land and sea of Greece and Asia Minor; and those depicted by Virgil and Pliny, the same as those of the present day, that inherit their name.

This constancy of animals to the nature of their progenitors, this undeviating transmission by them of their distinctive peculiarities unaltered to their offspring, observed and acted upon hy mankind of all generations, has been recognised and held by naturalists generally, to be the law of their being. It is the faith, our author admits, with but two or three exceptions, of the whole body of eminent men who have made it a subject of special study.

Mr. Darwin, however, denies it. He believes in no such constancy in the nature either of animals or plants. He maintains that none of the living creatures or vegetables that now inhabit the earth have even essentially the same natures as the originals from which they are descended. Instead of being, by the law of descent, identically what their originals were by the creative fiat that gave them being, he holds that they owe their distinctive peculiarities to a gradual modification of those primary natures by casual and perpetually varying second causes. Thus he says:—

" Although much remains obscure, and will long remain obscure, I can entertain no doubt, after the most deliberate study and dispassionate judgment of which I am capable, that the view which most naturalists entertain, and which I formerly entertained, namely, that each species has been independently created, is erroneous. I am fully convinced that species are not immutable ; but that those belonging to what are called the same genera, are lineal descendants of some other, and generally extinct species, in the same manner as the acknowledged varieties of any one species. Furthermore, I am convinced that natural selection has been the main but not exclusive means of modification."—P. 13.

" It may be asked how far I extend the doctrine of the modification of species. The question is difficult to answer, because, the more distinct the forms are which we may consider, by so much the arguments fall away in force. But some arguments of the greatest weight extend very far. All the members of whole classes can be connected together by chains of affinities, and all can be classified on the same principle, in groups subordinate to groups. Fossil remains sometimes tend to fill up very wide intervals between existing orders. Organs in a rudimentary condition plainly show that an early progenitor had the organ in a fully developed state; and this in some instances necessarily implies an enormous amount of modification in the descendants. Throughout whole classes various structures are formed on the same pattern, and at an embryonic age the species closely resemble each other. Therefore I cannot doubt that the theory of descent with modification embraces all the members of the same class. I believe that animals have descended from at most only four or five progenitors, and plants from an equal or lesser number.

" Analogy would lead me one step further, namely, to the belief that all animals and plants have descended from some one prototype. But an analogy may be a deceitful guide. Nevertheless, all living things have much in common, in their chemical composition, their germinal vesicles, their cellular structure, and their laws of growth and reproduction. We see this even in so trifling a circumstance as that the same poison often similarly affects plants and animals ; or that the poison secreted by the gall-fly produces monstrous growths on the wild rose, or oak-tree. Therefore I should infer from analogy, that probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from Some One Primordial Form, into which life was first breathed."—Pp. 418,419.

He thus holds that not a single species of the organized beings that now inhabit the earth has the nature of the original from which it has descended ; and that most have but a very slight touch of it. If all animals descended from but four or five progenitors, the modifications through which they have passed must have extended to all the essential elements of their bodily and psychical natures. Their instincts, their appetites, their passions, must have undergone as great changes as their organization and their mode of life. How radical he holds their transmutations have heen, is seen from his intimation that the horse may be a modification of the tapir, or the tapir of the horse, or that perhaps both may have descended from a common parent of a still different nature; and his avowal that he can believe that the whale was wrought by natural selection from a bear. "In North America the black bear was seen by Hearne swimming for hours with widely open mouth, thus catching, like a whale, insects in the water. Even in so extreme a case as this, if the supply of insects were constant, and if better adapted competition did not already exist in the country, I can see no difficulty in a race of bears being rendered, by natural selection, more and more aquatic in their structure and habits, with larger and larger months, till a creature wax produced as monstrous as a whale."—P. 165.

Man has, of course, on Mr. Darwin's theory, been the subject of these modifications in common with all other living creatures, and descended therefore from a progenitor essentially unlike himself; and perhaps a being without reason; a quadruped, a reptile, a fish, a bird, no one can tell what; and under the influence of the same causes is destined to assume, in a future age, a nature as unlike his present, as this is unlike the unknown original from which he drew his being.

. . .

Has Mr. Darwin then verified his theory? Has he invested it in any considerable measure with an air of truth ? Has he furnished an array of facts and arguments that seem to support it to such a degree as to shield it from the discredit of an unscientific, wild, and atheistic dream ? In our judgment he has not. It is highly pretentious. It is artful, it is bold—and at times defiant; hut it has no solid basis. It begs what it affects to prove. It is at war with the most indisputable and essential facts, and it is confuted at every stage by its own admissions and reasonings.

Thus he builds his whole system on a gratuitous and most improbable postulate; namely, the existence of one or more creatures of whose being he has no evidence, and whose nature he is wholly unable to determine. In admitting that he cannot tell how many original forms there were from which all present animal races have descended, he admits that he has no knowledge that any one of the four or five he supposes there may have been, ever existed: and in maintaining that whether five, four, or less, they were essentially unlike those now in life, he admits that he has no knowledge what their distinctive characters were—whether those of insects, fish, birds, beasts, man, or part, or all of them united. His originals of the present races are, therefore, mere hypothetical beings. He not only cannot prove that they ever had a place in the world ; he cannot even tell what they were! But it is wholly unscientific thus to build a system on a mere supposititious basis. It is attempting to account for the stability of the earth by placing it on the back of a turtle; while the turtle itself is left without anything to stand on. Mr. Darwin cannot argue back from the present races of living creatures to any antecedents as progenitors, but such as he can show have really existed and had certain distinctive natures. When he reaches the last in the upward series that he can identify and characterize, he has exhausted the materials on which he can reason and build a system. His whole theory thus, at the first critical touch, crumbles into dust.

Next, the postulate on which he builds his first argument, —namely : that variations from the distinctive type arise in individuals of a species that gradually advance to such an extent as to erase from the subjects of it the features of that type, and constitute a new species—is assumed without authority and against fact. He says,

" We have many slight differences, which may be called individual differences, such as are known frequently to appear in the offspring from the same parents, or which may be presumed to have thus arisen, from being frequently observed in the individuals of the same species inhabiting the same confined locality. No one supposes that all the individuals of the same species are cast in the very same mould. These individual differences are highly important for us, as they afford materials for natural selection to accumulate, in the same manner as man can accumulate, in any given direction, individual differences in his domesticated productions. These individual differences generally affect what naturalists consider unimportant parts; but I could show, by a long catalogue of facts, that parts that must be called important, whether viewed under a physiological or classificatory point of view, sometimes vary in the individuals of the same species. I am convinced that the most experienced naturalist would be surprised at the number of the cases of variability even in important parts of structure, which he could collect on good authority, as I have collected during a course of years."—P. 47.

The point, however, to be proved, is not that variations may and do take place and in important parts of structure, but such variations as naturally remove the subjects or inheritors of them from the species to which their progenitors belonged, and convert their acquired peculiarity into a new species; and that he does not prove. He only affirms that slight individual differences appear in offspring of the same parents. Nor could he prove it; first, because no differences that change, or lay a foundation for a change of the distinctive characteristics of their species ever arise in offspring of the same parents that are of the same species. Only three kinds of difference appear in such offspring. 1st. Defects or monstrosities; but they being injurious, he excludes from the class he contemplates; which he holds are uniformly beneficial. 2d. Variations that do not affect the distinctive characteristics or qualities of those in whom they appear; such as a greater or less size, weight, agility, and other attributes or qualities that are in some degree common to all who belong to the species. Such diversities are plainly unessential, and are no ground for the formation of a new species. To suppose them a natural and adequate basis for new species, would be to suppose that there may be as many different species aa there are individuals; for no two individuals of the same species were ever absolutely alike. A diversity, Mr. D. holds, to be the ground of a new species, must consist of something essential .that does not belong to the species, and at the same time is not a defect, but an improvement No such diversity, however, is specified by him, nor can be. For 3d, The only other variations are variations in the perfection of either some or all the leading characteristics that belong to the species. There often are individuals in the same brood, the same litter, or the same family, that are higher or more perfect types of their own species than other and the greater number of other individuals. They have a more perfect form, a higher grade of physical energies, or a stronger, quicker, more delicate and better balanced psychical or intellectual nature; and perhaps all these united. But these transmitted singly or conjointly to offspring, only contribute to perfect those who inherit them, as members of the species to which they already belong; they tend in no degree to form another species. To suppose it otherwise, is to contradict their very nature; as it is to suppose that a being that is a perfect example of its own species, is not such an example, but has in itself an element or characteristic that not only does not belong to its own species, but is fraught with a power of supplanting that species by a different one.

Now the variations which Mr. Darwin specifies, are of either the second or third of these classes; and are diversities that are perfectly natural and suitable to beings that belong to the same species. The fact, that in a numerous family of children of the same parents, no two of the same sex are exactly alike, in form, size, strength, agility, expression of countenance, quickness of sensibility, vigor of intellect, is no barrier to their being equally members of the same species. The fact that of the many hundreds of leaves on a tree, no two are perfect matches in figure, size, weight, color, flexibility, and power of absorbing carbon, and disengaging other elements, is no proof that they are not all of the same species. That diversity is essential doubtless to the perfection of the tree; and is the result of the constitution by which it is a member of the species to which it belongs; and in like manner the diversities that appear in the families of man, and in the species of the animal world, undoubtedly belong naturally to the several species in which they appear, and have their ends in the discrimination of individuals from one another, and other benefits of variety; and are no ground whatever for the formation of different species. To meet the requirement of his theory, Mr. Darwin should have produced instances of variations of individuals of a species, by the appearance in them of some new element, such as a new structure, a new organ, a new function, or instinct, such as wings springing from the shoulders of a lion, the conversion of the paws of a bear into the fins of a fish, the growth of a proboscis, like an elephant's, from the head of a giraffe, of feathers instead of hair from a horse, or others of a like kind. But he alleges no novelties of that nature. His only instances of variation, are variations produced by art in domestic animals, that left the distinctive nature that belonged to them as species wholly unaltered. We quote his most authoritative instance, the varieties produced by breeding, directed through a long succession ot generations to that end in domestic pigeons.

