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Life: Its True Genesis by R. W. Wright

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under environing life-conditions, or in protoplasmic matter, denies that
the "primordial cells" possesses in any degree the characteristics of a
"machine," nor can they undergo any differentiating process by which the
character of their manifestations can be changed. And he even denies to
them the poor right to originate or in any way modify their own plasma. He
says: "They are no more the producers of vital phenomena, than the shells
scattered in orderly line along the sea-beach are the instruments by which
the gravitative force of the moon acts upon the ocean. Like these, the
cells mark only where the vital tides have been, and how they have acted."
This is undoubtedly true of all cells in which the vital or functional
office has ceased, as in the case of Professor Beale's "formed matter."
The cells are the result of the vital principle that lies behind them, and
simply indicate where life exists, or has manifestly ceased to exist.
Where the vital currents have ceased to flow, the wreck of primordial
cells is quite as wide and disastrous as where millions of sea-shells have
been strewn along a desolated and storm-swept sea-beach. They all come,
both the cells and shells, from the preA"xisting vital units, or
determinate germs, that fall into their own incidences of movement,
without any concurrence of physical conditions beyond their own inherent
tendency to development. For "conditions" do not determine life; they only
favor its manifestation.

But some of the materialists claim that what we call "vital units," or
invisible, indestructible germs,[33] are at best only "physical
relations;" that they have nothing more than a hypothetical existence,
without any independent recognizable quality justifying our conclusions
respecting them. But may not this identical language be retortively
suggested in the case of their "correlates of force?" What more than a
hypothetical existence have they? Certainly their enthusiasm to get rid of
all vital conditions or manifestations, is quite as marked a feature in
their speculations respecting life as any enthusiasm we have shown in the
verification of vital phenomena, on the established law of cause and
effect. They insist upon this law in the case of statical aggregates, and
even assign absolute identity of attributes; but when it comes to
dynamical aggregates, they fall back on partial identity only, and deny
the presence of the law altogether.

Nor are they any more felicitous in their treatment of other points in
controversy. In speaking of his "plastide particles," Professor Bastian,
the most defiant challenger of vitalistic propositions now living, says:
"Certain of these particles, through default of _necessary conditions,_
never actually develop into higher modes of being." Here he makes the
absence of "necessary conditions" the cause of non-development, while he
stoutly denies that the presence of such "conditions" give rise to the
development of a pre-existing vital unit. And yet, strange to say, he
speaks of the elemental origin of "living matter" as "having probably
taken place on the surface of our globe since the far-remote period when
such matter was first engendered." But how his "sum-total of external
conditions," acting upon _dead_ matter, can "engender" _living_ matter, is
one of those "related heterogenetic phenomena" which he does not
condescend to explain. It is by this sort of scientific verbiage that he
gets rid of the pre-existing vital principle, or germinal principle of
life, which the biblical genesis declares to be in the earth itself.

To be entirely consistent with himself, he should deny the existence of
this germinal principle in the seeds of plants themselves, and insist upon
the sum-total of external conditions as the cause of all
life-manifestations, in the vegetal as in the animal world. There can be
no inherent tendency, he should insist, in the seed itself towards
structural development, but only external conditions acting upon "dead
matter," in heterogentic directions. The shooting down of the radicle or
undeveloped root, and the springing up of the plumule or undeveloped
stalk, is accordingly due to no vital principle in the seed, but to the
complexity or entanglement of the molecules wrapped up in their
integumentary environment. And this, or some similar fortuitous
entanglement of molecules, should account for all life-manifestations, as
well as all life-tendencies, in nature. These molecular entanglements
should, therefore, be infinite in number, as well as in fortuitous
complexity, to account for all the myriad forms of life "engendered from
dead matter" in the material universe.

For if there is any one thing that the materialists insist upon more
resolutely than another, it is the fortuitousness of nature--the
happening by chance of whatever she does. Formerly it used to be the
"fortuitous concourse of atoms;" now it is the "fortuitous aggregate of
molecules." By what accidental or fortuitous happening the atoms have
dropped out of their scientific categories, and the molecules have been
advanced to their commanding place in _absolute accidentalness_, is one
of those unassignable causes in which they apparently so much delight. We
can only account for it on the supposition that they have all become
worshippers of that blind and accidental Greek goddess, who bore the horn
of Amalthea and plentifully endowed her followers with a wealth of
language and other much-coveted gifts, but not with the most desirable
knack at disposing of them.

The true cause of vital phenomena manifestly depends on these two
conditions--the presence of the specific vital unit, and the necessary
environing plasma, or nutrient matter, for its primary development.
Without the presence of both of these conditions, or conditioning
incidences, there can be no life-manifestation anywhere. And we do not see
that anything is gained, even in the matter of scientific nomenclature, by
merely substituting "molecular force" for "vital force," in the
explication of vital phenomena. Even granting that molecular changes do
take place during the development of the vital units in their necessary
plasmic environment; it by no means follows that these changes are not
dependent on the vital principle _as it acts_, rather than on the
molecules _as they act_,[34] The higher force should always subordinate
the lower in all metamorphic, as well as other processes, of nature. It is
the vital principle that differentiates matter--the aggregate of
molecules--not matter differentiating the vital principle. No "molA(C)cules
organiques" can ever differentiate an ape-unit into a man-unit, any more
than Professor Tyndall can fetch a Plato out of mere sky-mist. Once an
ape-unit, always an ape-unit; once a man-unit, eternally a man-unit.

Let the vitalists stick to this proposition--this eternally fixed _unit_
as "_une idA(C)e dans l'entendement de Dieu," _ (to use a better French
expression than English)--and they can fight the materialists off their
own ground anywhere. The one sublime verity of the universe is that
"life exists," and that it has existed from all eternity _as possible_
in the Divine mind, and in the Divine mind alone. If materialistic
science is disposed to butt its head against this impregnable
proposition, it can do so. The proposition will stand, whatever may
happen to the inconsiderate head.

For science may press her devotees into as many different pursuits as
there are starting-points to an azimuth circle, and command them to search
and find out the ultimate causes of things in the universe, but the
forever narrowing circle in one direction, and the forever widening one in
the other, would utterly baffle all their attempted research. Whether they
descended into the microscopic world, with its myriad-thronged conditions
of life, or passed upward and outward, in _Sirius-_distances, to the
irresolvable nebulA|, where other and perhaps brighter stars might burst
upon their view--gleaming coldly and silently down the still enormous
fissures and chasms in the heavens--the result would be the same. Wider
and wider fields of observation might open upon their view, as the stellar
swarms thickened and the power of human vision failed, but the
uranological expedition would return no wiser than when it started, and
Science would still be confronted with the same illimitability of space,
the same infinitude of matter, and the same incomprehensibility of the
world-arranging intelligence that lies beyond. For He who hath garnished
the heavens by his spirit--who divideth the sea with his power, and
hangeth the earth upon nothing--"_holdeth back the face of his throne and
spreadeth his cloud upon it_."

What if, in one direction, we should find those inconceivably small
specks, or mere bioplastic points, which we call "living matter," or, in
the other direction, those inconceivably vast world-forming masses which
we call "dead matter," who shall say that "the secret places of the Most
High" are not hidden from us, or that when the spirit of God first moved
through these vast fissures and chasms in the heavens upon the face of all
matter, there was not imparted to it that "animating principle of life" of
which the biblical genesis speaks, and which we everywhere see manifesting
itself in nature? Surely this inquiry is not one to be superciliously set
aside by the materialists, after the failure of their uranological
expedition, on the ground that it does not furnish food enough for
scientific contemplation, without such physiological fancies as their
specialists have been giving us in the shape of force-correlations and
molecular theories of life.

But speaking of the higher forces as subordinating the lower, suggests
that there should be something more definitely explained regarding the
hypothesis of "differentiation," on which Mr. Herbert Spencer hangs so
much of his mathematical faith in the true explication of vital
phenomena. The term "differentiation" is not so formidable as it might
seem to the general reader at first sight. As applied to physiological
problems it should have the same determinate value, in expressing
functional differences, as in the higher operations of mathematics.
Nothing can, of course, differentiate itself, nor can any two things
differentiate each other, even when functionally allied. The actual
coA"fficient sought is the difference effected, in functional value, in
one of two independent variables. For all formulA| in differentiation are
constructed on the hypothesis that only one of two variables suffers
change. The differential coA"fficient has yet to be determined which shall
express the developmental changes in two variables at once. When,
therefore, we attempt to extend the formulA| of differentiation to plant
and animal life, we are confronted by a very formidable difficulty at the
outset--the impossibility of determining an invariable coA"fficient for
any two variables. Besides, all attempts at differentiating an ape-unit
into anything else than an ape-unit would be as impossible as to multiply
or divide cabbages by turnips, or sparrows by sparrowhawks. Such
divisions would give us no quotients, any more than their
differentiations would give us a coA"fficient. Physiological
differentiation will, therefore, never help us out of fixed species or
nearly allied types. We can bridge no specific differences by it. In the
differentiation of the horse and the ass for instance, the superior blood
will predominate in the preservation of types, and even the mule will
kick against further differentiation. Nature would so utterly abhor the
practice as resolutely to slam the door in Mr. Spencer's face, if the
obstinacy of the mule did not kick it off its hinges.

And nature would be quite as intractable in the case of
"force-correlation," another of Mr. Spencer's redoubtable phrases. This
term is quite recent in its application to animate objects, nor has it
been long applied to inanimate. It is claimed to be a recently discovered
force, and is one that the materialists have seized upon as the Herculean
club with which to smite all vital theories to the earth. Its meaning, so
far as it has any, is not difficult to get at. The simplest way to explain
it, however, is the best. The reader is to understand that when he rubs
two flat sticks together, the heat thereby engendered is not the result of
friction, as all the world has heretofore supposed, but that the amount of
force expended in rubbing the right-hand stick against the left-hand
stick, is, by some law of versability, not over-well defined, transferred
to the two sticks, and gets so entangled between their surfaces that it
can only reappear in another and altogether different kind of force. When
it leaves the hands and passes into the two sticks, it is, as the
materialists assert, vital force. But as no force can be annihilated, the
conclusive assumption is that it still exists somewhere. All of it, in the
first place, went into the two flat sticks, and, when there, _ceased to be
vital force._ Some of it disappeared, of course, in overcoming the inertia
of the sticks, but the bulk of it became entangled with the superficial
molecules of the two sticks, and reappeared as _heat_--another name for
molecular force.

