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have to go upon in declining to regard two forms as belonging to the same species, is the absence of reasonable evidence of transition. But our knowledge about this is very imperfect; and thus our ignorance tends always to the multiplication of species. We have abundant ground for refusing assent to the notion of transmutation when we take remote forms, and I do not think it is desirable to insist on the distinct origination of each of what naturalists regard as distinct species.

The second is from Mr. Hastings C. Dent, C.E., F.L.S.

" Dublin. “I have seldom perused a paper read before the Victoria Institute which has given me greater pleasure. It is very convincing as to“ successive creations of groups and Persistence of Type.

"Owing to my not having studied corals specially, and so being unable to grasp, in the generic and specific names, the predominance of certain families of corals in the earliest and latest times, I should be very glad if Mr. Pattison would tell me whether there is, as it appears from the paper, a similarity in this group of Actinozoa to that of the Crustaceans, which' I described in the latter part of a paper on 'Evolution and Degeneration, the Crustacea and Man, a copy of which I sent to the library of the Victoria Institute some five years ago. In the Crustaceans the original important families of Trilobites and Eurypterids, which became extinct, are now represented in importance (commercially at least), by the Malacostraca, which are of a comparatively recent origin ; and I gather from the paper that a similar predominance exists at the present time of a comparatively lower type, or later group, of corals from the original form. If this be so, the fact is of great importance to those who are contending against evolution.

“The Persistence of Type is, I think, the point to be adhered to especially, and it may be well summarised in those sentences on page 201.

66 We have before noticed that coral-life burst upon the stage all at once ; it continued in existence from that epoch until to-day.

"We see at once that there has been frequent change, and it may be said progress in form, but not evolution.'

Species per se, are rather misleading ; as now-a-days, especially, certain existing forms are designated by one naturalist as a species, by another as the variety of a species ; some scientists apparently considering that the appearance of approximately the same form at widely separated portions of the globe, must necessitate its being a separate species. But in dealing with genera we have less difficulty, less fear of our position being assailed.

“Monsieur De Quatrefages remarks *_ Races and isolated varieties of a very variable species are taken for species so long as such specimens only are known; they are brought back to their specific type when one has been able to collect the intermediate forms which unite them. But to state the frequency of a fact which was thought rare or exceptional, is not to explain it' (p. 188).

'I have been much exercised, e.g., in the specific determination of existing Lepidoptera, not only by the diverging opinions of English and German entomologists; but even by those of English specialists.

“When entering upon the origin of species, and derivation of genera, we must bear in mind that the theories of Buffon, Lamarck, St. Hilaire, Darwin, &c., on vation, presented themselves to those scientists as probable, from the most careful consideration of the facts of varieties and new species

* Charles Darwin. . .

· Étude sur le Transformisme.” Paris, 1871, p. 181. appearing of which the transitions were palpable. The error was in arguing from the particular to the general ; that is, in saying that if L produces M, then A must have been the ancestor of L, which is absurd.

“Mr. Pattison scores a strong point in his extract from Dr. Wright's paper (p. 203).

“There is no evidence of any gradual development having taken place in the class from alower to a higher type of coraligenous structures. The old corals of the ancient reefs appear to have been as highly organised and as elaborately constructed as the modern corals now building reefs in our tropical seas.

"I think it is quite sufficient for the author's purpose to have proved that in existing genera there is no proof of evolution in corals, and that the most ancient are as elaborate in organisation and construction as

are those that at present exist; while it is also important to note that while elaborated in number of genera and species, there are yet remnants in later days, of old generic formis, thus proving Persistence of Type ; and from finding no instances of the metamorphosis or transmutation of corals into other Actinozoa we may take our standpoint on-at least--the lowest grounds, in asserting that the intricate systems of organic beings move in collateral spirals, either ascending (numerically), practically stationary, or descending and degrading ; and that though there are degraded and low forms in many orders which nearly approximate similar forms in other orders, yet there is no proof-but rather the contrary—that the lowest forms of closely connected orders had originally some yet lower common ancestor from which both sprang

“ Let us adhere to the grand, yet simple words of that much-maligned Gen, i.

