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to whom, such constitutes their most frequent reading, it cannot but be acknowledged that a periodical thus combining somewhat of the attractiveness and accessible brevity of the newspaper, with the careful literary characteristics of the scientific periodical, or monthly magazine, supplies one of the great wants of our industrious and advancing community. If the Family Herald, is conducted with the same good taste and judiciousness in the selection of its materials, which have been manifested in its earlier numbers, it cannot fail to meet with the success it merits.
On the Classification and Geographical Distribution of the Mammalia
-being the lecture on Sir Robert Reade's foundation, delivered before the University of Cambridge,, in the Senate-house, May 10, 1859,—to which is added an appendix, on the Gorilla, and on the extinction and transmutation of species. By Richard Owen, F.R.S. &c. &c. London: John W. Parker and Son, West Strand. 1859.
Everything which proceeds from the pen of Professor Owen will be received with lively interest and with respectful attention. The present lecture is a pretty full exposition of his views respecting the Classification of Mammalia according to the cerebral system, which he has derived from a long series of dissections, and a diligent use of such opportunities as have perhaps never before been possessed by a comparative anatomist. That his system is an important improvement on that of Cuvier, can hardly be denied.
Every unprejudiced observer of nature will feel favourably disposed towards a method which brings Edentata, (Bruta] Cheiroptera, Insectivora and Rodentia into close relationship. We cannot help looking a little suspiciously at the multiplication of orders, and are disposed to anticipate still further improvements. In the meantime, all honour is due to Professor Owen's labours; and his present explanation of the characters of the various tribes is to be highly valued. In connection with this lecture, the author has published two papers which form an appropriate and valuable supplement to it. Appendix A is a note on the extinction of species, “ being the conclusion of the Fullerian course of lectures on Physiology for 1859.” Appendix B is on the Orang, Chimpansee, and Gorilla, in reference to the transmutation of species, and runs to a considerable extent. Our present limits forbid extracts, or analysis, but in naming the subjects we excite the curiosity of our readers to know the opinions of the chief of comparative anatomists, and they can readily satisfy it, by having recourse to the work itself, which deserves the careful study of all who are interested in these pursuits.
Archaia ; Or Studies of the Cosmogony and Natural History of the
Hebrew Scriptures. By J. W. Dawson, LL.D., F.G.S., Principal of McGill College, &c. Montreal : B. Dawson and Son. 1860.
Dr. Dawson's recent contribution to the literature of the Bible-for in such light must his Archaia be chiefly regarded, -has reached us just as we are going to press ; and, hence, we are unable to devote to it the space to which it is so justly entitled, both by the distinguished name of its author and by its own intrinsic merits. As the issue, moreover, of a Canadian publisher, it has further claims upon us : ill met, we are afraid, by this too scanty and too hurried notice. Archaia is essentially composed of a series of critical essays or discourses founded on the opening chapter of Genesis ; but the author enlarges his field of inquiry by various references to other passages of the sacred writings; more especially in the bearings of these on the Mosaic record of creation, and in their connexion with the study of nature generally. For the successful composition of a work of this kind, the author possesses many peculiar qualifications : a ready command of language, a clear and logical method of discussion, an intimate acquaintance with the discoveries and researches of modern science, and, above all, an evidently sincere and strong faith in the divine truths of Revelation. With these qualifications, although preceded on the same path by many active investigators, he has produced, as might be expeccted, an interesting and popularly written book; and one, moreover, containing various subordinate points of a novel character. The very nature of the subject renders, however, a work of this description more or less unsatisfactory to many readers. Perhaps to the scientific investigator, and to those whose thoughts have long dwelt on these questions, more especially; but if the work before us, leave the mind in some respects unsatisfied, we cannot but admit that in its expansive treatment of the subject it has gone beyond its predecessors. The author, in his preface, hopes that his work may aid in some degree in redeeming the subject from the narrow views which are unhappily too prevalent: and of this, if those
who entertain such views can be led to read the book, we have but little doubt. In this respect alone, therefore, apart from its general value, we may fairly welcome it, and urge its perusal upon those who still blindly look upon geology, and upon natural science generally, as antagonistic in some undefined manner to the spirit of Revelation.