This is what is meant by the "differentiation" of vital force into
molecular force, and _vice versa_. But by what process of rubbing, under
this law of versability, molecular force can be reversed, or
differentiated back into vital force, Mr. Spencer has not condescended to
inform us. The simple truth is, and the materialists will be forced to
admit it in the end, that there is no verification of this theory beyond
that of mere force-equivalence. For instance, it has been experimentally
determined that a certain amount of fuel expended in heat is equivalent to
a certain amount of mechanical force, not mechanical _work_, as M. Carnot
puts it. For force is not expended in work until it is actually generated,
and the amount generated, not that expended in work, is the real
equivalence of the heat produced from fuel.

Another problem is presented when it comes to determining the amount of
generated force necessary to run a piece of machinery which shall
accomplish a given amount of mechanical work.

A far better phrase to express this equivalence of force has been
suggested and used by several writers in what is called the "Transmutation
of Force." For there is no correlation, or reciprocal relation, between
heat as originally produced by the consumption of fuel and the force as
engendered in steam before it is transmuted into work. Nor is there any
real equivalence as between the two forces after its transmutation. A very
large per centage of heat is lost in its transmutation from a latent form
in fuel to an active or available form in steam, and a still greater loss
in its transmission into work by machinery. Theoretically, there may be
such an equivalence as that named, but practically it is impossible to
realize it. And a theory that is impossible of realization is of no
practical utility in itself, and of little value as the basis of further
theory. If, then, the theory of force equivalence is a failure in
practical application, it furnishes a very poor basis on which to
predicate force-correlation, or the doctrine of reciprocal forces. It is
estimated, for instance, that a pound weight falling seven hundred and
seventy-two feet, will, in striking the earth, impart to it a degree of
heat equivalent to raising one pound of water 1A deg. F. But the heat thus
imparted can never be so utilized as to raise a pound weight seven hundred
and seventy-two feet into the air.

This shows that there is no actual reciprocity of relationship between the
force as originally engendered and finally expended in work. Nor can it be
shown that the original force is transmuted or changed into another and
different kind of force by the operation. The force generated and the
force expended are essentially one and the same, as much so as that
transmitted from the power to the weight by means of a rope and pulley.
And the quality of the force is not changed, whether the weight be lifted
by machinery or the human hand. Force, in its mechanical sense, is that
power which produces motion, or an alteration in the direction of motion,
and is incapable of being specialized, except in a highly figurative
sense, into a thousand and one correlates of motion. But these
miscellaneous and figurative forces are not what we are considering. The
doctrine of force-correlation takes no such wide and comprehensive sweep.
It embraces neither the force of wit, nor the force of folly; but
mechanical force and its equivalents. The force exercised by the human
hand in lifting a weight either with or without rope and pulley is, in
every definitional sense of the word, mechanical force. For the arm and
hand are only the implements, or mechanical contrivances of nature, by
which the will-power transmutes itself into work, or, more properly
speaking, transmits itself from the point of force-generation to that of
force-expenditure. And this is precisely the office performed by all
mechanical contrivances for the transmission--not transmutation--of force.
And the most perfect machine is that which transmits the engendered force,
with the least possible waste or abandonment, to its point of ultimate
expenditure in work.

All these hypothetical correlates of force, therefore, predicated upon the
doctrine of force-transmutation, have no foundation in fact, since the
force transmitted from the point of generation to the point of expenditure
undergoes no change but that of direction, in its passage along rope,
wire, belt, pulley, shafting, etc. A man whose limbs have been paralyzed,
may still will to remove mountains. The will-power is the same, but the
mechanical contrivances for its transmission are wanting. Of the actual
point or centre of this force-generation, in the case of the will-power,
we know nothing; but the moment the power is started on its way towards
the point of force-expenditure, whether it traverses the nerves and
tissues of the brain, or the right arm or the left, or a crowbar or
pickaxe, it is in no sense distinguishable from the force that traverses a
rope and pulley. Nor is there any evidence that it undergoes molecular
changes, or becomes modified or conditioned by any nearly or remotely
related force, as it darts along the nerves, runs through the contracted
tissues, electrifies the crowbar, or flashes into work from the point of a
pickaxe. Whatever produces, or tends to produce, motion, or an alteration
in its direction, is mechanical force, no matter from what force-centre it
may start. When we can definitely determine the centre of vital force, as
exercised in building up vital structure, _not in wielding pickaxes_, it
is to be hoped we shall be able to distinguish, by the proper correlates,
vital force from that which is mechanical. But the task is manifestly a
hopeless one with the materialists.

Professor Beale positively denies that there are any such physical
force-relations as those claimed by the materialists, and asserts that
vital force bears no relation, or correlation, to either chemical or
physical force; that the one is a distinct and separate factor from the
other, and cannot be interpreted in the same force-formulA|. He says: "The
idea of motion, or heat, or light, or electricity _forming_ or _building_
up, or _constructing_ any texture capable of fulfilling a definite
purpose, seems absurd, and opposed to all that is known, and yet is the
notion continually forced upon us, that vitality, which does construct, is
but a correlate of ordinary energy or motion."

But after devoting so much time to "force-correlation," and
"force-differentiation," the advocates of "molecular-machinery" may feel
themselves neglected if we dismiss their favorite hobby without further
notice. The precise parentage of this term is disputed, but it has any
number of _putative_ fathers. We have spoken of the size of the molecules
themselves, and the numbers of them that might be huddled together on the
point of a cambric needle without jostling. Let us now consider the size
of a molecular machine. For each molecule runs its own machine, and is
provident enough to see that they do not jostle. In fact, it is a very
nice question in physics, whether the machines do not run the molecules,
instead of the prevailing opposite opinion that the molecules run the
machines. Unfortunately, the question is one that can never be determined.
The requisite scientific data will forever be wanting.

But Professor James C. Maxwell, now, or quite recently, filling the chair
of experimental physics in the University of Cambridge, England, has
furnished us with _approximate_ calculations. On the strength of his
approximations we will proceed to consider the dimensions of these
wonderful little machines. And first, it may be axiomatically laid down
that these molecular machines, which either run the molecules or are run
by them, can never exceed the size of their respective molecules.
Conceding, then, that each one of these machines exactly fits into its own
molecule, so as to present identically the same dimensions--as well as
their largest possible dimensions--it would require two millions of them,
placed in a row, to make one millimetre, or the one three hundred and
ninety-four thousandths of an inch in length, or seven hundred and
eighty-eight billions of them to make one inch! Who will ever be staggered
at _Sirius_-distances, after this? And who will deny that an infinite
world lies below the point of our microscopic vision, if not an Infinite
kingdom and throne beyond our telescopic glance?

But, following the same high authority in experimental physics, let us
consider the aggregate weight of these molecular machines. We will not
marshal their aggregate numbers in a row, for an array of forty billions
of them would make too insignificant a figure for inspection; but simply
give their actual weight as computed under the French or metric system.
Take, then, a million million million million of these machines, throwing
in molecules and all, and they will weigh, if there is no indiscreet
kicking of the beam, just a fraction between four and five grammes, or--to
differentiate the weights--a small fraction over one-tenth of an ounce!

But why not get down to the atoms, of which the molecules are only the
theoretical congeries, and marshal the "atomic forces" into line? These
embryonic atoms are much the braver warriors, and, when summoned to do
battle, spring, lithe and light-armed, against the elemental foe. They are
no cowardly molecules, these atoms, but make war against Titans, as well
as Titanic thrones and powers. The elements recognize them as their body
guardsmen, their corps of invincible lancers, their bravest and best
soldiers in fight. And they are wholly indifferent as to the legions of
molecules arrayed against them, and would as soon hurl a mountain of them
into the sea as to sport with a zephyr or caper with the east wind. Why
not summon these countless myriads of bright and invincible spearmen, to
batter down the walls of this Cretan labyrinth of Life? An army of these
would be worth all the molecules that Professor Maxwell could array in
line, in a thousand years. No life-problem need remain unsolved with their
bright spears to drive the tenebrious mists before them. Even Professor
Tyndall's "fog-banks of primordial haze" would be ignominiously scattered
in flight before these atomic legions. Let our materialistic friends
summon them, then, to their aid. The field of controversy will never be
won by their molecular "Hessians." The ineffably bright lancers that stand
guard over the elemental hosts are the light brigade with which to rout
the vitalistic enemy. Advance them then to the front, and, beneath the
shadowy wing of pestilence or some other appalling ensign of destruction,
the abashed vital squadrons will flee in dismay.

But let us pass from scientific speculations to alleged scientific facts.
In a paper read by Dr. Hughes Bennett before the Royal Society of
Edinburgh, in 1861, its author says: "The first step, in the process of
organic formation, is the production of an organic fluid; the second, the
precipitation of organic molecules, from which, according to the molecular
law of growth, all other textures are derived either directly or
indirectly." Here again the molecules, and not the elementary atoms, are
advanced to the front, and not a little anxiety is shown, in a
definitional way, to identify vital processes of growth with crystalline
processes of formation. But Dr. Bennett entirely mistakes, as well as
misstates, the process of vital development, if he does not overlook the
law governing the formation of crystals. There can be no symmetrically
arranged solids in an inorganic fluid without the presence of some law, or
principle, definitely determining, not the "precipitation," but the
"formation," of crystals. The inorganic particles are not precipitated or
thrown downward, any more than they are sublevated or thrown upward. The
process is one of formation, not precipitation. Every crystallographer,
not hampered by materialistic views and anti-vital theories, admits the
presence of a fixed and determinate law governing each crystalline system,
whatever may be the homologous parts or the unequal axes it represents.

And so of the equally undeviating law of vital growth. Life comes from no
mere "precipitation of organic molecules," as Dr. Bennett would have us
believe. If so, what is it that precipitates the molecules? They can
hardly be said to precipitate themselves. To precipitate, in a chemical
sense, is to be thrown down, or caused to be thrown down, as a substance
from its solution. What, then, causes the molecules to be thus
precipitously thrown down from a fluid to a solid, or a semi-solid, state?
It cannot be from any blind or inconsiderate haste on the part of the
molecules themselves. There must be some independent principle, or law of
nature--one presupposing an intelligent law-giver--to effect the
"precipitating process," if any such really exists.

