So the theory here again is divided. Two utterly irreconcilable ideas of the origin of life claim our belief—the theories of Biogenesis, and of Abiogenesis, the one says all life is from the egg, and has always been so; and so we have an eternal begetting of finite creatures; the other alleges the spontaneous beginning of plants and animals; a fact, if it be a fact, as unparalleled as creation, and far more miraculous.
As to the history of the progress of the germs of plants and animals thus produced, we find still greater diversities of opinion, not only as to details, but as to principles. Each inventor has added to, or altered, the original idea of evolution, until it has been burdened with more improvements and new patents than the sewing machine; only the evolutionary improvements bid fair to improve the theory out of existence. We have seen M. Tremaux, with the autochthonic Athenians, deriving the powers of improvement of plants and animals from their native soils. Lamarck on the contrary, inspired all his plants and animals—fungi and frogs, and elephants and apes—with the desire of getting on in the world and improving their limbs by exercise; so the greyhound grew slim and fleet by running; the giraffe's neck elongated by reaching up to the branches of the trees on which it browsed, and the duck acquired web feet by swimming. Others attributed the evolution of differences to external conditions. The negro became black by exposure to the tropical sun; the arctic hare received its coat of thick white fur from the cold climate, and the buffalo and camel their humps of fat from the sterility of their pastures at certain seasons, and the consequent need of a reserved store of fat for food for the rest of the body. Mr. Darwin's doctrine of Natural Selection refuses Lamarck's notion of any conscious attempt of the plant or animal at improvement; and equally denies the power of external nature to improve anything, except by killing off poor specimens, save in that very limited range where good pastures make fat animals for a season or two. An innate power of accidental variation to a very small amount, and the slow but constant adding up of profitable variations during countless generations, with the killing off of the unimproved breeds by Natural Selection, is his patent populator and improver. But this theory is too slow for the nineteenth century, and so neither Huxley, nor Parsons, nor Mivart, nor even Wallace, accepts the doctrine as Darwin propounds it. It is, in fact, already becoming unpopular among scientific men. Lyell proposed the origination of new species by leaps; as we see great geniuses born of commonplace parents; and Huxley supports that opinion, and Parsons, Owen and Mivart coincide in this inexplicable explanation. The author of the Vestiges of Creation accounts for improved species from a prolongation of the period of gestation. But Hyatt and Cope derive them from quite the contrary process—accelerated development of gestation. MM. Ferris and Kolliker derive them from parthenogenesis, a mode of genesis of which our world offers no example whatever.
The origin of man, with all his mental powers and religious aspirations, is the great difficulty. Mr. Mivart excludes man wholly from the influence of Natural Selection, from the time he acquired a soul. Mr. Wallace, rejecting the action of one Supreme Intelligence for everything but the origin of universal forces and laws, "Contemplates the possibility that the development of the essentially human portions of man's structure and intellect may have been determined by the directing influence of some higher intelligent beings acting through natural and universal laws;" i. e., the gods of the old heathen nations. And so after twenty-two centuries wandering over the world, we have got back to where Democritus started from—to pure old heathenism.
After such a history of the theory of evolution, and in presence of such contradictory presentations by its advocates, I need scarcely say that it is by no means an established scientific principle, were it not for the insolent manner in which some of them assert it as scientifically demonstrated; and denounce the Bible doctrine of creation as mere superstition, "A feather bed of respectable and respected tradition," and warn off Christians from any attempt to investigate theories of cosmogony; and overbear the ignorant by the array of the names of men of science who give their sanction to some phase of the theory. But let it be borne in mind that no well-established scientific principle, no demonstrated law, exhibits such contradictory and conflicting phases as those we have just witnessed. The laws of gravitation, or of chemical affinity, for instance, offer no such contradictions of their adherents; because they are founded on facts, while evolution is a mere notion, founded on ignorance and error, as we shall presently see. Accordingly, by far the greater number of the greatest scientists oppose it, as utterly unscientific, and have recorded their opposition, and the reasons for it. Sir John Herschel and Sir Wm. Thompson, among astronomers, have proclaimed its antagonism to the facts of physical astronomy. No new facts subversive of the foundations of faith in God as recognized in the universe by Bacon, Newton, Boyle, Descartes, Leibnitz, Pascal, Paley and Bell, have been discovered by such scientists as Whewell, Sedgwick, Brewster, Faraday, Hugh Miller, or our American geologists, Dawson, Hitchcock, and Dana. Nor have the deliberate and expanded demonstrations of its unscientific character by the late lamented Agassiz been ever fairly met, much less overturned. I refer to these honored names for the benefit of that large class who must take their science upon faith in some scientific prophet or apostle, in default of any possibility of personal investigation of the facts. Indeed, to the great majority, even of so-called scientific men, their science must be founded upon faith in the dogma of some scientific pope and council. And to such it may be reassuring, amidst the evolutionists' cries of Science! Science! to know that a great many of the greatest scientists, in spite of all these confused assertions, do still believe in Almighty God, do call their souls their own, and hope when they die to go to heaven.
As a specimen of the contempt in which this theory is held by the princes of science, read the following extract of an address by Agassiz, at a recent meeting of the Academy of Science:
"As I grow older in the ranks of science," said the professor, "I feel more and more the danger of stretching inferences from a few observations to a wide field. I see that the younger generation among naturalists are at this moment falling into the mistake of making assertions and presenting views as scientific principles which are not even based upon real observation. I think it is time that some positive remonstrance be made against that tendency. The manner in which the evolution theory in zoology is treated would lead those who are not special zoologists to suppose that observations have been made by which it can be inferred that there is in nature such a thing as change among organized beings actually taking place. There is no such thing on record. It is shifting the ground from one field of observation to another to make this statement, and when the assertions go so far as to exclude from the domain of science those who will not be dragged into this mire of mere assertion, then it is time to protest.
"He thought it was intolerant to say he was not on scientific grounds because he was not falling into the path which was occupied by those who maintain that all organized beings have been derived from a few original progenitors. Other supporters of the transmutation doctrine assume that they can demonstrate the changes to have taken place by showing certain degrees of resemblance; but what they never touch is the quality and condition of those few first progenitors from which they were evolved. They assume that they contained all that is necessary to evolve what exists now. That is begging the question at the outset; for if these first prototypes contained the principle of evolution, we should know something about them from observation, and it should be shown that there are such organized beings as are capable of evolution.
"I ask, Whence came these properties? If this power and capacity of change is not inherent to the first progenitors, then I ask, Whence came the impulses by which those progenitors which have not this power of change in themselves acquire them? What is the power by which they are started in directions which are not determined by their primitive nature? From the total silence of the supporters of the transmutation theory on these and other points, he did not think it worth their while to take the slightest notice of this doctrine of evolution in his scientific considerations. He acknowledged what the evolutionists had done incidentally in scientific research; none had done more than Mr. Darwin. He believed he had been injured woefully by his adherents. He was a far better man than most of his school made him."
It is to be acknowledged, however, that many scientists are evolutionists. Mr. Darwin is not alone in his belief. If he were, it would not be worth while to spend time in examining it. Quite a number of scientific men have fallen into it, and lecture and write commendations of it; and it has become quite popular among a certain class who do not like to accept the Bible doctrine that God created man, with its necessary consequence that the creature ought to obey his Creator; and they have proceeded to patch it out into completeness—for, as you observe, it is a little defective; like its own primeval squirt, it lacks a head and a tail—it has neither a beginning nor an end properly fitted to it. It takes a piece out of the middle of the universe from the management of God, but it leaves the beginning and the end totally unaccounted for; telling us neither whence came the first germs, nor whither tends the final fully developed angel. Mr. Darwin, though he calls one of his works, the Origin of Species, really avoids the question of origin. He admits the miracle of the creation of the four or five original germs of life, which, according to the evolutionists, is as unscientific as if he admitted four or five hundred. They desire to escape the operation of God altogether. Moreover, he gives no account of the origin of the law of heredity, by which each being produces its like; nor yet of the origin of the power of variation, according to which profitable variations occur. Here, then, is still a field in which God reigns. But it is specially with Mr. Darwin's admission of the Creator to bestow the origin of life that evolutionists are displeased. If they admit God at the beginning of the world they see plainly that there is no possibility of getting rid of him afterward. Messrs. Huxley, Spencer, Tyndall, Buchner, Haeckel and Vogt combine their forces accordingly to evolve the world as we find it without God's intervention.