" Believing that it is always best to study some special group, I have after deliberation taken up domestic pigeons. I have kept every breed which I could purchase or obtain, and have been most kindly favored with skins from several quarters of the world, more especially by the Hon. W. Elliott, from India, and by the Hon. C. Murray, from Persia. Many treatises in different languages have been published on pigeons, and some of them are very important, as being of considerable antiquity. I have associated with several eminent fanciers, and have been permitted to join two of the London Pigeon Clubs. The diversity of the breeds is something astonishing. Compare the English carrier and the short-faced tumbler, and see the wonderful difference in their beaks, entailing corresponding differences in their skulls The carrier, more especially the male bird, is also remarkable from the wonderful development of the carunculated skin above the head, and this is accompanied by greatly elongated eye-lids, very large external orifices to the nostrils, and a wide gape of mouth. The short-faced tumbler has a beak in outline almost like that of a finch ; and the common tumbler has the singular and strictly inherited habit of flying at a great height in a compact flock, and tumbling in the air head over heels. The runt is a bird of great size, with long massive beak and large feet; some of the sub-breeds of runts have very long necks, others very long wings and tails, others singularly short tails. The barb is allied to the carrier, but instead of a very long beak, has a very short and very broad one. The pouter has a much elongated body, wings, and legs, and its enormously developed crop, which it glories in inflating, may well excite astonishment and even laughter. The turbit has a very short and conical beak, with a line of reversed feathers down the breast; and it has the habit of continually expanding slightly the upper part of the oesophagus. The Jacobin has the feathers so much reversed along the back of the neck that they form a hood, and it has, proportionally to its size, much elongated wing and tail feathers. The trumpeter and laugher, as their names express, utter a very different coo from the other breeds. The fantail has thirty or even forty tail feathers, instead of twelve or fourteen, the normal number in all the members of the great pigeon family, and their feathers are kept expanded, and are carried so erect that in good birds the head and tail touch -, the oil gland is quite aborted. Several other less distinct breeds might have been specified.

" The period at which the perfect plumage is acquired varies, as does the state of the down with which the nestling birds are clothed when hatched. The shape and size of the eggs vary. The manner of flight differs remarkably, as does in some breeds the voice and disposition. In certain breeds, the males and females have come to differ to a slight degree from each other.

" Altogether, at least a score of pigeons might be chosen, which, if shown to an ornithologist, and he were told that they were wild birds, would certainly, I think, be ranked by him as well-defined species. Moreover, I do not believe that any ornithologist would place the English carrier, the short-faced tumbler, the runt, the barb, pouter, and fantail in the same genus; more especially as in each of these breeds several truly inherited sub-breeds or species, as he might have called them, could be shown him.

" Great as the differences are between the breeds of pigeons, I am fully convinced that the common opinion of naturalists is correct, namely, that all have descended from the rock-pigeon (Columba livia), including under this term several geographical races, or sub-species, which differ from each other in the most trifling respects. As several of the reasons which have led me to this belief are in some degree applicable in other cases, I will here briefly give them. If the several breeds are not varieties, and have not proceeded from the rock-pigeon, they must have descended from at least seven or eight aboriginal stocks, for it is impossible to make the present domestic breeds, by the crossing of any lesser number. How, for instance, could a pouter be produced by crossing two breeds, unless one of the parent stocks possessed the characteristic enormous crop? The supposed aboriginal stocks must have been all rock-pigeons, that is, not breeding or willingly perching on trees. But besides Columba livia, with its geographical sub-species, only two or three of the species of rock-pigeons are known ; and these have not any of the characters of the domestic breeds From these several reasons [and others we omit] taken together, I can feel no doubt that all our domestic breeds have descended from the Columba livia with its geographical sub-species.

" In favor of this view I may add, firstly, That C. livia, or the rock-pigeon, has been found capable of domestication in Europe and in India, and that it agrees in habits and in a great number of points of structure with all the domestic breeds. Secondly, Although an English carrier or short-faced tumbler, differs immensely in certain characters from the rock-pigeon, yet by comparing the general sub-breeds of these breeds, more especially those brought from distant countries, we can make an almost perfect series between the extremes of the structure. Thirdly, Those characters which are mainly distinctive of each breed, for instance the wattle and length of beak of the carrier, the shortness of that of the tumbler, the number of tail-feathers in the fan-tail, are in each breed eminently variable; and the explanation of this fact will be obvious when we come to treat of selection. Fourthly, Pigeons have been watched and tended with the utmost care and loved by many people. They have been domesticated for thousands of years in several quarters of the world ; the earliest known record of pigeons is in the fifth Egyptian dynasty about 3000 B. C., as was pointed out to me by Prof. Lipsius; but Mr. Birch informs me that pigeons are given in a bill of fare in the previous dynasty. In the time of the Romans, as we hear from Pliny, immense prices were given for pigeons; ' nay, they are come to this pass, that they can reckon up their pedigree and race.' Pigeons were much valued by Akber Khan in India about the year 1600; never less than 20,000 pigeons were taken with the court. ' The monarchs of Iran and Turan sent him some very rare birds,' and his majesty, ' by crossing breeds, which method was never pursued before, has improved them astonishingly.' About this same period the Dutch were as eager about pigeons as were the old Romans. The paramount importance of these considerations in explaining the immense amount of variation which pigeons have undergone, will be obvious, when we treat of selection."— Pp. 25-32.

This is undoubtedly one of the strongest cases of variations that can be found in the whole circle of living beings. It is the result of an experiment continued through several thousands of years, in different and remote parts of the globe, the very aim of which has been to generate the greatest number, and the most marked diversities that are possible. Yet by his own concession, it has given birth to no species but birds, and no species of birds but pigeons. No insects, no fish, no reptiles, no quadrupeds have sprung from the long attempt to modify their progeny; and of birds, no condors, no albatrosses, no herons, no parrots, no geese, no jays, no wrens. The issue is nothing but pigeons, and pigeons each variety of which retains the essential characteristics of the species which he regards as their original, and has as good a title to the name of pigeon as any of the others. Instead of confirming, therefore, it is a complete confutation of his theory. To sustain it, he should have shown that this systematic nurturing and stimulating peculiarities had issued in the production of species essentially unlike the originals; such as the dinornis, the swan, the vulture, the peacock, the owl, the eagle, the thrush, the nightingale, the humming-bird. Had he shown that the varieties that first resulted from the experiment gradually lost the characteristics of the pigeon, and assumed wholly dissimilar structures, instincts, and habits, and at length became genuine hawks, buzzards, owls, eagles, vultures on the one side, and swans, geese, peacocks, thrushes, robins, redbreasts, swallows, and humming-birds on the other, he would have verified his theory; and failing of that, he overthrows it. For the vastest experiment that has been made on an animal producing very numerously, and of the greatest flexibility of nature, has, under the greatest aids and stimulations of art, shown that it has not the least tendency to give birth to any other creatures than those of its own distinctive peculiarities; that instead, its constitution renders it incapable of laying aside its own and assuming the nature that belongs especially to a different order of creatures.

That many varieties, and varieties that are very marked, may and do result from art, and arise also independently of it, is no proof of Mr. Darwin's theory, nor does it yield it any support. The question is not whether varieties exist in species, and very wide varieties; that is admitted on all hands ; but whether those varieties, naturally and generally, or ever pass into other species as different from the original and from one another as the eagle is from the dove, the vulture from the thrush, and the albatross from the bird of paradise; and to that question the experiment on pigeons gives a negative, not an affirmative answer. Variety is not peculiar to pigeons. It prevails everywhere. No two birds of a species are exactly alike. They are so diverse that they can be easily distinguished by each other. They never mistake strangers for their mates. No two quadrupeds of the same species are exactly alike; no two insects even are, infinite as their numbers are, no two blades of grass, no two leaves of the forest. Wide differences of figure, size, hue, position, sensibility to the light, and capacity for the special functions that belong to them, are compatible with their being of the same species. There are no greater varieties in any class of living beings probably, than in man, and even in the families and individuals of single nations; yet they are all of the same species, they all have substantially the same corporeal, psychical, and intellectual nature ; and that nature is peculiar to them. None of the other inhabitants of the globe share in it. In this most essential step in his argument Mr. Darwin thus wholly fails.

The next great postulate on which he proceeds, is equally unauthorized ; namely, that a power, which he denominates Natural Selection, plays a part in perpetuating, and heightening the beneficial varieties that appear iu individuals, like that which the breeders of pigeons play in perpetuating and heightening their varieties, and nurtures, and advances them from step to step, till they finally reach the character of new and independent species.