But it does not exist. The first step is one of development and
growth--the manifestation of functional activity--the building up of
organic or cellular tissue. The exact process, in the case of seed-bearing
plants and trees, is well known. All those familiar with the
characteristic differences of seeds, their chemical constituents, their
tegumentary coverings, rudimentary parts, etc., thoroughly understand the
process in its outward manifestation. There is no precipitation of
molecules as in an organic fluid, unless the albumen lying between the
embryo and testa of the seeds, and constituting the nutriment on which the
plant feeds during its primary stages of growth, can be called a fluid. It
throws none of its characteristic ingredients downward any more than
upward. Indeed the greater tendency of its molecules is upward rather than
downward, in the "molecular processes" (vital ones) by which the embryonic
cell is started upon its career of plant-life. The celebrated Dr. Liebig
says of this albuminous environment: "It is the foundation, the
starting-point, of the whole series of peculiar tissues which constitute
those organs which are the seat of all vital actions." In the case of
animal life, this albumen abounds in the serum of the blood, enters
largely into the chyle and lymph, goes to build up the tissues and
muscles, and is the chief ingredient of the nerves, glands, and even the
brain itself. And in all these developmental stages, its tendency is to
coagulate rather than precipitate. In its coagulated condition, it dries
to a hard, partially translucent and friable state, and is more or less
insoluble in water, and entirely so at a temperature from 140A deg. to 160A deg. F.

When the seed is planted or placed in water, it first commences to swell
from the absorption of the water or moisture of the ground by the pores of
its external covering, the favorable temperature being from 60A deg. to 80A deg. F.
It gradually expands until its outer membranes burst, and its initial
rootlets clasp their hold upon the earth. From this point its several
stages of development are well known to the ordinary observer. Here the
first step is absorption and expansion, not precipitation. There is also a
change in chemical conditions, the water at least being decomposed. For it
would seem to be a law of vegetal growth that reproduction should begin in
decomposition and decay. The Apostle's description of the "death of the
grain," as symbolizing the death of man, in his first Epistle to the
Corinthians, points conclusively in this direction. It is in the
decomposition and decay of the grain that the implanted germ is quickened
into life--ascends into the bright light, the warm sunshine, the
refreshing presence of showers and dews. In this way it fulfils its
providential purpose of yielding to the sower the more munificent life
which he is forever seeking to attain.

Its germination is the springing up of the inner living principle of the
grain, not its outer envelope or dead husk. This disappears in decay,
except the small nutrient portion within which the germinal principle of
life would seem to reside, and which undergoes a thorough chemical change
in the process of passing from death unto life, or being assimilated and
taken up into the new living structure. The Apostle's comparison
distinctly marks these several changes as the one process of passing from
death unto life. He saw in this wonderful provision of nature, the still
more wonderful prevision of God. To his mind it was over the debris of the
dead past that the living present is constantly marching towards a higher
and more perfect life--the ultimate fruition and joy of an eternal home in
the skies! And he saw that the two grand instrumentalities and
co-accessory agencies to this end, were Life and Death, both equally
constant and active, like all the other instrumentalities and governing
agencies of the universe. Life is forever unlocking the portals of the
present to youth and vigor; Death is forever closing them to age and
decrepitude. This divine prevision thus becomes the wisest and most
beneficent provision. Without life there would be no such thing as death,
and without death no such thing as this grand succession and march of
life--this passing from out the Shadow into the Day.

Chapter X.

Darwinism Considered from a Vitalistic Stand-Point.

Granting that the assumption of Darwinism rests, as claimed, on the fixed
and inflexible adaptation of means to ends, in the diversified yet
measurably specialized processes of nature, there is no logical deduction
to be drawn therefrom but that which traces the representatives of all the
great types of the animal kingdom to one single source, and that not the
Sovereign Intelligence of the Universe, but a mere "ovule in protoplasm,"
or what may be defined, in its unaggregated form, as an inconceivably
small whirligig, having motion on a central axis, but whether an
independent motion of its own, or one derived from an Infinite
Intelligence, the Darwinian systematizers are not bold enough to aver.
They have too many _a priori_ scruples either to assert the one
proposition or to deny the other. What set this little whirligig in motion
is a mystery that lies beyond the purview of science, so called, and into
the depths of this infinitessimal and most mysterious little chamber they
refuse to go.

They search not for the evidence of an Infinite Intelligence in the
outermost circle of the heavens where the highest is to be found, and
where a bound is set that we may not pass, but shutting their eyes to all
the grander evidences of such an Intelligence, they dive down into the
infinitessimal realm of nature and assume to dig out the sublimer secrets
of the universe there. And this is their grand discovery: That this
infinitessimal whirligig of theirs has not only whirled man into
existence, but the entire circle of the heavens, with the innumerable host
of stars that march therein, and all the boundless systems of worlds that
roll in space. With this subordination of the Infinite to the
infinitessimal, of intelligence to insensate matter, of divine energy, so
to speak, to blind molecular force, they are satisfied; and, like the mole
in the fable, conceive their little molecule to be the only possible
creator of a stupendous universe.

Scrutinize my propositions closely, and see if I am guilty of misstating
theirs. Their new theory is only a slight modification of an old one, or
the old adage, _omne vivum ex ovo_--all life is from an egg. For they
assert that every living thing primordially proceeds from an ovule in
protoplasm, the essential part of the protoplasmic egg, so to speak, being
this little _ovum_ or cellule, from which have issued all possible
organisms in both the vegetable and animal kingdoms. Nor is this theory
essentially confined to organic matter. A scientific coArdination of its
several known parts, or alleged functions, extends the operations of this
infinitessimal whirligig to the plastic or uniformly diffused state of all
matter, from which has been evolved, in an infinite duration of past time,
not only life in its highest manifestations, but a universe so
stupendously grand that no amount of human intelligence can grasp the
first conception of it.

Mr. Emerson--our Ralph Waldo--virtually accepts this theory of
development, substituting, however, a stomach for an ovule, and the
reverse of the Darwinian proposition, in what he is pleased to call "the
incessant opposition of nature to everything hurtful." It is not the
"selection of the fittest" but the "rejection of the unfit," by which "a
beneficent necessity (I use his language) is always bringing things
right." "It is in the stomach of plants," he says, "that development
begins, and ends in the circles of the universe." "'Tis a long way," he
admits, "from the gorilla to the gentleman--from the gorilla to Plato,
Newton, Shakespeare--to the sanctities of religion, the refinements of
legislation, the summits of science, art, poetry."

Few persons, I take it, will dispute this proposition. The road is a long
one and beset with all sorts of thorns and briars, such as Mr. Emerson's
philosophy will hardly eradicate from the wayside. Even the most refined
empiricism will find it difficult to stomach his stomachic theory of the
universe, which lands all atomic or corpuscular philosophy in a digestive
sac, such as Jack Falstaff bore about him with its measureless capacity
for potations and Eastcheap fare. It is a road too in which Mr. Emerson's
philosophy will get many sharp raps from an external world of phenomena,
in the futility of both his and the Darwinian hypothesis to explain away
the independent origination of certain species of plants and animals--new
varieties still springing into existence, under favorable conditions, in
obedience to the divine fiat, "Let the earth bring forth."

In laying the foundations of this new science, if science it shall be
called, we must insist that the course of nature is uniform, and that,
however extended our generalizations in any one of her lines of
uniformity, all intermediate, as well as ultimate propositions, must not
only be stated with the utmost scientific accuracy, but the logical
deductions therefrom must also be uniform, or lie in the path of
uniformity. The earliest and latest inductions must either coincide or
approximate the same end. No links must be broken, no chasms bridged, in
the scientific series. There must be a distinct and separate link
connecting each preceding and each succeeding one in the chain. The lowest
known mammal must be found in immediate relationship with his higher
congener or brother, not in any remote cousinship. There must be no
saltatory progress--no leaping over intermediate steps or degrees. The
heights of science are not to be scaled _per saltum_, except as degrees
may sometimes be conferred by our universities.[35]

There are some fish-like animals, say our Darwinian systematizers, like
the Lepidosirens and their congeners, with the characteristics of
amphibians; and hence they infer that by successive deviations and
improvements the lower order has risen into the higher. But out of what
page in the volume of nature, in the countless leaves we have turned back,
has the immediate congener dropped, that we are obliged to look for the
relationship in thirty-fourth cousins? We might as well say that some of
the _Infusoria_ possess the same or similar characteristics, and predicate
relationship between them and the amphibians; for giants sometimes spring
from dwarfs and dwarfs from giants. At all events, our diagnoses must be
freed from these intermediate breaks or failures in the chain of
continuity, or the doctrine of descent must tumble with the imaginary
foundations on which it is built. And bear in mind that the most
enthusiastic Darwinist is forced to admit that there are still rigid
partitions between the lower and higher organisms that have not been
pierced by the light of scientific truth, but they assume that future
discoveries and investigations will solve the difficulty. But science,
inflexible as she is, or ought to be, in her demands, admits of no
assumptions, much less sanctions such exceptions and deviations as we
constantly find in the Darwinian path of continuity. The eye of
imagination can supply nothing to her vision. She is eagle-eyed, and soars
into the bright empyrean--does not dive into quagmires and the slime of
creation after truth.

But let us see how Mr. Darwin bridges one of the very first chasms he
meets with in constructing his chain of generation. He goes back to the
first link, or to what he calls primordial generation. Here the leap is
from inorganic matter to the lowest form of organic life--from inanimate
to animate dust. The chasm is immense, as all will agree. But he bridges
it by falling back on his infinitessimal whirligig--his _primum
mobile_--or on the motions of elements as yet inaccessible, except to the
eye of imagination. For even Plato's monad, or ultimate atom, was not
matter itself, being indivisible, but rather a formal unit or primary
constituent of matter, which, like Mr. Darwin's whirligig in its
unaggregated form, admits of neither a maximum nor a minimum of
comprehension; but rests entirely on imaginary hypothesis. And we may here
add that a system which begins in imaginary hypotheses and ends in
them--as that of bridging the chasmal difference between a gorilla and a
Plato--can be dignified into a science only by a still greater stretch of
the imagination--that of bridging the difference between the Darwinian
zero and his ninety degrees of development in a Darwin himself!

Bear in mind, as we proceed, that the function of an argument in
philosophy, as in logic, is to prove that a certain relation exists
between two concepts or objects of thought, when that relation is not
self-evident. In the Darwinian chain we have, as the first link, organic
life springing from inorganic matter, without the slightest relation
existing between the two, except what may be universally predicated of
matter itself, whether animate or inanimate, organic or inorganic; and
there is no other affirmative premise, expressing their agreement as
extremes, that can possibly admit of an affirmative conclusion. The parts
are so separated in thought that no metaphysical or ideal distinction
exists to coordinate them in classification. We are simply forced back, in
our attempt at classification, upon the intuitions of consciousness, where
reason manifestly ceases to enforce its inductions.

And here the human mind intuitively springs an objection which is at once
aimed at the very citadel of Darwinism. On what rests the validity of
these intuitions except it be that "breath of life," which, as we have
before said, was breathed into man when he became a living soul? If we
follow the divine record, instead of these blind systematizers leading the
blind, we shall have no difficulty in establishing the validity of these
intuitions--the highest potential factors this side of Deity to be found
anywhere in the universe. For if our intuitions are not to be relied
upon--if their objects and perceptions are to be discarded as
unreliable--then there can be no agreement or disagreement between any two
ideas presented, objectively or subjectively, to the human mind. No
processes of mental analysis or ratiocination, like those pursued in the
elementary methods of Euclid, can present the basis of an intellectual
judgment, or lay the foundation of the slightest faith or belief in the
world. To deny the primary perception of truth by intuition is as fatal to
"Evolution" as to the sublimer teachings of the Bible Genesis.

