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certainly ever since the wandering Ulysses returned to Ithaca, and of which it has heen man's interest to obtain every variation which he could extract out of the original stock. The result is every day hefore us. We all know the vast difference, which strikes the dullest eye, between, for instance, the short bandy-legged snub-nosed bull-dog, end the almost aerial Italian greyhound. Here again the experiment of variation by selection has been well-nigh tried out. And with what results? Here again with an absolute absence of the first dawns of any variety which could by its own unlimited prolongation constitute a specific difference. Again there is perfect freedom and fertility of interbreeding; again a continual tendency to revert to the common type j again, even in the most apparently dissimilar specimens, a really specific agreement. Hear what Professor Owen says on this point:—
"No species of animal has been snbjcet to such decisive experiments, continued through so many generations, as to the influence of different degrees of exercise of the muscular system, difference in regard to food, association with man, and the concomitant stimulus to the development of intelligence, as the dog; and no domestic animal manifests so great a range of variety in regard to general size, to color and character of Eair, and to the form of the head, as it is affected by different proportions of the cranium and face, and by inter-muscular crests superadded to the cranial narictics.
"Yet, under the cxtrcmcst mark of variety Bo superinduced, the naturalist detects in the dental formula and in the construction of the cranium the unmistakable generic and specific characters of the canisjamiliaris. Note also how unerringly and plainly the cxtremcst varieties of the dog-kind recognize their own specific relationship. How differently docs the giant Newfoundland behave to the dwarf pug on a casual rencontre, from the way in which either of them would treat a jackal, a wolf, or i\ fox. The dumb animal might teach the philosopher that unity of kind or of species is discoverable under the strangest mask of variation." * .
Nor let our readers forget over how large a lapse of time our opportunities of observation extend. From the early Egyptian habit of embalming, we know that for four thousand years at least the species of our own domestic animals, the cat, the dog, and others, has remained absolutely unaltered.
Yet it is in the face of such facts as these that Mr. Darwin ventures, first, to declare that " new races of animals and plants are produced under domestication by man's methodical and unconscious power of selec
* Owen's " Classification of Mammalia," p. 100.
tion, for his own use and pleasure," and then to draw from the changes introduced amongst domesticated animals this caution for naturalists: "May they not learn a lesson of caution when they deride the idea of species in a state of nature being lineal descendants of other species ? "—P. 29.
Nor must we pass over unnoticed the transference of the argument from the domesticated to the untamed animals. Assuming that man as the selector can do much in a limited time, Mr. Darwin argues that nature, a more powerful, a more continuous power, working over vastly extended ranges of time, can do more. But why should nature, so uniform and persistent in all her operations, tend in this instance to change P why should she become a selector of varieties? Because, most ingeniously argues Mr. Darwin, in the struggle for life, if any variety favorable to the individual were developed, that individual would have a better chance in the battle of life, would assert more proudly his own place, and, handing on his peculiarity to his descendants, would become the progenitor of an improved race; and so a variety would have grown into a species.
We think it difficult to find a theory fuller of assumptions; and of assumptions not grounded upon alleged facts in nature, but which are absolutely opposed to all the facts we have been able to observe.
1. We have already shown that the variations of which we have proof under domestication have never, under the longest and most continued system of selections we have known, laid the first foundation of a specific difference, but have always tended to relapse, and not to accumulated and fixed persistence.
But, 2ndly, all these variations have the essential characteristics of monstrosity about them; and not one of them has the character which Mr. Darwin repeatedly reminds us is the only one which nature can select, viz. of being an advantage to the selected individual in the battle of life, i.e. an improvement upon the normal type by raising some individual of the species not to the highest possible excellence within the species, but to some excellence above it. So far from this, every variation introduced by man is for man's advantage, not for the advantage of the animal. Correlation is so certainly the law of all animal existence that man can only develop one part by the sacrifice of another. The bull-dog gains in strength and loses in swiftness; the greyhound gains in swiftness but loses in strength. Even the English race-horse loses much which would enable it hi the battle of life to compete with its rougher ancestor. So.too with our prize
cattle. Their greater tendency to an earlier accumulation of meat and fat is counterbalanced, as is well known, by loss of robust health, fertility, and of power of yielding milk, in proportion to their special development in the direction which man's use of them as food requires. There is not a shadow of ground for saying that man's variations ever improve the typical character of the animal as an animal; they do but by some monstrous development make it more useful to himself; and hence it is that nature, according to her universal law with monstrosities, is ever tending to obliterate the deviation and to return to the type.