" Can the principle of Selection, which we have seen is so potent in the hands of pan, apply in nature ? I think we shall see it can act most effectually. Let it be borne in mind in what an endless number of strange peculiarities our domestic productions and, in a lesser degree, those under nature, vary; and how strong the hereditary tendency is. Under domestication it may be truly said that the whole organization becomes in some degree plastic. Let it be borne in mind how infinitely complex and close fitting are the mutual relations of all organic beings to each other and to their physical conditions 0. life. Can it then be thought improbable, seeing that variations useful to man have undoubtedly occurred, that other variations useful in some way in the great and complex battle of life, should sometimes occur in the course of thousands of generations? If such do occur, can 'we doubt (remembering that more individuals are born than can possibly survive), that individuals having any advantage, however slight over others, would have the best chance of surviving and procreating their kind ? On the other hand, we may feel sure that any variations in the least degree injurious, would be rigidly destroyed. This preservation of favorable variations and the rejection of injurious variations, I call Natural Selection. Variations neither useful nor injurious would not be affected by natural selection, and would be left a fluctuating element, as perhaps we see in the species called polymorphic.

" We shall best understand the probable course of Natural Selection by taking the case of a country undergoing some physical change for instance of climate. The proportional numbers of its inhabitants would almost immediately undergo a change, and some species might become extinct. If the country were open on its borders, new forms would certainly immigrate, and this also would seriously disturb the relations of some of the former inhabitants. But in the case of an island, or a country partly surrounded by barriers, into which new and better adapted forms could not freely enter, we should then have places in the economy of nature which would assuredly be better filled up if some of the original inhabitants were in some manner modified, for had the area been open to immigration, these same places would have been seized on by intruders. In such case every slight modification which, in the course of ages, chanced to arise, and which in any way favored the individuals of any of the species, by better adapting them to their altered condition, would tend to be preserved, and natural selection would thus have free scope for the work of improvement.

" We have reason to believe that a change in the conditions of life, by specially acting on the reproductive system, causes or increases variability; and in the foregoing case the conditions of life are supposed to have undergone a change, and this would manifestly be favorable to natural selection, by giving a better chance of profitable variations occurring ; and unless profitable variations do occur, natural selection can do nothing. Not that, as I believe, any extreme amount of variability is necessary; a> man can certainly produce great results by adding up in any given direction mere individual differences, so could nature, but far more easily, from having incomparably longer time at her disposal. Nor do I believe that any great- physical change, as of climate, or any unusual degree of isolation to check immigration, J8 actually necessary to produce new and unoccupied places for natural selection to fill up by modifying and improving some of the varying inhabitants.

"As roan can produce and certainly has produced a great result by his methodical and unconscious means of selection, what may not nature effect ? Man can act only on external and visible characters; nature cares nothing for appearances, except in Bo far as they may be useful to any being. She can act on every internal organ, on every shade of constitutional difference, on the whole machinery of life. Man selects only for his own good ; nature only for that of the being whom she tends. Every selected character is fully exercised by her; and the being is placed under well-suited conditions of life.

" Can we wonder that nature's productions should be far truer in character than man's?

" It may he said that natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinizing throughout the world, every variation, even the slightest, rejecting that which is bad, preserving and adding up all that is good ; silently and insensibly working, whenever and wherever opportunity offers, at the improvement of every organic being in relation to its organic and inorganic conditions of life. We see nothing of these slow changes in progress, until the hand of time has marked the long lapse of ages, and then so imperfect is our view into long past geological ages, that we only see that the forms of life are now different from what they formerly were.

"Although natural selection can act only through and for the good of each being, yet characters and structures which we are apt to consider as of very trifling importance, may thus be acted on

" Natural selection will modify the structure of the young in relation to the parent, and the parent in relation to the young. In social animals it will adapt the structure of each individual for the benefit of the community, if each in consequence profits by the change. What natural selection cannot do, is to modify the structure of one species, without giving it any advantage, for the good of another species."—Pp. 77-83.

" If variations useful to any organic being do occur, assuredly individuals thus characterised will have the best chance of being preserved in the struggle for life ; and from the strong principle of inheritance they will tend to produce offspring similarly characterized. This principle of preservation, I have called, for the sake of brevity, Natural Selection. Natural selection on the principle of qualities being inherited at corresponding ages, can modity the egg, seed, or young as easily as the adult.

" Whether natural selection has really acted in nature in modifying and adapting the various forms of life to their several conditions and stations, must be judged of by the general tenor and balance of evidence given in the following chapters. But we already see how it entails extinction, and how largely extinction has acted in the world's history geology plainly declares. Natural selection also leads to divergence of character, for more living beings can be supported on the same area the more they diverge in structure, habits and constitution, of which we see proof by looking at the inhabitants of any small spot, or at naturalized productions. Therefore, during the modifications of the descendant of any one species, and during the incessant struggle of all species to increase in numbers, the more diversified their descendants become, the better will be their chance of succeeding in the battle of life. Thus the small differences distinguishing varieties of the same species, will steadily tend to increase till they come to equal the greater differences between species of the eame genus, or even of distinct general—Pp. 117, 118.

He thus maintains that there is a power, which he calls Natural Selection, which, like a foster-mother, seizes, preserves, and nourishes the beneficial varieties that appear in individuals and species, and strengthens and augments them, till at length they change the nature of the animals in which thev appear, and constitute them a new and essentially different species. There is, however, no such power in nature. He alleges no proofs of its existence, but assumes it. He treats it, indeed, as though it were an everywhere present and active intelligence ; for how, without intelligence, should it give its fostering care only to variations that are beneficial to the individuals in which they appear, and refuse aid to varieties that are unbeneficial or injurious ? But it is a factitious existence, and has no other office than to give a color of plausibility to his theory. Had he fancied an agent under the name of Change, and ascribed to it the functions he assigns to this, it would not have been more baseless and unscientific. 2. He speaks of it as though it were external to the beings on whom it exerts its power. But, if so, and if its office is, as he asserts, to preserve and perpetuate the variation which it favors, it cannot exert an influence that modifies and transforms their natures. That would not be to preserve, but to extinguish them. It is directly to contradict his theory, to represent the modifications which he claims are wrought in species, as the work of an external force, that, if it produces them, must produce them by a violation of the natures on which it acts. The office, however, of natural selection, according to his definition of it, is not directly, by an independent and resistless power of its own, to mould varieties into new species: instead, it is only to place the beings in whom variations appear, in conditions that are favorable to their preservation, and the transmission of their peculiarities to successors. 3d. If the force that is supposed to mould variations into new species is external to the animals on whom it is exerted ; and its agency, as Mr. Darwin maintains, is favorable to the preservation and perfection of the variations which it affects, its influence plainly cannot tend, in any measure, to change the nature of those variations and convert them into new species. For those variations, as we have seen, instead of divergences from the proper nature of their species, are only more exact and full types of that nature. Their differences from other individuals of their species, are simply that they have distinctive characteristics that are proper to it in higher degrees: namely, they have more perfect forms, greater muscular energy, quicker sensibilities, finer instincts, more graceful motions, or other qualities that are proper to their special nature. An external force or adjustment of conditions, therefore, that is favorable to the preservation of such superior specimens of species, cannot, by the supposition, tend by creating and fostering deviations from their proper distinctive nature, to convert them into directly opposite variations. Look at the several points of his theory : First, The variations that are to be preserved and cherished are, he expressly affirms, variations that are advantageous to the individuals in which they arise ; and variations, therefore, as we have shown (for he excludes all others) that lie wholly in their being more perfect specimens than others of the peculiarities of their species. Secondly : The office of natural selection, whatever that be, whether an external force, or an external condition, is simply to preserve, favor, and perpetuate those variations; and that is simply to preserve and perpetuate individuals in whom the peculiar and distinctive characteristics of their species are united in higher forms and degrees than in other individuals. Can anything be more certain, then, than that the effect of natural selection, as far as it achieves its aim, will be to perpetuate the species unchanged in its purest and highest form ; not its transformation into a different species ? His natural selection, therefore, if there be such a power or function, confutes his theory, not confirms it. 4th, If natural selection be a mere cast of external conditions, that is favorable to the preservation and perpetuation in animals of the best forms of the characteristics that distinguish their species; and if, therefore, any change of their nature takes place, it must be the work of that nature itself, acting according to its inborn and necessary laws: then plainly, no such change of nature as Mr. Darwin contemplates, ever takes place, or can. For the law of every being's nature, Mr. Darwin himself admits, is to perpetuate itself unaltered in the qualities that belong to, and constitute its peculiarity as a living thing. He does not pretend that any animal ever, by its own individual functions or acts, wrought a change in its nature, by which it became a member of a different species. So far from it, he holds that every individual continues through life to be a member of that identical species to which it belongs at its birth; and that the change which he affirms takes place, instead of being concentred in one individual, or even-a few, is distributed by imperceptible gradations through a vast series extending, perhaps, through many thousands or millions of generations. But if no individual ever works such a change in itself; if nature in every individual by a predominant and all-prevailing law, perpetuates itself unaltered, and transmits itself, and if, as we have seen natural selection, if there be such a power, guarantees, as far as its influence extends, the preservation and perpetuation of nature in that form in which its characteristic peculiarities appear in their most perfect shape ; how can a change from one species to another be accomplished? If every force, internal or external, that exerts itself upon nature, expends its energies in the preservation and transmission of the nature on which it acts, unaltered, how can a transmutation from one species to another be wrought? What definition can be framed that would more absolutely preclude, than Mr. Darwin's postulates and admissions do, the possibility of a change of individuals or races from one species to another ? By his own representations and concessions, as long as" a series of individuals continue under the sway of their own nature and of natural selection, there is an infallible certainty that they will, there is an invincible necessity that they should, transmit to their offspring at every stage of succession that nature which belongs to them peculiarly as a species, and in a form the purest from all foreign admixtures, and embodying the highest measure of the perfection that is specially proper to it.

