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expression, and would be identical with it if P = s,'0'00186 has claimed. Like Mr. Buchan, he has used information atmospheres. In that case the internal pressure due from many sources which are not, or at all events are not to the salt in a solution containing 20 parts of salt to stated to be, generally accessible. These he has employed 100 of water would be about the same as the internal in determining the rates of secular change during the last pressure in pure water as given by Van der Waals. If, 40 years all over the globe. It would have been interesthowever, we attempt to apply van 't Hoff's theory of the ing if means could have been devised for showing not pressure due to dissolved substances, we find, as in the merely the results of this investigation but the data on examples quoted in the "Applications" (loc. cit.), that the which they are based. Again, the map in which the observed values of Pk' are many times greater than those direction of motion-eastward or westward-of the north given by calculation,

pole of the needle is graphically shown for the period The second Report, by Mr. Buchan, on " Atmospheric considered would have been more valuable if the magCirculation," of which we shall give some account in a nitudes of the mean annual motion at different places had future number, is rather a treatise on meteorology than a been added. This has, in fact, been done in a recent simple discussion of the Challenger observations. All the German work on the same subject. data, other than those derived from the expedition (which But if we are inclined to wish that Commander Creak have been previously published), are set forth, and a vast had claimed a larger share of space and given more collection of meteorological facts from all parts of the details, in what he has done he has gone beyond any world is utilized.

previous writer. His work is of the highest importance It would be impossible to attempt to discuss Mr. as introducing a novel view of the causes of secular magBuchan's conclusions in de:ail, but one may be selected netic change, and in connecting it with certain definite as an example. Twenty-six thunderstorms occurred at localities. sea during the voyage, and of these only four took place Mr. Buchan has furnished us with new meteorological between 8 am, and 10 p.m. Nineteen occurred when the maps. Commander Creak has prepared new magnetic ship was near the land, and these were pretty evenly dis- maps, which enable us to institute a comparison between tributed throughout the twenty-four hours. Over land the magnetic state of the globe in 1880 and its condition thunderstorms are most frequent during the day. At sea when Sabine portrayed it for an epoch some 40 years thunderstorms are nocturnal, and occur chiefly during earlier. The positions of the magnetic poles and foci the morning minimum of pressure.

of maximum intensity do not appear to have altered. "Over the land the maximum of thunderstorms occurs The secular change is associated, not with these, but with during the hours of the day when temperature is the highest, four points, towards two of which the north pole of the but over the open sea during those hours when temperature needle is veering, and from two of which it is apparently is lowest. The great majority of thunderstorms over the being repelled. The points of increasing attraction on land thus occur during the part of the day when the the north-seeking pole are to the south of Cape Horn ascensional movement of the air from the heated surface of the ground takes place” (p. 32).

and in the south of China ; the foci of diminishing atThese facts furnish Mr. Buchan with an interesting traction are in the Gulf of Guinea and near the north suggestion as to the cause of these differences :

magnetic pole in Canada. The existence of this last “ As regards thunderstorms over the land surfaces of the other three the various magnetic elements concur in in

focus is more or less hypothetical, but in the case of the globe, the disturbance of atmospheric equilibrium, resulting in ascending and descending currents, is brought dicating the same neighbourhood as the centre of change. about mainly by the superheating of the 'surface and Thus not only is the secular variation of the declination thence of the lowermost strata of the air. But as regards of opposite signs to the east and west of these points, the open sea, this mode of disturbing the atmospheric but the increase of the downward attraction on the north equilibrium cannot take place, inasmuch as the influence pole of the needle is a maximum near Cape Horn and of solar radiation is only to raise the temperature of the surface of the sea not more than a degree. Hence it is in China, and a minimum (i.e. a maximum decrease) in probable that the disturbance of the equilibrium of the the Bight of Benin. atmosphere, in the case of thunderstorms over the open Again the annual change of horizontal force is very sea, is brought about by the cooling of the higher strata small near Cape Horn, but it is decreasing in South of the atmosphere by terrestrial radiation” (p. 34). America, and the rate of decrease is a maximum at a

There can be little doubt that Mr. Murray is right in point between Valparaiso and Monte Video. These are thinking that Mr. Buchan’s Report will be a standard work precisely the kind of results which would follow from the of refere ce for many years to come.

