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The direct tendency of the physiological system which has been examined in the preceding pages is, for the most part, left by its authors as an inference ; the principles of the School are laid down, but the corollaries are left to be deduced by those who accept the principles.
An energetic labourer in this School, Dr Carl Vogt, Professor of Natural History in the University of Geneva, in his . Lectures on Man, his place in Creation, and in the History of the Earthi,' has stated this clearly enough. Thus does he expound the doctrine of the School :
There can be no doubt Mr Darwin's Theory ignores a personal Creator, and his direct interference in the transformation and creation of Species, there being no sphere of action for such a Being. Given the first startingpoint- the first organism, all existing organisms are subsequently, by Na. tural Selection, developed from it in a continuous manner through all geological periods, by the simple laws of transmission. Every man is neither a distinct creature, formed in a special manner, and differently from all other animals, nor provided with a special soul, and endowed with a divine breath of life. He is only the highest product of a progressive Natural Selection, and descends from the Simious group standing next to man.
Darwin, it must be stated, has nowhere in his work touched upon these sequences, so that, from the richness of materials, and the logical treatinent of the leading idea, the work met at first with a very favourable reception in England,-a country so inuch attached to Biblical traditions But when it was perceived upon what base the Theory rests, the storm broke forth from all quarters of the compass ;- nor has the agitation as yet subsided. But we must not be disconcerted by attacks of this kind.'
Dr Vogt, who accepts the theory of Mr Darwin as far as it is in opposi. tion with a belief in a Creator, has his own particular views, which do pot always accord with the dictations of the great Coryphæus, but he concludes his Lectures with the following passage :
• The lamentatiou over the destruction of all faith, morality, and virtue, the woeful cry about the endangered existence of society, is by this time heard in the French tongue. The pulpits of the orthodox churches, the platforms of the missions, the chairs of the consistories, resound with the pretended attacks on the foundations of human existence made by Materialism and Darwinism.
* Let them rage! They require the fear of punishment—the hope of reward in a dreamt-of-beyond, to keep in the right path ; for us suffices the consciousness of being men amongst men, and the acknowledgment of their equal rights. We have no other hope than that of receiving the acknowledgments of our fellow men; no other fear than that of seeing our human dignity violated--a dignity we value the more since it bas been conquered with the greatest labours by us and our ancestors, DOWN TO THE APE’ (469).
This sensitiveness for the dignity of humanity, which the learned Professor traces directly to the ape, here distinctly named as the first anthropoidal ancestor of man, is a curious phenomenon. It is as a family feeling, and as such may claiin our forbearance; for if some are tremblingly alive to the honour of their Anglo-Saxon descent, and others to their Norman origin, why should these philosophers be debarred the satisfaction of tracing their families up to orang-outangs and apes with blue tails? There may be motives of private consciousness prompting them to contend for this genealogy with which we would not interfere.
A considerable portion of Professor Vogt's lectures is dedicated to the proof of the connection between man and the ape, and yet there are some strange admissions in the progress of this inquiry, some of which onght to be the groundwork of deductions but little according with the learned Professor's theory.
"This organ (the foot of the ape-chimpanzee), compared with the human foot, is a real hand—the thumbs thicker and larger than in the anterior hand ; but still it is a hand, with a flat lower surface, well-separated, movable, drawn-out fingers, with opposable thumb, and a long, furrowed palm. On comparing a sketch of this hand with that of a human foot, we perceive that Burmeister was right in designating the foot the specific character of humanity' (155).
Now this is yielding a much-contested point, and acceding to the defi- ' nition that the ape is a quadrumanous animal ; thus separating the ape altogether from man.
However, the conclusion of the whole matter is thus :—'If, in different regions of the globe, anthropoid apes may issue from different stocks, we cannot see why these different stocks should be denied the further developinent into the huinan type, and that only one stock should possess the privilege; in short, we cannot see why the American races of man may not be derived from American apes, Negroes froin African apes, or Negritos from Asiatic apes' (466).