Mr. Huxley, perceiving that to make either man, or monkey, or nomad, you must have materials, kindly brings a little pitcher of protoplasm, which he calls the physical basis of life. It is the meat our Caesar feeds on, and indeed, for that matter, all living things. All vegetable and animal tissues are made up mostly of oxygen, hydrogen, carbon and nitrogen; and as the materials of which all living beings are built are the same originally, and are simply these chemical substances with a little iron, salt and lime, with their properties, he will have it that all life, including man's life and thought, is merely a development of protoplasm. This is the clay out of which all the various bricks, and tiles, and tea cups, and porcelain vases of the great world building are built. We don't need to begin with monkeys, nor fish, or pollywogs, now to develop into men, for we go down to the very bottom, since we have the stuff they all are made of, namely, protoplasm. Still this clay needs a potter to mold and bake it.
The difficulty about the protoplasm is that it must be alive. You can not get a living pollywog, no more than a living elephant, out of dead protoplasm. Mr. Huxley shows very well that all protoplasm consists of the same materials; in fact, that all flesh is grass, as the Scripture says. The difficulty is how to convert the grass into flesh, unless by some animal eating it; or to convert the nitrogen, carbon and water into grass or grain, or any other form of protein or protoplasm, without the previous action of some plant. In short, how are we to make the chemical materials live? Here Mr. Tyndall comes in and endows the matter of the universe with life, and with all the potency of producing bodies and souls. In his famous Belfast Address he says: "Abandoning all disguise, the confession that I feel bound to make before you is that I prolong the vision backward, beyond the boundary of the experimental evidence, and discern in this matter, which we in our ignorance, and notwithstanding our professed reverence for its Creator, have hitherto covered with opprobrium, the promise and potency of every form and quality of life."
Yet, after all this marvelous endowment of matter with all potency, we have not got quite back to the beginning. For still the questions arise, Where did this almighty matter come from? Who endowed it with these wonderful potencies? And how does it happen to work so well, in such orderly and regular evolution of star dust, suns, planets, pollywogs, monkeys, men and maggots, in eternal cycles, ever advancing higher and doing better and better for the race, though poorly enough, it appears, for the miserable individuals? Here Buchner, Vogt, Spencer and other materialists come in and perfect that which was lacking; showing how the star dust made itself, and how the paving stones made themselves, and are under no obligations to any Creator but themselves. Matter and force are all they need, and endless time in which to work, and they will account for the universe without any Creator at all. Everything and every person must be just as it is, according to the regular operation of the laws of Nature.
As Buchner, Vogt and Spencer have given the system a head, Lubbock, Evans and others have supplied it with a tail, and demonstrated how society, and morals, and religion have been excogitated by the apes out of their meditations in the forests. It is a fearful and wonderful account they give us of the origin of marriage from the battles of the baboons, of the rights of property established by terrible fights for groves of good chestnuts, of the beginnings of morals from the instincts of brutes, and of the dawnings of religion, or rather of superstition, from the dreams of these animals; the result of the whole being that civilization, and society, and law, and order, and religion, are all simply the evolution of the instincts of the brutes, and that there is no necessity for invoking any supernatural interference to produce them. The termination of the whole, as far as you and I are concerned, is that "We shall fade away as the faint cloud melts into the blue ether," into the eternal sleep of death.
It thus appears that there is an orderly succession and attempted adjustment of one part of the doctrine of evolution to another, and that all the various workers are cooperating toward one grand result. It is true they differ widely in their professed religious creeds and political partialities. Mr. Darwin avows his belief in a Creator. Mr. Huxley votes on the London School Board for the introduction of the Bible into the public schools. Mr. Spencer is willing to allow the existence of some great unknowable mystery. Some of the French and German evolutionists dispense with any reference to God, as an unnecessary hypothesis. Others oppose the idea of God altogether, as inimical to progress. M. Comte proposed a worship of humanity. M. Strauss would worship the universe. But with all this variety of uniform, and armor, and tactics, the evolutionists are all soldiers of the same army, and are all fighting the same great battle, for the brutal origin of man, and his independence of God. From which independence of God, and brutal origin of mankind, result very important consequences. For the belief of this notion necessarily destroys all faith in the Bible, and in the Christianity which it reveals, and revolutionizes the basis of the civilization founded upon it, and all the laws protecting life, property, marriage and religion; which laws are based upon the belief of mankind in the dignity of man, the sacredness of human life, and the sanction of morality by the All-seeing Judge of all the earth, who will reward every man according to his works. For all practical purposes it makes no great difference whether a man denies that there is any God at all, or admits that there is some kind of a god who created the world millions of years ago, and just set it a spinning to work out its destiny as best it might, but never after concerned himself about it, or its people, and never will; for nobody will ever trouble his head about a god who never troubles his head about him.
Most of the evolutionists are zealous advocates of their system. These propagandists have had such a degree of success in attracting public attention, in inspiring a large proportion of the secular press, besides scientific journals, as advocates of their notions, and in obtaining entrance for them into the common school books, put into the hands of our children, and into massive quartos published by State legislatures with the money of Christian people, and in the prevalent corruption of public morals and breach of private trusts necessarily resulting from the evolution of these principles, that we are compelled, in self-defense, to examine the doctrine of evolution. It is all very well for Mr. Tyndall to warn off everybody, but evolutionists, from any investigations into cosmogony; about which he owns that they know very little now, and will not know much for some millions of years to come. But common people, who will not live so long, but who in the meantime have to live and make money, and save it, who have children to rear, and houses which they do not want burned over their heads, who have taxes to pay, increasing every year, and public plunderers to prosecute and whose ballots may be asked one of these days for the substitution of the communes of the original apes, and the Red Republic for these United States, all upon the alleged scientific proof for the truth of the doctrine of evolution, and the consequent abolishment of Christianity—common people, I maintain, by whose money and votes this dogma is to be established, will not be debarred from asking the why and the wherefore, neither by Mr. Tyndall, nor by any other scientific pope. It is a little too late in the day for men who do not know their own mind from the Alps to Belfast, and who doubt whether God made them whenever they are dyspeptic, to stand up before the public demanding that we shut our eyes and open our mouths, and swallow every preposterous notion they think proper to proclaim as science, to the destruction of our faith in the God who made us, of our respect for our brethren of mankind, and of our hope of heaven.
II. The Illogical Structure of the Theory.
When men come before the world with a dogma freighted with such wide-reaching revolutions, they ought to be prepared to furnish the most irrefragable proofs of its truth, and of its obligation and authority. We should be able to establish it beyond all controversy as based on a series of facts which take their place historically in the line of the inductive sciences; about which all men of science are agreed, as all astronomers, for instance, are agreed about gravitation; and we should be able to show that each of the alleged consequences flows inevitably and logically from these established facts. Ignorance, hypothesis, assumption of facts, sophisms, begging the question, and the like, are wholly impertinent in any such discussion. Were they even tolerable in the field of metaphysical discussion, they must, by the rules of the Positive Philosophy itself, banishing all but ascertained facts from the halls of science, be excluded from this discussion of an alleged general law of nature. But when we enter on the examination of the dogma of evolution, we find its parentage among ignoble superstitions; its fundamental facts still lie in the darkness of ignorance and assumption; and its reasoning is illogical and absurd.
The most prominent feature which arrests our notice as we look closely at the theory of evolution, as presented by any of its prominent atheistical advocates is, its illogical and incoherent structure. The writer contradicts himself. The various parts of the theory do not hang together. The alleged facts do not sustain the conclusions deduced from them. Mr. Darwin's books especially abound in the most intolerable assumptions of principles and facts, not only without proof, but in the face of unanswered and unanswerable objections. And the theory is useless for the purpose of its proposal. All this is utterly at variance with the method of true science. None but a mind debauched by bigoted attachment to a preconceived theory could overlook these fatal defects in the system. Indeed both Darwin and Huxley admit that acceptance of the evidence must be preceded by belief in the principle of evolution. It is marvelous that any properly educated student of mental science should accept a theory so incoherent, in which the rents are scarcely held together by the patches. We can only exhibit a few specimens of the multitude of these fatal inconsistencies and deficiencies.
