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lays down two laws by which, as he avers, the sequence of organic beings has been regulated.
1. By an independent productive power constantly advancing in an intensive as well as extensive direction or degree.
2. By the nature and change of the outward condition of existence under which the organic beings to be called forth were to live. Both these laws are in the closest connection with each other, although we cannot understand the productive power. *
Here, again, the Transmutationist brings up his system to a blank wall in the labyrinth of error. We have here ‘an independent productive power which we cannot understand.' This by the ancients would be termed Nature, or God; and all indeed that we seem to gain by the various teachers of this school is a choice of new words. We say that a supreme Mind, whose actions are inscrutable, performed the acts of creation which we do not even hope to explain ; the new school, after preaching against creation, presents us with an independent productive power which they cannot understand,'—' or an abnormal tendency not yet understood. What have we gained by these new terms ? what has been proved or advanced by them ? are not the old words as good ? and are they not far more respectable ?
There is one peculiarity in Professor Powell's views—that he speaks with a sort of magisterial certainty of our ultimately understanding all these mysteries; that we shall, in
* It is remarkable that though these laws are quoted by Powell with approbation, Brown himself does not seem to have been a Transmutationist, for he distinctly says, ' no experience proves that any one species or genus, or even an order or a class, has really been transformed into another' (465): and for this Professor Powell reproves him, as not having sufficiently considered the subject.
D ole to interpret this unknown power; and
Enknown, it only remains to be made known.' 1. N n that the dar is not far distant when the
maneration will be as thoroughly un12
r a' problem that science has mastered. "
Sansons, however, will doubt this. R S : Twel, Fises abstained from entering into som ma
himself with advocating the general
a nd the ridicule which must be the dis e rtake to furnish us with the pedi.
** * me from one another. Thus he is bi
l imself to speak slightingly of ham xo l isies of Creation “a philoso"nin
rukind cut at a fellow-labourer ito Antonio P a rish both are teachers.
saed in this chap.:
: Hon. and Rev. itaskinarork on Ama. n.wt ..? te w
e ttet botanical S*** sioen artean *Tics of rarie.
b yl: Niva. He also Beim
s iers created 12 8 cr
a c ale with capacities for personas, 4 3 se bave pod br intercrossz ou eest series TS Sia: we take
from Mr Darwin, having never met with any of the publications of the Reverend Author.
In this ‘Historical Sketch,' Mr Darwin says of the Vestiges : The work, from its powerful and brilliant style, though displaying in the earlier editions little accurate knowledge, and a great want of scientific caution, immediately had a very wide circulation. In my opinion it has done excellent service in calling, in this country, attention to the subject, in removing prejudice, and in thus preparing the ground for analogous views.
Thus Mr Darwin considers the author of Vestiges as his
eer, and the husbandman who has prepared the soil for the Darwinian harvest. But it is open to suspicion, and by some persons asserted that we owe • The Origin of Species’ to the influence which the Vestiges exercised on Mr Darwin's mind : and that in the general argument of that publication, Mr Darwin found suggestions for a more perfect system of Transmutation, which it has been his business to elaborate.
M. TRÉMAUX, the last who has entered the lists as the champion of Transmutation, has made his appearance even after Mr Darwin. His work ‘Origine et Transformations de l'homme et des autres êtres,' was published in 1865.
As his system is carefully considered, and differs, in its main principle, from the other writers of this school, with whom indeed he finds much fault for not having discovered the great secret of the sect, a separate chapter may be assigned to an analysis of his Theory. Unlike his predecessors, who trace the Origin of Life to the waters, M. Trémaux assures us that the soil has created or produced all animals, and has been the cause of their various transmutations. He commences at once with a sentence which enunciates his leading principle :
'La perfection des êtres est ou devient proportionelle au degré d'élaboration du sol sur lequel ils vivent; et, le sol est en général d'autant plus élaboré, qu'il appartient à une formation géologique plus récente' (17).
This is printed in capital letters in the text. This he calls his 'grand simple law,' though many supplementary clauses are appended to it in the progress of his inquiry. To the action of the soil he adds also, though apparently with reluctance, the difference of temperature of different
climates, as a sort of secondary instrument,' which has a certain action on plants, but has very little effect on man, who knows how to preserve himself from the excesses of temperature.'
Here, of course, the objection would be obvious, first, that very many animals depend altogether on a very high temperature for their existence, as others do on a cold one; and that apes and monkeys, and many other creatures, if placed on the very best recent’soil, in a cold, or even temperate climate, would speedily perish. A high temperature has also produced, or is inseparably connected with, a considerable division of the human race, the Negroes and their kindred tribes. But colour,' says M. Trémaux, ' with men, as with many animals, is only the little side of the question.' 'La coloration, chez l'homme, comme chez beaucoup d'animaux, n'est que le petit coté de la question ; chez l'homme le teint est le résultat d'une très faible modification de la peau ... et n'a aucune influence sur la constitution et les facultés' (23). Still, this distinction of colour is sufficient to make a broad division of the human race, and is not such a trifle as M. Trémaux would have us believe. It is a very evident and unquestioned result of temperature, and has produced a marked character, which all mankind has always acknowledged, though they have been slow to perceive in the effect of any soil any mark of diversity, at all comparable to such a distinction,
The general law has, moreover, to be qualified with the effect of frequent crossings, and a change of alimentary productions, which takes place in a sensible degree (assez sensible) between neighbouring countries.'
These two qualifications invalidate the theory; for the