But from the very nature of our being, as well as the primary _datum_ of
consciousness itself, we must rest the validity of these intuitions on
something, and that, something more than a finite intelligence; and since
science, with all her knowledge methodically digested and arranged,
furnishes no clue to the mystery, we are left to the higher sources of
inspiration to reach it. And this inspiration, however it may be derived,
necessarily becomes a part of our intuitions, since it addresses itself to
the strongest possible cravings of the human soul, and is accepted as its
inseparable companion and guest.

Shall we build our faith then on the Divine Word,--on the Word that was in
the beginning with God, and, when incarnate, _was_ God,--or on Mr.
Darwin's little whirligig that originally set everything in motion, and
has only to go on _ad infinitum_ to whirl us out a God, as it has already
whirled us out a Darwinian universe without one. For if this ovulistic
whirligig has bridged the chasmal difference between protoplasm and man,
since the transition from inorganic matter to organic life, the process
has only to be indefinitely extended to bridge the chasm between man and
Deity, or between finite and infinite intelligence. This gives us nature
evolving a God, instead of the doctrine of the old Theogonies, of a God
presiding from all eternity over nature; one "who laid the foundations of
the earth that it should not be removed forever; who stretchest out the
heavens like a curtain; who layeth the beams of his chambers in the
waters; who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire."

These evolutionists manifestly get the cart before the horse in their
category of cosmological events. It is not inert matter organizing itself
into life, nor any mode of physical or chemical action, nor any mere
manifestation of motion or of heat, nor any other conceivable correlation
of natural forces. None of these has enabled us to penetrate the
mysterious _inner-chamber_ of life itself. For reasons obviously connected
with our own welfare, He, from whom alone are "the issues of life," seems
to have ordained that we should fathom the depths of both physical and
chemical force, and beneficently wield and direct them to our own uses.
But this vital force; this something that stands apart from and is
essentially different from all other kinds of force, is of a nature that
baffles all our efforts to approach. The power to grasp it, or even to
penetrate in the slightest degree its mysteries, is delegated to none. All
attempts to lay bare this principle of vitality, or level the barriers
that separate it from physical or chemical action, have utterly failed. We
know no more of its essence now than was known a thousand years ago, and
know no less than will be known a thousand years hence. To become masters
of the mystery, we must enter the impenetrable veil within which the
Infinite Intelligence of the universe presides,--who, we are told,
"sendeth forth his spirit, and we are created, who taketh away our breath,
we die and return to our dust." [36]

We are just as much bewildered in respect to this vital principle in our
classifications of the myriads of little creatures careering over the
field of the microscope, as when we turn to the most marked formations of
genera and species in geological distribution. The great trouble with Mr.
Darwin's _vinculum_ is, that its weakest links are precisely where the
strongest should be found, and _vice versa_. With a candor rarely
displayed by a writer who is spinning a theory, he admits this. The
geological record is not what he would have it to be. Whole chapters are
gone where they are most needed, and nature's lithography seems constantly
at fault. Independent species are now and then springing up where
derivatives should be looked for, while derivatives are everywhere
disappearing in non-derivatives. Many of the middle Tertiary _molusca_,
and a large proportion of the later Tertiary period, are specifically
identical with the living species, of to-day. What has "natural selection"
been doing for this family in the last million years or more? Manifestly
nothing, and less than nothing, for some of the species have dropped out

These facts, and hundreds of others like them, are constantly obtruding
themselves upon our attention to show, in harmony with the Bible Genesis,
the immutability of species--the absolute fixity of types--rather than
their variability, as claimed. If nature abhors anything more than a
_vacuum_, it is manifestly any marked transition from fixed types, and she
thunders her edicts against it in the non-fertility of all hybrids. The
doctrine of variation lacks the all-essential element of continuity, and
is oftener at war with the theory of the "selection of the fittest," than
it is with the selection of the "unfit." The leap from Lepidosirens to
Amphibians is no greater than the interval between any two species of
animals or plants yet discovered, either fossil or living. The intervals
are as numerous as the species themselves, and everywhere constitute great
and sudden leaps, or such transitional changes as "natural selection"
could not have effected independently of intervening forms--those that
nowhere exist in nature, and never have existed, if we are to credit
geologic and paleontologic records. There is everywhere similarity of
structure, but not identity; and the nearer we approach to identity of
structure the wider the divergence in similarity of characteristics. A
bird may be taught to talk and sing snatches of music. But no monkey has
ever been able to articulate human sounds, much less give them rhythmical

Take the case of the wild pigeon, a subject that especially delights Mr.
Darwin. Most of the deviations are confined to the domesticated breeds,
and none of these rank in strength, hardiness, capability of flight, or
symmetry of structure, with the wild or typical bird. There are
well-defined deviations, but no sensible improvements, except to the eye
of the bird-fancier. The deviations are simply entailed weaknesses, or the
very reverse of what should appear from the "selection of the fittest."
The fact undeniably is, that these variations are almost wholly
abnormal--mere exaggerated characteristics, induced in the first instance,
perhaps, by high cultivation and close in-and-in breeding.

Turn these abnormal varieties loose, let them go back to the aboriginal
stock, and these characteristics will rapidly disappear; that is, they
will ultimately lose themselves or melt away in the original type. Mr.
Darwin admits that the tendency will be to reversion, but he insists,
manifestly without any positive proof therefor, that the greater tendency
is to new centres of attraction, and not necessarily the primitive one.
But this is mere assumption--sheer begging the question on his
part,--since all the oscillations are incontestibly about the original or
type centre.

The same may be said of the typical races of men, like the negro and wild
Indian of our prairies. You may lift them out of their primitive
condition--temporarily suspend, if you please so to put it, their
primordial attraction,--but, left again to themselves, they will go back
to the original type; that is, their offspring will again infest the
jungles and roam their native hunting-grounds. The process here is the
very reverse of the Darwinian theory. Reversion, as a rule, follows the
degeneracy of types, instead of there being any favorable homogeneous
result, springing from a new centre of attraction. The Indian makes a
splendid savage, but a very poor white man. Think of Red Jacket taking the
part of Mercutio in the play or enacting the more valiant _role_ of
Falstaff in King Henry the Fourth. An infusion of white blood does not
help the matter, but rather makes it worse. Generally, the meanest Indian
on the continent is your half-breed, and among the negroes there is no
term so expressive of the contempt of that race, as that applied by them
to a mulatto. The present condition of Mexico affords a striking
exemplification of this law of reversion. The inheritable characteristics
or variations, produced from an infusion of Spanish blood, are rapidly
disappearing--the native blood whipping out the European. The potency is
in the inferior blood, simply because it is the predominating one. The
result has been no homogeneous new race, but a reversion, now manifestly
in progress, to the type centre or aboriginal stock. And the curse
pronounced by Ezekiel upon mongrel tribes--"woe unto the mingled peoples"
may have a significance in this connection worth considering; but it
manifestly falls outside the scope of our present inquiry.

In considering the embryological structure of man, and the homologies he
therein presents to the lower animals, Mr. Darwin thus conclusively (in
his judgment) remarks: "We thus learn that man is descended from a hairy
quadruped, furnished with a tail and pointed ears, probably arboreal in
his habits, and an inhabitant of the Old World."

But Mr. Darwin's pronominal "we," in this connection, admits of
qualification. He can hardly speak for all the scientific world at once.
The philosophical maxim of Sir Isaac Newton--_hypotheses non fingo_--I
build no hypotheses, make no suppositions, but adhere to facts--has a few
followers still left. But what are Mr. Darwin's facts? Has he yet
discovered the caudal man, except as the ever-fertile Mr. Stanley heard of
one in Africa? And where is his monkey that first lost the prehensile
power to climb trees? For bear in mind that it was the loss of this
prehensile power that resulted in the caudal atrophy of our monkey
progenitors, _who became men simply because they were tailless monkeys!_
They had lost their power to climb trees, and accordingly had no longer
any use for tails to let themselves down from the limbs. A "beneficent
necessity" therefore, according to Mr. Emerson, dropped the tail as
something decidedly "unfit." For the simplest tyro in Darwinian philosophy
will see that the loss of the Catarrhine monkey's tail, if it ever
occurred, could not have resulted from the "selection of the fittest." The
deeper Emersonian philosophy of the "rejection of the unfit," affords the
only solution of the difficulty, and then only on the assumption that the
tail is an unfit appendage for the monkey.

With the loss of his tail, in the light of this new genesis, the monkey
necessarily ceased to be arboreal in his habits. He could no longer
subsist on the fruits and nuts of trees, or take refuge therein from his
enemies. He had to go to work and make weapons to defend himself--to
construct tools--make and set traps, live on his wits, and not on his
prehensile power to climb trees. He soon discovered, of course, that the
longest pole knocked the persimmon. This was his first intellectual stride
towards the future Edison. From the simplest sort of Grahamitic
philosopher he passed into the robust, beef-eating Englishman. But this
was not all. As an arboreal gymnast, he was manifestly on his way to more
masterly feats of agility than ever,--those dependent, not on muscular
function, but on the nervous action of the brain and spinal marrow.
Necessity became with him the "mother of invention," and how admirably he
improved under this maternal instructor we are left to infer from the
paramount conclusion of Mr. Darwin, _that the demoralized monkey became
the incipient man_!