gradual production of a subsidiary centre of relative The third Report, by Commander Creak, is on the Mag- attraction on the north-seeking pole of the magnet near netical Results of the voyage. As the author has himself Cape Horn. The real existence of the Gulf of Guinea described the main results of his investigations in the pages centre is similarly confirmed. Commander Creak of NATURE, it is unnecessary to do more than refer to its cautiously abstains from theorizing on these remarkable most salient features. We have two, and only two facts, but there can be no doubt that he is right in thinking criticisms to make. Commander Creak has employed that they must lead us to look for the chief causes of the British unit of force, and his paper will therefore be secular variation within the globe rather than in solar or used with less comfort and ease by most magneticians extra-terrestrial influences. His paper will be a point of than if he had employed the C.G.S. system. Perhaps, new departure in the science of terrestrial magnetism. however, as an Admiralty official he felt bound to adhere It will be seen from what has been said that the three to the traditions of his office. Again, we think that he Reports which have been discussed are written with a has been rather too modest in the amount of space he wider scope than the mere discussion of the observations

made during the voyage of the Challenger. Prof. Tait's rocks of which have been carefully studied by Dolter ; paper has indeed little connection with the work of the and of Fernando Noronha, which has been surveyed and Expedition. Mr. Buchan and Commander Creak have its rocks admirably described by Profs. Branner and worked up an immense amount of matter derived from Williams, it is obvious that the description of the specimens other sources.

placed in the hands of Prof. Renard can only be regarded The records of the Challenger have not only added ' as supplementary to the fuller and more comprehensive facts of great importance to our stock of knowledge ; accounts of the geology of the islands which we already but have been, as it were, nuclei round which a host of other possess. But in the case of some of the smaller islands. observations have crystallized into orderly arrangement. like Tristan da Cunha, Marion Island, and Heard Island, Each one of the authors has made a step forward. Prof. the notes in the present Report constitute almost the only Tait has extended the range of pressure over which com- materials which exist for judging of their geological conpressibilities have been measured. Mr. Buchan has stitution and structure. In the case of the Island of St. attacked the diurnal climatology of the ocean. Com- Thomas, in the West Indies; of Kandavu, in Fiji; of the mander Creak has given a new turn to our ideas on the volcano of Goonong Api, in the Banda Islands ; of the secular change of terrestrial magnetism. It is only to be volcano of Ternate, and of several islands in the Philipregretted that the exclusive use of British systems of pine Group, Prof. Renard has taken the opportunity measurement, and the other blemishes to which we have afforded to him by the receipt of interesting specimens felt compelled to refer, give a certain insular appearance casually collected, to discuss points of considerable and character to a work of world-wide interest.

mineralogical and geological interest. The Report on the Rock-Specimens collected on Quite apart from their connection with certain localities, Oceanic Islands, by Prof. A. Renard, consists of 180 these very careful notes of Prof. Renard on peculiarities pages, well illustrated by woodcuts and seven maps, and exhibited by rock-forming minerals are of much value to constitutes a very important part of the petrology of the geologists; and so also are the series of analyses of these Challenger Expedition. The account of the rocks of St. rock-specimens, made, evidently with great care, by Dr. Paul's from the pen of Prof. Renard has already appeared | Klement. in Vol. II. (Narrative), Appendix B, of the Challenger So many of the islands visited by the Challenger were Reports, and we are glad to learn from the preface to previously touched at by the Beagle, on board of which the volume now before us that the “Report on Deep- Charles Darwin was acting as naturalist, that it is imSea Deposits” which has been so long looked for by possible to avoid comparing the work before us with that geologists, is to be issued next month.

author's classical memoir, “Geological Observations on Mr. Murray is to be congratulated on having secured the Volcanic Islands,” which was published in 1844 and the services of so able a mineralogist and petrographer re-issued in 1876. In spite of the improvements of our as Prof. Renard to describe the rocks brought home by petrographical methods during the half-century, which the Expedition. Most of these descriptions have already has witnessed the application of the microscope to the appeared in the Bulletin of the Musée Royal d'Histoire study of rocks, it is very interesting to see how often Naturelle de Belgique ; but English geologists will be observations made by Darwin, aided by that great glad to see them collected together and published in their pioneer in crystallographic research, Prof. W. H. Miller own language, and in a convenient form for reference. of Cambridge, are confirmed by the painstaking labour:

Prof. Renard explains in his opening remarks the of Prof. Renard. There is, perhaps, some danger, at the grounds for publishing this account of the rock-specimens present day, that the facilities afforded for the microcollected on the oceanic islands by the officers of the scopic study of rocks, by the aid of transparent sections, Challenger Expedition :

should lead geologists and mineralogists to despise, or “Mr. Murray had discovered that loose volcanic

to regard as of small value, the observations made withmaterials played a very large part in the formation of the out such aid. To those who entertain such an idea, it deposits of the deep sea, and it was considered desirable will be instructive to see how Darwin and Miller by the to institute a comparison between these and the products aid of pocket-lens, knife-blade, and magnet, were often of the same origin in volcanic islands situated in or on able to form an appreciation of the mineralogical constituthe borders of the great ocean basins.”

tion of rocks, which has been very largely confirmed by It is at the same time admitted, by the editor of the the application of the more refined methods of the volume, that Prof. Renard's lithological and mineralogical present day. descriptions must be regarded rather as contributions to

The discussion of great geological problems, which, as the geology of the islands visited, than as supplying full treated by Darwin in 1844, contributed so largely to the and descriptive discussions of the subject,

interest excited by his book, have of course not come " The necessities of the voyage, bad weather, or the within the scope of the work undertaken by Prof. Renard. difficulties of the exploration, prevented, in many cases, The particular varieties of volcanic rocks in Ascension, the naturalists from passing more than an hour or two on which Darwin found to illustrate in so striking a manner shore; they were thus unable to give any detailed account the origin of foliation in the crystalline schists, do not of the stratigraphical relations, and the collections of seem to have been among those collected by the officers hand-specimens were sometimes limited to those rocks of the Challenger. But as an important contribution to situated near the coast.”

micropetrography, the work of Prof. Renard is of the In the case of Tenerife, of which we have such full highest value, as might indeed have been anticipated descriptions in the writings of Von Fritsch and Reiss, from the well-proved skill and acumen of the author in and of Sauer ; in that of the Cape de Verde Islands, the this interesting branch of scientific research.


than the first, but in the left foot the opposite is the case.

In an Australian boy, aged 4, in the right foot the great The Human Foot: its Form and Structure, Functions toe is slightly the longer, but in the left foot the second

and Clothing. By Thos. S. Ellis. (London : J. and A. toe has the advantage. In none of these Australians had Churchill, 1889.)

the feet ever worn shoes, so that the variation in the surgeon to explain the mechanical construction of ficial means. It would appear, therefore—as was shown

a : the human foot, and from this basis to show the prin several years ago by Prof. Ecker, of Freiburg, and by a ciples on which boots and shoes ought to be constructed. writer in NATURE, to be the case in the hand with the Although written in a popular form, and intended for the ring and index finger-that variations in relative length instruction of the public, it is treated in a scientific spirit may occur, not only in different individuals, but in by one who is competent, on the ground of anatomical opposite limbs in the same person. knowledge, to discuss the subject. Mr. Ellis was led to The author then discusses the movements at the joints give special attention to the mechanism of the foot of the foot and the action of the muscles; more especially owing to one of his feet having been accidentally injured; when the heel is raised and the foot rests on tip-toe as and his recovery from lameness was due to the indepen- in the movements of progression. He regards the long dent study which he was obliged to give to the structure Alexor of the hallux as exercising a bow-string or tie-rod of the foot in relation to its functions.

