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of the Creator are to those of man.” But, if Natural Selection is “ to banish the belief in continued Creation,” what works of the Creator can there possibly be which can thus be superior to those of man ? Now, I am quite aware that Mr. Darwin has said "It has been often said that I speak of Natural Selection as an active power or deity. Every one knows what is meant by such metaphorical expressions and they are almost necessary for brevity. So, again, it is difficult to avoid personifying the word Nature, but I mean by nature only the aggregate action and product of many laws and by-laws, the sequence of events as ascertained by us." Now just let us examine this. Natural Selection and the Struggle for Existence are Metaphors. But Metaphors are not realities, have no powers, and can lead to no results. Yet Mr. Darwin is constantly ascribing to Natural Selection powers of the greatest magnitude and highest importance, as when he says " Natural Selection was intently watching each accidental alteration." “Natural Selection acts exclusively by the preservation and accumulation of Variations" &c. &c. Now according to himself, Natural Selection is but a Metaphor, an unreality ; how then I would ask can that which is unreal have existence, or produce or control realities? Yet that is what Mr. Darwin would appear to wish us to accept.

To pass on to the results however of Natural Selection and the struggle for existence. Mr. Darwin enters into most interesting discussions as to Variations produced under domesticity by the Selection of Man, and these Variations are without doubt highly interesting and valuable. But I may be permitted to say that Variations which may be highly valuable to man, may be after all not intrinsically valuable to the animal or plant, on whom man's experiments are tried—in fact, so far from being valuable to enable it to prolong the Struggle for existence, may distinctly, when man's superintending care is removed, have quite an opposite effect. But after all the particularity of his descriptions of the results of this Variabil. ity, he is obliged to admit, that when such Varieties are left

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to themselves, by man's care being withdrawn, their universal tendency is to revert to the original type.

Notwithstanding this admission however, Mr. Darwin proceeds t argue that such Variations when produced by Natural Selection may have througlı long periods of time, resulted in the production of "true and good species.” But when he

“ comes to discuss how one species has become transmuted into another, Mr. Darwin is utterly unable to give any single authenticated instance of such transmutation, and therefore is obliged most unscientifically, to build up his main theory by other theories without any foundation of known facts. Not only so, but to quote himself, he remarks “I am well aware that scarcely a single point is discussed in this Volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I have arrived." Again“ undoubtedly many cases occur in which we cannot explain how the same species has passed from one point to another." " We may account for the distinctness of birds from all other invertebrate animals by the belief that many ancient forms of life have been utterly lost." But lie gives us no ground for

' such a belief. Wly should we have such a belief? The only conclusion seems to be, because it is necessary to the truth of his theory. But he goes further than this; he says, readily believe that the unknown progenitor of the vertebrata possessed many vertebræ.” Why should we readily believe this ? Here he demands that at one step an immense change has taken place, not only from a variety to a species, or from one species to another, but from species to the highest divi. sions by which naturalists distinguish faunal life. And yet when it suits his purpose, Mr. Darwin does not hesitate to tell us, that the changes by which variation has enabled four or five original forms to expand into the Vast Variety of animals now inhabiting the earth, have been of such a slow, gradual, and almost imperceptible character, that for the perfection of the eye alone, he claims millions of improved variations and as a necessity-millions of years for those variations to take place,


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The inconsistency of the statements appears to me to ba patent. When one class of difficulties arise, we must believe, (if we are to follow him), that at one time the longest periods are required for the development of a single organ, and at another that that which cannot be supposed to have been produced in this gradual manner, Natural selection, that wonderful impersonality, was able to accomplish at a stroke.

Now, Mr. Darwin says, “ If my Theory be true, numberless intermediate varieties, linking closely all the species of the same group together, must assuredly have existed; but the very process of natural selection constantly tends, as has been often remarked, to exterminate the parent forms and the intermediate links." “ All the intermediate forms between the earlier and later states, as well as the original parent species itself, will generally tend to become extinct."