But this conclusively accounts for only one of the many anatomical
differences between man and his caudal progenitor. For why should the
loss of his tail have resulted in the changed chemistry of the monkey's
brain? or in the increased involutions of his brain even? The specific
differences between the present and ancestral types are very numerous
and demand separate classification. Their variability runs through every
bone, muscle, tissue, fibre, nerve. Their blood corpuscles are not the
same. The chemistry of their bones essentially differs. The nerves are
differently bundled and differently strung. In intonations of
voice--symmetry of arms, legs, chest--hairlessness of body, and aquatic
and land habits, the frog is a much nearer approach to man than the
monkey, as all caricaturists, delineating aldermanic proportions, will
agree. And Mr. Darwin might have immortalized himself by deriving the
builders of the ancient pile-habitations and other primitive water-rats
and croakers of the Swiss lakes, from this tailless batrachian. For
everybody knows, or thinks he knows, how the frog lost his tail. If he
didn't wag it off, he certainly absorbed its waggishness as a
distinguishing characteristic of the "coming man"--the future Artemas
Wards and Mark Twains of the race. This ancestral origin will also
account for the otherwise unaccountable proclivity of all human
juveniles to play at the game of leap-frog! Besides, it would have
relieved Mr. Darwin from one of the greatest perplexities he has had to
encounter. As he derives man from a hairy quadruped, the absence of hair
on the human body, is a phenomenal fact that gives him great trouble. He
agrees that it does not result from "natural selection," as he says "the
loss of hair is an inconvenience and probably an injury to man." Nor
does he suppose it to result from what he calls "correlated
development." He is more puzzled over this problem of divestiture than
any other, and finds the solution of it only in "sexual selection." That
is, he assumes that among our semi-human progenitors, far back in the
Tertiary or some other period, some female monkeys were less hirsute
than others, and that they naturally preferred males possessing similar
characteristics. These divergencies were thus commenced, and, by
continuous "sexual selection," the infirmity (for such he regards the
loss of hair) was propagated until the race was almost entirely denuded
or bereft of this covering. In the same way he accounts for nearly all
the differentiations of the race, among the various tribes now or
formerly inhabiting the earth. All have sprung from the same semi-human
progenitors--_apes that lost their capacity to subsist as apes, and
hence found it necessary to subsist as men_!

The law of degeneracy has, therefore, had quite as much to do with human
origins as that of progressive development. In fact, it is the paramount
law from a Darwinian stand-point. For the loss of hair and of the
prehensile power to climb trees are both conceded by Mr. Darwin to be
serious defects and drawbacks in the ape family.

But the law of sexual selection, as treated by the evolutionists, is not
scientifically accurate, nor is it true in fact. The loving tendency of
nature is to opposites, not likes. The positive and negative poles are
those that play into each other with most marvellous effect. Each repels
its like and rushes to the embrace of its opposite. Extremes lovingly meet
everywhere. A brunette selects a blonde and a blonde a brunette, as a
general rule in matrimony. A tall man or woman, with rare exceptions,
chooses a short companion for life. Dark eyes delight in those that are
light, and _vice-versa_. Everywhere nature seeks diversity, not
similitude. The gayest and brightest feathered songster craves
companionship in modest and unobtrusive colors. Diversity is the law of
life, as equality, or versimilitude, is that of death. Neither natural
selection, nor sexual selection, runs counter to this law. If Mr. Darwin's
theory were true, that likes selected likes, then the two marked extremes
which should have characterized the race, soon after its emergence from
the semi-human state, should have been giants and pigmies, Gargantuas and
Lilliputs. Otherwise "sexual selection," as treated by its author, plays
no intelligible part in the economy of nature, except to counterbalance
variability, not to propagate it.

But the Darwinian assumption that the primeval man, or his immediate
ape-like progenitor, came through "natural selection," that is, through
the "survival of the fittest," is subject to one or two other objections
which we shall briefly notice. And the first objection is not altogether
a technical one. The term "fittest," as applied to a monkey, has at once
a definite and comprehensive significance to us. It implies the presence
of whatever is most perfect of its kind in the monkey _as_ a monkey, and
not in the monkey _as_ something else than a monkey. They are all
admirably adapted for climbing trees; and it is this adaptation that
secures them safety, or complete immunity, in shelter from their
enemies. To say that nature selects the fittest for them--for any
species of monkey--by converting their forefeet into rudimentary hands,
with a loss of prehension and no corresponding advantages in locomotion,
is to use language without any appreciable significance to us. We can
only say that what is fittest for the monkey is ill-fitted for man, and
the reverse. This is all we can definitely predicate of them, from what
we know of their anatomical structure, and the diversified uses to which
it may be put.

The fact is, as the Bible genesis shows, that every living thing is
perfect of its kind, and whatever is perfect admits of no Darwinian
variations or improvements for the better. And the simple statement of
this undeniable proposition is, we submit, a complete refutation of
Darwinism. When the waters and the earth were commanded to bring forth
abundantly of every living creature and every living thing, "it was so,
and God saw that it was good," that is, everything perfect of its kind,
and in its kind. With this single limitation as to kind, a rattlesnake is
no less perfect than a Plato or a John Howard.

When we consider man's upright position; the firmness and steadiness with
which he plants his foot upon the earth; when we examine the mechanism of
his hand, and the wonderful and almost unlimited range it possesses for
diversified use; when we see how ill-fitted he is for climbing trees, yet
how express and admirable for climbing among the stars, even to the
outermost milky-way, the idea that what is fittest for him is fit for the
chattering monkey, is too absurd to give us pause. And yet how does Mr.
Darwin know that the monkey has been climbing up, all these hundred
thousand or million years, into man, as one of the congenital freaks of
nature, and not man shambling down into the monkey as a reverse
congenital freak. Children have sometimes been born with a singular
resemblance to the ape family, but no ape has ever, to Mr. Darwin's
knowledge, produced issue more manlike than itself. The divergencies run
the wrong way to meet the conditions of the development theory. We have
had nearly five thousand years in which to mark these transitional
changes, and yet the monkey of to-day is identical with that painted on
the walls of ancient Meroe. In all this time he has made no advance in
the genetic relation; and if we turn back the lithographic pages of
nature for a hundred times five thousand years, we shall find no
essential departure from aboriginal types.

But the Darwinian hypothesis admits of a more conclusive answer than we
have yet given. Past time, it will be conceded, is theoretically if not
actually infinite; and in all past time, nature has been tugging away at
Mr. Darwin's problem of the "survival of the fittest." It is no two
hundred and fifty thousand years, nor two hundred and fifty millions, but
an infinite duration of past time that covers the period in which she has
been wrestling with this problem. How successfully has she solved it? In
the Darwinian sense of the term "fittest," she has not so much as stated
her first equation or extracted the root of her first power. She is
manifestly as much puzzled over the problem as Mr. Darwin himself. He
fails to see that the "survival of the fittest," necessarily implies, or
carries with it, the correlative proposition,--the "non-survival of the
unfit." And when such a law has been operative for an infinite duration of
past time, the "unfit," however infinitely distributed at first, should
have disappeared altogether, many thousands, if not millions, of years
ago. If the evolutionists are dealing with vast problems, and assigning to
nature, unlimited factors to express the totality of her unerring
operations, they must be careful to limit the time in which any one of her
given labors is to be accomplished. If she makes any progress at all, an
infinite duration of past time should enable her to complete her work just
as effectually as an infinite duration of time to come.

But by what law of "natural selection," appertaining to a single pair of
old world monkeys, have their offspring advanced to this regal state of
manhood, while all other pairs have remained stationary, or precisely
where they were two hundred and fifty thousand years ago or more? Why
this exceptional divergence in the case of a single pair of monkeys? Why
this anomalous, aberrant, and thoroughly eccentric movement on the part
of nature? We had supposed that her operations were uniform--conformable
to fixed laws of movement. The doctrine of the "survival of the fittest"
implies this. Why then, should nature, in her unerring operations, have
selected the fittest in respect to a single pair of Catarrhine monkeys,
and at the same time rejected the fittest in the case of a million other
pairs? If she had selected only the fittest in respect to this old world
stock of monkeys, the entire Catarrhine family should have disappeared
in the next higher or fitter group--a group nowhere to be found in
geological distribution. The break between man and this Catarrhine
monkey covers quite a series of links in the genetic vinculum;[37] and
yet between the two we find no high form of a low type fitting into a
low form of a high type, as we manifestly should, to account for all the
diversified changes that must have taken place in the interim. And what
is true of the types is measurably true of the classes within the types,
as well as of the orders within the classes. Wide deviations in forms,
as in characteristics, would seem to be the invariable rule; the
blending of type into type, except perhaps in remote relationships, is
nowhere visible.

But if "variation" and "natural selection" have played important parts in
the economy of nature, why may not "specific creation" have played _its_
part also? Positive science can hardly flatter itself with the belief that
it is rolling back the mystery of the universe to a point beyond which
"specific creation" might not have commenced, or the divine fiat been put
forth. To believe in the possibility of a rational synthesis, limited to
sensible experience, or phenomenal facts within our reach, that shall
climb from law to law, or from concrete fact to abstract conception, until
it shall reach the _Ultima Thule_ of all law, is to carry the faith of the
scientist beyond the most transcendental belief of the theologian, and
make him a greater dupe to his illusions than was ever cloistered in a
monastery or affected austerity therein as a balm to the flesh. We may
substitute new dogmatisms for old ones, but we can never postulate a
principle that shall make the general laws of nature any less mysterious
than the partial or exceptional, or that shall in the long run, render
"natural selection" any more comprehensible, or acceptable to the rational
intuition, than "specific creation." For while one class of scientists is
climbing the ladder of synthesis, by assigning a reason for a higher law
that may be predicated of a lower, we shall find the broader and more
analytical mind accepting the higher mystery for the lower, and, by
divesting its faith of all metaphysical incumbrance, landing in the belief
of an all-encompassing law, which shall comprehend the entire assemblage
of known laws and facts in the universe. And the natural drift of the
human mind is ever towards this abstract conception--this one
all-encompassing law of the universe. It steadily speculates in this
direction, and some of the highest triumphs of our age, in physical as
well as metaphysical science, are measurably due to this tendency. The
scientific mind is not confined wholly to experimental research. It is
stimulated to higher contemplations, and is constantly disposed to make
larger and more comprehensive groupings of analogous facts. It is fast
coming to regard light, heat, electricity, magnetism, gravitation,
chemical affinity, molecular force, and even Mr. Darwin's little
whirligig, as only so many manifestations or expressions of one and the
same force in the universe--that ultimate, all-encompassing, divine force
(not to speak unscientifically) that upholds the order of the heavens,
"binds the sweet influences of the Pleiades, brings forth Mazzaroth in his
season, and guides Arcturus with his suns."

It is the boast of the Darwinian systematizers that their development
theory not only harmonizes with, but admirably supplements and out-rounds
the grander speculation of Laplace, termed the "Nebular Hypothesis," which
regards the universe as having originally consisted of uniformly diffused
matter, filling all space, which subsequently became aggregated by
gravitation, much after the manner of Mr. Darwin's little whirligig, into
an infinite number of sun-systems, occupying inconceivably vast areas in
space. Of the correctness of this hypothesis it is unnecessary to speak.
It is to the Darwinian speculation what the infinite is to the
infinitessimal, and we only refer to it to bring out the vastness of the
conception as compared to the latter theory, and to predicate thereon the
more conclusive induction that an Infinite Intelligence directs and
superintends all.