5. The supposition that a species can change itself suddenly or gradually, is contradictory, also, to the law of inheritance, by which offspring derive from progenitors, the peculiarities by which they are specially characterized. This great law of living natures, is fully recognised by Mr. Darwin:

" Any variation that is not inherited, is unimportant to us. Bnt the number and diversity of inheritable deviations of structure, both those of slight and those of considerable physiological importance, is endless. No breeder doubts how strong is the tendency to inheritance; like produces like is his fundamental belief; doubts have been thrown on this principle by theoretical writers alone. When a deviation appears not unl'requently, and we see it in the father and child, we cannot tell whether it may not be due to the same original cause acting on both ; but when amongst individuals, apparently exposed to the same conditions, any very rare deviation, due to some extraordinary combination of circumstances, appears in the parent—say, once amongst several million individuals—and it re-appears in the child, the mere doctrine of chances almost compels ns to attribute its re-appearance to inheritance. Every one must have heard of cases of albinism, prickly skin, etc., appearing in several members of the same family. If strange and rare deviations of structure are truly inherited, less strange and commoner deviations may be freely admitted to be inheritable: perhaps the correct way of viewing the whole subject would be, to look at the inheritance of every character whatever as the rule, and non-inheritance as the anomaly:'—Pp. 18, 19.

How now is this great law that individuals transmit, sooner or later, every character that distinguishes them to their offspring, to be reconciled with his theory that there is in the constitution of every individual a tendency not only not to transmit its character unaltered to offspring, but to transmute its nature and impress it with a force by which it shall ultimately pass from the species to which it properly belongs, and constitute a wholly new one ? To suppose two such directly opposite tendencies in the constitution, is to exhibit them as mere counteractives, and as having their office alike in causing a change of its nature, and in continuing it unchanged, and is a self-contradiction. Mr. Darwin thus again confutes himself. That the law of inheritance prevails in every order of living beings is indisputable. It is a fact of observation and knowledge to every student and every spectator of nature. In admitting it, therefore, Mr. D. overturns his assumption, that parallel with that all-pervading law there is a directly opposite one, that living beings shall not transmit their proper nature to their offspring, but instead, shall convey to them a nature that is perpetually dropping its most essential features, and adopting others of a very dissimilar cast in shape and function, in their room.

6. Mr. Darwin everywhere assumes and represents that the changes which he alleges in the nature of individuals and races, are favorable to their preservation. He however offers no proof of it, nor could he. So far from it, many of the modifications which he supposes have taken place, may naturally, and must, for aught we can see, have exposed the animals that were the subjects of them to great danger. How could the change of the paws of the black bear to the fins of a whale, have contributed to its security when the process, though far enough advanced, to disqualify it for defending itself from its foes on land, had not reached such a point that it could live exclusively in the water ? Were such a half metamorphosis Immediately wrought in ten or twenty thousand of the race that inhabit the northern region of this continent, would their chance of safety be improved by it? Unable to climb or walk, unable to pursue game or search for vegetable sustenance, unable to defend themselves from foes on land, and at the snme time unable to live exclusively in the water, can any fail to see that the probabilities of their destruction, in place of being diminished, would be multiplied a thousand fold ? Would the horse's security of health and life be augmented by a transformation into the tapir, when the process had reached that stage, in which it was neither capable of catching and eating the insects on which that animal lives, nor of eating grass ? Carry animals through a transformation of nature, at a point in which, that is to occupy ages, they are neither to be fish, birds, nor beasts; and neither to be gramnivorous, carnivorous, nor omnivorous, and therefore are to be without food suited to their natures; and will they be more sure of a safe, healthy, and flourishing life, than though retaining the nature that is proper to them ! This is certainly one of the boldest— we think it is one of the weakest—of the many fictions of which Mr. D.'s elaborate theory is made up.

7. He maintains also with great earnestness that all the modifications of species, which he holds have taken place, were beneficial to the subjects—advancing them to a higher nature and augmenting their enjoyment. And this is an important feature of his theory; tor if those supposed transmutations are no improvements, why should they take place ? He, however, offers no proofs that any of the changes he contemplates are such improvements. Not the slightest evidence or intimation indeed does he give, for example, that the changes wrought by art in domesticated pigeons have improved their nature, or been of any service to them. What advantage can it be, for instance, to the short-faced family, that their faces are somewhat shorter than the original rock pigeon, or any other varieties that have descended from them ? What benefit is it to the carrier that it has an excrescent skin above the head, and elongated eyelids, and a wide gape of mouth? Of what special advantage is it to the barb, that while allied to the carrier, instead of a very long beak, it has a very short and a very broad one ? What extraordinary service can it be to the pouter that it has nn enormously developed crop which it glories in inflating ? What special benefits result to the turbit, that it has a line of reversed feathers running down the breast? What can be more absurd than to imagine that these animals are raised to a higher grade of nature by the changes art has wrought in them, or have a higher measure of enjoyment than an equal number would have had, had they retained the shapes, and hues, and habits that were peculiar to the originals from which they have descended ? Or what improvement can it be supposed to be to the black bear to be converted into the whale, or the horse to be transmuted into the tapir, or the tapir into the horse ? Can anything be more preposterous than the fancy that it can be demonstrated that the modifications of nature Mr. Darwin contemplates have been improvements, and advanced the subjects of them in the scale of existence and of enjoyment ? He does not attempt to determine what the exact natures were of the four or five primary forms from which he holds all present species and individuals have descended. He cannot demonstrate that some of the present species are not of as much lower rank than their supposed originals, as others of them are of a higher; that the line of their divergence from their first progenitors, was not as often downward as upward. This feature of his theory is thus but a fiction. Important improvements have indeed been produced in certain domestic animals by care, as in cattle, horses, sheep, swine. To assume, however, from that, that a supposed set of changes of a wholly different nature, wrought independently of human intervention, would also all be in the direction of improvement, as Mr. Darwin seems to have done, is to contradict the laws of nature, as well as to step out of the circle of logic.

In his attempt to establish this branch of his theory, Mr. Darwin is ttuis wholly unsuccessful. There is no such power as his feigned Natural Selection ; and if there were, its whole influence would be to prevent instead of producing the effects he ascribes to it; and with this his whole system falls.

His argument in support of his theory from what he denominates the struggle between animals for existence, is equally ineffective.

"I use," he says, "the term Struggle for Existence in a large and metaphorical sense, including dependence of one being on another, and including (which is more important) not only the life of the individuals, but success in leaving progeny. Two canine animals in a time of dearth may be truly said to struggle with each other which shall get food and live. But a plant on the edge of a desert is said to struggle for life against the drought, though more properly it should be said to be dependent on the moisture. A plant which annually produces a thousand seeds, of which on an average only one comes to maturity, may be more truly said to struggle with the plants of the same and other kinds, which already clothe the ground. The misseltoe is dependent on the apple and a few other trees, but can only in a farfetched sense, be said to struggle with these trees, for if too many of these parasites grow on the same tree, it will languish and die. But several seedling misseltoes, growing close together on the same branch, may more truly be said to struggle with each other. As the misseltoe is disseminated by birds, its existence depends on birds; and it may metaphorically be said to struggle with other fruit-bearing plants in order to tempt birds to devour and thus disseminate its seeds, rather than those of other plants. In these several senses which pass into each other, I use for convenience sake the general term of struggle for existence.

" A struggle for existence inevitably follows from the high rate at which all organic beings tend to increase. Every being which during its natural lifetime produces several eggs and seeds must suffer destruction during some period of its life, and during some season or occasional year ; otherwise on the principle of geometrical increase, its numbers would quickly become so inordinately great that no country could support the product. Hence as more individuals are produced than can possibly survive, there must in every case be a struggle for existence, either one individual with another of the same species, or with the individuals of distinct species, or with the physical conditions of life

" There is no exception to the rule that every organic being naturally increases at so high a rate, that if not destroyed, the earth would soon be covered by the progeny of a single pair. Even slow-breeding man has doubled in twenty-five years, and at this rate, in a few thousand years, there would literally not be standing room for his progeny. Linnaeus has calculated that if an annual plant produced only two seeds—and there U no plant so unproductive as this—and their seedlings next year produced two, and so on, then in twenty years there would be a million of plants. The elephant is reckoned to be the slowest breeder of all animals ; and I have taken some pains to estimate its probable minimum rate of natural increase. It will be under the mark to assume that it breeds when thirty years old, and goes on breeding till ninety years old, bringing forth three pair of young in this interval. If this be so, at the end of the fifth century, there would be alive fifteen million elephants descended from the first pair.

" In a state of nature almost every plant produces seed, and amongst animals there are very few which do not annually pair. Hence we may confidently assert that all plants and animals are tending to increase at a geometrical ratio, that all would most rapidly stock every station in which they could anyhow exist, and that the geometrical tendency to increase must be checked by destruction at some period of life. Our familiarity with the larger domestic animals, tends, I think, to mislead us: we see no great destruction falling on them, and we forget that thousands are annually slaughtered for food, and that in a state of nature an equal number would have somehow to be disposed of."—Pp. 62-64.

