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On the Genesis of Species Part 32

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[264] "Unity of Worlds," Essay ii., -- ii., p. 260.

[265] See the exceedingly good pa.s.sage on this subject by the Rev. Dr.

Newman, in his "Discourses for Mixed Congregations," 1850, p. 345.

[266] See Mr. G. H. Lewes's "Sea-Side Studies," for some excellent remarks, beginning at p. 329, as to the small susceptibility of certain animals to pain.

[267] "Philosophy of Creation," Essay iii., -- iv., p. 480.

[268] It seems almost strange that modern English thought should so long hold aloof from familiar communion with Christian writers of other ages and countries. It is rarely indeed that acquaintance is shown with such authors, though a bright example to the contrary was set by Sir William Hamilton. Sir Charles Lyell (in his "Principles of Geology," 7th edition, p. 35) speaks with approval of the early Italian geologists. Of Vallisneri he says, "I return with pleasure to the geologists of Italy who preceded, as has been already shown, the naturalists of other countries in their investigations into the ancient history of the earth, and who still maintained a decided pre-eminence. They refuted and ridiculed the physico-theological systems of Burnet, Whiston, and Woodward; while Vallisneri, in his comments on the Woodwardian theory, remarked how much the interests of religion, as well as of those of sound philosophy, had suffered by perpetually mixing up the sacred writings with questions of physical science." Again, he quotes the Carmelite friar Generelli, who, ill.u.s.trating Moro before the Academy of Cremona in 1749, strongly opposed those who would introduce the supernatural into the domain of nature. "I hold in utter abomination, most learned Academicians! those systems which are built with their foundations in the air, and cannot be propped up without a miracle, and I undertake, with the a.s.sistance of Moro, to explain to you how these marine monsters were transported into the mountains by natural causes."

Sir Charles Lyell notices with exemplary impartiality the spirit of intolerance on both sides. How in France, Buffon, on the one hand, was influenced by the theological faculty of the Sorbonne to recant his theory of the earth, and how Voltaire, on the other, allowed his prejudices to get the better, if not of his judgment, certainly of his expression of it.

Thinking that fossil remains of sh.e.l.ls, &c., were evidence in favour of orthodox views, Voltaire, Sir Charles Lyell (Principles, p. 56) tells us, "endeavoured to inculcate scepticism as to the real nature of such sh.e.l.ls, and to recall from contempt the exploded dogma of the sixteenth century, that they were sports of nature. He also pretended that vegetable impressions were not those of real plants." ... "He would sometimes, in defiance of all consistency, shift his ground when addressing the vulgar; and, admitting the true nature of the sh.e.l.ls collected in the Alps and other places, pretend that they were Eastern species, which had fallen from the hats of pilgrims coming from Syria. The numerous essays written by him on geological subjects were all calculated to strengthen prejudices, partly because he was ignorant of the real state of the science, and partly from his bad faith." As to the harmony between many early Church writers of great authority and modern views as regards certain matters of geology, see "Geology and Revelation," by the Rev. Gerald Molloy, D.D., London, 1870.

[269] "De Genesi ad Litt.," lib. v., cap. v., No. 14 in Ben. Edition, voi.

iii. p. 186.

[270] Lib. cit., cap. xxii., No. 44.

[271] Lib. cit., "De Trinitate," lib. iii., cap. viii, No. 14.

[272] Lib. cit., cap. ix., No. 16.

[273] St. Thomas, Summa, i., quest. 67, art. 4, ad 3.

[274] Primae Partis, vol. ii., quest. 74, art. 2.

[275] Lib. cit., quest. 71, art. 1.

[276] Lib. cit., quest. 45, art. 8.

[277] _Vide_ In Genesim Comment, cap. i.

[278] Roger Bacon, Opus tertium, c. ix. p. 27, quoted in the _Rambler_ for 1859, vol. xii. p. 375.

[279] See _Nature_, June and July, 1870. Those who, like Professors Huxley and Tyndall, do not accept his conclusions, none the less agree with him in principle, though they limit the evolution of the organic world from the inorganic to a very remote period of the world's history. (See Professor Huxley's address to the British a.s.sociation at Liverpool, 1870, p. 17.)

[280] "Lectures on Metaphysics and Logic," vol. i. Lecture ii., p. 40.

