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pothesis, this doctrine becomes proven, it will be futile
to contend against it. If the evidences sustain it,


mankind can not be prevented from believing it. If
the evidences sustain it, and the general sentiment of
the scientific world accepts and indorses it, we may
safely regard it as standing for a truth in nature;
or, at least, as more probably standing for truth than
the dissent — perhaps unenlightened dissent — of a few
individuals. As truth, it becomes the common ob-
ject of all honest search ; and to reject it is not only
to insult the truth but to defraud ourselves. Nay, if
it be truth, it is God's truth, and to reject it supersti-
tiously or unreasoningly is an insult to the Author
of truth. We incur greater danger of doing violence
to truth by rejecting the general verdict of science
than by devoutly accepting it.

We can not but regret the utterances of some of
the opponents of the doctrine of the evolution of life
and the derivation of species. It pains us to see rep-
utable scientific writers substituting hateful names
and wry faces for cool argument. In this respect we
regard Dr. Dawson's late w^ork as not above reproach.
The greater sins of Huxley and Ilaeckel and lesser
lights do not condone the errors of any scientific ad-
vocate who slips from the "straight and narrow"
path of logical argumentation. Neither can we ac-
quiesce in the position of so logical a reasoner as
President Barnard, when he maintains that it is bet-
ter to close one's eyes to the evidences than to be


convinced of the truth of certain doctrines wliicli he
regards as subversive of the fundamentals of Christian
faith. "Much as I love truth in the abstract," he
says, "I love my hope of immortality more. '^ ''' *
If this, after all, is the best that science can give me,
give me, then, I pray, no more science. Let me live
on in my simple ignorance, as my fathers lived before
me; and when I shall at length be summoned to my
final repose, let me still be able to fold the drapery of
my couch about me and lie down to pleasant, even
though they be deceitful, dreams."'^ We can all sure-
ly sympathize with the impulse which prompts such
language, and we need not overlook the "if" on
which the alternative depends ; but we think it is a
higher aspiration to wish to know "the truth and the
whole truth." At the same time, we have not the
slightest apprehension that "the whole truth" can
ever dissipate our faith in the future life. There are
certain fundamental religious beliefs which no pos-
sible evidence can overthrow. They rest upon the
irrefragable authority of the universal intuitions of
the human reason. The firmest conclusions of sci-
ence can rest on authority no higher. Nay, this is
the very authority on which they all ultimately stand.

♦ Bainaid, F. A. P. : The Law of Disease, in " College Couiant,''
vol. xiv., p. 27.


Now, as no person can believe that two necessary
truths will ever appear in conflict with each other, it
necessarily follows that these religious beliefs can nev-
er be successfully impugned, and that we may fold
our arms and smile placidly at any movement of sci-
ence which seems to be directed against them.

Suppose, then, the time should come when we
should feel bound by the dictates of reason and of
science to accept the doctrine of the derivative evolu-
tion of organic types, would that necessarily subvert
any fundamental doctrine which we have received
from our sacred Scriptures? We answer deliberate-
ly and confidently, ISTo; and we will define, in brief,
the grounds on which we stand : 1. The authority of
those Scriptures has been fully vindicated by the rev-
elations of history, languages, ethnology, archaeol-
ogy, and science, and we have a priori ground for
asserting that their veracity will continue to be vin-
dicated ; 2. If, then, they are the utterances of God's
truth, they must harmonize with any other utterance
of God's truth.

But we do not rely solely upon these abstract, de-
ductive propositions. We bring the specific points
of comparison directly into the light of investigation,
and demand, what must follow from the established
fact, that the admitted developmental succession of
organic types has been realized through the operation


of secondary causes. When we look the problem
squarely in the face we smile in amazement that it
has seemed necessary to propound it. Is it less cred-
ible that man as a species should have been devel-
oped, by secondary causes, from an ape, than that by
such means man as an individual should rise from a
new-born babe or a primitive ovum ? It is no more
derogatory to man's dignity to have been, at some
former period, an ape than to have been that red
lump of mere flesh which we call a human infant.
And if the means by which the babe has developed
into a man do not, to the common mind, seem to ex-
clude Deity from the process, why should we feel that
Deity is necessarily excluded from a similar process
in leading man up from the monkey ? No reason can
be assigned. If you say that the babe is the man in
potentiality, so may it be replied that the monkey is
the man in potentiality — and so the quadruped, the
reptile, or the fish. It does not exclude divine agency
from the work of organic advancement to assume that
it has been effected through the reproductive and oth-
er physiological processes. The Creator no less made
man if he caused him to be derived by descent from
an orang-outang. Man's structural organism stands
in a relation of affinity to that of the monkey, which
is rendered no more intimate or absolute by tlie ad-
mission that they belong to the same genealogical