In an area in the Milky-way not exceeding one-tenth of the moon's disc,
Mr. Herschel computes the number of stars at not less than twenty
thousand, with clusters of nebulae lying still beyond. As we know that no
bodies shining by reflected light could be visible at such enormous
distances, we are left to conclude that each of these twinkling points is
a sun, dispensing light and heat to probably as many planets as hold their
courses about the central orb in our own system. From the superior
magnitude of many of the stars, as compared with the sun, we may
reasonably infer that many of these vast sun-systems occupy a much larger
field in space than our own. This would give an area in space of not less
than six thousand millions of miles as the field occupied by each of these
sun-systems. And as the distance between each of these systems and its
nearest neighbor is probably not less than that of our sun from the
nearest star, we have the enormous and inconceivable distance of not less
than nineteen billions of miles separating each one of these twenty
thousand stars or sun-systems, occupying a space in the heavens apparently
no bigger than a man's hand. And yet Infinity, as we apprehend the term,
lies beyond this vast cluster of constellated worlds! Where is Mr.
Darwin's little whirligig in the comparison, or Mr. Emerson's vegetal
stomach, or Mr. Herbert Spencer's "potential factors," to express the
sum-total of all this totality,--this gigantic assemblage of stars
clustered about a single point in the Milky-way? The human mind absolutely
reels--staggers bewildered and amazed--under the load of conceptions
imposed by these few twinkling stars, and is ready to exclaim,--

"Oh, star-eyed Science, hast thou wandered there,
To waft us back a message of despair?"

But when we reflect that all this vast aggregation of sun systems, visible
in the telescopic field, is not stationary, but is revolving with
inconceivable rapidity about some unknown and infinitely remote centre of
the universe, how immeasurably vast does the conception become, and how
unutterably puerile and fatuous the thought of _Mr. Darwin's little
whirligig as the author of it all!_ No wonder the inspired Psalmist
exclaims; "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth
his handiwork." But listen to the Darwinian exclamation: "The heavens
declare the glory of my little whirligig, and the firmament showeth the
immensity of my little ovules." With the veil of faith and inspiration
lifted, the words of the Psalmist swell into the highest cherubic anthem,
while those of Mr. Darwin hardly rise above the squeak of a mole burrowing
beneath the glebe!

And what presumptuous mortal shall say that this infinitely remote centre
of the universe, around which revolves this infinite number of
sun-systems, is not the seat and throne of the Infinite One himself--the
Sovereign Intelligence and Power of the universe, directing and upholding
all? We know that some of the stars are travelling about this central
point of the heavens at a pace exceeding 194,000 miles an hour, or with
nearly three times the rapidity of our earth in its orbit. That there must
be infinite power, not physical, at this unknown centre of the universe,
to hold these myriads of sun-systems in their courses, is a logical
induction as irrefragable as that the sun holds his planets in their
orbits. And if infinite power is predicable upon this central point, why
not infinite intelligence also? Intelligence, we know, controls and
utilizes all power in this world; why not all power in the universe? It
can utilize every drop of water that thunders down Niagara to-day, as it
has already seized upon the lightnings of heaven to make them our
post-boy. This is what finite intelligence--that insignificant factor that
science would eliminate from the universe--can do; then what may not
Infinite Intelligence accomplish?

But the Darwinian systematizers object that science must limit itself to a
coordination of the known relations of things in the universe, or deal
only with phenomenal facts, not dogmatisms; forgetting that they dogmatize
quite as extensively, in constructing their chain of generation, as the
theologians do in adhering to the Bible genesis. No theologian objects to
a rational synthesis of phenomena, limited to sensible experience; but, in
climbing from law to law, he reasonably enough insists, that, when
concrete facts rise into abstract conceptions, the highest round in the
ladder shall not be knocked out for the accommodation of Robert G.
Ingersoll or any other boasted descendant of a gorilla. And he also
insists that when _a priori_ speculation is lost in abstract conceptions,
the highest must necessarily press alone upon the intuitions of
consciousness, where all generalizations cease, and all synthesis is
undeniably at an end. Here, in this mysterious chamber of the soul, we
stand silent and alone, with only dim and shadowy phantoms about us, as if
in the august presence of Deity itself.

But how does scientific speculation propose to stifle these intuitions of
consciousness--reduce them to the least of all potential factors in the
universe? We will take the very latest of these speculations. In
supplementing both the Darwinian theory and the grander speculation of
Laplace, the scientists, so called, tell us that the process of
aggregation, or the turning out of new worlds in the universe, is still
going on; but that the time is coming when all the primeval potency or
energy, originally inhering in diffused matter, will have exhausted itself
in actual energy, and that then all light, life and motion in the
universe, will cease and be at an end. This dissipation of potential
energy is to result, they say, in a played-out universe, as it has already
resulted, they claim, in a played-out moon, if not countless other
heavenly bodies.[38] All the exterior planets, or a majority of them at
least, are to be placed in this category of dismantled worlds, or those in
which all life has hopelessly ceased and become extinct. All has utterly
disappeared, or, to paraphrase one of Pope's couplets,

"Beast, bird, fish, insect--what no eye can scan,
Nor glass can reach--from zoophyte to man."

All these dismantled planets, and satellites to planets, are only so many
immense cinders--mere refuse slag--of no conceivable interest to science,
except to predicate the ultimate conclusion--"a played-out universe,
resulting from a played-out potency within the universe." The magnificent
clockwork of the heavens will then have run down, with no Darwinian
whirligig to wind it up again, and the terrible reality of Byron's dream,
which it would seem was not all a dream, be realized in the bright sun
extinguished, the stars darkling the eternal space, rayless and pathless,
and the icy earth swung blind and blackening in the moonless air.

Oh, if this be star-eyed science, give us anything in place of it!
Blear-eyed bigotry in his cloistered den, mumbling unintelligible prayers,
and believing that man is to be saved, not by what he does, but by a
_credo_ only, is far preferable to it. But oh, how unspeakably preferable
the simple faith of the star-led Magi, who

"Deeming the light that in the east was seen
An earnest and a prophecy of rest
To weary wanderers, such as they had been,"

came on that bleak December night, 1880 years ago, to pay their homage to
the Christ-child--the long expected Messiah--the Redeemer of the world!


[1]: It may be proper, however, to state that the tenth and concluding
chapter was originally written as a lecture, and delivered about a
year ago in New Haven, Boston, and at other points. A request for its
publication has induced the author to place it in this volume, with
the portion referring to the Bible genesis omitted. It will be found
germane to the general subject.

[2]: "Without this latent presence of the 'I am,' all modes of existence
in the external world flit before us as colored shadows, with no
greater depth, root, or fixure, than the image of a rock hath in the
gliding stream, or the rainbow on the fast-sailing rain
storm."--_Coleridge's_ "_Comments on Essays_."

[3]: And science that is not purely inductive--i.e. primarily based on
the inviolability of our intuitions--is no science at all, but the
sheerest possible speculation.

[4]: This presence of an active living principle in nature, one originally
assigned as the "_divina particula aurA|_" of every living thing, is
frequently referred to in the higher inspirational moods of our
poets. Wordsworth exquisitely refers to it in the following lines of
his "Excursion:"--

"To every form of being is assigned
An _active_ principle: howe'er removed
From sense and observation, it subsists
In all things, in all nature, in the stars
Of azure heaven, the unenduring clouds;
In flower and tree, in every pebbly stone
That paves the brooks."

[5]: The existence of vital units is conceded by some of the staunchest
materialists, such as Herbert Spencer, Professor Bastian and others.
Professor Bastian says: "The countless myriads of living units which
have been evolved in different ages of the world's history, must, in
each period, have given rise to innumerable multitudes of what have
been called 'trees of life.'" He insists, however, that they have
been "evolved" from something, or by some unknown process. But we
shall show further on that a "unit" can neither be _evolved_ nor
_involved_, and that this is as true of vital units as of the
mathematical or chemical unit. Neither evolution nor involution will
ever effect the value of a unit.

[6]: According to Aristotle, the great world-_ordainer_ is the constant

[7]: The definition which Professor Robinson, in his Lexicon of the New
Testament, gives of the word IfIEuroI-II1/4I+-, as connected with the "divine
life," entirely harmonizes with this view of the subject. He says: Trop.
I John 3, 9, IEuroa1/4fI, a1/2 I cubedI muI cubedI muI1/2I.I1/4I-I1/2I?I, a1/4I I"I?I... I'I muI?I... IfIEuroI-II1/4I+- a1/4EuroI...I"I?I1/2 (I'I mua1/2"I1/2) I muI1/2 a3/4I1/2I"a?
IEuroI muI1/2I mua1/2 _i.e._ the germ or principle of divine life through which he
is begotten of god, I"I? IEuroI1/2I mua1/2'I1/4I+-.

[8]: Professor Schmidt, of the University of Strasburg, who insists that
species are only relatively stable, admits that they remain
persistent as long as they exist under the same external conditions.
Time is, therefore, not a factor in the mutation of species. Nor are
environing conditions factors, except as a failure of conditions
results in the disappearance of species, as the presence of
conditions results in their appearance.

[9]: Says M. Ch. Bonnet, in his "La PalingA(C)uA(C)sie Philosophique;" "Il est
de la plus parfaite A(C)vidence que la matiere est susceptible d'une
infinitA(C) de mouvemens divers, et de modifications diverses," and this
is the universal claim of the materialists.

[10]: Professor Burdach (as trad, par Jourdan), in speaking of the
productive power of nature, says, "LimitA(C)e quant Ai l' A(C)tendue de ses
manifestations, elle continue toujottrs d' agir pour la conservation
de ce qui a A(C)tA(C) crA(C)A(C), et, quoiqu' elle ne maintenue les formes
organiques supA(C)rieures que par la seule propagation, il ne rA(C)pugne
point au bon sens de penser qu' aujourd' hui encore elle a la
puissance de produire les formes infA(C)rieures avec des elA(C)ments
hA(C)tA(C)rogA(C)nes, comme elle a crA(C)A(C) originairement tout ce qui possA(C)de l'
organisation." This shows that its author believed in the
possibility of the "superior organic forms," like the mastodon,
megatherium, etc. from the "heterogenetic elements"--those
undergoing every conceivable change--as well as the "inferior
forms." At all events, it is a legitimate induction from
materialistic premises.

[11]: This point is conclusively made by Professor Burdach, who says (we
quote from Jourdan); "La tendance interieure Ai la configuration
existe avant sa manifestation." And by his _tendance interieure_ he
must mean some vital or other law, equivalent to an _entia_ in
matter, which results _in_, not _from_ manifestation.

[12]: Goethe borrowed his idea of an archetypal world from Plato and the
Eleatic school. They held that the world was originated, and not
eternal; that it was framed by the Creator after a perfect
archetype, one eternally existing in the divine mind, if not an
actual soul-world of which our own is but the reflex.