The applied argument then, from variation under domestication, fails utterly. But further, what does observation say as to the occurrence of a single instance of such favorable variation? Men have for thousands of years been conversantas hunters and other rough naturalists with animals of every class. Has any one such instance ever been discovered? We fearlessly assert not one. Variations have been found: rodents whose teeth have grown abnormally; animals of various classes of which the eyes, from the absence of light in their dwellings, have been obscured and obliterated; but not one which has tended to raise the individual in the struggle of life above the typical conditions of its own species. Mr. I)arwin himself allows that he finds none j and accounts for their absence in existing fauna only by the suggestion, that, in the competition between the less improved parent-form and the improved successor, the parent will have yielded in the strife in order to make room for the successor; and so " both the parent and all the transitional varieties will generally have been exterminated by the very process of formation and perfection of the new form" (p. 172)—a most unsatisfactory answer as it seems to us; for why—since if this is nature's law these innumerable changes must be daily occurring—should there never be any one producible proof of their existence?
Here then again, when subjected to the stern Baconian law of the observation of facts, the theory breaks down utterly; no natural variations from the specific type favorable to the individual from which nature is to select can anywhere be found.
But once more. If these transmutations were actually occurring, must there not, in some part of the great economy of nature round us, be somewhere at least some instance to be quoted of the accomplishment
With many of the lower forms of animals, life is so short and generations so rapid in their succession that it would be all but impossible, if such changes
were happening, that there should be no proof of their occurrence; yet never have the longing observations of Mr. Darwin and • the transmutationists found one such instance to establish their theory, and this although the shades between one class and another are often most lightly marked. For there are creatures which occupy a doubtful post between the animal and vegetable kingdoms—half-notes in the great scale of nature's harmony. Is it credible that all favorable varieties of turnips are tending to become men, and yet that the closest microscopic observation has never detected the faintest tendency in the highest of the Algtc to improve into the very lowest Zoophyte?
Again, we have not only the existing tribes of animals out of which to cull, if possible, the instances which the transmutationists require to make their theory defensible consistently with the simplest laws of inductive science, but we have in the earth beneath us a vast museum of the forms which have preceded us. Over so vast a period of time does Mr. Darwin extend this collection that he finds reasons for believing that " it is not improbable that a longer period than three hundred million years has elapsed since the latter part of the secondary (geological) period" alone, (p. 287.) Here surely at last we must find the missing links of that vast chain of innumerable and separately imperceptible variations, which has convinced the inquirer into Nature's undoubted facts of the truth of the transmutation theory. But no such thing. The links are wholly wanting, and the multiplicity of these facts and their absolute rebellion against Mr. Darwin's theory is perhaps his chief difficulty. Here is his own statement of it, and his mode of meeting it:—
"Why then is not every geological formation and stratum full of such intermediate links; Geology assuredly docs not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; nnd this, perhaps, is ill.; most obvious and gravest objection which cnn be urged against my theory. Tlio explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection .of the geological record."—P. 280.
This '*Imperfection of the Geological Record," and the " Geological Succession," are the subjects of two labored and _ingenious chapters, in which he tries, as we think utterly in vain, to break down the unanswerable refutation which is given to his theory by the testimony of the rocks. He treats the subject thus:—1. Ho affirms that only a small portion of the globe has been explored with care. 2. He extends at will to new and hitherto unsuggcstcd myriads of years the times which have elapsed between successive formations in order to account for the utter absence of every thing like a sue
cession of ascertainable variations in the successive inhabitants of the earth. How he deals in these suggestions with time, filling in or striking out a few millions of years at pleasure, the following comprehensive sentence may show :—
"At this rate, on the above data, the denndntion of tho Weald must have required 306,662,400 years, or say three hundred million years. But perhaps it would be safer to allow two or three inches per century, and this would reduce the number of years to one hundred and fifty or one hundred million years."—P. 287.