tree; and man's intellectual and moral superiority is
just as emphatic and distinguishing, and just as much
a divine inbreathing, as if it were the crowning grace
of an organism which could not illustrate one plan
and one intelligence in the whole creation. If spe-
cific tj'pes came into being derivatively, the utmost
that can be said is that this was the divine method
of creating.

"We can not logically hesitate to entertain similar
views in reference to the hypothesis of spontaneous
generation, or, more accurately, of archegenesis. Shall
it be proven that organization comes forth from cer-
tain forms and conditions of dead matter, we shall
simply say that this is the divine method of creating.
And when we can finally look upon the living, con-
scious, moving being rising above the horizon of ex-
istence, we shall feel awed at the spectacle, and ac-
knowledge ourselves brought into the nearer, visible
presence of creative Divinity.

All we seek is the truth. All truth is God's truth,
and the most devout act is the hearty acceptance of
truth. So thought the theists of antiquity, who, like
Anaxagoras,"^ Piiny, and Plutarch, held to the evolu-
tion of certain forms of life from dead matter. So

* Diogenes Laertius: Lives. Bohn's edit., Anax., iv. Pliny says:
*' Convolvulus tirocinium nature lilium formare discentis."


thought the priests of the Middle Ages, who held, with
the philosophers, that many of the simpler forms of
animals and plants were generated directly from
earthy slime and fermenting substances. So thought
Moses, apparently, when he wrote, in speaking of the
first appearance of vegetation, that "the earth brought
forth grass;" and when, in speaking of the advent of
marine creatures and terrestrial animals, that "the
waters brought them forth," and " the earth brought
them forth." As if to render it intelligible that this
method of creation does not preclude the idea of God,
the historian tells us that " God said, let the earth
brinof forth the livinc!^ creature * " * and it was so."
That, then, was God's method of creating. This seems
like the best evidence we have in suj^port of the doc-
trine of archegenesis.

In the position which we have assumed respecting
the theistic bearing of doctrines of evolution, we might
quote an indefinite amount of concurring testimon}^
It was the opinion of St. Augustine that God created
by conferring on the material world the power to
evolve organization. St. Thomas Aquinas quotes
with approval the saying of St. Augustine, that in
the first institution of nature we do not look for mir-
acles, but for the laws of nature; and that the kinds of
animals and plants were only created derivatively —
poienlialiter iantum. Cornelius a Lnpide contends


that at least certain animals were not absolutely but
only derivatively created.* Buchanan, speaking of
physical evolution, wrote, as long ago as 1859, that
if it were established it would not follow from this,
as a necessary consequence, " that the peculiar evi-
dence of theism would be thereby destroyed or even
diminished. "f He inclines to think, though ridicul-
ing the doctrine, that cosmical development "may
serve rather to enhance" the "evidence of a presid-
ing Intelligence and a supernatural Power." Of
"physiological development" he admits that, even
were it established, "it would not destroy the evi-
dence of theism." Dr. M'Cosh declares " there is noth-
ing irreligious in the idea of development, properly
understood ;":[: and Bishop B. S. Foster§ frankly con-
fesses : " It would not appall our faith if it should be
discovered that all the forms of life below man could
be traced to a spontaneous generation from the unliv-
ing monads, and that from unity they were developed
into diversity, given that the spontaneous movement,
from its inception to its ultimatum, emanated from
and was guided by the Divine factor." Similar views

* See further, Mivart on the Genesis of Species.
t Buchanan : Modern Atheism, pp. 56, 68.
X ISI'Cosh : Christianity and Positivism, p. 38.
§ Foster : Origin of Life, in Ingham Lectures, p. 47.


are entertained by many ortbodox theologians of the
present day.

