Page images
PDF
EPUB

rapid flight. However, in due time the process of wingmaking began. Their fore feet or paws began to lengthen, but oh, how slowly! The hundredth part of an inch in a thousand years would be quick work with Natural Selection : but the bones lengthened. When they had been elongated to the fourth part of their present extension, what a miserable condition must the poor creatures have been in ! they had lost their paws, which we cannot but suppose used to do them some service, and had got nothing as yet by the change. They could not run as they used, and they could not fly. But the Theory requires us to suppose that the Transmutation thus far advanced had been found advantageous, though it must certainly have been injurious : and we are further to suppose that all the unchanged animals, on whom this process had not been carried on, were dying off in the struggle for life, and that the quarter-bats were triumphing. So they went on lengthening their bones, and exterminating all competitors till nothing was left but the perfect bat!

Now this seriously is the history of their formation according to the Theory. There can be no other ; and this history may serve for all other transmutations, mutatis mutandis. It is, indeed, too ridiculous for the pages of Natural History, and is worth only this, that it may convince the inquirer of the impossibility of these changes, as the intermediate state required in these transmutations could have no other effect than to exterminate the animals* pass

• This has been noticed by Professor Owen in his Palæontology. Ho quotes Mr Darwin's imaginary case of dogs preying on hares and rabbits -the rabbits become scarce, and the hares increase ; in this emergency the dog would endeavour to catch more hares, and those individuals with slightly plastic limbs, longest legs, and best eye-sight, would be slightly favoured,' would tend to live longer, and survive when the food was scarcest. They would also rear more young, which would tend to inherit

.. ::
S

e lect on! Tim ini TEED

SUSHI - S : 5 ; pre l I TL . - -

-51: IT

LE - - -- 7 - 1 CIT: it if--- .a

I Sin Her Bom dia un

355 : ST. TITIS qr rotas CE I: 5 2

. 111. II. S :

:: 1 u u r. Tt L3 --- 2 G

in condi .: ROTT: ITI IN :

: : T. 1- * II: N** ESI S

. 23 :I E VT1. Us.

[ocr errors]

it incir Boristi - II dalam

, IT ! it as I l I SKİ "
11. * 1. th.

I n 1175 LI * r

I.. 17-19 ANTISTICA

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Superi

or en TVET 2 . T.

IF3*
DEL BETTIE Da: :: ETEC
v
1.

de La Tab

is

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

12 M U Luv

2008

WEDDITS: tutte By your

a
z

rubá
B

, as) is a cowand aparut “, S4,

M4A AL W. *19. Tee s -Szadist. hvad, wapen af 11 in a very short time for valt of food Ore generation Wyroll M 11,4,74 salut; we be not per ate so a thousand

W hiwuty cat is strictly Lamarckian, it is based on the principle

mate, Mr Darwin adds these words: 'Yet I think such difficulties have little weight. What then can have weight in such scales as these ? a hundred-weight seems not to be reckoned so much as a scruple in the School of Transmutation.

CHAPTER XIV.

ORGANIC DISTINCTIONS.

We have been speaking of similarities of organization, we have now to say something of the ordinations of division or distinction, by which certain animals, whatever may be the similarity of parts of their limbs or bodies, are arranged in broad manifest separation of distinct groups, so as to preclude the idea of any possible transition from one to the other.

In a popular view of the animal kingdom this would appear sufficiently plain in the most obvious examples, as, for instance, the distinction between the carnivora and the ruminants; for no one uninitiated in the mysteries of the Transmutationists could ever be brought to believe that a cow had, by any quantity of changes in her ancestors, proceeded from the stock which produced a tiger or a lion. But though this common sense view of the question of Dis. tinction of animals is really unanswerable, yet there are some other considerations of deeper moment that claim our attention.

Physiologists who have carefully studied organic beings, with a view to establish some fundamental system of arrangement, have observed these distinctions :

1. Creatures whose hearts are divided into four cavities, mammalia and birds.

2. Those having a heart consisting of three cavities, reptiles and amphibia.

3. Animals possessing a heart with two cavities, fishes and most mollusca.

4. Animals whose heart consists of a single cavity, articulated animals, worms, and insects.

5. Creatures in which the functions both of stomach and heart are performed by the same organ, as Medusæ.

This arrangement of the Animal Kingdom, in conformity with the structure of the heart, was proposed by the celebrated Hunter, and is here set before the reader that it may be perceived at a glance how formidable are the bar. riers which such divisions interpose to obstruct the scheme of Transmutation. In that theory there must have been a transference of life across these boundaries. If a reptile has, for instance, been converted, by Natural Selection and the Struggle for Life, into a bird, the animal with a heart of three cavities has, in its new form, assumed a heart of four ; its circulation has been altered, and the corpuscules of its blood changed in form : so also the fish has changed its heart to become a reptile, &c., &c.

The functions of the heart are in the closest connection with the organization and power of the animal, with the whole apparatus of its life; a fish could not, for a few minutes, exist with a heart different from that which Nature has bestowed on it; nor could a bird be a bird with the heart of a fish or a reptile.

As the reptile is supposed, in the School of Transmuta. tion, to be the antecedent and ancestor of the bird, we are to suppose that some time or other the change of structure

« PreviousContinue »