As these calculations concerning the general duration of formations, and specially concerning the Weald, are highly characteristic of the whole "argument," it may be worth while to submit them to a somewhat closer examination.
Mr. D. then argues (pp. 285, 286) that "_ faults" proclaim the vastness of these durations. To establish this, he supposes that the result of a great fracture was the severing of strata once continuous, so as to throw them relatively a thousand feet apart from their original position, and thus form a cliff which stood up vertically on one side of that dislocation; and so he imagines that countless ages must have elapsed, according to the present vastc of land, to account for the wearing down of these outlines, so as to have left (as is often the case) no trace of the great dislocation upon the present surface of the land. But, with hardly an exception, every sound geologist would repudiate as a "petitio principii " this whole method of reasoning; for though a few geologists would explain these great dislocations on the hypoththesis of intermittent successive movements severally of small amount, yet in the judgment of far the larger number, and the more judicious of those who have made geology their study, they were undoubtedly the result of sudden movements, produced by internal efforts of central heat and of gas to escape, and were infinitely more intense and spasmodic (catastrophe if you will) than any of those similiar causes which in a minor way, now produce our earthquakes and oscillations of the surface to the extent of a few feet only. Hence these great breaks and fractures were of such a nature as to render it impossible that any cliff should, at the period of their formation, have stood up on one side of the fracture. The very movement, accompanied as it must have been by translation of vast masses of water sweeping away the rubbish, may, on the instant, have almost entirely smoothed down the ruptured fragments; the more so, as most or these great dislocations arc believed to have taken place under the sea. The flattening down of
all superficial appearances was therefore most probably the direct result of the catastrophe, and the countless ages of Darwin were, in all probability, at the longest, nothing more than a few months or years of our time.
The whole argument as to the We_alden denudation (p 287) appears to us a similar exaggeration. Granting that rocky coasts are very slowly worn away by the present sea, the application of this view to the north and south coasts of the valley of the Weald, i.e. to the escarpments of the North and South Downs, is entirely untenable. For what shadow of proof is there that these chalk escarpments have been worn down inch by inch by the erosion of the waves of a former sea? It may be said to have been demonstrated* by that great practical observer and philosophical geologist Sir R. Murchison, that, inasmuch as there is no trace of rounded water-worn pebbles nor shingles in any portion of the Weald (though there were plenty on the slopes without), the sea never could have so acted along these escarpments as on a shore, and hence the whole of the basis of the reasoning, about the three hundred million of years for the denudation of the cretaceous and subjacent deposits, is itself washed away at once.
But not only do the facts to which Mr. Darwin trusts to establish his vast lapses of years, which, he says, "impress his mind almost in the same manner as docs the vain endeavor to grapple with the idea of Eternity " (p. 285), not only do these give him the same power of supposing the progress of changes, of which we have found neither the commencement, nor the progress, nor the record, as ancient geographers allowed themselves, when they speculated upon the forms of men whose heads grew beneath their shoulders in the unreachcd recesses of Africa,—but when, passing from these unlimited terms for change to work in, he proceeds to deal with the absence of all record of the changes themselves, the plainest geological facts again disprove his assumptions. For here he assumes that there are everywhere vast gaps (p. 302) between successive formations, which might, if they were filled up, furnish instances of all the many gradations required by his theory, and also that the past condition of the earth made the preservation of such specimens improbable. To prove the existence of these wide gaps, Mr. Darwin quotes (p. 289) Sir R. Murchison's great work on " Russia ;" but he appears to us to quote it incorrectly, for we understand it to say that there is abundant
* See " Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society," London.
evidence that in that drift-covered region there are many evidences of the transition from the Devonian into the Carboniferous era in Palfeozoic life, and also from the old Aralo-Caspian, or brackish water condition of tertiary times into present oceanic life; and that if all the rocks of Russia could be uncovered and the drift removed, we might discover many more of these transitions. In fact, although the geological record is often broken, we already know of many unbroken and perfect transitions between the Cambrian and Silurian, between the Silurian and Devonian, between the Devonian and Carboniferous, if not between the latter and the I Permian.