Nor is it to be supposed that the advocates of these
theories are generally willing to regard themselves
shut out from the fold of theistic believers. It is bet-
ter to be content "with ignorance of a man's relig-
ious faith than to assign him a creed which he has not
avowed. Whatever be the views of such writers as
Vogt and Biichner and Ilaeckel, Mr. Darwin sincerely
believes that his theory ought not to " shock the relig-
ious feelings of any one ;" and he speaks of life " hav-
ing been originally breathed by the Creator into a few
forms or only one."* Mr. Wallace traces all natural
phenomena to will, and says: "The whole universe
is not merely dependent on, but actually is, the will
of higher intelligences, or of one Supreme Intelli-
gence."t Professor Owen:]: says: "A purposive
route of development and change, of correlation and
interdependence, manifesting intelligent will, is as de-
terminable in the succession of races as in the devel-
opment and organization of the individual. Gener-
ations do not vary accidentally in any and every
direction, but in preordained, definite, and correlated

* Darwin : Origin of Species, p. 5G9, Engl. edit.

t Wallace : Natural Selection, p. 3G8.

X Owen : Anatomy of Vertebrates^ chap, xl.


courses." Professor Huxley* affirms that Darwinism
does not affect the doctrine of " final causes," but
leaves it precisely where it stood before. lie, how-
ever, rejects what he calls the gross forms of tele-
ology. Professor Asa Grayf thinks that, "as w^e
contemplate the actual direction of investigation and
speculation in the physical and natural sciences, we
dimly apprehend a probable sj-nthesis of these diver-
gent theories, and in it the ground for a strong stand
against mere naturalism." And again : " The phi-
losophy of efficient cause, and even the whole argu-
ment from design, would stand, upon the admission
of such a theory of derivation " [as Darwin's], " pre-
cisely where they stand without it." Professor Par-
sonsij: is a firm theist. Even admitting the course of
events to be worked out after the fashion of the num-
bers in Babbage's calculating engine, he says: "God
never leaves his machine, for if he did it would in-
stantly perish; because it is always his present actu-
ality which gives force and efficacy to the laws by
which he works." Professor Lyman§ exclaims :
"How dead the science which puts force as its first

* Huxley : Critiques and Addresses (p. 272), and elsewhere.
t Gray : Amer. Jour. Science [2], xxix., pp. 161, 179.
X Parsons : Amer. Jour. Science [2], xxx., p. 7.
§ Lyman : Ainer. Jour. Science [2], xxix., p. 185.


cause!" And again: "What interest does a true
conception of the ever-working Creative Intellect give
to science I Tliis correspondence of the human with
the divine mind!" Dr. 0. W. Ilolmes"'' says : "What-
ever part may be assigned to the physical forces in
the production of the phenomena of life, all being is
not the less one perpetual miracle, in which the in-
finite Creator, acting through what we call secondary
causes, is himself the moving principle of the uni-
verse he first framed and never ceases to sustain."
Professor Mivartf assures us that the prevalence of
the theory of evolution "need alarm no one, for it is
without doubt perfectly consistent with the strictest
and most orthodox Christian theology." We would
commend to careful reading Mr. Mivart's general
treatment of the whole subject in his "Genesis of
Species;" as also the sound suggestions of Mr.
Murphy in his work on "Habit and Intelligence."

We summarize, finally, our conclusions from this
discussion :

1. The historical succession of events in the^:>//y5-
ical world is a real evolution, wrought out by energies
which we designate the forces of matter.

* Holmes : North American lievieiv, July, 1857.
t Mivart: Genesis of Species, ^. 16.



2. The historical succession of events in the or-
ganic world is a real evolution in its main features;
but in the details are many facts of a strongly dis-
cordant character. The evolution is marked by the
caprices of independent will rather than the uniform-
ity of unintelligent mechanism.

3. Admitting the evolution to be real and com-
plete, it remains to discover the immediate or second-
ary causes of the succession of phenomena, and also
the ultimate or efficient cause.

4. Of causes assigned, those which appeal to the
unlimited variability of species rest upon an admitted
hypothesis, without an authentic fact to sustain it.

5. This default of facts impairs the claims of La-
marckianism and Darwinism, though both are valid
agencies in the preservation of useful structures and
the conservation of the normal vigor of species.

6. Of all causes assigned, those which assume a
slow variative derivation are opposed by the gaps and
recessions in the geological series of types.