But it has been well pointed out that the Geological Record, (which Mr. Darwin regrets is so imperfect as not to support his theory), not only does not support his theory, but conclusively shows that at those epochs where great changes in animal and vegetable life occur in the history of the earth's strata, it is by no means true that we find a gradual upward change, prophesying as it were the actual change that next presents itself, but that at each of these epochs, the new races of animals and plants present them. selves in the most gigantic and perfect forms, and in each case gradually die away until supplanted by other races more adopted for the altered state of being. Even Huxley, (in his address to the Geological Society, in 1862), says, “ Obviously if the earliest fossiliferous rocks now known are coeval with the commencement of life, and if their contents give us any just conception of the nature and extent of the earliest fauna and flora, the insignificant amount of modification which can be demonstrated to have taken place in any group of animals or plants, is quite incompatible with the hypothesis that all liv. ing forms are the results of a necessary process of progressive development, entirely comprised within the time represented by the fossiliferous rocks.” Hugh Miller points out that “when the ichthyic form constituted the highest form of life,” it was not the most degraded forms that swarmed in the early seas. “As if" (he says), “ to prevent so gross a misreading of the record, we find in at least two classes of animals, the fishes and reptiles—the higher races placed at the beginning.” So from other naturalists, we might go on to show that with birds and quadrupeds, where deepest in the strata the records of their existence are found, they show themselves in full development without the building up process, which, according to Darwin, would be necessary for their coming into existence. If there is any evolution evidenced here, it is the Evolution of the lesser from the greater, not the Evolution of the greater from the less.

Agassiz, a naturalist, confessedly of observant and mental powers equal to those of the great naturalist whose views we are considering, says—“ The true principle of classification exists in Nature herself, and we have only to decipher it. The standard is to be found in the changes animals undergo, from their first formation in the egg to their adult condition.” "But when we follow the embryological condition out in growth of the animals themselves, and find that, close as it is, no animal ever misses its true development, or grows to anything but what it was meant to be, we are forced to admit that the gradations which unquestionably unite all animals is an intellectual, not a material one." "So called varieties or breeds, far from indicating the beginning of new types, or the initiating of new species, only point out the range of FLEXIBILITY in types, which in the ESSENCE ARE INVARIABLE.”

So far, then, I say that Mr Darwin does not support his theory of Evolution by known facts, but only by a series of supposed possibilities, which he gradually ranges as probabil, ities, and concludes by asking us to accept them as facts.

In regard to many other points of the theory which might have demanded our attention, the limits of this paper prevent any extended examination of them. A very brief sum. mary of some few of these points is all I can hope to compass, and many will have to be dismissed with merely naming them,

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Thus, in regard to the organic similarity of animals, (which if the theory be of such importance as is claimed, zhould certainly be one of the strong points on which it rests,) I must allow it to pass with Mr. Darwin's own admission, that it is most difficult to conjecture by what transitions organs could have arrived at their present state.” Well has it been said by a commentator on this point, “ If even conjecture is at fault here, an instrument which in Mr. Darwin's hands has done such ample service, it must be utterly hopeless to ask for certainty; and if even imagination can do nothing how can we ask for a scientific exegesis.'


Mr. Darwin further cuts away the ground from under him. self by his remark, “ that nothing can be more hopeless than to attempt to explain this similarity of pattern in members of the same class by Natural Selection, and the struggle for life.” If he then is content to give up the attempt, I think certainly we may be excused if we follow his example.

Another of Mr. Darwin's formulæ involves the extinction of unimproved forms. But there are multitudes of cases to be quoted where this is not true. How many of the mollusca can be shown to have remained unchanged during the long periods of Geological time in which they are known to have existed, some even of the earliest remaining even to the present. If this theory be true, why have not these succumbed to the action of his law, as more improved species have come into existence. But on the other hand, how are we to reconcile with this theory the constant appearance of new types, the Ammonites for example, which came into being and have become extinct within very limited and definite

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Another point I may mention is this (and it has never so

( far as I have seen been adequately answered) that during the process of mutation, many of the variations would not only be of no higher advantage to the creature producing them, but would be a positive disadvantage. I can only instance that birds with wings in a rudimentary state would be only im. pediments, and result in their destruction, in which case birds


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