influence, bracing up the arch and diminishing the disThe earlier pages of the book are occupied by a short tance between the heel and the great toe. Hence the but clearly-written description of the form of the foot, exercise of dancing is one of the most important means and of so much of its anatomy as is needed to explain its of promoting and maintaining the strength of the foot. As mechanism. In the course of this description the author regards the act of walking, Mr. Ellis contends that what points out that the two feet are to be considered together, he calls the “four-square position,” in which the inner not as if they were two independent pedestals, or plinths, borders of the great toes are retained almost parallel to supporting the lower limbs and body, but as the two each other, is that which is most conducive to steady and halves of one pedestal or plinth, the divisions of which continuous progression, for the joints and muscles of the are separated from each other. He recognizes the inner foot obtain through it momentary rest in the intervals margin of the foot in its front or expanded part as form- between the steps. He condemns the military position, ing a straight line, whilst the outer margin forms a bold with the toes turned outwards, both in standing and curve, and acts as a sort of buttress to the main structure walking, as much more fatiguing, by keeping the muscles of the foot. The inner margin also is elevated to form

and joints in a constant strain. The condition of the arch of the instep. He refers to Prof. Meyer's well " Alat-foot” ought never to arise if the tie-rod action of known line continued backwards from the mid-line of the long flexor muscles of the toes be sufficiently exercised the great toe through a central point of the heel which

by frequent springing of the foot to tip-toe, such as takes follows the line of the long flexor of the great toe, and place in the act of dancing. states that this line corresponds with the highest part of The author applies the anatomical principles which he the ridge on the dorsum or upper surface of the foot, has expounded to the construction of stockings and which indicates the course of the long extensor of the shoes. He holds that quite as much mischief is done to great toe.

the feet by wearing ill-made socks as badly-shaped shoes. The importance of the great toe in the construction of He considers that a stocking with a separate stall for the the foot is dwelt upon by Mr. Ellis. He shows that, when

great toe is always desirable, but that a straight inside the foot is ased as the basis from which the body is to be line is imperative. To obtain a properly fitting boot it is propelled forwards in the act of progression, the great toe

necessary, in addition to the measures of length and girth, leaves its fellows and passes towards the mesial plane

to have the contour lines of the foot, and to obtain these between the two feet, but that it is not bent in so doing. the author has devised a foot-stand or pedistat, a deOn the other hand, the smaller toes, whilst being pressed scription and figure of which are given in the book. From against the ground, become bent, and the phalangeal these measures a last can be made which conforms to the joints are lifted upwards.

shape of the foot throughout as it stands on a level surface. The relative length of the great and second toes is also We recommend the perusal of this book to all who are discussed. As is well known, in many of the statues of interested in the mechanism of the foot, and in obtaining ancient art the second toe is modelled somewhat longer for it well-fitting socks and shoes ; and we do so with the than the great toe, but as a rule in nature itself the great more confidence as the author had obviously passed toe is the longer. Exceptions, however, occasionally through a painful experience before he had satisfied himoccur. The writer of this notice has now before him the

self of the principles which ought to be attended to in the casts of two well-formed feet, from a man and a woman, construction of its clothing. in both of which the second toe projects beyond the great toe. He has also in his possession casts of the feet of several of the aborigines of Australia, taken under the

OUR BOOK SHELF. superintendence of Prof. Anderson Stuart, of the Uni

Das australische Florenelement in Europa. Von Dr. versity of Sydney, in which interesting variations in the Constantin Freiherr von Ettingshausen. Pp. 10. Tab. relative length of these toes may be seen. In a man and I. (Graz : Leuschner and Lubensky, 1890.) one woman the great toe is longer than the second ; in This is a defence of the identification of fossil plants from another woman the second toe in the right foot is longer the Tertiary beds of Europe, chiefly from Austria and

Hungary, with existing Australian genera. Baron Ettings- safely say there is not a better or more instructive book hausen himself is largely responsible for these identifica- on the art principles of photography than the one before tions, which have been questioned" by certain critics us. Dr. Emerson is a photographer of the first rank, his insufficiently acquainted with the subject.” He claims that 'artistic compositions are everywhere admired, and the he was supported in his views by such eminent palæontolo- ' energetic manner with which many of the old and chergists as Franz Unger and Oswald Heer. It is now some ished ideas of the ordinary photographer are attacked years since Unger published his sensational “ Neuholland and others established makes it very manifest that he in Europa." In this little work almost every one of a set only writes what he knows to be true. The literary style of Eocene fossil plants is identified with some essentially of the book is excellent, and the exposition has the Australian genus, and often, we should add, on the very merit of being strikingly original ; it should, therefore, slenderest of material. The late Mr. G. Bentham, who, be studied by every photographer, both amateur and as is well known, handled and described every Australian professional, who desires to excel in his art. plant of which specimens had been collected up to his time, disputed the correctness of the identifications, and endeavoured to prove that the remains might well be those