Again, there is an absolute unbroken physical connection in Germany between the Permian and the Trias, and yet an entire separation of animals, and so on in Secondary and Tertiary deposits.
Now, if the field-geologist can show clear proofs of continuous deposit, and yet many distinct plants and animals in the succeeding formations, what becomes of that immense lapse of ages which should transform the Palaeozoic Permian type into the entirely distinct Secondary or Triassic form? All such links are absolutely wanting even in these tracts, and in many others, where the conformable and gradual transition between formations proves that there is between them no break, and where every thing indicates quiet physical transition, and which yet contain utterly different remains. How then can we account for such distinct forms of life in the quietly succeeding formations except by distinct creations?
Mr. Darwin is compelled to admit that he finds no records in the crust of the earth to verify his assumption :—
"To the question why wo do not find records of these vast primordial periods, I can give no satisfactory answer."—P. 308.
"The difficulty of understanding the absence of vast piles of fossiliferous strata, which on my theory no doubt were somewhere accumulated before the Silurian epoch, is very great."—P. 309.
'As to the suggestion that the absence of . organic remains is no proof of the non-existence of the unrepresented classes, we •would rather speak in the weighty words of Professor Owen than employ our own :—
"The sum of the evidence which has been obtained appears to prove that the successive extinction of Aniphitlieria, Spalacothcria, Triconodons, and other mcsozoic forms of mammals, has been followed by the introduction of much more numerous, varied, and higher-organized forms of the class, during the tertiary periods. There
are, however, geologists who maintain that thii is an assumption based upon a partial knowledge of the facts.
"In the palaeozoic strata, which, from their extent and depth, indicate, in the earth's existence as a scat of organic life, a period as prolonged as that which has followed their deposition, no trace of mammals has been observed. It maybo conceded that, were mammals peculiar to dry land, such negative evidence would weigh littlo in producing conviction of their non-existence during tlio Silurian and Devonian icons, because the explored parts of such strata have bocu deposited from an ocean, and the chance of finding a terrestrial and air-breathing creature's remains in ocaanic deposits is very remote. But in the present state of the warm-blooded, airbreathing, viviparous class, no genera and species are represented by such numerous and widely dispersed individuals as those of the order Cetacese, which, under the guiso of fishes, dwell, and can only live, in the ocean.
"In all cctacea the skeleton is well ossified, and the vertebra are very numerous ; the smallest cetaceans would be deemed largo amongst land-mammals, the largest surpass in bulk any creatures of which we have yet gained cognizance. The hugcst ichthyosaur, iguandon, megnlosaur, mammoth, or megathcre, is a dwarf in comparison with the modern whale of a hundred feet in length.
"During the period in which \fo have proof that cctacea have existed, the evidence in the slrnpo of bones and teeth, which latter enduring characteristics in most of the species nro peculiar for their great number in the same individual, must have been abundantly deposited at the bottom of the sea; and as cachalots, grampuses, dolphins, and porpoises, are seen gambolling in ihoals in deep oceans, far from land, their remains will form the most characteristic evidences of vertebrate life in the strata now in coarse of formation at the bottom of such oceans. Accordingly, it consists with the known characteristics of the cetacean class to find the marine deposits which fell from seas tenanted, as now, with vertebrates of that high grade, containing tlio fossil evidences of the order in vast abundance."*
And on that subject he again maintains :—
"In like manner docs such negative evidence weigh with me in proof of the non-existenco of marine mammals in the liassic and oolitic times. In tho marine deposits of those secondary or mesozoic epochs, the evidence of vertebrates governing tho ocean, and preying on inferior marine vertebrates, is as abundant as that of airbreathing vertebrates in tho tertiary strata; but in the one tho fossils are exclusively of tho coldblooded reptilian class, in the other of tho warmblooded mammalian class. Tho Knaliosauria, Cetiosauria, and Crocodilia played the same part and fulfilled similar offices in the seas from which tho lias and oolites were precipitated, as tho Delphinidic and Bnlicnidie did in the tor
* Owen "On the Classification of Mammalia," Pp. 68, 69.
tiary and still do in the present seas. The unbiassed conclusion from both negative and positive evidence in this matter is, that tbo Cctaccn succeeded and superseded the Enaliosauria. To the mind that will not accept such conclusion, the stratified oolitic rocks must ceaso to be monuments or trustworthy records of tho condition of life on the earth at that period."—P. 59.