This attempt to give a dramatic and belligerent form to the life not only of animals generally but of plants, is singularly unsuited to a scientific work. It gives, indeed, a touch of vivacity to his speculations, but bespeaks their unsoundness. Why resort to such an expedient to give a color of probability to his theory, if he has legitimate evidence of its truth ? What can be more preposterous than to represent the population of Great Britain as having a struggle for existence with the cattle and sheep which they slaughter for food ? Mr. Darwin might as well say, and indeed he does in effect say, there is a struggle for existence between them and the wheat they grind and the bread they bake. The cattle, sheep, and wheat are not used for food in order to their destruction as competitors with man for existence; but they are raised in order to their being used as means of life to man, and they owe their existence on so vast a scale to their appropriation to that use. Mr. Darwin seems to view the profusion with which living forms are brought into existence very much as though the only end of the Creator, or perhaps he would say nature, in giving them being, were that they should exist and multiply their kind. That they are in a large degree mere means to a higher end, and that they answer that end often by their seeds and eggs, when used as food by animals and men, as truly as by the continuance of their individual life and the multiplication of their kind, is left out of consideration in his argument. . . A large share of animals also feed on animals. They carry the work of destruction, however, no farther than is necessary for their own sustenance. They are not wanton exterminators. Yet Mr. Darwin contemplates this great feature of animal life as a gladiatorial contest; the aim of which is the destruction of antagonists and nothing else. But apart from this false view, the fact that so vast a proportion of animals are appropriated as food to other animals and to man, yields no support to his theory. For the question is not, whether such animals as are superior to others of their kind in strength, fleetness, or other qualities, may not have the best chance of living and propagating; but whether living and giving birth to offspring, the qualities in which they excel will gradually so change as to carry those who inherit them out of their natural species, and constitute new ones ? But the fact that certain qualities existing in higher perfection in a few individuals are the means of preserving those individuals, and enabling them to transmit their peculiar nature to offspring, surely lays no foundation for the loss of that nature by their descendants, and assumption of a radically different one. The supposition is, as we have shown, a self-contradiction. The fact that those progenitors are eminently perfect specimens of the species to which they belong, is a ground of certainty that their descendants will also be eminently perfect specimens of that species; not that they will be disinherited of their proper and distinctive nature, and receive a wholly dissimilar and foreign one. So far from it, the existence of any animals whatever depends largely, at least, on their continuing to possess their present natures. Those that are carnivorous cannot continue unless others exist on which they can feed ; and those, such as many species of fish and insects, that multiply on a vast scale, cannot be kept within such limits as the well-being of their races require, unless destroyed in immense multitudes while in the forms of spawn, eggs, or larvse. Their natures must remain essentially what they are, in order not only to their existing in the highest forms of their several species, but to their existing at all. Mr. Darwin's chapter on the Struggle for Existence, thus not only yields no support to his theory, but overthrows it; as, were it true, for aught that appears, the different races of animals might at length acquire natures by which they would neither gain food for themselves, nor yield it to others; and their struggle would end in their universal annihilation.

Mr. Darwin is aware that his theory is embarrassed by formidable difficulties. He admits that "some of them are so grave that he cannot reflect on them without being staggered." He thinks, however, the greater number can be obviated, and that such as cannot are not fatal.

The objection he first notices, is presented by the fact that no confirmation of his views is furnished by the vast relics of past generations of animals that lie buried in the crust of the earth.

" Why, if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms ? Why is not all nature in confusion, instead of the species being, as we see them, well defined ?"—P. 154.

This confutation of his scheme by the relics of the past— extending, according, to his geological views, in an unbroken series through millions of ages, he attempts to evade, but in our judgment without any even apparent success.

" As natural selection acts solely by the preservation of profitable modifications, each new form will tend, in a fully stocked country, to take the place of, and finally to exterminate, its own less improved parent or other less favored forms with which it comes in competition. Thus extinction and natural selection will go hand in hand. Hence if we look at each species as descended from some other unknown form, both the parent and all the transitional varieties will generally have been exterminated by the very process of formation and perfection of the new form.

" But as by this theory, innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth ?....! believe the answer mainly lies in the record being incomparably less perfect than is generally supposed; the imperfection of the record being chiefly due to organic beings not inhabiting profound depths of the sea, and to their remains being embedded and preserved to a future age only in masses of sediment, sufficiently thick and extensive to withstand an enormous amount of future degradation ; and such fossiliferous masses can be accumulated only where much sediment is deposited on the shallow bed of the sea, whilst it slowly subsides. These contingencies will occur only rarely, and after enormously long intervals. Whilst the bed of the sea is stationary or is rising, or when very little sediment is being deposited, there will be blanks in our geological history. The crust of the earth is a vast museum, but the natural collections have been made only at intervals of time immensely remote."—Pp. 155, 156.

But this, in the first place, is not in harmony with the geological theory of Sir C. Lyell to which Mr. Darwin gives his assent. The distinctive feature of that theory is, that it represents the changes that have been wrought in the crust of the earth, in the formation of strata, and the burial in them of plants and animals, as having taken place under the uniform action of the same forces as are now working similar effects in the earth's surface, and at the bottom of the sea. On that theory, therefore, the strata present a continuous record of at least vast areas of the earth extending, according to Sir C. Lyell, through immense periods. To assume therefore as Mr. Darwin here does, that the strata of which we have a knowledge were only formed " rarely, and after enormously long intervals," is to desert his own principles.

But next; granting that such were the fact, it contributes nothing to the relief of his scheme from the objection. For the strata unquestionably present pretty fair and full samples of the chief inhabitants both of the waters and the land at the periods when they were formed. They certainly present millions and millions of forms of a great variety of species both of land and sea animals. If then, as Mr. Darwin maintains, the transitions from one species to another were at those periods in progress in every order of living beings, and if millions and millions were at those epochs at the different stages of transition from the species they were leaving, to those to which they were passing, many specimens of the intermediate shapes through which they were advancing would be found among these infinite masses of relics. Not a solitary intermediate or transitional form, however, is found among them. Not a solitary bear is found half changed to a whale. Not a solitary horse half transmuted to a tapir. So far from it, Cuvier, on finding a solitary bone of a skeleton, was able at once to tell what the other bones were of the animal to which it belonged, whether it was graminivorous or carnivorous; and to reconstruct its whole form. And the species universally found in the strata, are as well defined, and as broadly discriminated from each other as the species of the living races of the present day are. The confutation of this theory bv the strata is therefore absolute. The absence from them of all transitional forms demonstrates, in the most emphatic manner, that no such forms were in existence in the periods of their deposition. A like objection is presented to hia theory by the absence of transitional forms from all living species ; and he fails equally to answer it.

" But it may be urged that when several closely-allied species inhabit the same territory, we surely ought to find at the present time many transitional forms. Let us take a simple case: In travelling from north to south over a continent, we generally meet at successive intervals with closely-allied or representative species, evidently filling nearly the same place in the natural economy of the land. These representative species often meet and interlock; and as the one becomes rarer and rarer, the other becomes more and more frequent, till the one replaces the other. But if we compare these species when they intermingle, they are generally as absolutely distinct from each other in every detail of structure as are specimens taken from the metropolis inhabited by each. By my theory these allied species have descended from a common parent; and during the process of modification, each has become adapted to the conditions of life of its own region, and has supplanted and exterminated its original parent, and all the transitional varieties between its past and present state. Hence we ought not to expect at the present time to meet with numerous transitional varieties in each region, though they must have existed there, and may be embedded there in a fossil condition."—P. 156.

We see not how Mr. Darwin can regard this as a fair statement of the objection to his theory presented by its total want of confirmation from the present condition of the animal world ; or if it be correct, how his admission that living animals yield it no confirmation is an answer to that objection. The difficulty he is to meet is not simply that not many transitional forms are found among living species, though on his theory many such ought now to exist, and be susceptive of easy identification ; but that not a solitary transitional species or individual exists among the living. Why, if his theory is true, is it not verified, and on a vast scale, by the animals that are now in life ? Why is it that not a single fish, fowl, beast, or insect, is known that is in a state of transmutation from one species to another? Mr. Darwin has not pointed out a single animal whose present condition yields any support to his system. He has not hit on any bear that is half metamorphosed to a whale, nor horse that is half transmuted to a tapir; he has no specimen of a creature that is half fish and half fowl, or half beast and half man. The whole animal world proclaims his theory false—a wild and preposterous caricature.

But supposing the question to be as he states it, why are there not many transitional forms among the living races? How does his admission that there are not, and assumption that the power of modification long since reached its close, answer that objection ? On his theory, the tendency to modification is as rife in all present species and individuals as it was at any past period; and he alleges the varieties that are now produced and producing in pigeons as proofs and exemplifications of the reality and present activity of the forces to which he ascribes the generation of new species. To admit that no such forces are now acting on, or in the animal world, is to strike away the foundation on which the fabric of his speculations rests. If no such power now reveals itself; if no traces of it are found in the relics of past ages, where is Mr. Darwin to find proofs that it ever existed 2 The method by which he thus attempts to save his theory is nothing else than the abandonment of it. If the reason that no evidences of its truth are furnished by the present condition of the animal world is, as he virtually concedes, that the principle or force of transmutation is no longer in existence, must not the reason that no proofs of its truth is furnished by the relics of the past animal world equally be that that supposed force has had no existence in the ages that are passed ?

He next proceeds to objections drawn from the nature of the changes he holds are wrought in the structure and habits of animals.