The theory is useless as an explanation of the arcana of Nature. Mr. Darwin is, by his own acknowledgment, a very ignorant man—ignorant of the very things necessary for him to know before he can construct a method of creation, and unable to explain to us what he sets out to explain. He confesses himself ignorant of the origin and laws of inheritance, by which his whole system hangs together; of the common ancestors from which he alleges all creatures are derived; of the laws of correlation of parts, though these are indispensable to development; of the reasons of the extinction of species, which is the great business, the very trade of his great agent, Natural Selection. He has no knowledge of the duration of past ages, though that duration is an essential element of his calculations. The spontaneous variations of plants and animals are the very mainspring of his machine; but he tells us he knows nothing of the laws governing them; nor has he any information about the creation of the primordial forms, nor about the date of beginning, or rate of progress. All which are necessary to be known in order to the formation of a correct theory. Again and again, when confronted with facts which his theory can not explain, he takes refuge in confessions of ignorance. When he meets facts which flatly contradict his theory of the imperceptible beneficial acquirement of organs, or of properties by inheritance—such as the sterility of hybrids, the instincts of neuter bees, the battery of the electric eel, the human eye, and the eye of the cuttle-fish, he owns that "it is impossible to conceive by what steps these wondrous organs have been produced." When asked for the missing links between existing species, he refers us to the undiscovered fossiliferous strata below the Silurian. So Sir C. Lyell refers us for a view of the apes, which developed the first men, to the unexplored geological regions of Central Africa! And Rev. Baden Powell refers us, for the missing links of the chain of development, to "that enormous period of which we are, from the conditions, precluded from knowing any thing whatever." And as to the Origin of Species, the very thing the title of his book proclaims, and how the original germs varied into the four or five primeval forms, and these into the next, he says: "Our ignorance of the laws of variation is profound!" And that is science!
The Christian acknowledges his ignorance of the method of creation; but he presents a sufficient cause for the existence of the facts. The evolutionist ridicules the Bible account of creation as incomprehensible, and then he gives us an account which he himself owns to be incomprehensible, and which we, besides, perceive to be absurd. He proposes to explain to us the origin of species, and locates it in the geological strata of an unexplored continent, and in those remote ages of which by the conditions we are precluded from knowing any thing whatever! Objecting to the idea of the God of the Bible, as a self-existent, infinite, intelligent, omnipotent, good Spirit, because of its unthinkability, Messrs. Spencer, Tyndall, and the rest assure us of the eternal self existence of an intelligent cloud of gas, endowed with all promises and potencies, of life and thought, as a simple and intelligible substitute! Belief in God Almighty is only superstition, but faith in Mr. Tyndall's gas-god is science. Mr. Spencer honestly lands in the unknowable. Well, then, what science have we gained of the mysteries of our origin?
Of the self-contradictions of evolutionists, we have an instance in Huxley's treatment of the fundamental fact of his system—protoplasm. The grand question is: How does the protoplasm become alive? In his famous lecture on the subject, Physical Basis of Life, he argues throughout, that life is a property of protoplasm; that protoplasm owes its properties to the nature and arrangement of its molecules; that there is no more need to infer or allege a faculty called vitality, to account for the production of these various properties of the protoplasm from its chemical constituents, than to infer a power called aquosity, to account for the generation of water from oxygen and hydrogen; and that our thoughts are the expression of molecular changes in that matter of life which is the source of our other vital phenomena. Briefly, our minds are manufactured by our bodies. But in his more recent work, the Classification of Animals, 1869, without any retraction of his previous error, or acknowledgment that he has changed his mind, he flatly contradicts his Physical Basis, accepting and indorsing "the well-founded doctrine that life is the cause and not the consequence of organization."
A still more ridiculous incoherency of the same sort is displayed in the logical department of Huxley's Physical Basis of Life; where, after trying to persuade us to put our feet on the ladder which leads in the reverse direction from Jacob's, and to descend with him into the slough of materialism, and affirming that "our thoughts are the expression of molecular changes in that matter of life which is the source of our other vital phenomena;" he goes on to say, that he does not believe in materialism. And he tries to vindicate himself by asserting that "we know nothing about the composition of any body whatever as it is." And this after deducing our thoughts from the molecular changes of the protoplasm! A pretty story truly, and an impudent one! Here is a man who will tell you all about how your body made your soul out of protoplasm, and in the next page acknowledges that he knows nothing about the composition of either the body or soul as it is! And yet this man will mock the believers in the Bible as "smothering their minds under a respectable feather bed of tradition," because they hesitate to shut their eyes, and swallow his contradictions.
Mr. Wallace gives us a specimen of this logical incoherence affecting if possible still more deeply the foundations of philosophic faith. He heads his paragraph Matter is Force, and goes on to argue that matter is essentially force, and nothing but force; that matter, as popularly understood, does not exist. Then in a couple of pages he goes on to argue "that the whole universe is not merely dependent on, but actually is, the will of higher intelligences, or of one Supreme Intelligence." But the whole tenor of his book is thus demolished; since evolution, if it means anything, means the interposition of natural law between the will of the one Supreme Intelligence and the universe. And on this theory Mr. Wallace's criticisms on Mr. Darwin and others are impious, being criticisms upon parts of the will of the one Supreme Intelligence.
Similar instances of self-contradiction could be given, did space permit, from almost every advocate of evolution.
Our space permits the exhibition of but a single instance of the inherent incoherency of the theory. There is nothing in which all the atheistic evolutionists are more emphatic than in the exclusion of design from the universe. All their arguments and sneers are leveled against the idea, that the adaptations of Nature were designed or intended by an intelligent mind; and the theory of evolution is welcomed chiefly because it enables them to give some account of the order of the world, without any acknowledgment of a providence guiding it to some end or purpose. But yet all these same evolutionists proclaim progress as the great law of Nature, and expend themselves with wonderful eloquence in tracing the progress of nebulae into worlds, and of worms into men. They glory in progress of the past, and prophesy progress in the future, apparently in the most childish unconsciousness, that the very idea of progress involves design, and that the fact of progress asserts providence. Nor is there any escape by alleging necessity of Nature, which is merely endowing the designer of progress with omnipotence as well as omniscience.
The illogical character of the theory is still further manifested by the failure of its alleged facts to sustain the consequences deduced from them. Suppose all the facts alleged by the atheistic evolutionists were granted, how would they do away with the evidence of the being and government of God? as they loudly allege they do. Let it be granted that all men grew up from monkeys, and the monkeys from worms, and all worms grew from invisible animalculae, and that the animalculae flashed into life by the chemical contact of the materials of the protoplasm, and that the protoplasm was a natural crop of the cooling globe, and that the cooling globe condensed itself out of fire mist or nebulae or star dust, I demand to know how does all that enable me to get rid of the law of causation? It is a necessary law of my nature to believe that every effect demands an adequate cause. It is equally a law of my nature to believe that every compound, or composite substance, is an effect, that the compound did not compound itself.
Here is a great effect—a universe in solution, with all the chemical constituents of our globe and solar system floating in it, and all their laws of chemical affinity and proportion, and all their electrical attractions and repulsions, in full operation (else we would never get a universe to thicken down out of it); and besides, all the potencies of vegetable and animal life, and all the great powers of the human mind, in a rather vaporous condition, it is true, but still all there—Socrates, Seneca and Solomon, Moses, Solon and Blackstone, Homer, Milton and Shakespeare, Demosthenes, Cicero and Daniel Webster, Watt, Stephenson, Fulton and Morse, popes, puritans and evolutionists, universities and newspapers and congresses, the United States and the British Empire, and the rest of mankind—all boiled up into Mr. Tyndall's potencies, but all there in potency, just as truly as they ever were here in fact. Well! here is a great effect just as imperatively demanding a great First Cause as the world afterward formed out of it. These substances did not make themselves then, any more than the resulting persons or paving stones make themselves now, and they did not endow themselves with these potencies, nor calculate and establish these laws of chemical combination in exact proportion, nor determine scientifically the laws of gravitation and electricity and light and heat, before they came into being; which must have all been established before a single particle of the star dust could begin to cool, or to approach another. The very first idea of matter or of force we can form demands law, and law is merely another name for the divine order of Nature. Whatever foundation for Natural Religion, for faith in God as the Creator and Governor of the world, is afforded by the existing order of the world, it is in no degree logically weakened (though it may be practically) by viewing that order as reached by a process of evolution, since that process also must have been designed, planned, adapted to its purpose, and divinely superintended.
Accordingly, we find that many philosophers, and some divines, acknowledge a process of the evolution of God's great idea, and adore him for the growth alike of forests and firmaments, regarding evolution, thus conditioned, as profoundly religious. St. Augustine, and St. Thomas Aquinas, of old, and many modern speculators, have assented to the theory of evolution as perfectly consistent with belief in God, as its Author. It is utterly illogical to allege that evolution has banished final causes. Grant it all its facts, and these facts proclaim God.