And he thus sums up the argument:—
"So far, however, as any general conclusion can be deduced from tho largo sum of evidence above referred to and contrasted, it is against tbo doctrine of the Uniformitarian. Organic remains traced from their earliest known graves are succeeded one series by another, to tho present period, and never reappear when once lost sight of in the ascending search. As well might we expect a living ichthyosaur in the Pacific as a fossil whale in the lias: the rule governs as strongly in the retrospect as the prospect. And not only as respects the vcrtcbrata, but the sum of the animal species at each successive geological period has been distinct and peculiar to such period."—P. 60.
Mr. Darwin's own pages bear witness to the same conclusion. The rare land shell found by Sir C. Lycll and Dr. Dawson in North America affords a conclusive proof that in the carboniferous period such animals were most rare, and only the earliest of that sort created. For the carboniferous strata of North America, stretching over tracts as large as the British Isles, and containing innumerable plants and other terrestrial things, must have been very equally depressed and elevated, since the very flowers and fruits of the plants of the period have been preserved; and if terrestrial animals abounded, why do we not see more of their remains than this miserable little dendropupa about a quarter of an inch long?
It would be wearisome to prolong these proofs j but if to any man they seem insufficient, let him read carefully the conclusion of Sir Roderick Murchison s masterly work upon " Siluria," We venture to aver that the conviction must be forced upon him that the geological record is absolutely inconsistent with tho truth of Mr. Darwin's theory; and vet by Mr. Darwin's own confession this conclusion is fatal to his whole argument:—
"If my theory be true, it is indisputable that, before tho lowest Silurian stratum was deposited, long periods elapsed, as long as, or probably far longer than, the whole interval from tho Silurian age to the present day; and that during these vast yet quite unknown periods of time, the world swarmed with living creatures."—P. 307.
Now it is proved to demonstration by Sir Roderick Murchison, and admitted by all geologists, that we possess these earlier formations, stretching over vast extents, perfectly unaltered, and exhibiting no signs of
ife. Here we have, as nearly as it is possi)le in the nature of things to have, the absolute proof of a negative. If these forms if life had existed they must have been 'ound. Even Mr. Darwin shrinks from the leadly gripe of this argument. "The ease," le says (p. 308) "at present must remain inexplicable, and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained." More than once indeed does he make this admission. One passage we have quoted already from p. 280 of his work. "With equal candor he says further on:—
"I do not pretend that I should ever have suslectcd bow poor a record of the mutations of ifo the best preserved geological section presented, had not the difficulty or our not discoverng innumerable transitional links between tbo species which appeared : . tho commencement and close of each forr-iatiou pressed so hardly on my theory."—P. 302.
And, once more—
"Why docs not every collection of fossil remains afford plain evidence of the gradation and mutation of the forms of lifo? Wo meet with no such evidence, and this is the most obvious and forcible of the many objections which may be urged against my theory. —P. 463.
But though this objection is that which is rated highest by himself, there is another which appears to us in some respects stronger still, and to which we deem Mr. Darwin's answers equally insufficient,—we mean the law of sterility affixed to hybridism. If it were possible to proclaim more distinctly by one provision than another that the difference between various species was a law of creation, and not, as the transmutationists maintain, an ever-varying accident, it would surely be by the interposing such a bar to change as that which now exists in the universal fruitlessncss which is the result of all known mixtures of animals specifically distinct. Mr. Darwin labors hard here, but his utmost success is to reveal a very few instances from the vegetable world, with its shadowy image of the proereativc animal system, as exceptions to the universal rule. As to animals, he is compelled by the plainness of the testimony against him to admit that he "doubts whether any case of a perfectly fertile hybrid animal can be considered as thoroughly well authenticated" (p. 252); and his best attempts to get rid of this evidence are such suggestions as that" the common and the true ring-necked pheasant intercross " (p. 253), though every breeder of game could tell him that, so far from there being the slightest ground for considering these as distinct species, all experience shows that the ring-neck almost uniformly appears