"It has been asked," he says, "by the opponents of such views as I hold, how, for instance, a land carnivorous animal could have been converted into one with aquatic habits ; for how could the animal, in its transitional state, have subsisted ?" —P. 161.

And he attempts to obviate the objection by the fact that there are animals that are amphibious:

" It would be easy to show that within the same group carnivorous animals exist having every intermediate grade between truly aquatic and strictly terrestrial habits; and as each exists by a struggle for life, it is clear that each is well adapted in its habits to its place in nature."—P. 161.

But this, though an objection he can never satisfactorily answer, is not the objection that first demanded bis attention. The great question that needs to be answered, in order to the support of his theory, is—not how can animals subsist, on the supposition that they pass through the change of species which he represents; but what power is there in their nature to produce those changes, which require a creative energy for their cause, as much as the origination by a direct act of new orders of being, or new worlds ? It is no answer to this question to say: God has created animals of a great diversity of nature; some aquatic, some terrestrial, and some intermediate; and they all have means of subsistence suited to their peculiar constitutions: therefore animals that he created terrestrial have the power of transforming themselves into amphibious or aquatic; and animals that he created aquatic and amphibious have the power of transmuting themselves into terrestrial. God provided all the various kinds of animals which he created with food suited to their peculiar natures; therefore, if those animals change their natures, so as to require wholly different food for their sustenance, they will find kinds of food ready for them that are equally adapted to their new constitutions ! Such is his logic. But the fact that God creates new species of animals surely does not prove that animals also can create them. The fact that God provides for the sustenance of the animals he creates, does not prove that if they were to change their nature so as to be unable to eat the food he provided for them, he would make another provision suited to their metamorphosed natures! Yet this is the argument Mr. Darwin here uses to relieve himself from objection.

This omission of the point that chiefly required his consideration, and substitution of an inferior one in its place, occurs repeatedly in his attempts to relieve his theory from the formidable difficulties with which it is embarrassed.

" If about a dozen genera of birds had become extinct, or were unknown, who would have ventured to surmise that birds might have existed which used their wings solely as flappers, like the loggerheaded duck; as fins in the water and front legs on the land, like the penguin; as sails, like the ostrich; and functionally for no purpose, like the apteryx ? Yet the structure of each of these birds is good for it, under the conditions of life to which it is exposed, for each has to live by a struggle; but it is not necessarily the best possible under all possible conditions. It must not be inferred from these remarks that any of the grades of wing-structure here alluded to, which perhaps may all have resulted from disuse, indicate the natural steps by which birds have acquired their perfect power of flight; but they serve, at least, to show what diversified means of transition are possible."—P. 163.

But the fact that God has created animals with these peculiar structures, is no proof that these and other animals he creates and endows with their peculiar natures, are able to reject those natures and assume others of a different type. As God himself does not produce those transmutations, what power is there that does or can ? That is a question Mr. Darwin thus far has not answered. He has indicated no cause of which they can possibjy be the effect.

"To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree. Yet reason tells me that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye, to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being useful to its possessor, can be shown to exist; if further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imaginations, can hardly be considered real."—P. 167.

Here again he treats what he calls natural selection as having as adequate power to create perfect eyes as the Almighty himself has. Inasmuch as God has created eyes with all their "inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration," he holds there is no difficulty in believing natural selection can do it also; and by that he means animals without eyes, or with but imperfect ones, in the favorable conditions which what he denominates natural selection yields them for the exertion of their creating and transmuting powers! In other words, he believes insects, fish, fowl, and beasts, to be as intelligent and as omnipotent as the allseeing and allpowerful is! But where is his proof of this pantheistic or atheistic doctrine? Not a shadow of evidence has he thus far produced, that animals possess such attributes. Why thus continually evade the point on which his whole system depends ? Let him demonstrate it, if he can.

But beyond this, if the creature is possessed of this extraordinary power, how is it, we wish to know, that none of the countless thousands of our race who have been born blind, or have lost their sight by disease or accident, have exerted the creating or modifying energies they possess in retrieving their injured, or perfecting their defective organs? If such an active and effective tendency reigns in every living being, as Mr. Darwin maintains, to modify what is imperfect, and give it a higher and more beneficial form, ought it not to have revealed itself in some of these individuals, by the production of organs they so deeply needed, and especially when accompanied, as it has been, with a distinct consciousness of the want, and knowledge, in a measure, of the advantages enjoyed by those who are in possession of sight! How is it that Mr. Darwin's theory, if true, has no confirmation from a quarter which ought to have yielded it the most ample verification?

He thus not only fails to furnish any proofs of his theory, but avoids a direct consideration of its import in relation to God; and boldly assuming it to be true, confines himself to endeavors to show how, being supposed to be true, the past and present natures and conditions of the animal world, are to be accounted for, by what he denominates the tendency to variation, natural selection, the struggle for existence, and the principle of inheritance. He not only fails in that also, at every step, but some of the facts he alleges directly confute his theory.

" He who believes that each being has been created as we now see it, must occasionally have felt surprised when he has met with an animal having habits and structure not at all in agreement. What can be plainer than that the webbed feet of ducks and geese are formed for swimming? Yet there are upland geese with webbed feet, which rarely or never go near the water; and no one, except Audubon, has seen the frigate bird, which has all its four toes webbed, alight on the surface of the sea. On the other hand, grebes and coots are eminently aquatic, although their toes are only bordered by membrane. What seems plainer than that the long toes of grallatores are formed for walking over swamps and floating plants, yefc the water hen is nearly as aquatic as the coot; and the landrail nearly as terrestrial as the quail or partridge. In such cases, and many others could be given, habits have changed without a corresponding change of structure. The webbed feet of the upland goose may be said to have been rudimentary in function, though not in structure. In the frigate bird, the deeply scooped membrane between the toes shows that structure has begun to change."—P. 166.

But these cases confute in place of sustaining Mr. Darwin. If his theory were true, the reason that the goose and the frigate bird have become in such a measure non-aquatic, must be that a change has taken place in their form, that fits them to be inhabitants of land, instead of water. But such a change would undoubtedly embrace their feet, the webs of which are specially fitted for water. The fact, therefore, that their feet remain unaltered, demonstrates that no such power of self-modification resides in them, as he asserts, and thence, that his theory of natural selection ig a fiction. We have another example of this logic in the following passage.

" If we look at the sting of the bee as having originally existed in a remote progenitor as a boring and serrated instrument like that in so many members of the same great order, and which has been modified, but not perfected for its present purpose, with the poison originally adapted to cause galls, subsequently intensified, tee can Perhaps understand how it is that the use of the sting should so often cause the insect's own death; for if, on the whole, the power of stinging be useful to the community, it will fulfill all the requirements of natural selection, though it may cause the death of some few members."—P. 180.

He thus first assumes, without proof, that the sting of the bee was originally essentially different in structure and office from what it now is. Next, one element of that difference was, that it then had no such "backward serratures" as it now has, that render it impossible for the insect, when it thrusts it into its enemy, to withdraw it. Thirdly, he holds that that change by which the use of its sting has become fatal to the insect, has been the work of natural selection.

Fourthly, he holds, also, that the poison of the sting has been much exacerbated by natural selection. By his own supposition, therefore, natural selection has wrought a change in the structure of the insect that not only is not beneficial, but that is fatal to it. For, if the organ was originally formed for boring and sawing, its structure must have been such that it could be retracted without difficulty; and therefore it could have had no such backward serratures, as now render its withdrawment when pierced into the flesh of animal or man, impossible. Those " serratures" are the work, then, of natural selection ; and yet they contribute nothing to the benefit of the insect; for the efficacy of the sting depends on tho poison infused into the wound, not on the retention of the sting itself there. And this is a confutation of his theory : for he maintains with the utmost distinctness and emphasis, that natural selection works no changes but such as are beneficial to the being itself in whom they take place; none but what give it a fresh advantage in the struggle for existence with other beings with whom it comes in contact.

" Natural selection," he says, " will never produce in a being anything injurious to itself, for natural selection acts solely by and for the good of each. No organ will be formed, as Paley has remarked, for the purpose of causing pain, or for doing an injury to its possessor. If a fair balance be struck between the good and evil caused by each part, each will be found on the whole, advantageous. After the lapse of time, under the changing conditions of life, if any part comes to be injurious, it will be modified ; or if it be not so, the being will become extinct, as myriads have become extinct."—P. 179.

By his own showing, then, if there were such a power as natural selection and it had wrought important changes in the structure of the bee's sting, it would not have varied its form so as to render the use of the organ fatal to the insect. The fact that it has its present form, and can be used only at the forfeiture of the insect's life, is a demonstration, therefore, that natural selection has had nothing to do with its structure ; and that the power itself is but a fiction.

We might add many other examples of similar self-confutation ; but we will only refer to his attempt to sustain his theory by the pretext, that it ia inexplicable that a being of infinite wisdom should have created animals of structures like those of the existing races; but that their forms''and natures are explicable on the supposition that they are the work of the animals themselves, under the promptings of natural selection.

" Nothing can be more hopeless than to attempt to explain the similarity of pattern in members of the same class, by utility, or by the doctrine of final causes ...