It is evident, however, that evolutionists are not confident of the ability of the facts which they are able to allege to sustain their theory, since they are perpetually postulating assumptions necessary to their argument, but which are utterly unproved, and incapable of proof. Mr. Darwin is the most notorious offender against inductive science in this respect. I have now before me a list of eighty-six assumptions of this sort in the Origin of Species alone. Those in his other works are too numerous to mention. He continually mistakes his own assertions, or even his own mere conjectures, for proof, and refers back to them, and builds further assumptions upon them accordingly; and he assumes facts unproven and incapable of proof; and principles which he must know are denied by his opponents. We can only take a few instances at random.
He assumes that all dogs are developed from wolves (Descent of Man, page 48); that the instincts of animals are developed (page 38); that language was developed (page 53); that there is a wider interval between the lamprey and the ape than between the ape and the man, thus begging the question of man's brutality (page 34); that the savage is the original state of man (page 63); that parental instincts are the result of Natural Selection, after owning utter ignorance of their origin (page 77); that the ideas of glory and infamy are the workings of sympathy (page 82); the heredity of moral tastes (page 98); that the standard of morality has been rising since the giving of the ten commandments (page 99); that our ancestors were quadrupeds (page 116); that there have been thousands of generations (page 125); that breeds have the character of species (Origin of Species, page 411); that rudimentary organs are inherited abortions (page 424); that there are four or five original progenitors, and distant evidence of only one (page 425); he assumes descent to prove his geology (page 428); and perpetual progress toward perfection (pages 59, 140, 176, 428), in the face of his own facts of retrogression.
Then look at the outrageous character of the assumption that beneficial variations may be added up indefinitely, that is, to infinity. Because a gymnast can leap over two horses, can his son leap over three? and his son over four? and his son over five? and can we in time breed a man who will leap to the moon? And yet the whole theory is based upon forgetfulness of the maxim, that there is a limit to all things, and of the fact, that in creatures of flesh and blood this limit is very soon reached.
Look again at the utterly erroneous assumption that the tendency of the struggle for life is to improve the combatants; an assumption contradicted by the whole history of famine, war, pauperism, and disease, among brutes and men. Were the survivors of the Irish famine of 1847, or those of the Persian, or Bengali famines improved by their struggle for life? It is true the fittest survived; but that was all; they were miserably emaciated and demoralized. Were the peasantry of Europe improved by the wars of the French Revolution? On the contrary, though the fittest survived, France was obliged to lower the recruiting standard three inches. In all cases the struggle for life injures all concerned.
And yet upon these two fundamental assumptions the theory is built; of which that of the indefinite accumulation of small profitable variations is outrageously impossible and absurd; and the other, of the improvement of breeds by starvation and hardships, is contrary to all observation and experience! Take away these two assumptions, and the whole theory of the gradual improvement of plants and animals by such agency vanishes. There is no such power of indefinite improvement by Natural Selection, as Mr. Darwin asserts. The utmost it can do is to keep breeds up to the natural standard, or near to it, by destroying the weakest; but at the same time it weakens the strongest also. Were there no other objection, this one would be fatal, that Mr. Darwin assigns an elevating power to a depressing agency, and asserts war, famine, hardship, and disease as his holy angels perfecting progress.
Mr. Darwin presents the most preposterous assumptions with such coolness and apparent unconsciousness of their utter improbability to his readers, and with such an entire ignoring of the necessity of any further attestation than his own ipse dixit, as to warrant serious suspicions of his sanity. Take, for instance, his bear and whale story. Hearne reports having seen in the Arctic regions a bear swimming in the water for hours, with his mouth wide open, catching flies; and Mr. Darwin says if the supply of flies were constant (where the winter lasts eight months of the year 40 deg. below zero) he can see no difficulty in the production at length of an animal as monstrous as a whale! M. Comte's disciples never suspected their master's sanity till he invented a religion for them.
2. This theory, it should be remembered, is merely a theory, a mere notion, a hypothesis. It is not even alleged that it is based upon facts actually discovered. The alleged facts of the cooling of the nebulae, the chemical origin of life upon our globe, and the development of the original Ascidian into the fish, and that into the monkey, and of the monkey into the man, never were witnessed by anybody, nor could they be witnessed. La Place was honest enough to call his part of the theory, The Nebular Hypothesis. He had no idea of claiming for it the rank of a fact of science upon which he, or anybody else, might build a system. Nor are the modern assertors of evolution able to establish a single instance of the chemical origin of life at the present day; though thousands of experiments have been made attempting that exploit, by English, French, and German chemists during the last forty years. Nor has a single case of the transmutation of species ever been observed in wild animals or plants; nor has any change of species been produced in tame ones by domestication or culture. No naturalist has seen a community of apes in the process of improvement toward manhood; nor has any philologist described the first attempts of the monkeys toward the articulation of language, or the manufacture of clothing, unless we except Mr. Lemuel Gulliver's interesting account of the Yahoos. It must be acknowledged that the animals described by that accurate observer, and graphic describer, approach more nearly to those required by Mr. Darwin's theory than any ever seen before, or since. Hence it is greatly to be desired that some scientific evolutionists should thoroughly explore those regions, investigate the manners and customs of the Yahoos with the enthusiasm of a true Darwinian, and minutely describe those interesting features which would enable us to decide whether they are monkeys progressing to manhood, or men brutalizing into apehood; but which Mr. Gulliver's lack of scientific enthusiasm for evolution prevented him from closely examining. But until the scientific standing of Mr. Gulliver's Yahoos is determined, the theory of evolution must be assigned to the mountains of speculations, big with expectation, but which yet await the birth of their first fact.
Mr. Darwin indeed alleges the results of domestication upon animals and plants, as producing permanent varieties as different in appearance as many which are ranked by naturalists as different species, and he alleges that Natural Selection carries on a similar process of improvement among wild animals and plants.
But the facts of domestication are most emphatic in refusing to acknowledge any change of species of the most carefully bred animals. The efforts of breeders have been exerted for thousands of years upon the dog, the ox, the goat, the sheep, and the ass, the horse, and the camel, among animals; and upon the goose, the duck, and the pigeon, and for a shorter time, but still for two thousand years, upon the common barn-door poultry. Farmers in all lands, since the deluge, have used their best exertions to improve the cereals, the fruit trees, the vines, and root crops, and vegetables, and the result has been some valuable modifications of size, shape, flavor, and fertility; but in no case whatever has any change of species been effected. All the efforts of breeders have not succeeded in making the horse specifically different from the noble animal described in the Book of Job four thousand years ago. The sheep has not become a goat, nor the goat a sheep, by all the pains of all the shepherds since the days of Abel. The ass displays not the least tendency to become a horse, nor the goat to become a cow. Mr. Darwin makes great capital out of pigeons, enumerating all the varieties owned by fanciers, and showing how the Indian emperors bred them a thousand years before Christ. But it is strange that he does not see that this makes against his theory; since in all that time this most variable of birds has never been transmuted into any other species. The pigeon has never been changed into a crow, or a magpie, or a woodpecker, or a chicken; has never, in fact, become anything else than a pigeon. Dogs are also somewhat variable in their varieties, and Mr. Darwin relies greatly upon supposed variations from some one assumed ancestral pair of dogs, into the greyhound, mastiff, terrier, and lapdog. But granting all these unproven variations, no instance is alleged of a dog ever becoming a cat or a lion by any care or culture.
It will not do to allege, that, for anything we know to the contrary, our present breeds of domestic animals and plants may be so different from those called by the same names in ancient times as to be really different species.
We do know many things to the contrary. In the tombs of the Egyptians, and the sculptures of the Assyrians, we have pictures of the various plants, birds, and animals, from three to four thousand years old, as well as of man, the most domestic animal of the whole. These paintings and sculptures assure us that in all those millenniums domestication has not produced the slightest change in the races of animals, plants, or men. The Ethiopian has not changed his skin, nor the leopard his spots. The negro was then the same black-skinned, woolly-headed, flat-nosed, thick-lipped, long-heeled person he is to-day, as pompous, good-humored, and fond of finery. The Assyrian statues are good, recognizable likenesses of eminent living Jewish merchants, in London and New Orleans. The old Pharaohs of the monuments can be matched for face and figure any day in the bazars of Cairo. The greyhound of the tombs is the same variety now used for coursing hares in the desert. The camel, the ass, and the Arab, and Assyrian breeds of horses, have not been at all improved in forty centuries. Even Mr. Darwin's favorite pigeons would seem to have ceased to vary; for the carrier-pigeons let loose by Sesostris, to carry the news of his coronation to all the cities of Egypt, do not differ a feather from the modern Egyptian carrier-pigeons. The various wild animals, and many of the plants, are represented on these monuments in great variety. Among these I have noted the lotus, the papyrus, the leek, the palm, wheat, barley, and millet; the crocodile, the frog, the crane, the flamingo, the ibis, the goose, the owl, the ostrich, the peacock; and of beasts the now famous ancestral ape, Ptolemy's tame lion, the leopard, the gazelle, the hippopotamus, the giraffe, and the wild boar, and many others. But there is not the least perceptible change in the corresponding species now inhabiting Egypt and the desert.