7. The only hypothesis which shuns, at the same
time, a postulating of indefinite variability and of
derivation by insensible gradations, is that first pro-
pounded by Parsons, and subsequently by Owen,
Kolliker, and Mivart; but this has to encounter diffi-
culties arising from broad gaps and frequent retro-
gressions in the series.



8. There exists no a j^riori ground for denying that
some phase of the doctrine of filiative evolution in
the organic world may yet become fully proven and
established, or that even the work of creating new
forms directly from inorganization may be now going
on. These are simply questions of fact, to be found
out by searching.

9. Should these doctrines become proven, even in
their extreme phases, there will be no proof of the
absence of immediate divine agency from any of
the operations of life ; and, having seen organization
emerge from inert matter, we can believe more easily
than before that " God made man of the dust of the
earth." In any issue of scientific investigation in a
new development of truth. Christian Theism has noth-
ing to fear, but only new truth to gain ; and should
entertain a gratitude above all other interests for being
placed in possession of new, solid material to incor-
porate into its system.

'!. ' :ll library



As M. Barrande's discussions have never, so far as the writer
knows, been brought i^rominently before the general reader —
scarcely even in the scientific journals — we append a con-
densed reproduction, intended to exhibit the spirit of his
method and conclusions.

Monsieur Joachim Barrande is one of the most eminent of
livino" Gceoloerists. Almost a lifetime has been devoted by him
to the study of the Silurian rocks of Bohemia, and, collater-
ally, of the most ancient fossiliferous deposits of all other
countries. The results of these labors are embodied in three
l^onderous quarto volumes, and a large number of pamphlets
and volumes in octavo. The richness of the Bohemian strata
in organic remains has enabled him to trace out the life of
certain extinct types with an astonishing degree of minuteness
and detail. The type of trilobites, for instance, extinct for
hundreds of thousands of years, has been elucidated in all its
stao-es, from the ecfff and the minute cmbrvo to the adult form.
The gradations in rank and succession in time of the various
modifications of the trilobitic type have been profoundly dis-
cussed and permanently established, in the i)r(>grcss of tlic
marvelous labors of this learned paleontologist. It results
that his discussion of trilobites, though ])ut incidental to his
main work, is recognized as the most authoritative monograph
of this zoological type. In the field of geological science


there is no name more familiar or more resj)ecte(l than that of
M. Joachim Barrande.

M. Barrande is, therefore, a competent authority to testify in
reference to the bearing of paleontological facts upon the doc-
trines of evolution. He has not omitted to turn his attention
to this inquiry ; and, in the suj^plement to the first volume of
the Systeme Silurien du centre cle la Bohhne^ he has embodied
an essay, entitled " Epreuve des theories i^al^ontologiques par
la r^alit^," which abounds in facts and reasonings of the ut-
most interest and imi^ortance. The following synopsis of this
discussion is intended for the benefit of intelligent readers lit-
tle versed in paleontological science.

It is necessary to premise that M. Barrande finds the oldest
fossiliferous strata of Bohemia to lie at the base of the Silurian
svstem. The assemblage of fossils in the lowest, or '' Primor-

</ CD 1

dial Zone," of these strata constitutes his " Primordial Fauna,"
above which succeed his " second " and " third " faunas. In
America the lowest zone of Silurian rocks is the " St. John's
Group," which contains types establishing its synchronism
with the " first phase " of the Primordial Zone ; while the over-
lying "Potsdam Sandstone" is synchronized with the "sec-
ond phase." Underneath the St. John's Group, in America, is
a great series of crystalline schists, now commonly designated
" Eozoic " or "Archean." Bv Sir "William Logan these were
divided into two systems. The " Huronian," above, was found
by Murray to be about 18,000 feet in thickness, while the " Lau-

* The discussion here referred to is republished in octavo form
(282 pp., 1871) for more general circulation. For a copy of this (as
well as many other documents) the writer is indebted to the distin-
guished author. The title of this octavo brochure is "Trilobites."
To this our references will be made. Further discussions by M. Bar-
rande maybe seen in an earlier publication, entitled i>is^ri&2(^io?i (?es
(Jeplialopodcs (1870), and a later one, entitled Cruataces divers ei Foissoiis
des depots Sihcrien dc la Bvhhne (1872).