[281] In the same way that an undue cultivation of any one kind of knowledge is prejudicial to philosophy. Mr. James Martineau well observes, "Nothing is more common than to see maxims, which are unexceptionable as the a.s.sumptions of particular sciences, coerced into the service of a universal philosophy, and so turned into instruments of mischief and distortion. That "we can know nothing but phenomena,"--that "causation is simply constant priority,"--that "men are governed invariably by their interests," are examples of rules allowable as dominant hypotheses in physics or political economy, but exercising a desolating tyranny when thrust on to the throne of universal empire. He who seizes upon these and similar maxims, and carries them in triumph on his banner, may boast of his escape from the uncertainties of metaphysics, but is himself all the while the unconscious victim of their very vulgarest deception." ("Essays,"

Second Series, _A Plea for Philosophical Studies_, p. 421.)

[282] Lecky's "History of Rationalism," vol. i. p. 73.

[283] "Lectures on University Subjects," by J. H. Newman, D.D., p. 322.

[284] Loc. cit. p. 324.

[285] Thus Professor Tyndall, in the _Pall Mall Gazette_ of June 15, 1868, speaking of physical science, observes, "The _logical feebleness_ of science is not sufficiently borne in mind. It keeps down the weed of superst.i.tion, not by logic, but by slowly rendering the mental soil unfit for its cultivation."

[286] By this it is not, of course, meant to deny that the existence of G.o.d can be demonstrated so as to demand the a.s.sent of the intellect taken, so to speak, by itself.

[287] See some excellent remarks in the Rev. Dr. Newman's Parochial Sermons--the new edition (1869), vol. i. p. 211.

[288] _American Journal of Science_, July 1860, p. 143, quoted in Dr. Asa Gray's pamphlet, p. 47.

[289] See _The Academy_ for October 1869, No. 1, p. 13.

[290] Professor Huxley goes on to say that the mechanist may, in turn, demand of the teleologist how the latter knows it was so intended. To this it may be replied he knows it as a necessary truth of reason deduced from his own primary intuitions, which intuitions cannot be questioned without _absolute_ scepticism.

[291] The Professor doubtless means the _direct_ and _immediate_ result.

(See Trans. Zool. Soc. vol. v. p. 90.)

[292] "Natural Selection," p. 280.

[293] Dr. Asa Gray, _e.g._, has thus understood Mr. Darwin. The Doctor says in his pamphlet, p. 38, "Mr. Darwin uses expressions which imply that the natural forms which surround us, because they have a history or natural sequence, could have been only generally, but not particularly designed,--a view at once superficial and contradictory; whereas his true line should be, that his hypothesis concerns the _order_ and not the _cause_, the _how_ and not the _why_ of the phenomena, and so leaves the question of design just where it was before."

[294] "All science is but the partial reflexion in the _reason of man_, of the great all-pervading _reason of the universe_. And the _unity_ of science is the reflexion of the _unity_ of nature and of the _unity_ of that supreme reason and intelligence which pervades and rules over nature, and from whence all reason and all science is derived." (Rev. Baden Powell, "Unity of the Sciences," Essay i. -- ii. p. 81.)

[295] "The Reign of Law," p. 40.

[296] Though Mr. Darwin's epithets denoting design are metaphorical, his admiration of the result is unequivocal, nay, enthusiastic!

[297] See "Habit and Intelligence," vol. i. p. 348.

[298] The term, as before said, not being used in its ordinary theological sense, but to denote an immediate Divine action as distinguished from G.o.d's action through the powers conferred on the physical universe.

[299] See "Natural Selection," pp. 332 to 360.

[300] Loc. cit., p. 349.

[301] See Professor Huxley's "Lessons in Elementary Physiology," p. 218.

[302] It may be objected, perhaps, that excessive delicacy of the ear might have been produced by having to guard against the approach of enemies, some savages being remarkable for their keenness of hearing at great distances.

But the perceptions of _intensity_ and _quality_ of sound are very different. Some persons who have an extremely acute ear for delicate sounds, and who are fond of music, have yet an incapacity for detecting whether an instrument is slightly out of tune.

[303] Loc. cit., pp. 351, 352.

[304] Loc. cit., p. 368.

[305] Loc. cit., p. 350.

[306] Published by John Churchill.

[307] Natural Selection, p. 324.

[308] The italics are not Mr. Wallace's.

[309] "Unity of Worlds," Essay ii. -- ii. p. 247.

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