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The question of design in the phenomena of Nature compels an advocate of that view to assume a position on the very borders of theology in all the topics under discussion; it has however been the aim of the writer to speak with reserve on the higher aspect of the argument, and to keep for the latter part of the examination a direct reference to the atheism of Transmutation. There need be no apprehension of any serious damage likely to accrue to the received opinions from the disciples of this school, notwithstanding the positiveness of their doctrine, and its high pretensions. Common sense will, in the long run, be too strong for all their efforts, and civilized society will continue to entertain that indelible faith by which we believe ‘that the world was framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of the things which do appear ;' a formulary of words which precisely excludes Mr Darwin's Theory.
The interests of science may, however, suffer detriment for a season by the agitation of this controversy, and we may fear that the partisans of Transmutation will be disputing about the interests of their hypothesis, and neglecting the higher pursuit of strict science. When we find learned men occupied about such questions as 'chains of linking forms taking a circuitous sweep, and extinct forms which geological research has not revealed” (Darwin, 324), this seems little better than the sterile occupation of blowing soap-bubbles of the imagination, to the neglect of all the more exact demands of science.
Cuvier has thus expressed himself on this subject : * "The
* 'L'échelle prétendue des êtres n'est qu'uno application erronée à la totalité de la création, de ces observations partielles qui n'ont de justesse qu'autant qu'on les restreint dans les limites où elles ont été faites, et cetto
THE DARWINIAN THEORY
TRANSMUTATION OF SPECIES
A GRADUATE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF
* One hand has surely worked through the Universe.'-DARWIX.
sans sesuai resowe
JAMES NISBET & CO., 21, BERNERS STREET.
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The following examination of Mr Darwin's ‘Origin of Species’ is intended as a common-sense answer to a Theory, which needs only to be carefully compared with itself to be completely confuted. By a common-sense answer is meant such a view as any person of ordinary understanding would take of the question of design, in any of the more striking instances of contrivance for a special object, in the works of Nature. In Mr Darwin's Theory the idea of design in every form of organic life is steadfastly denied, and it is asserted that all existing plants and animals have been produced by slow changes, without any plan or intention, from some antecedent forms.
To oppose this Theory the following pages have been written, in a full confidence that the common sense of mankind cannot be mistaken in this momentous question ; and that it can only be by an artificial pressure on the reasoning faculties that any one can be induced to believe in the accidental evolution of organic beings.
As a more particular illustration of the meaning of a common-sense answer, take the following passage from Cicero: 'As soon as the animal is born, if it be one that