It is difficult to extract a passage, sufficiently independent of the context for quotation, without occupying a larger space than our limits permit; but the following from one of the introductory chapters, in which the author claims for the Holy Scriptures a deeper insight into natural phenomena than many have hitherto foreseen, may serve as an example of the style and general expression of the work :
“The law of type or pattern in nature is distinctly indicated in the Bible. This is a principle only recently understood by naturalists, but it has more or less dimly dawned on the minds of many great thinkers in all ages. Nor is this wonderful, for the idea of type is scarcely ever absent from our own conceptions of any work that we may undertake. In any such work we anticipate recurring daily toil, like the returning cycles of nature. We look for progress, like that of the growth of the universe. We study adaptation both of the several parts to subordinate uses and of the whole to some general design. But we also keep in view some pattern, style, or order, according to which the whole is arranged, and the mutual relations of the parts are adjusted. The architect must adhere to some order of architecture, and to some style within that order. The potter, the calico printer, and the silversmith, must equally study uniformity of pattern in their several manufactures. The Almighty Worker has exhibited the same idea in his works. In the animal kingdom, for instance, we have four leading types of structure Taking any one of these- the vertebrate, for example-we bave a uniform general plan, embracing the vertebral column constructed of the same elements; the members, whether the arm of man, the limb of the quadruped, or the wing of the bat or the bird, or the swimming paddle of the whale, built of the same bones. In like manner all the parts of the vertebral column itself in the same animal, whether in the skull, the neck or the trunk, are composed of the same elementary structures. These types are farther found to be sketched out,-first in their more general, and then in their special features—in proceeding from the lower species of the same type to the bigher, in proceeding from the earlier to the later stages of embryonic development, and in proceeding from the more ancient to the more recent creatures that have succeeded each other in geological time. Man, the highest of the vertebrates, is thus the archetype, representing and including all the lower and earlier members of the vertebrate type. The above are but trite and familiar examples of a doctrine which may furnish and bas furnished the material of volumes. There can be no question that the Hebrew Bible is the oldest book in which bis principle is stated. In the first chapter of Genesis we have specific type in the creation of plants and animals after their kinds or species, and in the formation of man in the image and likeness of the
Creator ; and, as we shall find in the sequel, there are some curious ideas of higher and more general types in the grouping of the creatures referred to. The same idea is indicated in the closing chapters of Job, where the three higher classes of the vertebrates are represented by a number of examples, and the typical likeness of one of these—the hippopotamus--to man seems to be recognised. A late able writer has quoted, as an illustration of the doctrine of types, a very remarkable passage from Psalm cxxxix.:
“' I will praise Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Marvellous are thy works,
Which in continuance were fashioned when as yet there was none of them.' " It would too much tax the faith of exegists to ask them to believe that the writer of the above passage, or the spirit that inspired him, actually meant to teach--what we now know so well from geology, that the prototypes of all the parts of the archetypal human structure may be found in those fossil remains of extiuct animals which may, in nearly every country, be dug up from the rocks of the earth. No objection need, however, be taken to our reading in it the doctrine of embryonic development according to a systematic type.
* In that spiritual department which is the special field of scripture, the doctrine of type has been so extensively recognised by expositors, that I need only refer to its typical oumbers, its typical personages, its typical rites and ceremonies, and lastly, to its recognition of the Divine Redeemer as the great archetype of the spiritual world, as man himself is of the natural. In this last respect the New Testament clearly teaches that, in the resurrection, the human body formed after Adam as its type, is to be sublimated and reformed after the heavenly body of the Son of God, rising to some point of perfection higher than that of the present earthly archetype.
"It is more than curious that this idea of type, so long existing in an isolated and often despised form, as a theological thought in the imagery of scripture, should now be a leading idea of natural science; and that while comparative anatomy teaches us that the structures of all past and present lower animals point to man, who, as Prof. Owen expresses it, has had all his parts and organs 'sketched out in anticipation in the inferior animals,' the Bible points still farther forward to an exaltation of the human type itself into wbat even the comparative anatomist might perhaps regard as among the possible modifications of it beyond those realized in this little orb of ours,' could he but learn its real nature."
The passage given above, even if we cannot go with the author to the full extent of his argument, will shew the suggestive, thoughtcreating character of Dr. Dawson's work. As such, it will shew also, the value of the work itself to the biblical or theological student,
who, shaking off the trammels of a too narrow school, is willing to allow a place in his philosophy to the teachings of the great cosmic harmony which circles around him, and which proclaims through all its changes, I, too, am of God.
E. J. C.
SCIENTIFIC AND LITERARY NOTES.
PROFESSOR GEORGE WILSON, M.D., F.R.S.E.
Death has of late thinned the ranks of Edinburgh's men of science and letters. Some of the last veterans of the old Edinburgh Review, the foremost of Scottish Metaphysicians, and one eminent in her raaks of native Geologists, have rapidly followed one another to the tomb; but a sense of sorrow not less inteuse than that which was felt on the painful and sudden loss of Hugh Miller, has been occasioned by the death of Dr. George Wilson, the first Regius Professor of Technology in the University of Edinburgh. Dr. Wilson is widely known as the biographer of Cavendish and Reid; the author of " Researches on Colour Blindness," and other scientific works ; besides numerous valuable papers contributed to scientific periodi cals, and to the Transactions of the Royal Society and other learned bodies of which he was a member. His researches embraced a great variety of subjects, and included many discoveries of interest and value; among which may be noted his iuvestigations into the history of medical electri. city, and his discovery of fluorine in sea-water and in blood.
Dying, however, in his forty-first year, when, to those who knew him best, he seemed only to be ripening for the works of his matured genius : the best of his productions very partially indicate the wide range of thought and the original capacity of his mind. He has left incomplete the biography of his old friend and colleague, Professor Edward Forbes; and many of his papers furnish mere glimpses of the original views in his favourite science of Chemistry which he had purposed to work out in the leisure of later years he was never destined to
In addition to his professorship, Dr. Wilson was Director of the Scottish Industrial Museum. Of this national Institution a writer in the Athenceum, has justly remarked : “Dr. George Wilson was in no small degree the originator of tbat museum; he gave to it his heart, his genius, and his hopes of success and fame." It would not, indeed, be unjust to say that his life was in some degree the sacrifice made by his devotion to that favourite object. Of a warm and generous nature, and with the well-tempered enthusiasm of true genius, he threw his whole heart into whatever he did; and bis loss is mourned in his native city with demonstrations of public grief rarely manifested with like intensity. His remains were followed to the grave by the City Magistrates, the professors of the University, and the representatives of scientific societies and public bodies : and the day of his