We can go further than the mere external appearance; for we can actually dissect specimens of the various animals, and thus satisfy ourselves whether any physiological change, amounting to a transmutation of species, has occurred, or was in progress; and the investigation has been conducted by no less a physiologist and zoologist than Cuvier, whose authority in such matters no naturalist will dispute. And this is what he says: "It might seem as if the ancient Egyptians had been inspired by nature, for the purpose of transmitting to after ages a monument of her natural history. That strange and whimsical people, by embalming with so much care the brutes which were the objects of their stupid adoration, have left us in their sacred grottoes cabinets of zoology almost complete. Climate has conspired with art to preserve the bodies from corruption, and we can now assure ourselves with our own eyes what was the state of a good number of species three thousand years ago. * * * I have endeavored to collect all the ancient documents respecting the forms of animals, and there are none equal to those furnished by the Egyptians, both in regard to their antiquity and abundance. I have examined with the greatest care the engraved figures of quadrupeds and birds upon the obelisks brought from Egypt to ancient Rome; and all these figures, one with another, have a perfect resemblance to their intended objects, such as they still are in our days. My learned friend, Geoffrey St. Hilaire, convinced me of the importance of this research, and carefully collected in the tombs and temples of Upper and Lower Egypt as many mummies of animals as he could procure. He has brought home the mummies of cats, ibises, birds of prey, dogs, crocodiles, and the head of a bull. After the most attentive and detailed examination, not the smallest difference is to be perceived between these animals and those of the same species which we now see, any more than between human mummies and skeletons of men of the present day."
There is then not the first fact, or appearance of a fact, to be adduced in proof of the change of species either by domestication, or Natural Selection, or any other process known to man. That any such evolution of any animal, or plant, into one of another species ever occurred, is a mere empty notion, in support of which no facts can be adduced. All the animals and plants of which we know anything have remained unchanged since the beginning of man's observation of them. The theory endeavors to account for a change which never happened. It is a mere empty dream, unworthy of a serious consideration by any mind imbued with the first principle of inductive science—namely, that all science is the orderly knowledge of facts; and whose first rule is, first ascertain your facts.
But it is urged, that though such a change has not occurred during the brief period of human history, it may have been practicable in the lengthened periods revealed by geology, and while the forces of nature were more vigorous during the youth of our planet. This, in fact, is the grand resource of the modern evolutionists—the almost infinite periods and possibilities of geology.
We refuse, however, to follow Mr. Powell into those unexplored realms of the infinite past and discuss the possibilities of ages, of which "by the conditions we can not know anything whatever." We will go as far as the geological strata furnish us with any facts, any evidences of life, any traces of plants or animals of which corresponding species still exist, and will unhesitatingly affirm, on the authority of the most eminent geologists, that such geological representatives of existing species furnish no evidence whatever of evolution into higher forms. On the contrary, we shall show that many species have existed without the slightest change for many thousands, aye, and millions of years, sufficiently long to establish the fact of the permanence of species during the geologic ages known to man.
Geologists are generally agreed that the first Florida Coral Reef is at least 30,000 years old; but Agassiz asserts, uncontradicted, that the insect which built it has not altered in the least in that period, and he says regarding it: "These facts furnish evidence, as direct as we can obtain in any branch of physical inquiry, that some at least of the species of animals now existing have been in existence 30,000 years, and have not undergone the slightest change in that period." But we can go still further back, and demonstrate the permanence of vegetable structure. Hugh Miller says: "The oak, the birch, the hazel, the Scotch fir, all lived, I repeat, in what is now Britain, ere the last great depression of the land. The gigantic northern elephant and rhinoceros, extinct for untold ages, forced their way through the tangled branches; and the British tiger and hyena harbored in their thickets. Cuvier framed an argument for the fixity of species on the fact that the birds and beasts of the catacombs were identical in every respect with the animals of the same kind that live now. But what, it has been asked, is a brief period of 3,000 years, when compared with the geologic ages? Or how could any such argument be founded on a basis so little extended? It is, however, to no such narrow basis that we can refer in the case of these woods. All human history is comprised in the nearer corner of the immense period they measure out; and yet from their first appearance in creation till now, they have not altered a single fiber. And such on this point is the invariable testimony of Paleontologic science, testimony so invariable that no great Paleontologist was ever yet an asserter of the Development Hypothesis." To the same purpose let us hear Huxley's testimony, since no one will suspect him of undue respect for Moses: "Obviously if the earliest fossiliferous rocks now known are coeval with the commencement of life, and if their contents give us any just conception of the earliest fauna and flora, the insignificant amount of modification which can be demonstrated to have taken place in any one group of animals and plants, is quite incompatible with the hypothesis that all living forms are the results of a process of necessary progressive development entirely comprised within the time represented by the fossiliferous rocks."
We are fully warranted, then, in alleging, that no such transmutation of species is known to science, as an existing fact, or as having ever occurred.
As to the supposition on which the evolutionists fall back, that such a miracle might have happened thousands of millions of years before the formation of the lowest rocks known to us, we might well decline the discussion of may-be's as facts of science.
But there is a positive denial of unimaginable periods of time for Mr. Darwin's evolution to try its blundering experiments. We are empowered to say positively, No! There is no such length of time for you, Mr. Darwin, on this little globe at least. This rotating world had a beginning; so had our moon; and our sun, too, began to burn one day. And there are data of the revolution of these bodies, and of the secular cooling of the earth, and of the gradual combustion of the sun, and of the retardation of the earth's motions, from which Sir Wm. Thompson (in his Treatise on Geological Time) calculates, that our earth has not been in a fit state for plants and animals for more than a hundred millions of years; and he demonstrates the absurdity of the demand for unlimited time, as contradictory to the facts of physical astronomy. Hence we deny the possibility of evolution in the infinite ages of the past. There never were any such ages on this world of ours.
4. Failing to find facts, evolutionists fall back upon analogies, and support their hypothesis by the supposed analogy of the growth of the embryos of all plants and animals from germs alleged to be originally perfectly similar—simple protoplasm cells, which by subsequent evolution, differentiate themselves as widely as the moss from the man.
The subject is too obscure for popular discussion. I can only announce the results of the latest and most authoritative researches.
1. Analogy is a very unsafe guide here, because the differences between the limited life of the individual, and the alleged unlimited life of the race, are precisely those of which we have no analogy.
2. It is not true that "the original substratum or material is in every instance alike," nor that the "primordial cell is in every instance the same," whether of the "lichen or the man;" nor as others allege, "that chemical reagents detect no differences between them." Chemical reagents are very clumsy instruments for the analysis of living beings, and their properties and powers; which are the antagonists of chemical reactions. Nevertheless, heat is a well-known chemical agent, and the application of heat to a fertilized, and to an unfertilized, germ develops a whole world of difference between them. The one becomes a chicken, the other an addled egg. Moreover, the application of different degrees of heat to different germs produces the most various reactions. The germs of trout are speedily killed by the moderate temperature of 65 deg. Fahrenheit, while the germs of most animalculae and plants develop rapidly at that temperature. Such instances might be multiplied, but these are sufficient to contradict the rash assertion of sameness, because a hasty observer did not take pains to discover differences.
3. There are four distinct plans of structure in the animal kingdom, and at least three, perhaps more, in the vegetable kingdom; and every germ, from the first instant when its evolution can be seen at all, is seen to develop only according to its own proper method. There is no more confusion of germs, or embryos, than of plants or animals.
4. No instance has ever been known of a germ producing an animal, or plant, of another species, by any process of stopping short of ripening, or undue prolongation of it. Every seed breeds true to its kind, or not at all, or produces a deformity. Embryology utterly refuses the notion of the transmutation of species.
Mr. Darwin's various references to rudimentary organs, like the bones of a hand in the flipper of the whale, or the teats of male animals, and the like, can hardly be called arguments. He tries to account for them and fails; acknowledging ignorance of the laws of heredity. Some of them he will have to be young organs in process of evolution, others organs aborted for want of exercise. In this category he ought to place the tail which he ought to have inherited from his ancestors, as he is greatly exercised to know what became of it. But it is evident that his attempts to build arguments on such things, and to account for occasional variations by atarism, are in contradiction to his principles. Most of the known instances of the origination of permanent varieties were not the result of infinitesimal improvements, but were sudden and complete at once. The Japan peacocks, the short-legged sheep, the porcupine man and his family, and the six-fingered men, were not at all the results of a slow process of evolution; on the contrary, they were born so, complete at once, in utter contradiction of the theory.
5. The only other line of argument, which has any show of probability, is that based upon the gradations of the various orders of plants and animals. Not but that there are many other arguments adduced, but they are of too technical a character to be intelligible to any but zoologists, and of too little weight to demand consideration after the leading arguments are overturned. But this argument from gradation, though logically unsound, is plausibly specious, and therefore demands notice.
By far the ablest exhibition of this argument is that made by Lamarck, and we give it as he presents it: "The greater the abundance of natural objects assembled together, the more do we discover proofs that everything passes by insensible shades into something else; that even the more remarkable differences are evanescent, and that nature has for the most part left us nothing at our disposal for establishing distinctions, save trifling, and in some respects puerile particularities. We find that many genera among plants and animals are of such an extent, in consequence of the number of species referred to them, that the study and determination of these last have become almost impracticable. When the species are arranged in a series, and placed near to each other, with a due regard to their natural affinities, they each differ in so minute a degree from those next adjoining, that they almost melt into each other, and are in a manner confounded together. If we see isolated species, we may presume the absence of some more closely connected, and which have not yet been discovered. Already there are genera, and even entire orders, nay, whole classes which present this state of things." He then goes on to present, "as a guide to conjecture," what his successors now assert as a fact: "In the first place, if we examine the whole series of known animals, from one extremity to the other, when they are arranged in the order of their natural relations, we find that we may pass progressively, or at least with very few interruptions, from beings of more simple to those of more compound structure; and in proportion as the complexity of their organization increases, the number and dignity of their faculties increase also. Among plants a similar approximation to a graduated scale of being is apparent. Secondly, it appears, from geological observations, that plants and animals of more simple organization existed on the globe before the appearance of those of more compound structure, and the latter were successively formed at more modern periods, each new race being more fully developed than the most perfect of the preceding one."
From this gradation of nature, thus stated, the evolutionists go on to infer genealogy, the birth descent of the larger from the smaller, and of the more complex from the simpler forms, as the only scientific explanation. But it is by no means the only scientific explanation of the order of nature. The best naturalists, from Moses to Agassiz, have regarded the order of nature as the development of the divine idea, have prosecuted their researches on that view, and have regarded that as a sufficient and scientific explanation of the gradation of plants and animals, as they actually exist.
The idea of birth descent can not be logically connected with that of gradation; especially with a gradation upward. Were the order of nature such as Lamarck describes, how could any man logically infer the birth descent of each of its classes from the next below? Here is an ironmonger's sample card of wood screws, beginning with those one-quarter of an inch long, and proceeding by gradations of one-sixteenth of an inch to those of four inches. Does the gradation show that the little ones begot the big ones? It may be said the wood screws do not beget progeny. Well, here is a hill containing twenty-three potatoes, weighing from half an ounce to half a pound, and quite regularly graded. Did the small potatoes beget the big ones? The inference of birth descent from gradation is utterly illogical, and of a piece with the incoherency which we have seen in the other parts of the theory. It never could be inferred from the facts stated, even did nature correspond to Lamarck's description.
But nature does not correspond to Lamarck's description. That description corresponded moderately, perhaps, to the science of his day, which was based chiefly upon external resemblances; but no scientific naturalist of the present day would accept it as a correct statement of the facts revealed by modern science.
In the first place there is no such imperceptible blending and shading off of species as the description would imply, obliterating all distinctions of species, and rendering it impossible even for a naturalist to distinguish one species from another. Since the time of Lamarck, structure and physiology have been more studied than mere external appearances; so that from a tooth or bone Cuvier or Agassiz could reconstruct an animal, and indicate its internal organization, as well as its form and habits. But even in Lamarck's days, and even to the most uneducated, there was no such imperceptible shading and blending as the theory requires. It is well to look here at its requirements, for they are not fully presented by its friends. Mr. Darwin gives us a diagram exhibiting the variation of an original species into a score or so of varieties, ending in distinct species. But this is very far, indeed, below the necessities of the case. The horse hair worm lays 8,000,000 of eggs; and the primeval germ, whatever it was, could hardly be less fertile, since fertility increases with simplicity of structure. But, taking 8,000,000 to begin with, here were as many varieties; since no two of them, or of any creature, could be exactly alike. The next generation would give 8,000,000 times as many varieties, and so on till Natural Selection began to thin off the feeble. But here we have, instead of a few well-marked varieties, an infinite multitude of imperceptible variations, rendering classification impossible. And as all these were only varieties of the same breed, they would breed together, and thus still more confuse the complexity, and render distinction of species impossible. For, in spite of all Mr. Darwin has to say about the extinction of the weaker varieties, the fact is, they are not at all extinguished, but keep their ground as well as the higher classes, or perhaps better. And if a snail, or a worm, can contrive to live now in an unimproved condition, why should its improving cousin die off? Did its improvement kill it? And so of improving mollusks, and well-doing radiates, and aspiring rabbits, and all the rest. The world ought to be so full of them that no man could sort them off into species, or tell which was fish, which was flesh, and which red herring; and no pork packer could distinguish hog from dog.
But instead of any such horrible confusion of a world full of mongrels, we discover a clear and well defined distinction of species, known even to the poor animals themselves, and by their instincts made known to all mankind. The Creator, who created all creatures after their kind, implanted in them an instinct of breeding only with their own species; and placed a bar in the way of man's vain attempts to work confusion of species, by rendering the hybrid offspring of different species sterile, or only capable of breeding back to the pure blood. Innumerable attempts have been made by fraud and force to procure cross breeds of different species of plants and animals, but always with the same result—the extinction of the progeny of the hybrid, unless bred back to nature. While a mingling of various breeds of the same species—horses, sheep, or cattle—generally increases fertility, the attempt to mingle different species, as the horse and the ass, though so similar, always produces sterile offspring. It is impossible to conceive any form in which the Creator could more emphatically protest against the attempt to confuse the distinctions of species He established.
God has fixed a barrier against the mixture or confusion of species by cross breeding, by ordaining the sterility of hybrids. Mr. Darwin labors in vain to explain away this great fact. It can not be explained into conformity with the evolution theory; for in that theory all species are only breeds or varieties of one species, and ought to increase their fertility by cross breeding. With all scientific naturalists, as with all people of common sense, this proves that species have a distinct existence in nature, and that the Creator has ordained the continuance of their distinct existence; which is the denial of evolution.
When Mr. Darwin retreats into the geologic ages, and confessing that his principle has ceased to be operative now in our world, and refers us to them for such evolution of one species from another, he abandons the fundamental principle of his school—the uniformity of nature—and falls back on Christian ground the necessity for supernatural origins. He virtually admits the death or superannuation of Natural Selection, since it has retired from the business of species-making.
But when we go back to those old geologic ages, we find that species were then not only as distinct as now, but that the distinctions were even bolder and more visible. Many of them have ceased to exist, but they have left their shells, their petrified casts, and their bones, by which we can see that they stood apart in well-defined groups, without any such blending and confusion as the evolution theory asserts. Over three thousand species are already classified. Between every two of them there ought to be, on Mr. Darwin's showing, a hundred intermediate variations at the least; and between some of the more widely separated forms there ought to be thousands of intermediate varieties; as for instance between the bear and the whale; and a still greater number between the mollusk with its external shell, and the vertebrate with its internal skeleton. And we ought to find these intermediate forms closely connected with their parents and their children. For intermediate forms in another continent could not be the connecting links between the mollusks and vertebrates of a distant country, say of England. In the same strata in which we find the two ends of the chain, and lying between the two ends of the chain, we ought to find the connecting links. And we ought to find a hundred connecting links for every specimen of distinct species, since Mr. Darwin alleges that they must have lived and died somewhere; and we have seen they must have lived and died right there where they were born, and where they begot their progeny. The geological strata ought to be full of connecting links.
But when we come to look for them they are not there. Geology knows nothing about them. It has plenty of distinct, well-defined species—trilobites, and ammonites, and echinoderms, palms, ferns, firs, and mosses, all sorts of quadrupeds from a mouse to a mastodon, and all just as clean-cut and well-defined as the species of existing animals. Mr. Darwin can not find his connecting links between the species, which ought to have been a hundred times more plentiful than the species they connected. These connecting links are missing links. He ought to be able to overwhelm his opponents, and bury them under mountains of the bones of intermediate species. But all his friends can do is to suggest about half a dozen, while he needs three hundred thousand. He can not pay half a cent on the dollar. In his grief he turns round and abuses the defectiveness of the geological record, which he says he could never have suspected of being so defective but for this failure to meet his drafts. But he need not blame the geological record for not preserving bones of animals which never lived. Geology says there never was any such confusion of species as evolution asserts.
But not only does the general structure of the web of nature present a clearly striped pattern, instead of the mottled gray of the theory—neither the beginning, nor the middle, nor the end is like what the evolution theory would produce.
The gradation does not begin, as the theory asserts and demands, with the monads. On the contrary, we find that there are four kingdoms of animal life—in an ascending scale—the radiate, or starfish; the mollusk or oyster; the articulate, or insect; and the vertebrate, or animals with backbones. Now the evolution ought to have begun at the bottom, with the radiate, the coral, and the starfish; it should have gone upward, the coral developing into the oyster, and the oyster into the lobster, and the lobster into the salmon, and so on. But instead of that we discover, away down in the Silurian strata, at the very beginning of life, all the four kingdoms—the radiates, the mollusks, the articulates, and the fish! Evidently, then, there was no such beginning of the world as evolutionists suppose.
Then as we work upward along the line of march, and of the development of the divine idea, we observe that when new species were introduced, they did not work up slowly from small and weak beginnings; beginning with dwarfs and growing up to giants; but, on the contrary, the giants head the column. The geological books are full of them—sharks forty feet long, frogs as big as oxen, ichthyosaurus and plesiosaurus of fabulous proportions—were not their skeletons preserved—pterodactyles, or bats, as big as a dog, the mastodon giganteus, beside which an ordinary modern elephant is like a Shetland pony beside a dray horse, ferns as big as oak trees, and mosses eighteen inches in diameter, shell fish of the nautilus order the size of dinner plates, and crustaceans, cousins to the lobster, three feet long. And all this at the very first start in life of these respective families, and in overwhelming multitudes. That was no age of small beginnings, and small progressive improvements. On the contrary, these old families, like some other old families, seem to have rather lost rank, and bulk, and influence; at least their modern representatives cut no such figure in the world as their predecessors.
As we proceed along the line we meet gaps which slay the theory of genealogical descent altogether. A gap is fatal to it. If a family dies out, that is the end of it. You can not resuscitate it after a few centuries, and go on with that breed; much less can you pick up a breed quite different, and attach it to your old genealogy. But in the line of evolution we meet these fatal gaps; and no evolutionist has bridged them, because they can not possibly be bridged.
The first great gap is the abyss between death and life. No human power can cross it. How could the chemical actions of dead matter infuse vitality into the first germ, or bud of a plant? For chemical actions are the antagonists of life, and constantly laboring to destroy the living organism, and finally they succeed. There is no process of evolution known to man which can carry evolution across this abyss. But till evolution crosses this gulf it can not even begin to operate. This first abyss is its grave.
But, supposing life begun in the plant first, as the theory requires, there is another gap between the life of the plant and that of the animal; for all animal life is sustained by another sort of food than that which feeds the vegetable. The vegetable feeds solely on chemical, unorganized matters; the animal solely on matter organized, on some plant, or on some other animal which feeds on plants. No animal can live on the food of plants. Here then is another gap which can not be bridged over, nor crossed; for the plant in process of conversion into an animal is in process of starvation, and when the process is about to be completed, it will end like the miser's horse, whose master diminished his oats Darwinianly, a single grain a day, until he had brought him to live on just one grain per day, when, alas! the victim of the experiment died. And so ends evolution experiment No. 2.
Then we come on a multitude of gaps, breaks in the uniformity of nature, called for by the evolutionists, between the species which will not breed together. There ought to be no such species on the theory; or, if there are, there ought to be a multitude of intervening varieties toning down the interval; for instance, between the horse and the cow, and between the sheep and the hog. All the ingenuity of all the evolutionists has been tasked in vain to produce any instance of the confusion of two such species, or of the production of a new true species by the intermixture of blood. But they might just as well try to convert iron into gold, or sulphur into carbon. In fact, evolution is the modern physiological form of the old chemical superstition, alchemy, substituting for the transmutation of metals the problem of the transmutation of animals.
It were endless to attempt to exhibit the impossibilities of crossing the gaps between the water-breathing fish and the air-breathing animal; between the flying-bird and the quadruped; between instinct and education; between brute selfishness and maternal affection; between the habits of the solitary and those of the gregarious, and those of the colonial insects and animals. No one of these is accounted for satisfactorily by the theory of evolution. But space forbids the attempt.
We only cite one other gulf which the theory can not cross: the gulf between the brute and the man. We should rather say the three gulfs; for between man's body and that of the brute there is a gap which Natural Selection can not cross; another between man's intellectual powers and those of brutes; and the third, and widest of all, between his conscience and their brutal appetites.
The gulf between man's body and that of any brute is marked along the whole line, from the solid basis of the feet, enabling him to stand erect, look upward and behold the stars; along the line of the stiff backbone, maintaining the dignified posture; to the hands, on which treatises have been written, displaying their wonderful superiority over those of all other creatures, and enabling man to do what no other animal has done, to fill the world with his handiworks, and alter the very face of nature with his ax, and spade, and steam engine. His tongue and organs of articulate speech alone, were there no other characteristic, proclaim him different from all other animals; none of those resembling him in outward form making the slightest attempts toward articulate language or being able to do so.
Man alone, of all the animals, possesses no natural covering, but is exposed naked to the inclemency of the elements. What little hair he possesses is chiefly on the breast, where it is of little use as a covering, and on the head, which in other animals is never better protected than the body. Mr. Darwin alleges that the first men were hairy, like apes. Well, how did they lose their hair? Not by Natural Selection, which only perpetuates profitable variations; but the loss of hair to an ape would be as unprofitable as the loss of your clothes to you. Not by Sexual Selection, for there is not the slightest evidence that nudity was ever popular in apedom. We have undoubted evidence, in the two bone needles found with the bones of the man of Mentone, that the primeval men were naked, and complete proof that Natural Selection could not effect such a disadvantageous change had they been hairy. Here, then, we have an inferiority to other animals in the animal structure, strangely at variance with the general superiority, and only to be accounted for as an educational provision.
But chiefly in the human head does the great outward distinction appear. The brain is the great instrument with which the mind works. You can gauge the strength of Ulysses by his bow, and the bulk of the giant by the staff of his spear, which was like a weaver's beam. The brain of the largest ape is about thirty two cubic inches. The brains of the wildest Australians are more than double that capacity. They measure from seventy-five inches to ninety. Europeans' brains measure from ninety to one hundred inches. There are instances of Esquimaux measuring over ninety. Even the brain of an idiot is double the size of that of the orang-otang. But how did man get this extraordinary development of brain, far beyond his necessities? For the cave man of Mentone, who hunted the bison, had as good a head as Bismarck. Natural Selection could not develop an ape's brain in advance of his necessities. But here we have a prophetic structure; man's head developed far in advance of his necessities. Here is a power at work superior to Natural Selection.
With such an instrument man has gone to work and supplied his deficiencies. Inferior to many animals in strength and speed, he has manufactured weapons, and subdued them all, asserting himself as the lord of creation, conquering even the mighty mastodon, and piercing the huge Caledonian whale with his reindeer harpoon. He has remedied his want of hair by the manufacture of clothing from the spoils of his victims. He has rendered himself independent of the weather by the shelter of his house. He has ceased to be dependent on the spontaneous fruits of the forest by the cultivation of the soil, and so has become a cosmopolite, confined to no province of creation. He has constructed ships, and provisioned them for long voyages, and visited, and colonized every coast of Europe, Asia, Africa, America, and Australia. He has formed civilized societies with laws, government, and religion. He has leveled roads, navigated rivers, tunneled mountains, dug navigable canals, constructed steamboats, built railroads, invented electric telegraphs, and steam printing presses; and generally he has developed ideas of society, nationality, and of the universal brotherhood of man, not only not possible under the laws of Natural Selection, but in the most direct contrariety to those laws, which work only for the benefit of the individual. Never under those laws could any great community of animals be formed, never could they obtain the notion of representative government, never combine their powers for any national enterprise, nor could the most hairy and muscular-tailed of Mr. Darwin's ancestors secure subscribers sufficient to warrant him in starting even a county newspaper.
But it is in the moral sense which enables man to distinguish right from wrong, the conscience, which forbids and reproves the unbridled indulgence of the animal appetites, that we observe the grand distinction between man and the brute. There is nothing in the writings of evolutionists more pitiable than their attempts to degrade conscience into a mere gregarious instinct, an outcome of utility to the tribe, and to pleasurable sensations, resulting from the exercise of the social instincts. It would appear that these writers had so sophisticated their own minds that they have ceased to understand the fundamental, world-wide difference between right and gain, between duty and pleasure. "Do justice, though the heavens fall," could never be evolved by Natural Selection. That is the law of the sharpest tooth, and the longest claws, and the biggest bull; the Napoleonic theology, whose god is always on the side of the strongest battalions; the law of the perdition of the weak, and the survival of the strongest. In obedience to its laws the birds forsake their parents as soon as they can shift for themselves; the herd tramples down the wounded deer; the wolves devour their wounded brothers; the queen bee puts her sisters to death, and the neuters sacrifice all the males of the hive. In obedience to the laws of Natural Selection, the males fight for the most attractive females, and keep as many as they can, and form societies on that basis.
But man has a sense of justice, and mercy, and gratitude, and love. Here is an animal who knows he ought to tell truth, and do right, and honor his parents, and respect and love his brethren. Whether he always does his duty or not, he feels and owns he ought to do it. Justice, and mercy, and the fear of God, are not at all the attributes of brutes, and never could have been produced by the evolution of their instincts. No animal possesses any knowledge of God, nor practices any form of religious worship. Religion, then, could not be the evolution of what has no existence.
We have now considered the theory of the atheistical evolution of man, and of all plants and animals from one primeval germ, by the unintelligent operation of the powers of nature. We have seen that there are as many contradictory applications of the theory as there are advocates of it; that in any shape it is incoherent, illogical, and absurd; that it is destitute of any support from facts; that the alleged analogy of embryology fails to give it countenance; that the order of nature in its gradations is contradictory of the theory; that it utterly fails to account for the origin of life, for the distinctness of the four classes of the animal kingdom, for the distinctness of species which refuse to breed together, for the absence of the intermediate forms necessary to the theory; and, above all, that it can give no satisfactory account of man's bodily, mental, and moral superiority to all other animals, nor for his possession of a knowledge of God.
Its tendency, moreover, is inevitably to degrade man, to destroy that sense of his dignity which is the principal security of human life, to obliterate a belief in the divine origin and sanction of morality, and in the existence of a future life of rewards and punishments, and so to promote the disorganization of society, and the degradation of men to the level of brutes, living only under the laws of their brutal instincts. For all these reasons we reject the theory as unscientific, absurd, degrading to man, and offensive to the God who made him.
 The Descent of Man, p. 198, American Edition.
 The Descent of Man, p. 191, Am. Ed.
 Descent of Man, p. 199, Am. Ed.
 Descent of Man, 197, Am. Ed.
 The Variations of Animals, etc., Vol. II. page 515.
 Lay Sermons, p. 30.
 Lay Sermons, 303.
 Cited by Hodge in "What is Darwinism?" Page 73, etc.
 Natural Selection, 372 A., Am. Ed.
 From the Presbyterian, December 7, 1872.
 Origin of Species, 4, 10, 127, 9, 97, 100, 409, 410, 415, 423. Descent of Man, 192, 204, and II.—15, 257.
 Natural Selection, p. 365. Am. Ed.
 Theory of the Earth, 123.
 Testimony of the Rocks, 77.
 Address at Annual Meeting of the Geological Society, 1862.
 Agassiz's Methods of Study.
 Draper's Human Physiology, 506.
 Lyell's Principles of Geology, Book III., Chapter 33.
IS GOD EVERYBODY, AND EVERYBODY GOD?
Pantheism is that perversion of reason and language which denies God's personality, and calls some imaginary soul of the world, or the world itself, by his name. While Pantheists are fully agreed upon the propriety of getting rid of a God who could note their conduct, and call them to account for it hereafter, and who would claim to exercise any authority over them here, they are by no means agreed, either in India, Germany, or America, as to what they shall call by his name. Public opinion necessitates them to say they believe in a God, but almost every one has his own private opinion as to what it is. We shall speak of it as we hear it pronounced from the lips of its prophets, here, as well as in the writings of its expounders, in Europe, and Asia. Some of them declare, that it is some absolutely unknown cause of all the phenomena of the universe, and others, that it is the universe itself. A large class speak of it as the great soul of the world, while the more materialistic regard it as the world itself, body and soul; the soul being the sum of all the imponderable forces, such as gravitation, heat, light, electricity, magnetism, galvanism, vegetable and animal life, and especially the mesmeric influence, of which many of them regard intellect as a modification; and the body being the sum of all the ponderable substances, such as air, water, earth, minerals, vegetables, and bodies of animals and men. This creed is popularly expressed in the sentence so often heard, "God is everything, and everything is God." But this vast generalization of all things into the higher unity—this exalting of monkeys, men, snails, and paving stones to the same level of divinity—by no means meets the views of the more unphilosophical and aspiring gods and goddesses, for the very reason that it is so impartial. To deify a man and his cat by the same process is not much of a distinction to the former; and of what advantage is it to be made a god, if he does not thereby obtain some distinction? This leveling apotheosis is generally confined to the German Pantheists; their more ambitious American brethren ascribe the contented humility which accepts it to the continual influence of the fumes of tobacco and lager beer.
Man is the great deity of the other class. Renan boldly says: "For myself, I believe there is not in the universe an intelligence superior to that of man; the absolute of justice and reason manifests itself only in humanity; regarded apart from humanity that absolute exists only as an abstraction. The infinite exists only when it clothes itself in form." And as the soul of man is, rather inconsistently for people who believe everything God, supposed to be superior to the rest of him, they go off into great rhapsodies of adoration of their own souls.
"The doctrine of the soul—first soul, and second soul, and evermore soul"—is the doctrine which is to regenerate the world. God, in their view, is nothing till he attains self-consciousness in man. "The universal does not attract us till housed in the individual. Who heeds the waste abyss of possibility? Standing on the bare ground, my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, all mere egotism vanishes. The currents of the universal being circulate through me. I am part or particle of God." "I stand here to say, 'Let us worship the mighty and transcendent soul.'" "God attains to self-consciousness only in the human soul." "Honor yourself." "Reverence your own individuality." "The soul of man is the highest intelligence in the universe." Such are the dogmas which, under the name of Philosophy, are poured forth oracularly, unsupported by reason or argument, by the prophets of the new dispensation—the last and highest achievement of the human intellect.
It is very unfortunate, however, for the honor of the prophets of the nineteenth century, that this profound discovery was invented, and illustrated, patented, and peddled, by the Hindoos, among the people of India, two thousand years before the divinity had struggled into self consciousness in the mighty and transcendent souls of Schelling, Hegel, and Strauss, of Atkinson, Parker, or Emerson. We mean to show in this lecture, that it is an Antiquated, Hypocritical, Demoralizing Atheism.
1. Pantheism is an Antiquated Heresy.—It has rotted and putrefied among the worshipers of cats, and monkeys, and holy bulls, and bits of sticks and stones, on the banks of the Ganges, for more than two thousand years; yet it is now hooked up out of its dunghill, and hawked about among Christian people, as a prime new discovery of modern philosophy for getting rid of Almighty God. As the Hindoo Shasters are undoubtedly the sources from which French, German, and American philosophers have borrowed their dogmas, and as they have not had time to take the whole system, we shall edify the public by a view of this sublime theology as exhibited in the writings of the Pantheistic philosophers of India, as follows:
"When existing in the temporary imperfect state of Sagun, Brahm (the Pantheist deity) wills to manifest the universe. For this purpose he puts forth his omnipotent energy, which is variously styled in the different systems now under review. He puts forth his energy for what? For the effecting of a creation out of nothing? 'No,' says one of the Shasters, but to 'produce from his own divine substance a multiform universe.' By the spontaneous exertion of this energy he sends forth, from his own divine substance, a countless host of essences, like innumerable sparks issuing from the blazing fire, or myriads of rays from the resplendent sun. These detached portions of Brahm—these separated divine essences—soon become individuated systems, destined, in time, to occupy different forms prepared for their reception; whether these be fixed or movable, animate or inanimate, forms of gods or men, forms of animal, vegetable, or mineral existences.