" The explanation is manifest on the theory of the natural selection of successive slight modifications,—each modification being profitable in some way to the modified form, but often affecting by correlation of growth other parts of the organization. In changes of this nature, there will be little or no tendency to modify the original pattern, or to transpose parts. The bones of a limb might be shortened and widened to any extent, and become gradually enveloped in thick membrane, so as to serve as a fin; or a webbed foot might have all its bones, or certain bones lengthened to any extent, and the membrane connecting them increased to any extent so as to serve as a wing: yet in all this amount of modification there will be no tendency to alter the framework of bones, or the relative connexion of the several parts. If we suppose that the ancient progenitor, the archetype, as it may be called, of all mammals, had its limbs constructed on the existing general pattern, for whatever purpose they served, we can at once perceive the plain signification of the homologous construction of the limbs throughout the whole class. So of the months of insects, we have only to suppose that their common progenitor had an upper lip, mandibles, and two pair of maxillas, these parts, perhaps, being very simple in form; and then natural selection will account for the infinite diversity in structure and function of the mouths of insects ....

" There is another and equally curious branch of the present subject: namely, the comparison not of the same part in different members of a class, but of the different parts or organs in the same individuals. Most physiologists believe that the bones of the skull are homologous with—that is, correspond in number and in relative connection with—the elemental parts of a certain number of vertebra. The anterior and posterior limbs in each member of the vertebrate and articulate classes, are plainly homologous. We see the same law in comparing the wonderfully complex jaws and legs in crustaceans. It is familiar to almost every one, that in a flower the relative position of the sepals, petals, stamens, and pistils, as well as their intimate structure, are intelligible on the view that they consist of metamorphosed leaves, arranged in a spire. In monstrous plants, we often get direct evidence of the possibility of one organ being transformed into another; and we can actually see in embryonic crustaceans, and in many other animals, and in flowers, that organs which, when mature, become extremely different, are, at an early stage of growth, exactly alike.

" How inexplicable are these facts on the ordinary view of creation I Why should the brain be enclosed in a box composed of such numerous and such extraordinarily-shaped pieces of bone ? . . . Why should similar bones have been created in the formation of the wing and leg of a bat, used as they are for such totally different purposes ? Why should one crustacean which has an extremely complex mouth formed of many parts, consequently always have fewer legs; or conversely those with many legs have simpler mouths ? Why should the sepals, petals, stamens, and pistils in any individual flower, though fitted for such widely different purposes, be all constructed on the same pattern? " On the theory of natural selection we can satisfactorily answer these questions. In the vertebrata we see a series of internal vertebrae bearing certain processes and appendages ; in the articulata, we see the body divided into a series of segments, bearing external appendages ; and in flowering plants, we see a series of successive spiral whorls of leaves. An indefinite repetition of the same part or organ is the common characteristic of all low or little modified forms; therefore we may readily believe that the unknown progenitor of the vertebrata possessed many vertebrae ; the unknown progenitor of the articulata, many segments; and the unknown progenitor of flowering plants, many spiral whorls of leaves. We have seen that parts many times repeated, are eminently liable to vary in number and structure ; consequently it is quite probable that natural selection, during a long-continued course of modification, should have seized on a certain number of the primordially similar elements, many times repeated, and have adapted them to the most diverse purposes. And as the whole amount of modification will have been effected by slight successive steps, we need not wonder at discovering in such parts or organs a certain degree of fundamental resemblance, retained by the strong principle of inheritance."—Pp. 378-380.

He thus expressly alleges—and there are many parallel passages—that it is in effect an impeachment of the wisdom of the Creator to suppose that he gave the animals in existence the peculiar forms and natures they possess, on the ground that parts of their bodies are unfitted to the sphere in which they live, and useless ; while, on the other hand, he affirms that if those parts are the work of their own self-modifying energies under the conduct of natural selection, then, though useless and unsuited to their sphere of life, their existence is explicable and unexceptionable. But, in the first place, he neither does nor can prove that any of those parts of their structure, to which he objects, are useless, or do not contribute in an important measure to the perfection of the animals in which they exist. He may not indeed see what their use is ; but that is not by any means positively to see that they have no use. There is not an organ or element of an animal body of the functions of which Mr. Darwin or any other naturalist has more than a very slight and vague apprehension. His objection is thus founded on an assumption which he is unable to prove. In the next place : If it were admitted that those parts are not directly useful to the animals in which they occur, as an eye » fur seeing and a foot for walking, the loss of which is the loss of power that is indispensable to the well-being of the animal, still it would not follow that they are not important to give proportion to the structure, and render it easier in its motion, or more graceful to the eye. Mr. Darwin indeed denies this with great earnestness. "Some naturalists," he says, " believe that very many structures have been created for beauty in the eyes of man, or for mere variety. This doctrine, if true, would be absolutely fatal to my theory."—P. 177. But though fatal to his theory, it is indisputable that many objects in the animal and vegetable world have a beauty of form, color, voice, and movement, that gives pleasure to the eye and ear of man. The fact, therefore, that man has a keen sensibility to the beauty of such forms, hues, voices, and motions, and that the shapes, colors, and many other peculiarities of animals and vegetables are such as strike that sensibility and excite pleasure, proves that God created those peculiarities with a reference, at least among other ends, to the pleasure they yield mankind; and making the animal and vegetable world in that manner the means of enjoyment to man, is surely as suitable and honorable to his intelligence and goodness, as the provision of any other means of a natural, pure, and elevated pleasure is. It does little credit to Mr. Darwin's intelligence or taste, that he should doubt that God has acted with any reference to this important susceptibility of our nature ; or that it would be creditable to his beneficence and skill. Thirdly, he furnishes no explanation of the perpetuation of the parts in question, on the supposition that the modifications which he alleges have taken place. He only says that it is " manifest," and the question why it has happened " is satisfactorily answered." But not a whisper of an answer does he give beyond the mere asseveration that if the changes took place by slight successive steps, there would be " no tendency to modify the original pattern ;" when by the supposition the most important modifications of the pattern were wrought, and the whole nature metamorphosed. Would there be no change of pattern in transmuting a black bear to a whale, or a fish with a " swim-bladder" to an eagle with " lungs ?" The pretence of an explanation is a sham. Fourthly, he contradicts his theory of the modifying power, in representing that in working its changes it leaves the animals in question in a condition so inapt and incompatible with their perfection, that it would be discreditable to the Creator by a direct fiat to give them forms encumbered with such useless and unmeaning parts. For he everywhere affirms that the modifying power which works under the tutelage of natural selection, aims exclusively at the improvement of the individuals on whom it exerts itself, and gives birth to no effects but what are beneficial, and advance them to a higher stage of adaptation to their sphere of existence. Yet by his affirmation here, the effect of its operation in these cases is to render parts that were originally beneficial^ useless, and convert them into encumbrances. For if useless, what else can they be but encumbrances that burtheu by their weight, and exhaust by the appropriation to themselves of a part of the vital forces that would otherwise be retained by other parts of the system ? Such is the issue of his attempt to vindicate his theory by impeaching the wisdom of the Almighty, and ascribing to the lowest natures in the animal world a higher measure of intelligence and skill than to him.

Mr. Darwin proceeds throughout in his theory—by implication at least, though perhaps unconsciously—on a worse impeachment of the Most High than even this, and a more preposterous misrepresentation of the nature of animals. For first,nothing can be more certain than that the most important and determinative element in an animal, is its psychical—that is, its perceptive, sensitive, and instinctive nature. It is that which gives to it its character, determines its mode and habits of life, and discriminates it mainly from others. Its body is but the instrument of its conscious nature, and has its peculiar form and powers, because of their adaptation to that nature. Take away its psychical nature from a wolf, and substitute the soul of a lamb in its place, and the being would no longer be a Wolf, nor would it be a lamb. The body would have no adaptation to the conscious agent that animated it; and their incompatibility would doubtless lead to immediate death; as the instincts of the Lamb could not lead it to seek and seize the food that would be required by the constitution of the body ; and the body would not be capable of digesting the food that was suitable to the lamb. And next: nothing can be more certain than that the psychical nature of every animal always acts consistently with itself; that is, it is animated by appetites and desires, it is prompted and guided by instincts, and it exerts acts and pursues a course that is suited to its own peculiar nature; and preserves, gives effect to, and accomplishes the ends of that special nature. It never repudiates its own distinctive characteristics and usurps the appetites, instincts, and habits of a different animal. The wolf is the wolf in all conditions and ages, and nothing else: the lamb is the lamb in all conditions and ages, and nothing else: the fox is the fox. the tiger the tiger, the elephant the elephant, the eagle the eagle, and man man ; and it is because their psychical natures are what they are, that their several bodies are adapted to them, and that each propagates creatures after its own kind.