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. of genera still found in the northern hemisphere; yet Baron Ettingshausen gives us to understand that Mr. (The Editor does not hold himself responsible for opinions exBentham confirmed his determination of a European

pressed by his correspondents. Neither can he undertake fossil leaf as belonging to the genus Dryandra.

to return, or to correspond with the writers of, rejected Quite recently the Marquis de Saporta has attacked

manuscripts intended for this or any other part of NATURI,

No notice is taken of anonymous communications. ] Baron Ettingshausen's position, and the present pamphlet may be regarded as a reply. The author concludes Acquired Characters and Congenital Variation, with the statement that, to prevent misunderstanding, he wishes it to be known that any objections or criticisms' Mr. Dyer.

Beyond this letter I cannot pursue my interpolated adversary, will meet with no response from him, because he is con

The syllogisms which he attributes to me are entirely hi vinced of the accuracy of his “facts, and his time is too own. I willingly admit, therefore, that they are as ingenionsly valuable to enter upon superfluous discussion. Without bad as they can well be. discussing his "facts” one by one, and without actually I will now state shortly what my position was, and is :denying their accuracy, we may say that the illustration's (1) The assumed antithesis between "acquired characters' given are by no means convincing, as most botanists who and “congenital variation " has arisen out of the cult of Darwin have worked many years in herbaria on plants from all as opposed to Lamarck. parts of the world, we believe, will agree. Few persons

(2) The theory of Lamarck fails, in my opinion, as much a* probably have paid so much attention to the venation the theory of Darwin, to give any adequate or satisfying explana and forms of leaves as Baron Ettingshausen, yet we find tion either of the genesis, or of the development, or organic none of his determinations absolutely beyond doubt. So (3) But the theory of Lamarck is more philosophical than the far as we are aware, not a single fruit of Eucalyptus or of theory of Darwin, in so far as it seeks for, and specifies, a the assumed Proteacea has been discovered in the European definite natural cause for the phenomena of variation. Tertiary formations. As to his leaves of Eucalyptus, they (4) The theory of Darwin is essentially unphilosophical in might be matched in the genus Eugenia, and we see no far as it ascribes these phenomena to pure accident, or fortuity reason why any of the others are necessarily remains of (5) That Darwin himself

, at one time, if not always, admitted species of Australian genera.

W. B. H. this idea of fortuity to be a mere provisional resort under the

difficulties of ignorance. Is the Copernican System of Astronomy True? By W.! (6. That the later worshippers of Darwin depart, in this S. Cassedy. (Standard Publishing Co., Kittanning, respect

, from their master, and making the weakest part of his Pa., 1888.)

system the special object of their worship, have set up Fortalty

as their idol. An astronomer nowadays would find it a hard task to bring forth any facts which would throw doubt upon the now seek to deny altogether that acquired characters can become

(7) That it is under the influence of this superstition that they truth of the Copernican theory, but it appears that there congenital. are still people amongst us who are bold enough to attack (8) That this denial is against the most familiar experience of the strongholds of astronomy. Such attempts are always Nature, and especially of artificial selection, which is the antehopeless failures, and the one under notice is no exception. type and foundation of the whole theory of evolution, It is, indeed, doubtful whether the author knows what is (9) That in all domestic animals, and especially in dogs, we meant by the Copernican system, for he goes so far as to have constant proof that many acquired characters may become suggest that the known diameter of the earth's orbit congenital. (assuming that it exists) should be used as a base-line for

(10) That it is no answer to this argument to demand proof determining the distance of the sun! He also states that that the babies of a blacksmith are ever born with the abnurtal he has found by experiment” that similar right-angled arm-muscle of their papa. triangles have sides proportionate in length, though it is

(11) That in order to avoid and evade the force of innumerable only fair to say that he is aware of the existence of the facts proving that many acquired characters may, and do, become

hereditary, fortuitists have invented a new verbal definition of first book of Euclid, if not of the sixth.

what they mean by "acquired." We have already said enough to show that the book! (12) That this definition is full of ambiguities and assumptions, need not be considered seriously ; but we cannot refrain concealed under plausible words, but the object of which is to from stating that the author, by sighting the sun along limit the meaning of "acquired characters to gross, visible, straight-edges at the equinoxes, has found that "the palpable changes affecting single individuals, and which the distance of the sun from the surface of the earth, at analogies of Nature do not lead us to expect or to suppose can 40° N., is one million miles (p. 49).” This result is about be repeated in a single generation, even if a tendency to their as near the mark as could be expected from the method development is really implanted in the race. employed.

