Page images


Inobganic Elements In The Universe.

[ocr errors]


Organized Existence. Life And Its Development.

The new problem—Origin of life, relation of the organized
to the unorganized—Origin of species—Darwin's theory of
evolution by natural selection—Characteristics of life—The
prominent features of Mr. Darwin's theory—Power of
adaptability to environment inherent in organism—His-
tory of the steps by which the author was led to the adop-
tion of his theory—Wallace's "Contributions"—Darwin's
acknowledgment that science does not favor the belief
that living creatures are produced from inorganic matter

—Admission of creation of life—Favorable impression

made by the theory—Common ancestry of allied species—

Rejection of fixedness of species—Difficulties which beset

the theory—All change does not indicate progress—Diffi-

culty connected with the early stages of evolution—Per-

sistence of species 119


Relations Of Lower And Hioheb Oboanisms.

Fertilization of flowering plants—Relation of pollen to the

seed vessels—Need for transference of pollen—Means to

prevent self-fertilization—Relation between animal life and

vegetable—Search for honey by bees and other insects—

Bearing the pollen to distant flowers—Distribution of work

among insects and. birds—Evidence of adaptation—Inter-

dependence of lower and higher organisms—Ants—Their

exclusion from certain flowers—Their work, perseverance,

intelligence, slave-holding, extracting honey from other

insects, constructing bridges. 162


Hioheb Oboanisms ;—Resemblances And Contrasts.

Sensibility and motor activity characteristic of animal life—

Both uniformly provided for by identical arrangements of

nerve system—Two distinct lines of nerve fibre combined

in a nerve centre—Structure of nerve fibre—Isolation—

Combination—Brain structure—White matter, and grey

—Subdivisions of the organ—Complexity of brain struc-

ture according to complexity of organism—Brain in in-

sects, fishes, reptiles, smaller quadrupeds, larger quadru-

peds, monkeys, apes, man—Close resemblance of the brain

of the ape to the human brain—Researches as to brain

fraction by means of electric excitation of the organ—

Fritsch and Hitzig—Ferrier—Identification of sensory

and of motor centres—Silence of front and back regions

—Confirmatory evidence from brain diseases 201

Man's Place In The World.

Human organism modelled on the same plan as lower organ-

isms—Prevailing opinion opposes an attempt to refer all

human activity to organism—Religious thought not di-

rectly involved—Science must include the study of hu-

man life—Science by discovery of the structure and func-

tions of the nerve system has explained many phases of

action formerly regarded as voluntary—The contrast re-

mains between muscular action and human conduct—

Acquired aptitudes — Intellectual superiority — Hseckel's

suggestion of "mind cells"—Adverse evidence—Nerve

cells, varied sizes, the largest found in the spinal canal, as

well as in the brain—Government of human conduct—

Man's application of a higher law—Benevolence, as an

illustration—Contrast with struggle for existence—Man's

ideal law, constituting the ought in human conduct 239


Divine Intebposition Fob Moral Government.

Summary of recent scientific conclusions with which relig-
ious thought is to be harmonized—Beligious conceptions
as to divine interposition, in their relation to fixed law—
Miracle—Its place as evidence for the Messiahship of Je-
sus Christ—Credibility of miracles—Our Saviour's mir-
acles—Their benevolent purpose as bearing on their evi-
dential value — How related to the laws of nature—
Incapable of explanation by these laws—They do not
conflict with these laws in any intelligible sense—Mean-
ing of the old formula, '' a violation of the laws of nature"
—Importance of the scientific position that violation of
natural law is inconsistent with our knowledge of the
government of the world—Method and result in miracle-
working, as related to natural law—Explanation of the an-
tagonism of scientific thought to the conception of miracle

« PreviousContinue »