[13]: In a note to Prof. Bastian's "Beginnings of Life" (vol II. p. 537)
an important fact is mentioned as obtained from the writings of Dr.
Schneider, to wit, that _Nematoids_ (microscopical forms) may be
"obtained at will," almost as readily as mushrooms, by a process
entirely independent of spores. For instance, small pieces of beef
were carefully examined to see if they contained any of the ova of
Nematoids, and, finding none, they were buried in a small quantity
of earth (also carefully examined for the presence of Nematoids or
their ova) in a gallipot. "After three weeks," says Prof. B. "this
earth was found to be absolutely swarming with two kinds of
Nematoids--quite different from any forms which I had previously,
seen, although I had been seeking them for more than two years
previously in all sorts of situations." The reason why he had not
found them previously, was because the "necessary conditions" for
their appearance had not been obtained by him, or he had not sought
for them in their proper environment. They were not produced "at
will," but were the natural outgrowth of conditions, as much so as
the spores of fungi, which make their appearance whenever and
wherever the necessary environing conditions exist. According to Dr.
Gros, it takes about three weeks for these Nematoid forms to develop
into a reproductive state.

[14]: The necessity of turning plants and animals into "tramps" is just as
great in the case of "Evolution" as in that of "specific creation in
pairs." In both cases, we must insist upon geneological
consanguinity. For the chances of any two highly specialized forms,
originally starting on different lines of divergence, and ultimately
reaching individual identity, both in form and characteristics, is
an impossible problem in the determination of chances. Consequently,
Mr. Darwin finds the necessity of accounting for the presence of
northern forms in the southern hemisphere, and the reverse, just as
great as in the LinnA|an theory, which was fully accepted by Cuvier.

[15]: Burdach, in his "_TraitA(C) Physiologie" (Trad. par Jourdan_. 1837)
says: "Effectivement nous rencontrons des traces de vie dans toute
existence quelconque." This is as broad a panspermic statement as
can be made, and is only true of inorganic matter so far as
vegetable life is concerned, including such infusorial, mycologic,
and cryptogamic forms as may lie so near to the "force vegetative"
of Needham as to be indistinguishable from it.

[16]: In the case of volcanic islands, the upheavals were undoubtedly
accompanied by deposits of mud, sand (ocean detritus), marine
vegetation, and more or less animal matter, and these organic
substances were washed down by the rains into the broken valleys and
plains below, when land vegetation almost immediately made its
appearance; not because seeds may have drifted thither by any of the
different agencies that have been mentioned, but because organic
matter can no more help bringing forth life in some form, when
conditions favor, than salt water, when exposed to evaporation, can
help crystallizing into its symmetrically-arranged salts. And the
same would be true of all the coral islands, bringing up the organic
matter of the sea to the influence of the light, the rains, and the
dews. The islands thus formed in the Pacific Ocean begin to exhibit
vegetable life almost as soon as they make their appearance above
the reefs, and a line of sea-beach is formed about them.

[17]: These, while presenting the most varied and diverse forms of
infusorial life, are nevertheless the most constant and abundant
type. They abound more or less in all organic infusions. Ehrenberg,
however, holds that they are no more animal than vegetal forms. They
vary in length from 1/15000 to 1/2000 of an inch, and are
consequently too minute to be satisfactorily classified in respect
to all their diversified characteristics.

[18]: The extent of the southern ice-cap may at least be approximately
reached from explorations already made. Capt. Weddell, in 1823,
extended his explorations southward to within about 15A deg. of the
south pole, where he found an open sea. Capt. Ross, in 1842,
approached to within about 13A deg. of the same pole, without serious
obstruction. It is true that, in the following year, he encountered
ice barriers near the line of the antarctic circle, but they were
floating barriers coming down from Weddell's open sea. Capt.
Wilkes, in 1840, explored a considerable portion of the Antarctic
Continent, lying almost entirely within the antarctic circle. Other
explorations have been made, showing that the southern ice-cap does
not probably extend, continuously at least, much farther north than
78A deg. or 80A deg., or to within some ten or twelve degrees of the south
pole, independently of the packs of drifting ice in the otherwise
open seas.

[19]: The truth or falsity of "Evolution" depends entirely on the
successful solution of this problem, for the chances are
quintillions to ones that no two identical forms could have
originated from different centres, or from the same centre on
divergent lines, and ever reached identically the same results. And
how any two forms should happen to be sexually paired, on the same
or different lines of divergence, is one of those inexplicable
mysteries which must puzzle Herbert Spencer in all his labyrinthian
searches into "Force-correlation," "Differentiation," "the Dynamic
Force of Molecules," etc., etc. However successful he may be in
other directions, he will inevitably fail in this. We must fall back
on the grand Old Bible genesis for the solution of this difficulty,
where every living thing was commanded to produce seed, or multiply
and replenish the waters and the earth with offspring.

[20]: These transcendental or ideal forms may be said to correspond to the
"spiritual essences" of Plato. They are the eternal, immutable
principles which are discernible to the eye of the soul, as the
sensible objects they represent are discernible to the eye of the
body. Modern metaphysics may deem them mere abstractions, but a
higher realistic philosophy will treat them as substantive forms, of
which the objective reality is but the shadow.

[21]: Herbert Spencer may be quoted as authority on this point. He says:
"There is invariably, and necessarily, a conformity between the
vital functions of any organism, and the _conditions_ in which it is
placed ... We find that every animal is limited to a certain range
of climate; every plant to certain zones of latitude and elevation."
And the same law holds good as to the marine fauna and flora, each
specific form being confined to its own sea-depth, or distance north
or south from the thermal equator.

[22]: Speaking of the ultimate principles or elements of matter, Plato is
quoted by Humboldt as exclaiming with modest diffidence, "God alone,
and those whom he loves among men, know what they are." It is only
those who seek to eliminate God from the universe that speak with
confident flippancy on the subject of molecular machinery and

[23]: As long as the evolutionists cannot agree among themselves as to
what constitutes the process of evolution, it can hardly be expected
that the public will accept their speculations as conclusive
inductions. Professor Bastian, who strongly commits himself to the
doctrine, thinks the word "evolution" arbitrary and open to many
objections, while Mr. Herbert Spencer says;--"The antithetical word
Involution would much more truly express the nature of the process."

[24]: "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of
God dwelleth in you?" 1 Cor. 3. xvi.

[25]: Dr. Drysdale, in his work on the "Protoplasmic Theory of Life,"
says: "Matter cannot change its state of motion or rest without the
influence of some force from without. True spontaneity of movement
is, therefore, just as impossible to it as to what we call dead
matter.... So we are compelled to admit the existence of an exciting
cause in the form of some force from without to give the initial
impulse in all vital actions." In all life-manifestations, this
"force from without," must be a pre-existing vital principle
operating to effect the otherwise impossible change in matter.

[26]: A favorite set-phrase of Professor Bastian in speaking of
morphological cells or "units," as he sometimes calls them.

[27]: That great and justly celebrated naturalist, Buffon, in speaking of
the universal origination of the lower forms of animal life by a
process termed, in his time, "spontaneous generation," says: "There
are, perhaps, as many living things, both animal and vegetable,
which are produced by the fortuitous aggregations of 'molA(C)cules
organiques,' as there are others which reproduce themselves by a
constant succession of generations." It is said that Buffon was for
some time associated with the AbbA(C) Needham in his experiments in
vital directions, and was much influenced by them. So that it is by
no means certain that he did not accept the AbbA(C)'s "force
vA(C)gA(C)tative" in place of his more materialistic views respecting
"molA(C)cules organiques." At all events, his statement that as many
living things appear in nature independently of reproducing causes
as by successive generation, is no doubt true.

[28]: M. TrA(C)viranus, who followed Spallanzani and M. Bonnet in these flask
experimentations, first noticed the important fact that the
animalculA| appearing in different organic infusions, depended on
the nature and quality of the infusions themselves, and that the
changed conditions of the same infusion produced new and independent
forms of life.

[29]: Leibnitz, as quoted by M. Bonnet, says:--"Que l'Entendement Divin
A(C)toit la religion A(C)ternelle des Essences; parce que tout ce qui
existe existoit comme de toute A(C)ternitA(C) comme possible ou en idA(C)e
dans l'entendement de Dieu. J'exprimerai cette vA(C)ritA(C) sublime en
d'autres termes: le plan entier d'univers existoit de toute EternitA(C)
dans l'entendement du SuprAme Architecte. Tou tes les parties de
l'univers et jusqu' an moindre atome A(C)toient deffinA(C)s dans ce plan.
Tous les changemens qui devoient survenir aux diffA(C)rentes pieces de
ce Tout immense y avoient aussi leurs reprA(C)sentations. Chaque etre y
A(C)toit figurA(C) par ses characteres propres: et l'acte par lequel la
Souveraine Puissance a rA(C)alisA(C) ce plan, est ce que nous nommons la

[30]: Here is a fact given us by Dr. F. Hall, of Wallingford, Conn.: In a
peat meadow in that town, owned by him, which was at no time subject
to overflow, a large quantity of peat had been removed at different
intervals of time, when the excavations naturally filled with water.
In these excavations there appeared not only the _Cyprinidae_ in
considerable numbers, but fresh water clams which grew to be as
large as those in the most favored streams. They made their
appearance the very first season after the peat was removed, and
have flourished there ever since. In no other portions of the meadow
were there any fish or clams ever noticed before, nor was there any
other source of water-supply than the rain-falls in that locality.

[31]: Professor Beale, in one of his very latest works says: "Of the
chemical and physical forms of energy something is known, but of
the relationship of the so called _vital_ energy, nothing has
been proved. We only know that the influence it exerts is
altogether different from that which has been traced to physical
and chemical energy."

[32]: It is admitted, even in the case of _Bacteria_, whose movements are
the most uniform, that they are sometimes so inert and languid as to
show no movements at all; while, at other times, they exhibit mere
Brownian movements or those no more nearly allied to "life" than the
minute particles of carbon escaping from the flame of a kerosene
lamp. And among the most distinguished microscopists, it is a
question whether these infusorial forms, those exhibiting the most
active oscillations, are really vegetal or animal in origin; in
other words, whether they are _Fungus-spores_ or _Torula_-cells, or
whether they may not be some intermediate forms.

[33]: The difficulty of assigning any definitional value to a "primordial
germ" is due to the vagueness of idea attached to it in the popular
mind, as well as to the diversified theories and speculations of the
scientists concerning the origin of life. We can only define it as a
"vital unit," as the chemist defines his smallest conceivable
quantity--his "primary least"--of an element, as a "chemical unit."

