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The Tertiary formation then is the era of the first ap. pearance of the animals in question ; they began to exist in that epoch, and not sooner.
This is sufficient; all the rest must follow as an inevitable corollary.
The evidence of geology entirely confutes Mr Darwin's Theory of the Transmutation of Species.
LYELL'S CONFUTATION OF TRANSMUTATION.
The reader will already have perceived that Sir Charles Lyell entered the lists as an opponent of Transmutation many years ago. This appears in all the earlier editions of the Principles of Geology; ours is the third, of the year 1834. It is from this edition that extracts will be given of his confutation of Lamarck, and it will soon be perceived that every point in that confutation is direct against Mr Darwin, and we may add against Sir C. Lyell himself also. Subsequent to the publication of Mr Darwin's Origin of Species, Sir C. Lyell went over to the opinions which he had so ably confuted; and in his publication on • The Antiquity of Man' has advocated the dogma of Transmutation, even in its most extravagant form. That volume was published in the year 1861.
In the third edition of the Principles of Geology, the learned author has no scruple in expressing himself as a believer in a Creator, he speaks of the Divine Author of all things, and considers the phenomena of Nature as his work. Thirty years ago this was not unusual in the language of scientific writers, but now the fashion is changed, and in the School of Transmutation it would be inappropriate and misplaced. Mr Darwin has candidly told us that ‘Natural Selection, if it be a true principle, will banish the belief of the continued creation of new organic beings, or of any great and sudden modification of their structure’ (101). Transmutation is in fact the antitheos of their system ; they that believe in Natural Selection, logically cease to believe in a Creator.
In the third edition, already referred to, Sir C. Lyell says: We must suppose that when the author of Nature creates* an animal or plant, all the possible circumstances in which its descendants are destined to live are foreseen, and that an organization is conferred upon it which will enable the species to perpetuate itself, and survive under all the varying circumstances to which it must be inevitably exposed' (ii. 351). Sentiments such as these were in harmony with the opinions which the learned writer entertained at that time,—we proceed now to lay some of those opinions before the reader.
Lamarck's statements are first given : ‘Every considerable alteration in the local circumstances in which each race of animals exists, causes a change in their wants, and these new wants excite them to new actions and habits. These actions require the more frequent employment of some parts before but slightly exercised, and then greater development follows as a consequence of their more frequent use. Other organs no longer in use are impoverished and diminished in size, nay, are sometimes annihilated, while in their place new parts are insensibly produced for the discharge of new functions. This is Lamarck's doctrine, and on this Lyell thus comments : 'I must observe
* In other passages similar language is used, as for instance: “From the above considerations, it appears that species have a real existence in nature, and that cach was endowed, at the time of its creation, with the attributes and organization by which it is now distinguished' (ii. 403).
that no positive fact is cited to exemplify the substitu. tion of some entirely new sense, faculty, or organ, in the room of some other suppressed as useless. All the instances adduced go only to prove that the dimensions and strength of members, and the perfection of certain attributes, may, in a long succession of generations, be lessened and enfeebled by disuse, or on the contrary be matured and augmented by active exertion; just as we know that the power of the scent is feeble in the greyhound, while its swiftness of pace and its acuteness of sight are remarkable; that the barrier and staghound, on the contrary, are comparatively slow in their movements, but excel in the sense of smelling. . . . It is evident that, if some well-authenticated facts could have been adduced to establish one complete step in the process of transformation, such as the appearance, in individuals descending from a common stock, of a sense or organ entirely new, and a complete disappearance of some other enjoyed by their progenitors, time alone might then be supposed sufficient to bring about any amount of metamorphosis.
The gratuitous assumption, therefore, of a point so vital in the Theory of Transmutation, was unpardonable on the part of its advocate' (ii. 332).
Lamarck's picture of the supposed change of animals on the principle of appetence is then introduced : "The camelopard was not at first gifted with a long and flexible neck, but when reduced by want, made great efforts to reach the leaves of the tree, and so by degrees its neck be. came lengthened,' &c. On this his critic remarks: ‘But if the soundness of all these arguments and inferences be admitted, we are next to inquire, what were the original types of form, organization, and instinct, from which the
diversities of character, as now exhibited by animals and plants, have been derived ? We know that individuals which are mere varieties of the same species would, if their pedigree could be traced back far enough, terminate in a single stock ; so, according to the train of reasoning before described, the species of a genus, and even the genera of the great family, must have had a common point of departure. What, then, was the single stem from which so many varieties of form have ramified ? were there many of these, or are we to refer the origin of the whole animate creation, as the Egyptian priests did that of the universe, to a single egg' (335).
Here the learned writer, in a style most unusual to him, indulges in a little irony against the disciples of Transmutation, and, by anticipation, hits Mr Darwin very hard, who, as we have seen, deduces all animal life from one primordial form—the spore of one of the lowest algæ. It is instructive to note these prophetic thrusts.
We are then reminded that in the Theory of the ancient philosophers it had been assumed, that created things were always more perfect when they came from the hands of their maker, and that there was a tendency to progressive deterioration in all sublunary things, but when the possibility of the indefinite modification of individuals descending from common parents was once assumed, as also the geological inference respecting the progressive development of organic life, it was natural that the ancient dogma should be rejected, or rather reversed; and that the most simple and imperfect forms and faculties should be conceived to have been the originals whence all others were developed. Accordingly, in conformity to these views, inert matter was supposed to have been first endowed