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THESE pages are the expansion of a Lecture written on Easter Monday and Tuesday of last year, and delivered the day after, in fulfilment of an engagement, at a small county town in the North. Somewhat varied, it was spoken a second time on behalf of Mechanics’ Institute in Aberdeen ; and it was repeated a few weeks ago, in the same city, by request of the Young Men's Christian Association.
In acceding to wishes to which special weight was dųe, by preparing these sheets for the press, I have not thought it necessary to efface the original lecture-mould, or to expel allusions to which the statement now made will supply the key. The opening sentences, for example, are only suitable, in strictness, to the one occasion which suggested them, and to an address widely different from that into which this has since developed ; but it seems pardonable to retain, even at some sacrifice of rigorous congruity, a tribute, however slender, to a great man gone.
To more than one living leader of British Science is the Appendix indebted for fresh decisions of the most authoritative kind on questions of the first importance. As regards the perfectness of the Human Eye, or the rank of the Human Brain, the testimony of Sir David Brewster and of Professor Owen ought to be an “end of controversy ;” and a weightier judgment than that of Professor Kelland as to the evidence of geometrical forethought impressed on insect architecture is nowhere obtainable. To the prompt courtesy with which this distinguished aid has in each case been accorded, I must associate that of the accomplished Professor of Botany in the University of Aberdeen. The wood-cuts are mostly copies from
• Siluria,” and from the works of Professors Owen, Lindley, &c. They owe their excellence (with two exceptions, also meriting my best thanks) to the artistic skill of a gifted young friend.
MAY 1, 1861.
A. On the Validity of the Argument from Design,
27 3 28
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NOTES AND REFERENCES,