(13) That, still farther to render impossible the proof they

demand, our fortuitists afhx to their definition of the word Naturalistic Photography. By P. H. Emerson, B.A., "acquired,"conditions which beg the whole question is dis

M.B. (London : Sampson Low, Marston, Scarle, and pute, Not only must the new characters be gross, palpable, Rivington, 1890.)

visible--cases of "hypertrophy," of "extension, or of thicThe quick call for a second edition of this work indicates physical action of the environment on the body of the india

ening,”—but also they must be "obviously due to tbe direct the approval with which it has been received, and we may vidual.” This is a condition which is irrational It excludes

all those fine, invisible " molecular” changes, through which Darwinians that the life-producing power acted once for all, and Nature habitually works, and it ascribes to mere outward and supposing that it has acted repeatedly and continuously, in more mechanical agencies, effects which, alone, we have no reason to ways than one. I see no theological, and, let me say, no Scripsuppose they ever can produce.

tural, objection to either. Let it be believed willingly, if good On the question of "prophetic germs,” Mr. Dyer challenged reasons can be given, that all life began with a single germ me to produce a single case of organs useless now, but in course of which could not only produce its like-which is wonderful preparation for future use. I replied by referring him to this enough—but which even contained in itself such amazing phenomenon as universal throughout Nature in the life-history potentialities that it could become, and has become, the parent of every individual organism ; and I also referred him to the of every form of life, sentient or non-sentient, that has ever well-known idea of Darwinian embryology which establishes a appeared on our globe. close analogy between the laws governing the development of To me this seems scientifically improbable. For why should the embryo, and the whole past development of organic life. the power, whether acting intelligently, or, if anyone prefers it,

Mr. Dyer replies that I ought to have explained this sooner without intelligence, create one germ only? Why not millions ? when challenged to do so by Prof. Ray Lankester-an observa. And if of one kind, why not of many ? And if single organisms, tion which has nothing to do with the merits of the question. why not organisms connected with one another, even in highly The truth is, I wished to close my dispute with that distin-complex structures? And why act once only? Why not start guished Professor, as I now desire to close it with Mr. Dyer, non-sentient life at one time, sentient at another? For do not and I was satisfied with an indirect admission that, as regards sentient things need a separate germ? I take leave to think so. every individual organism, my assertion could not be contra But be this as it may, they are as much in advance of the nondicted. What this involves, I left, and now leave again, as sentient, however much alike those germs we know of may unexhausted as it is indeed inexhaustible.

appear to be, as the non-sentient are of inanimate matter. In conclusion, I must observe upon the use Mr. Dyer makes The other alternative supposition is that the life-producing of the phrase "a priori argument," which he apparently uses power, instead of acting once only, and then subsiding into its not only for all deductive argument, but for all analytical reason. primæval torpor, continues to act. That, as it once acted upon ing. When he says he “has not an a priori mind," he really inanimate matter, not robbing it of anything, but rather, while means that he is indisposed to all analysis. This is a very com- availing itself of its properties, conferring up in it new powers, mon attitude even with many able and distinguished men-espe so it has acted since upon living things, ever producing out of cially when they are devoted to a system, and are the disciples the old new and higher forms of life ; availing itself of all of some prophet