Whose seed was in itself, after his kind, and we shall not err. These words are truly elastic, yet most dogmatic and definite.

“I wish the author had given us his theories as to the cause of the tropical heat in these latitudes which allowed for the gigantic coral beds in England, that cover so large an area, and form such an important part of the deposits in these localities in those bygone ages. I believe a minimum heat of water of not less than 66° Fahr. is necessary for the existence of corals.”

Mr. R. J. HAMMOND.—The description Mr. Pattison has given of those old coral reefs is so charming that it will long remain on the retina of my mind; but, although this is the case, I cannot help thinking there are certain loose expressions in the paper which it would be well to have put in a more definite form. On page 200 of the paper we have the Syringopora mentioned in connexion with the Upper Silurian series, but the author goes right through the Devonian rocks without alluding to that order, and then, coming to the Carboniferous strata, we get to the Syringopora again. Of course, Mr. Pattison does not consider there have been two distinct creations of the same creature. Doubtless, he would say the creation is to be dated to the Upper Silurian, and that the order existed through the Devonian, although it is not mentioned in connexion with that series. In fact, it must have lived through that epoch because we come upon it again in the Carboniferous series. I would put it to Mr. Pattison whether, as this particular order is not mentioned in the Devonian period, other creatures may not have been passed over in a similar manner? Then, again, on page 202 he quotes Dr. Wright, the author saying, “No genera of the Palæozoic epoch have been found in

any subsequent epoch ;" but to my mind that statement seems to be almost contradicted by what Dr. Wright says afterwards :-"The cretaceous corals belong chiefly to families now existing, but there are still remaining here a few instances of the old forms of tabulate corals, hardly distinguishable from Silurian species.” Of course, to the scientific mind there may be some mode by which these two statements can be reconciled ; but to me they certainly appear to have a contradictory tendency. It seems almost an invidious task to notice weak points in this beautiful paper, but there is another statement which I think open to observation. On the top of page 202 there is the expression, in brackets, “But, with the exception of one doubtful form,”now an evolutionist might say, “There is an important exception in the case of this one doubtful form.'” It may be that that exception is a very powerful one. I should here like to ask one question with regard to these separate creations. Does he think that in the case of these separate creations there have been creations of vast numbers, or does he suppose that only a small number of these coral insects were created at first, and that their increase was due to the ordinary process of generation ?

Mr. W. GRIFFITH.—I think our friend who has just spoken rather misapprehended the argument of the lecturer, which, as far as I understood it, was that there was no instance of development in these different corals. The fact that we have the same coral in the Devonian and in the Carboniferous strata does not by any means prove that the one was developed from the other On page 202 of the paper it is stated that “the ancient Cyathophyllidæ were most important in size in Palæozoic times ; but, with the exception of one doubtful form, they have all become extinct.” That statement may imply that one of those forms may or may not be in existence ; it does not say that the doubtful form may have been developed from a previously existing form. The subject is necessarily difficult, owing to the somewhat ambiguous sense in which the term evolution may be employed. The greatest writers on each side often use the word in an ambiguous way, We must admit that there is evolution, at least to some extent. When we have an artificial arrangement of species we naturally make mistakes and put forms into one species which ought to be put into another. It is not necessarily proved that one form was necessarily evolved from the other, but rather that we make mistakes in our classification. We ought to be more exact in our specification and marking out of species and genera ; otherwise we shall make mistakes. On the other hand, if we admit all that is stated on behalf of evolution, we do not necessarily deny the Creator. Certain successive forces may have been attached to natural bodies and these may have produced a kind of evolution, and yet, unless those forces sprang into existence of themselves, they do not therefore deny creation. Those forces must have been caused in some way by external action, and, although they produce certain effects, they are altogether independent of those effects. I think the weakest part of the evolution theory is that it only takes a survey of part of the great field of creation; and in saying “creation” I do not wish to prejudice or anticipate the