[34]: Let two comrades be shot at the same instant in battle, the one
through the heart, and the other through the arm, shattering it
badly. What is there to prevent the surgeon from taking a piece of
bone out of the arm of the man shot through the heart and instantly
killed, and using it to make good the arm of the man still living?
Apparently nothing but that the dead man's bone will not knit. He
may not have been dead five minutes, and Professor Beale's bioplasts
might still be at work spinning matter and weaving tissue for the
integrity of the displaced bone. Why will it not knit? Simply
because the vital principle that differentiates matter is gone--can
no longer act. If the integrity of the bone depended on the action
of the molecules, and not on the vital principle, there is no reason
why this experiment should not be a success. For the molecules are
all there, and their action will not be disturbed for hours after
the death of the man shot through the heart.

[35]: It is safe to adhere to the Leibnitzian axiom, _Natura non agit

[36]: One of the most cultured classes of Christian believers in our day,
holds that "all life is from the Lord;" that "He is the fountain,
and we only the streams thence." And this, they claim, is true of
all life. To "take away our breath," therefore, is to cut off this
stream perpetually flowing from its invisible source--the fountain
of all Life. When scientific methods substitute for a first cause a
mere resultant effect, all primary principles disappear in their

[37]: Professor Marsh, of Yale College, has predicted that the "missing
link" will be found in Borneo--evidently not crediting Mr. Stanley's
statement about its presence in the interior of Africa. But one
"missing link" is hardly enough; there ought to be an extensive
family of them to complete Mr. Darwin's plexus. From the lowest
genetic form to the anthropoid ape is a distance which does not half
cover the length of this plexus--the immense gap between the monkey
and the man being decidedly the greater length of chain. And yet the
first half of the chain is traversed by innumerable forms--millions
of links, so to speak. How, then, is the greater length of the
plexus to be covered by a single "missing link?" A long line of
caudal ancestry must be dug up, therefore, in Borneo, and shipped to
the Peabody Museum, before this tremendous stretch in the chain of
animated nature is satisfactorily accounted for. Borneo must be
exceedingly rich in osteologic remains, even to bridge the chasm
between its own ourang-outangs and the Dyaks, or aboriginal
inhabitants, of that island.

[38]: This daring hypothesis of the materialists is so utterly repugnant
to all our ideas of a perfected Cosmos, that we have no patience
with those advancing it. It is, at best, speculation run mad, and is
based on no other assumption than that of the inherent
imperfectibility of the universe as it came from the hand of God, or
from the dynamic play of molecules extending throughout vast
geognostic epochs.

From a materialistic stand-point this assumption of imperfectibility
inevitably runs into the _reductio ad absurdum_. For if, in the play
of the material forces of the universe, an infinite duration of past
time has effected nothing but mutually disturbing and re-adjusting
movements and relations among cosmical bodies, then an infinite
duration of time to come can effect nothing but similarly mutual
adjustments and re-adjustments in respect to such bodies. With an
infinity of time, space, matter and motion, everywhere presenting a
unity of phenomena in the universe, "there can never be anything,"
according to the great Stagirite, "unconnected or out of place, as
in a bad tragedy." Conservation must, therefore, be the rule, and
desinence the impossible exception.

But these adherents of inherent imperfectibility instance the fact
of vanished and variable stars, as well as those that have suddenly
appeared, and, after brief periods of intense brilliancy, as
suddenly disappeared, to show that there are mighty disturbances in
the sidereal heavens which entirely negative the idea of
"conservation" as a geognostic law. But the phenomena of variable
stars, with all their apparent irregularity of motion and
fluctuations in luminosity, are now being traced to definite and
well-determined laws of motion, if not of light, while the theory of
extinguished and disappearing stars belongs exclusive to the age of
Tycho Brahe. Where there is one self-luminious body (or sun) in the
interstellary spaces, there are probably not less than forty
non-luminous or dark cosmical bodies revolving about their
respective centres of light and heat, as the attending planets
revolve about the common centre of gravity in our own system. And
this is especially true of that vast and fathomless star-stratum,
called the Milky-way, in which most of these peculiar phenomena
occur, with the exception of the variable stars only.

That stars should vary in their intensity of light by the probable
transits of these dark cosmical bodies across their discs, is no
matter of wonder or astonishment: on the contrary, it is surprising
that these sidereal phenomena do not occur with much greater
frequency. This would inevitably be the case if the planes of
revolution, in the case of these non-luminous bodies about their
central orbs, were coincident with the lines of vision from our own
planet--a circumstance by no means improbable from the vastness of
the sidereal heavens and the innumerable hosts of stars marching
therein. Besides, these periodical variations may be accounted for
in part--especially in the case of double stars--from their apparent
rather than real change of place in the heavens. For if our
sun-system is travelling towards a point in the constellation
Hercules at the rate of 194 thousand miles an hour (the rapidity of
Arcturus' flight), it is impossible to determine, in the present
state of astronomical knowledge, whether the apparent change of
place in any star is real or merely optical. But, in the case of
double stars, each is travelling (independently of its other
motions) about the common centre of gravity obtaining in its own
system, and these relative movements may account for the greater or
less intensity of light as the two stars, viewed as one, present a
greater or less area of luminosity in their united surfaces.

The assumed revolution of one of these stars about the other--thus
destroying all the known analogies of the universe, as exemplified
in our own system--may be accounted for in the same way. With
stupendous planetary systems revolving about each of these
apparently double stars, they must respectively have a revolution,
real as well as apparent, about their own centres of gravity--not
one and the same centre, but different and far distant centres.
Lying in nearly the same line of vision, with planes of movement at
right angles with it, they would necessarily present the appearance
of one star revolving about the other--an _apparent_ motion only.

And the writer here ventures an explanation of the phenomena of
_temporary_ stars, or those making their appearance in the heavens,
flaming up into stars of the first, second and third magnitudes, and
then disappearing altogether. The most remarkable of these stars, or
_apparent_ stars, was that of Tycho Brahe in 1572, presenting its
maximum brilliancy at the very first, but gradually diminishing in
size until the end of seventeen months, when it disappeared, without
change of place, from the heavens. This temporary star was visible
in Cassiopeia, on the verge of the Milky-way, within whose swarm of
stellar worlds most of these apparent stars have made their
appearance. Tycho Brahe, in seeking to account for this stellar
phenomenon, advanced the theory that stars might be "formed and
molded out of cosmical vapor," or "vapory celestial matter," as the
elder Herschel put it, "which becomes luminous as it condenses
(conglomerates) into fixed stars." But any such rapid condensation
of "vapory matter," in the light of Laplace's "nebular theory," is
manifestly too absurd for scientific recognition. A more
satisfactory explanation may be here suggested:--Supposing the
apparent relative position of any six or seven stars of the sixth
magnitude in the Milky-way, should be so changed by the combined
motions of our sun-system and of the stars themselves, as to throw
them into one and the same line of vision, but so clustered together
as to show their several star-discs as one, we should unquestionably
have a star of the first magnitude, which would continue as long as
this extraordinary stellar conjunction should last. As one after
another of these stars should fall out of line, by reason of the
combined motions named, the apparent star would be diminished from
the first to the second magnitude, and so on until it reached the
sixth magnitude, when it would pass beyond the reach of unaided
human vision. But as the star of Tycho Brahe suddenly appeared at
its fullest brilliancy, it may be objected that this suggested
theory fails to meet the required conditions.

As 18,000,000, out of the 20,000,000, of telescopic stars lie in the
Milky-way, it is not by any means improbable that such a conjunction
of stars may occur therein as often at least as once or twice in a
century. We certainly see brilliant patches of closely-crowded
stars, in great numbers, in this galactic zone, and the fact that
these temporary stars almost uniformly appear in that zone renders
the suggestion here made quite as rational, in the way of
speculation at least, as that of "vapory celestial matter" suddenly
condensed into a star of the first magnitude, as Sir. William
Herschel would have us believe was possible, if not probable.

Besides, it is a definitely ascertained fact that such clusters of
stars, lying in almost the same line of vision, exist in various
parts of the heavens, which present to the naked eye the appearance
of a star of the fourth or fifth magnitude, and probably would, if
more thickly clustered, present that of a star of the first
magnitude. But powerful telescopes resolve them into a large number
of stars, from the thirteenth to the fifteenth magnitude. One such
cluster in Andromeda's girdle has been resolved into not less than
fifteen hundred small stars of very low magnitude, and pretty widely
scattered in the telescopic field. Alexander Von Humboldt, in
speaking of stars that have thus disappeared, says that "their
disappearance may be the result of their motion as much as of any
diminution of their photometric processes (whether on their surfaces
or in their photospheres), as would render the waves of light too
weak too excite the organs of sight." And he adds: "What we no
longer see is not necessarily annihilation," repeating at the same
time the question of Pliny--"_StellA| an obirent nascerenturve?_"

But another, and (to our mind) more satisfactory, explanation of
these stellar phenomena, may be hazarded in this connection: There
are, for instance, in the Milky-way, among the more brilliant
clusters of stars, dark granular spots, of greater or less
magnitude, in which the most powerful telescopes show no glints or
traces of stars. They are among Humboldt's smaller "fissures or
chasms in the heavens," in which he asserts that there is a great
paucity of stars, or none at all. Now, if one of these thick stellar
clusters, which show to the naked eye as a single star, should, by
the combined cosmical movements of our sun-system and the stellar
group in question, pass into the field of one of these small rents
or "fissures" in the galactic curtain--that lying in front of the
stellar cluster--it would immediately show as a star of possibly the
first magnitude, and would continue to shine as a star of that
magnitude so long as it remained in the field of the narrow rent or
fissure. It would shine out suddenly like a star through a rift in
the clouds of a dark night, and disappear as soon as it had
traversed, or apparently traversed, the rift in question. This
galactic curtain, it should be borne in mind, is made up of
18,000,000 of stars, or sun-systems, and not less than 720,000,000
dark cosmical bodies revolving about their respective centres of
gravity. If the "nebular theory" of the universe be true, this is
unquestionably the exact condition of things in the Milky-way. Of
the more distant stars in this crowded galaxy, we can only catch,
even in the telescopic field, mere glints of light as the
intervening swarms of stellar and planetary worlds thicken in the
foreground and shut out the more distant view. It is only through
these rents and fissures in this great galactic curtain that the
brighter stellar clusters beyond can ever be seen; and these glints
of far distant light, showing dimly through this curtain, may
account for the peculiar _milky_ appearance of the galaxy, arising
from the loss of chromatic power in the full beams themselves. It
was undoubtedly through one of these rents in the galactic curtain
that the condensed starry cluster of Tycho Brahe suddenly made its
appearance in the outer fringes of the Milky-way, and remained
visible for a period of seventeen months.

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