As Professor Vogt advocates a plurality of races of man, he, of course, derives these races from a plurality of apes; but he has not told us from which of the four-handed worthies of the forest the European race of man is sprung ; so that, in contending for “huinan dignity,' lest by some caluuny it should be violated,' we are at a loss to know which of the Simian tribe claims our particular respect, as the source from which we have derived our position in society.
Professor Vogt, whose systeny differs in many points from that of Mr Darwin, is in complete opposition to it on the origin of different organic beings, for where Mr Darwin traces thein all to one primal form, Professor
their predecessors at last, and are constrained to adopt their ideas, and to make use of their language.
The remarks of Aristotle on such speculations, as they apply to a general principle, are as pertinent for these days as they were for his own. Though all * generation and dissolution be never so much made out of something, whether it is one material or more, yet the question still is by what means this takes place, and what is the cause ? because that which is the subject-matter cannot change itself. I mean this, neither timber nor brass is the cause that either of them are changed, for timber alone does not make a bed, nor brass a statue, but there must be something else the cause of the change, and to inquire after this is to inquire after another principle besides matter, which we would call that from which matter springs—or the cause of motion.'
On the whole, then, Lucretius, the celebrated exponent of the Epicurean system, has well expressed, in the interests of atheism, a pandemic creed for all times, which it will be found embraces some main points of the School of Transmutation—an absence of design in nature--and plenty of time and absolute ignorance as the only causes of all the phenomena and all the forms of life.
'But in what ways the concourse of atoms founded earth, and heaven, and the deeps of the sea, and the courses of the sun and moon, I will next declare. For, truly, not by design, did the beginnings of things station themselves each in its right place by keen-sighted intelligence, nor did they agree which motions each should assume; but be. cause the first beginnings of things, many in number, and
in many ways impelled by blows for infinite ages back, and kept in motion by their own weights, were carried along and united in all manner of ways, thoroughly to test every kind of production possible by their mutual combinations—therefore it is, that spread abroad through a vast period of time, after trying unions and motions of every kind, they at length meet together in those masses, which, brought together suddenly, become often the rudiments of great things, of earth, and sea, and the heavens, and the races of living animals.'*
One more remark then only remains, that allowing this school unquestioned freedom for their opinions, we have a right to protest against their interfering with our sentiments, for strange to say some of the Chiefs of the School have undertaken to read us a lesson of Theology, and to point out in what way we may still retain some remnants of the old faith tacked on to the grander creed of Transmutation. This will be best seen in the words of Sir C. Lyell.
Dr Asa Grey has pointed out that there is no tendency in the doctrine of Variation and Natural Selection to
* Sed quibus ille modis conjectus materiai
Fundârit terram et cælum pontique profunda,
Weaken the foundations of Natural Theology, for consistently with the derivative hypothesis of species, we may hill any of the popular rieus respecting the manner in which the changes of the natural world are brought aboat. We may imagine that events and operations in general go on in virtue simply of forces communicated at the first, and without any subsequent interference-or we mar hold that now and then,' and only now and then, there is a direct interposition of the Deity—or, lastly, we may suppose that all the changes are carried on by the immediate orderly and constant, however infinitely diversified, action of the intelligent efficient Cause.'—(Antiquity of Man, 506.)
Thus Professor Asa Grey, seconded by Sir Charles Lyell, in condescension to our weakness, gives us a choice of religions, neat varieties of faith, ticketed and docketed, and tidily stowed in the pigeon-holes of the learned Professor's study. However, with this free choice so liberally allowed us, and with these methods which we may imagine' to keep things decent, it is to be feared we shall not find one of the religious packets that will suit Mr Darwin's Theory; we have by this time become so thoroughly acquainted with his views, and so perfectly understand his opinion of those who adopt ‘the Theory of Creation,' that we are certain it will be impossible to find any theological varnish which can be made to adhere to his system.
Whatever our creed may be, we are not ignorant of the attributes of the Deity proposed for our worship by Sir C. Lyell and Professor Asa Grey ; an imaginary being of im. potence and indolence, who having some hundred thousand million years ago created a sea-weed, retired from his demi