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argument; I will, therefore, say, the great field of nature. The evolutionists may show that certain species have been evolved from others, but they have never been able to prove that life has evolved itself. They have never been able to show that the moral qualities have been evolved from a lower state of existence, or that the intellect of mankind and the higher spiritual forms of life have been evolved. The great fault committed in this controversy is that we sometimes take different views of the meanings of words, such as the word “evolution," and that we do not take a sufficiently extensive view of the facts from which we make our inductions. The real question at issue is whether at any particular time there has been an act of creation ; because, if there were an act of creation, certain qualities may have been attached to the thing created which may have evolved subsequent consequences. There was a paper published some time ago in the Nineteenth Century, in which Mr. Gladstone discussed this question, and Professor Huxley replied. Mr. Gladstone wisely took a somewhat legal view of the question and and reduced the controversy to this point : “Is the first chapter of Genesis credible or is it not ?" On this point I should be happy to put niyself under the guidance of Mr. Gladstone rather than of those who, like Professor Huxley, take what I would venture to call a limited view of the question, and do not establish any conclusion. Learned natural philosophers may show evolution in a particular place, but, unless they show that everything has been evolved, they do not establish the conclusion that there has been no creation. The Creator may have willed that there should be evolution in a particular place, and, if that be so, it militates against the correctness of Professor Huxley's conclusion. Undoubtedly, if this question had to be decided by an intelligent jury who had to deliver a verdict, “ay” or “no," they must say that the case for evolution has not been proven. No doubt, when you have a controverted question before a jury, you have to look at all the facts and to frame a theory which explains the facts; and unless that theory explains all the facts, the verdict will be against the theory, and will be given on the other side.

Certain explanations all evolutionists do give; but, although they explain some, they do not explain all the facts belonging to the natural philosophy around us. They do not show how inorganic nature has become endued with life or has been changed into organic nature, or how the lower animal life has become endowed with moral qualities, or how intellect or the higher forms of spiritual life is produced from the lower forms of animal life.

The AUTHOR.-The last speaker has furnished a complete reply, such as I should otherwise have attempted to have given to Mr. Hammond. He has explained the fact which the first speaker was quite right in calling attention to, namely, that in the three instances in which I spoke of the continuity of things I have spoken of species and not of genera. The cases that have been referred to are those of the continuance and the recurrence of species ; and it is quite true that there has been no recurrence of species though there has been a recurrence of genera. I ought to have put that a little more plainly. I should have shown more clearly that species do not

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210 S. R. PATTISON, F.G.S., ON CORAL-REETS OF ENGLAND.

recur, but that genera do. I think that nothing could be better than the simple way in which Professor Stokes has left the question. There is an absolute absence of all evidence of transition, which, I think, is proved by the facts I have brought before you. That there can be no evolution in the forms which are brought before us; that there may not be evolution in some shape or other with which we are not acquainted I should be very Ioth to deny. I cannot, however, dogmatise on a matter I know not. All I say is that the facts I have given prove, as they present themselves to me, that there is no evolution in the common sense-namely, that these things create themselves, or by themselves originate a different order of succession. In reply to the question whether these numerous species were made all at once, or whether they came into being gradually by parentage, I should give the answer that both are true causes. I cannot look at those old Silurian rocks without seeing that a great number of species have come to us which have been created all at once, because we find them in the same layer. It is true that there is great difficulty in conceiving the way in which creation could have been effected, and that difficulty it is not at present given to us to solve. It may be some day, and certainly in eternity, if not in time. I am only dealing with facts as they are, and cannot pretend to give the rationale of God's dealings with nature where He has not revealed them. I am not aware that there is anything more about which I need trouble you. It is quite true as Professor Stokes indicated, that my statements are a little too absolute with regard to the occurrence of the division plates as being six in the modern and four in the ancient corals; that is to say, there has been found one species in which it is doubtful whether this is true or not, but this is so minute a matter that it does not affect the general question. I did not mean to treat on corals at large, but only to give the conclusions I have formed on a mass of evidence with reference to the points I have dealt with. I am much indebted to Mr. Lea for his valuable letter, to those gentlemen who have spoken, and to all present for the kind way in which my paper has been received.

The Meeting was then adjourned.

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