Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

PREFACE.

HE Thirteenth Volume of the Journal of the Transactions

of the VICTORIA INSTITUTE is now issued. It will be found to contain papers by Professor Birks, M.A. (Professor of Moral Philosophy at Cambridge University), Mr. R. Brown, F.S.A., Mr. T. K. Callard, F.G.S., Mr. J. E. Howard, F.R.S., F.L.S., Professor T. McK. Hughes, M.A. (Woodwardian Professor of Geology at Cambridge University), President Noah Porter, D.D. (President of Yale College, United States), the Rev. Principal Rigg, D.D., Dr. J. S. Southall, M.A., United States, and the Rev. J. P. Thompson, D.D., LL.D., United States. The discussions have been enriched by the addition of supplementary papers from his Grace the Duke of Argyll, K.G., Professor Boyd Dawkins, F.R.S., the Rev. J. M. Mello, M.A.-well-known in the Geological world for his investigations among the caves of Cresswell Crags,-and others. To all who have thus contributed to the success of the Institute's work, the best thanks of the Members and Associates will gladly be accorded.

It will be observed that papers upon geological questions held to have a bearing upon the statements of Scripture, form a special feature in the present volume. For some years the Institute has encouraged research bearing upon the question of the “ Antiquity of Man," more especially because

[blocks in formation]

the extreme views incautiously advanced by many, tended alike to injure the cause of Science and those higher interests with which the Society has also identified itself. In carrying out these geological researches the Institute has sought, in pursuance of its primary object, "to investigate fully and impartially.” In the present state of the controversy we can only discern that cautious accurate inquiry, and an avoidance of imperfect generalizations and hasty conclusions, will promote the cause of Truth, and bring Science back into greater harmony with Revelation.* Of late, men of science have often found reason to

urge

that there is a real necessity for the use of greater caution and an avoidance of hasty conclusion in regard to matters of Scientific investigation, and we venture to quote the following remarks in this direction made by Professor Virchow, when recently alluding to the Darwinian hypothesis :

"We cannot pronounce it to be a conquest of science that man descends from the ape or from any other animal. We can only indicate it as an hypothesis, however probable it may seem. Let us hope the men of science in England will not fail to examine this most serious question—whether the authority of science will not be better served if it confines itself strictly to its own province, than if it undertakes to master the whole view of nature by the premature generalization of theoretical combinations. We must really acknowledge that there is a complete absence of any fossil type of a lower stage in the development of man. I am bound to declare that any positive advance which has been made in the province of pre-historic anthropology has actually removed is further from the proof of such connection-namely, with the rest of the animal kingdom.”

The present Volume will also be found to indicate the first success of the new arrangements for securing the greater usefulness of the Journal of Transactions to country and foreign Members, and affording them facilities for contributing papers

* Volume XIV. will contain a paper upon this subject by one who now stands foremost in the scientific world.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »