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existence must be due to the agency of God, mediate or immediate, and in either case so exercised as to make them answer a thought and purpose in the divine mind. And, more especially, man does not owe his origin to the gradual development of a lower form of irrational life, but to the energy of his Maker in whose image he was created.
Pangenesis. Mr. Darwin refers, in the “ Origin of Species,"l to “ the hypothesis of Pangenesis," which, he says, he had developed in another work. As this hypothesis is made subservient to the one under consideration, it serves to illustrate its nature and gives an insight into the character of the writer's mind. Mr. Mivart says that the hypothesis of Pangenesis may be stated as follows : “ That each living organism is ultimately made up of an almost infinite number of minute particles, or organic atoms, termed "gemmules,' each of which has the power of reproducing its kind. Moreover, that these particles circulate freely about the organism which is made up of them, and are derived from all parts of all the organs of the less remote ancestors of each such organism during all the states and stages of such several ancestors' existence; and therefore of the several states of each of such ancestors' organs. That such a complete collection of gemmules is aggregated in each ovum and spermatozoon in most animals, and each part capable of reproducing by gemmation (budding) in the lowest animals and plants. Therefore in many of such lower organisms such a congeries of ancestral gemmules must exist in every part of their bodies, since in them every part is capable of reproducing by gemmation. Mr. Darwin must evidently admit this, since he says, “It has often been said by naturalists that each cell of a plant has the actual or potential capacity of reproducing the whole plant; but it has this power only in virtue of containing gemmules derived from every part.' " 2 These gemmules are organic atoms; they are almost infinite in number; they are derived from all the organs of the less remote ancestors of the plant or animal; they are stored in every ovum or spermatozoon ; they are capable of reproduction. But reproduction, as involving the control of physical causes to accomplish a purpose, is a work of intelligence. These inconceivably numerous and minute gemmules are, therefore, the seats of intelligence. Surely this is not science. Any theory which needs the support of such a hypothesis must soon be abandoned. It would
1 Page 196. 3 Genesis of Species, by St. George Mivart, F. R. S. London, 1871, chap. x. p. 208.
be far easier to believe in fairies forming every plant, than in these gemmules.
Finally, it may be noticed that Mr. Wallace, although advocating the doctrine of “ Natural Selection," contends that it is not applicable to man ; that it will not account for his original or present state ; and that it is impossible, on Mr. Darwin's theory, to account for man's physical organization, for his mental powers, or for his moral nature. To this subject the tenth chapter of his work is devoted.
$ 3. Antiquity of Man. - Anthropologists are now," as we are told, « pretty well agreed that man is not a recent introduction into the earth. All who have studied the question, now admit that his antiquity is very great ; and that, though we have to some extent ascertained the minimum of time during which he must have existed, we have made no approximation towards determining that far greater period dur. ing which he may have, and probably has, existed. We can with tolerable certainty affirm that man must have inhabited the earth a thousand centuries ago, but we cannot assert that he positively did not exist, or that there is any good evidence against his having existed, for a period of ten thousand centuries.” 1
On this it may be remarked, first, that it is a historical fact that nothing is less reliable than these calculations of time. A volume might be filled with examples of the mistakes of naturalists in this matter. The world has not forgotten the exultation of the enemies of the Bible when the number of successive layers of lava on the sides of Mount Etna was found to be so great as to require, as was said, thousands upon thousands of years for their present condition. All that has passed away. Mr. Lyell calculated that two hundred and twenty thousand years were necessary to account for changes now going on on the coast of Sweden. Later geologists reduce the time to one tenth of that estimate. A piece of pottery was discovered deeply buried under the deposits at the mouth of the Nile. It was confidently asserted that the deposit could not have been made during the historic period, until it was proved that the article in question was of Roman manufacture. Sober men of science, therefore, have no confidence in these calculations requiring thousands of centuries, or even millions of years, for the production of effects subsequent to the great geological epochs.
The second remark in reference to this great antiquity claimed for the human race, is that the reasons assigned for it are, in the
1 Wallace on Natural Selection, p. 303., VOL. IL.
judgment of the most eminent men of science, unsatisfactory. The facts urged to prove that men have lived for an indefinite number of ages on the earth, are, (1.) The existence of villages built on piles, now submerged in lakes in Switzerland and in some other places, which, it is assumed, are of great antiquity. (2.) The discovery of human remains in a fossil state in deposits to which geologists assign an age counted by tens, or hundreds, of thousands of years. (3.) The discovery of utensils of different kinds made of flint, in connection with the remains of extinct animals. (4.) The early separation of men into the distinct races in which they now exist. On this point Sir Charles Lyell says: “ Naturalists have long felt that to render probable the received opinion that all the leading varieties of the human family have originally sprung from a single pair (a doctrine against which there appears to me to be no sound objection), a much greater lapse of time is required for the slow and gradual formation of races (such as the Caucasian, Mongolian, and Negro) than is embraced in any of the popular systems of chronology.” The Caucasian and the Negro are distinctly marked in the Egyptian monuments to which an antiquity of three thousand years is ascribed. We must, therefore, he argues, allow " for a vast series of antecedent ages” to account for the gradual formation of these distinct races. In addition to all these arguments, it is contended that monuments and records exist which prove the existence of man on the earth long before the period assigned to his creation in the Bible.
Lake Dwellings. In many of the lakes of Switzerland piles have been discovered worn down to the surface of the mud, or projecting slightly above it, which once supported human habitations. These are so numerous as to render it evident that whole villages were thus sustained over the surface of the water. These villages, “ nearly all of them,” are “ of unknown date, but the most ancient of” them "certainly belonged to the age of stone, for hundreds of implements resembling those of the Danish shell-mounds and peat mosses have been dredged up from the mud into which the piles were driven." Numerous bones of no less than fifty-four species of animals have been dug up from these localities, all of which, with one exception, are still living in Europe. The remains of several domesticated
1 Principles of Geology, by Sir Charles Lyell, F. R. S., ninth edition, Boston, 1853, p. 660. Also, The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man, by the same writer, Philadelphia, 1863, p. 385.
animals, as the ox, sheep, goat, and dog, are included in the number.
There is evidently in all this no proof of great antiquity. Even as late as during the last century, similar huts, supported on piles, were to be seen. All the animal remains found are of extant species. There is nothing to show that these lake dwellings were even as old as the time of the Romans. The fact relied upon is the absence of metal, and the presence of stone implements. Hence, it is inferred that these villages belonged to the “Stone Age.” To this succeeded the “ Bronze Age," and to that the Age of Iron. Sir Charles Lyell informs us that the Swiss geologists, as represented by M. Morlot, assign “to the bronze age a date of between three thousand and four thousand years, and to the stone period an age of five thousand to seven thousand.” 2
It is, however, a mere arbitrary speculation that there ever was a stone age. It is founded on the assumption that the original condition of man was one of barbarism, from which he elevated himself by slow degrees; during the first period of his progress he used only implements of stone; then those of bronze; and then those of iron; and that thousands of years elapsed before the race passed from one of these stages of progress to another. Hence, if remains of men are found anywhere in connection with stone implements, they are referred to the stone age. According to this mode of reasoning, if in an Indian village flint arrow-heads and hatchets should be found, the inference would be that the whole world was in barbarism when those implements were used. Admitting that at the time the lake dwellings were inhabited, the people of Switzerland, and even all the people of Europe, were unacquainted with the use of the metals, that would not prove that civilization was not at its height in Egypt or India. Moreover, the assumption that the original state of man was one of barbarism, is not only contrary to the Bible and to the convictions of the great body of the learned, but, as is believed, to the plainest historical facts.
Fossil Human Remains. Much more weight in this discussion is attached to the discovery of human remains in the same localities and under the same circumstances with those of animals now extinct. From this it is inferred that man must have lived when those animals still inhabited the earth. These human remains are not found in any of the ancient fossiliferous rocks. The Scriptural fact that man was the last of 1 Antiquity of Man, chap. ii. p. 17.
2 Toid. p. 28.
the living creatures which proceeded from the hand of God, stands unimpeached by any scientific fact. A nearly perfect human skeleton was found imbedded in a limestone rock on the island of Guadaloupe. That rock, however, is of modern origin, and is still in process of formation. The age assigned to this fossil is only about two hundred years. A fragment of conglomerate rock was obtained at the depth of ten feet below the bed of the river Dove, in England, containing silver coins of the reign of Edward the First. This shows that it does not require many years to form rocks, and to bury them deeply under the surface. The remains on which stress is laid are found only in caverns and buried under deposits of peat or of earthy matter. Geologists seem to be agreed as to the fact that human bones have been found in certain caves in France, Belgium, and England intimately associated with the remains of animals now living, and with those of a few of the extinct races.
The fact being admitted, the question is, How is it to be accounted for ? This juxtaposition is no certain proof of contemporaneousness. These caverns, once the resort of wild beasts, became to men places of concealment, of defence, of worship, or of sepulture, and, therefore, as Sir Charles Lyell himself admits, “ It is not on the evidence of such intermixtures that we ought readily to admit either the high antiquity of the human race, or the recent date of certain lost species of quadrupeds.” 1
In immediate connection with the passage just referred to, Lyell suggests another method by which the remains of animals belonging to very different ages of the world might become mixed together. That is, “open fissures " which “serve as natural pitfalls." He quotes the following account from Professor Sedgwick of a chasm of enormous but unknown depth, which “is surrounded by grassy shelving banks, and many animals, tempted toward its brink, have fallen down and perished in it. The approach of cattle is now prevented by a strong lofty 'wall; but there can be no doubt that, during the last two or three thousand years, great masses of bony breccia must have accumulated in the lower parts of the great fissure, which probably descends through the whole thickness of the scar-limestone to the depth of perhaps five or six hundred feet.” To this Lyell adds, “ When any of these natural pit-falls happen to communicate with lines of subterranean caverns, the bones, earth, and breccia may sink by their own weight, or be washed into the vaults below.” 2
i Principles of Geology, ninth edition, p. 740. 9 Ibid. pp. 740, 741.