reiitian," below, witli its "upper" and "lower" members, was
estimated by Logan to reach a thickness of 30,000 leet. It is
in the Lower Laurentian that occurs the problematical struc-
ture named Eozoiiii canadense^ on the hypotliesis of its animal

The indispensable criterion of every real law of nature is
its exact conformity to established facts. This is well illus-
trated in the accepted theories of physics and astronomy.
Now, admitting the animal nature of Eozoon^ lyi"g near the
bottom of the Laurentian system, the theoretical laws of filia-
tion and transformation, which have been assumed to regulate
the evolution of the zoological series, ought to enable us to de-
termine approximately the nature and the relative proportions
of the development of the princijDal types which should enter
into the constitution of the first faunas, and, notably, the Pri-
mordial Fauna of the Silurian,

It is clear that if the composition of this Primordial Fauna,
thus determined a 2Jriori^ shows itself in complete discordance
with the real composition, established by direct observation,
we must conclude that the theoretical laws of filiation and
transformation are destitute of all foundation in nature, or else
that the fact which serves as the point of departure of the
theories, i. e.^ the animal nature attributed to Eozoun, rests in
illusion. Let us look, then, at the facts.

I. Composition of the Pktmordial Fattna of the Silui^ian.

A. G cog rccpli iced Distribution.

The Primordial Fauna of the Silurian has been studied in
twelve locally distinct regions on the two continents. These
may be grouped as the " Grand Central Zone of Europe " (em-
bracing Bohemia and Spain), and the " Grand Xortliern Zone/'
stretching from Europe to America — embracing, on the former
continent, Scandinavia and England, and, on the hitter, New-
foundland, Canada (including Northern VennontV New Bruns-


wick, New York, Braintree Olassachusetts), the Upper Missis-
sippi region (in Wisconsin and Minnesota), Texas, and Geor-
gia. This fauna contains 3G6 distinct species of fossils, only
14 of which occur in more than one of the twelve regions.
These are designated " migrant " species. There is no sjjecies
common to the two continents.

Considering the specific distinctness of these forms as they
appeared simultaneously in the diflerent regions, we are com-
pelled to conclude that those regions were comparatively iso-
lated from each other and without communication.

It is, therefore, difficult to conceive how, without the influ-
ence of a sovereign and ordaining cause, animal life, develop-
ing itself in isolated situations in an independent manner, and
under the influence of very diflerent local circumstances, has,
nevertheless, manifested itself simultaneously everywhere upon
the tv*o continents under forms, if not identical, at least so
analogous and similar that science can not refrain from asso-
ciating them under the same generic names, as ParadoxideSj
Olenus, Conocephalites, Aguostus, etc. (Oj). cit., p. 193).

B. Vertical Distribution and Zoologuxd Composition of tTie
Primordial Fauna of the Silurian.

1. The Primordial Fauna is shai'ply distinguished into
earlier and later "phases,"' according as the trilobitic genus
Paradoxides is present or absent. In the earlier phase it is
represented by 33 species ; in the latter it is unknown. Each
phase witnesses the presence of other but varying trilobitic
genera. The total number of species of trilobites in the earlier
phase is 168 ; in the later, 85. The total of all species in the
first is 241 ; in the second, 127. The total number of all genera
making their first appearance in the earlier phase is 46 ; the
total for the later phase is 20. This excess of first appear-
ances characterizes nearly all the separate orders of animals
as well as the aggregate. The genera of trilobites in the two


phases are 18 and 10 ; ostracods, 2 and ; annelids, 4 and 1 ;
braeLiopods, 9 and 3 ; bryozoa, 3 and 1 ; cystideans, 6 and 0.

This considerable number of primordial genera, especially
in the earlier phase, ought to arrest the attention of those
savans who imagine that generic characters are derived, like
specitic ditferences, by insensible variations long accumulated.
This filiation and transformation \vould demand innumerable
generations of intermediate forms between the primitive ideal
tyj)e and the 66 tj'pes of diflferent orders which co-existed dur-
ing the primordial epoch of the Silurian. But to this day the
existence of these forms is indicated by no trace whatever.

It would be impossible to conceive why all the intermediate

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Online LibraryAlexander WinchellThe doctrine of evolution; its data, its principles, its speculations, and its theistic bearings → online text (page 7 of 10)