Now, Mr. Darwin, in his theory, that every race of animals has in a course of ages modified its organic frame, contradicts these great truths, and implies that the psychical natures which God put into the bodies of the originals were unsnited to those bodies, and so unsuited that the vast changes which Mr. D. holds have been wrought in them were requisite in order to their becoming matches for each other. For on no other supposition can such modifications be regarded as possible. If their psychical natures and their.bodies were perfectly matched, they would infallibly have perpetuated themselves unaltered. They could not, from the law of their being, either have wrought any change in themselves by a direct volition, nor given birth to offspring differing from themselves. No animal can, by a mere volition, work a change in its nature. The supposition is absurd : inasmuch as first, it can have no idea of any other than the nature of which it is conscious, to be an object of desire and volition ; and next, because if it could, it has no power to alter its nature. The ground of its existence and all the peculiarities of its internal and external being lie out of itself, in the will of the Creator who gave it existence and upholds it; and it has no more power over them than it has over the nature of any other animal that is wholly disconnected with itself. Mr. Darwin, therefore, in maintaining that every race of animals has wrought a vast revolution in its own body, and made its organism quite unlike what the original from which it has descended was, virtually assumes that the psychical nature of its original was essentially unsuited to the body in which it was put. This is indeed directly indicated on his last page, in the intimation that perhaps all the psychical entities that were created, were originally placed in one and the same form. His theory accordingly is, that each perceptive, sensitive, and instinctive nature demanded fundamental changes in its body, and that the changes in it which he holds have taken place, have been wrought in order to bring its body to a more perfect adaptation to its interior nature. And had he openly given this as his theory, he would only have presented, in a more simple and direct form, the principle or postulate on which his whole speculation in fact proceeds. Let him admit that the psychical natures of the originals from which all present animals have descended, were put into bodies that were perfectly adapted to them, and he will be obliged to admit that no reason can have existed to the animals for a change of their nature, and that no power has existed either in them or in the conditions in which they were placed, to work any modifications of their natures. The wolf would infallibly continue to be the wolf, and the lamb the lamb, the dove the dove, the vulture the vulture, and man man. His theory is thus a direct impeachment of the wisdom and goodness of God ; as it charges that instead of making his creatures perfect, or good in their kinds, he made them all monsters, so ill-matched in the two parts of their being that they were obliged to work a radical modification of their bodies in order to adapt them to the necessities of their psychical natures. What can be more unworthy of a man endowed with the fine gifts of Mr. Darwin than to spend his life in endeavoring to build up a vast system of speculation on such a postulate, and dignify it with the name of science !

It misrepresents the creature also as grossly as it does God. No truth is more self-evident than that a being that is derived, the ground of whose existence accordingly does not lie in itself, but in an exterior cause, cannot alter its own substantive nature. For as its existence is the work of a cause exterior to itself, and thence its existing as such a substantive entity as it is must be the work of that cause, it is intuitively clear that its nature, at every stage of its existence, must be what that external cause wills it to be, and that it cannot itself have any power to modify or determine its psychical or bodily nature. They are as absolutely out of its jurisdiction as the natures of any other existences are; and are the work only of God, who upholds them from moment to moment, with identically the natures that belong to them. Of this great truth, however, Mr. Darwin takes no cognizance. Instead of contemplating the universe as in its minutest parts a resistless proof of the presence, every moment, and activity of the Creator, because, if left for an instant without his upholding power, it would sink into non- existence ; he sees in it nothing but dead or organized matter, and speculates about it as though it were a selfsubsistence, and especially as though its organized and living forms owed their nature and the perpetuation of their kinds from generation to generation altogether to powers that belong independently to themselves. He is accordingly extremely irreligious and untheistic. He does not indeed directly attack or deny the revelation God has made in his word, nor does he recognise it, but he builds his system on postulates that imply the rejection of the Scriptures, and will naturally lead those who accede to his theory to their rejection. If the race from which man has descended has existed on the earth for millions of millions of ages, as he maintains, what can be more plain than that the sacred writings, which represent him as having subsisted here only about six thousand years, and trace his genealogy and history through that whole period, are a fiction ? If man is but a metamorphosed animal, as he implies, perhaps an insect, a fish, a bird, a quadruped, what can be more certain than that he cannot from the beginning have been, as revelation represents, a subject of moral government, and fallen at the first stage of his life by a revolt from his Maker ? What can be more certain than that the first progenitor cannot have been a representative of the whole race, differing, as the theory implies, most essentially in their nature at different periods, and involved them in sin and death by his fall ? For what greater solecism can be conceived than that an insect, a fish, a bird, a four-footed beast, should, by its unintelligent and irresponsible act, give birth to such an infinite train of moral consequences? If the race were originally animals, and had no representative head, neither were under a moral government, nor fell, what can be more indubitable than that they cannot at least universally need redemption from sin ; that the Son of God cannot have become their representative head, and died for their expiation ? The whole revelation contained in the Scriptures, the work of redemption, the future existence of the mind, and all that faith in God cherishes, falls, on Mr. Darwin's theory, and vanishes from our grasp. Man is made a mere fellow of the brutes, with little else to distinguish him than that he is capable of perceiving that his nature is a mockery, and feeling the bitterness of foreseeing that his noblest gifts, his loftiest aspirations, his purest hopes, are in a few moments to sink into extinction, and nought but nothingness and oblivion remain for ever. Mr. D.'s work is accordingly as unfriendly to man as it is unjust to God. It can only darken and demoralize just in proportion as its principles are accepted and its doctrines prevail.


The Theological and Literary Journal

edited by David N. Lord.

Vol. XIII.

July, 1860—April, 1861.

New York: Published by Franklin Knight, 1861

Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

Art. V. [p. 101] —Darwin On The Origin Of Species.

On The Origin Of Species By Means Of Natural Selection; or, the Preservation of favored Races in the Struggle of Life. By Charles Darwin, M.A., Fellow of the Royal, Geological, Linnsean, etc., Societies, author of Journal of Researches during H.M.S. Beagle's voyage round the world. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1860.


Blogger Traeh said...

My understanding of how living forms and the human form appeared is distinct from the Darwinian and also from the fundamentalist's notion of "special creation." I do think that natural selection and random mutation play some small role, not the main one, in what makes for the forms of organisms. I think one has to include non-physical, i.e., spiritual beings and processes if one is to understand the development of any living form.

Consider that the human being is the one species on earth that remains unspecialized, general, "universal" in its anatomical form. All the other existing species are highly specialized. I won't explain that, as I'll assume for now that you already understand "specialization" as a more or less familiar concept in biology and evolutionary theory.

Now, the universal, unspecialized character of the human form would seem to show that the human form -- but none of the other existing species -- in some sense goes right back to the beginning of the development of life on earth. Consider: the beginning had to be unspecialized, universal, capable of further evolution, just as the human being is universal, unspecialized, and capable of further evolution. In some sense then, the beginning of life on earth seems to be one, in terms of inner form, with the human being. From that point of view, it's as if the human being did not evolve from the animals -- rather, one could almost think the animals must in some sense have devolved from the human being: If the human being represents the main trunk of "evolution," while all the other species existing today represent specialized branches coming off that main trunk, well, the branches derive from the trunk, don't they? But how can that be put together with the fossil record, which shows human beings appearing last?

Aside from the human being, the other species can only evolve a little further in the same specialized direction they have developed already. Specialization is a kind of dead end. By contrast the human being appears to be the growing tip of the trunk and to go all the way back to the seed of the tree. How to solve this paradox, that animals seem in a way to derive from humans, rather than preceding them as the fossil record shows? Some evolutionary biologists have acknowledged the paradox that no currently existing species can be our ancestor, insofar as existing species are specialized. Some of these biologists "solve" the paradox by claiming that the ancestor must have resembled in some way the species all around us. But these biologists can't observe this very hypothetical ancestor. This "solution" must remain inadequate, so long as the biologist in question conceives of a wholly physical evolutionary process.

(continued in next comment)

12:31 AM  
Blogger Traeh said...

(continued from last comment)

The paradox is resolvable provided one envisions 1) that matter is derived from spirit, as a sort of coagulation of spirit and 2) that there are many degrees of materialization, and many middle terms between spirit and matter and 3) that the material cosmos gradually, through many stages, increasingly congealed out of, and became increasingly differentiated from, the spiritual world.

In that context, it becomes possible to understand how the human being was first spiritually, but appeared last physically (in the fossil record). It has to do with not incarnating too precipitously and too deeply into matter, since that would be equivalent to becoming specialized and fixed in particular environmental niches, in the mode of the animals and plants. Animals and plants can be conceived as having their origin in a rupture with the human spiritual community in the spiritual world and then diving as spiritual beings too deeply, too quickly, into matter. The higher the animal, the less specialized, the less precipitously it merged with a particular material setting. A too quick descent explains animals' and plants' specialization and their appearance in the fossil record earlier than humanity's appearance. Humanity, meanwhile, through every stage of gradual materialization of the cosmos, was enabled to take shape anatomically as a bridge across the increasing differentiation between matter and spirit. Just as the cosmos went through many degrees of materialization, so did humanity. But even when humanity emerged on earth, we remained, by comparison with animals, to a degree aloof from matter and earth, in touch with the universal and the abstract.

If we assume for the sake of further discussion that the above is correct, there remains the question of how to visualize the actual appearance of new species.

Did they just appear out of thin air? I suppose not. I think perhaps that the higher forms, when the time came to incarnate, used the lower forms' wombs/reproductive processes. This would mean that human babies were born from pre-human parents, who then nurtured those babies, which then grew up, met each other, and reproduced themselves.

Visualizing it that way only looks like conventional evolution. The causes involved are utterly different. Natural selection working on random mutation had at most a subsidiary role, while higher spiritual forms/beings used the reproductive paths and living bodies of lower forms in order to emerge into physical reality and develop anatomical structures capable of incarnating higher and higher levels of awareness. Would lower forms of life nurture infants of higher life-forms? I don't know how plausible that is, apart from the examples of human babies being raised by wolves. But I'm assuming that a higher species, preparing to incarnate from the spiritual world, would gravitate to or select the lower species least anatomically distant for use as a matrix of incarnation. Thus the human spirit, when first incarnating on earth, would select, say, the womb of homo erectus, not of a chimp, much less of a wolf. The chimpanzee spirit, when first incarnating on the earth, would select, oh, I don't know, perhaps to enter the womb of a lemur-like being, but not seek to be born of a reptile. And so on.

12:44 AM  

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