, whose words and phrases they gulp and swal- existing faculties of living things, but while allowing them to low whole. It is an attitude which has its use ; but it is not achieve all that they can, still moulding fresh forms, and conone to boast of. Mr. Dyer's declaration that “the questions at ferring higher faculties. To suppose this, is only to suppose issue with regard to evolution are now, I believe, thoroughly that the action of the life-producing power, since life began, has understood by biologists "is the most astonishing utterance I have been analogous to what we know was its action in producing ever heard or read coming from a scientific man. Discussion life. It is hardly to be supposed that the production of one with him is useless. He and his friends know all about it. marvellous germ has exhausted all its energy. How life began, and how it grew from more to more--the whole Yet, if the Darwinian theory can enable us to dispense with secret of creation-" an open scroll, before them lies." I am the aid of this power, let it do so. Let reason prevail. happy to think that I am not the only searcher-by many Darwinians Offer, as an adequate explanation of the formation thousands-whose pens Mr. Dyer must intervene to stop.

of new species from the older, that this development comes There is a great army of us who are conscious above all things about simply through natural selection-through the survival of of the ignorance of man.

ARGYLL. the fittest of favourable variations. Kinellan, Murrayfield, N.B.

" The origin of any species,” says Mr. Thiselton Dyer, “lies firstly in the occurrence, and secondly in the selection and

preservation, of a particular variation." But surely a particular In the number for January 16 (p: 247) Mr. Thiselton Dyer ob- variation alone-that is, such as can be brought about, as we serves that "there are many readers of Nature who, while know from experience, in a single generation does not suffitaking a general interest in the problems raised by Darwinism, ciently differentiate one species from another. Short-horned have not followed all that has been written about it." For the cattle, for instance, are not a new species, nor would they deserve Fenefit of such persons he gives an interesting explanation of to be so termed if it should eventually happen that all other Darwin's views on several important points.

varieties of horned cattle became extinct. In the great majority I have not real all that has been written, but all, I think, that of cases, at all events, there must be more than one particular has ever appeared in the pages of NATURE, and with the result variation, before we can recognize a specific difference. Species that I am more and more convinced of the inadequacy of the have become what they are by the combination, in one organism, Darwinian theory to account for the origin of species. Natural of many particular variations, each well suited to the rest. No selection is a sera causa, but of very limited operation. The particular variation could make of another ruminant a giraffe. theory of sexual selection but partly removes one serious difficulty What we want, and what seems to be wanting in the Darwinian nor of the first magnitude.

theory, is a satisfactory hypothesis to explain the concurrence I find Darwinians-not Darwin-very ready to insinuate or of many particular variations, by the co-existence of which in assert that an unwillingness to adopt their views, on the part of one structure the new species is constituted. Variations, or Persons who believe in a supernatural revelation, arises from "fluctuations," as Mr. Thiselton Dyer has happily termed theological prejudice, which hinders them from listening to the them, will not account for this. Between some species there Voice of reason. I think there is some prejudice on both sides. may be merely slight and single differences; but Nature can For myself, fully believing in a Supreme Designer, I am per- show us inuch more than this. We often find a complicated fectly and most fearlessly willing that's the attempt at mechanical apparatus formed by the concurrence in one individual of many explanation" should be carried as far as possible, well knowing particulars of structure combining to produce an effect wholly tbar "a final universal cause" cannot possibly be disproved or peculiar. reasonably denied. And Darwinism is committed to no such Take the following instance, or rather group of instances. denial.

There are venomous serpents, of many species and in many We have our choice between two alternatives. Life on lands, which differ most widely from the non-venomous kinds, our globe had a beginning; and its cause was certainly from which, or from the ancestors of which, they are generally not mechanical or natural, -for reasons not theological, but believed to have been derived. In these we find, to begin with, strictly scientific, in the technical sense of the word. For, teeth which have undergone strange modifications. They are as the laws of Nature operate uniformly, if life had ever com needle-like in shape. They are not fixed in the jaw. They Ellerieel spontaneously, it must of natural necessity do so again occupy a very prominent position. They have minute perforaand again, since it would be most absurd to suppose that only tions, terminating near, but not precisely at, the point. They during some previous state of the earth's surface did matter exist have muscles by which they may be recurved, so that their in such a condition as to be capable of conversion into living points may be directed towards the throat. They have hollows things. Il life had ever arisen mechanically, it would require a in which to lie. They have muscles by which, on occasions, miracle to prruent repetitions of the process.

they may be projected beyond the mouth. Besides all this We have, then, to take our choice between supposing with poison-secreting glands, and poison-bags, and channels of com

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