Was Man Created? - Part 3

Part 3

It is seen, then, that according to Kant's theory we are to suppose that millions of years ago there appeared a nebulous ma.s.s possessing a rotary motion, and unequally distributed through s.p.a.ce. This is what science calls a beginning, and may a.s.sert that every physical event of a hundred million of ages existed potentially in that nebulous ma.s.s. But this is really no explanation of the ultimate and real cause of anything. Reason demands the cause of this beginning, the source that gave to the nebulous ma.s.s its rotary motion; the power that distributed the matter in s.p.a.ce; the antecedents of the cosmical vapor. In absence of antecedents, what was the cause of this fire-mist--of these forces active in it? Reason will never remain satisfied until these questions are answered. But physical science can trace the thread no further back, and must be dumb to all ulterior inquiries. It is true, then, as physicists a.s.sert, "that their science does not mount actually to G.o.d."

[Ill.u.s.tration: FIG. I.--Represents Man-like Apes (Anthropoides). The Male Gorilla. (Natural History, by _Duncan_.)]

[Ill.u.s.tration: FIG. II.--Represents Ape-like Men (Pithecanthropi).

Imaginative. (From Scientific American.)]

[Ill.u.s.tration: FIG. III.--Men (Homines). From Woolly-haired Men developed the Papuans. (Scientific American, March 11, 1876.)]

[Ill.u.s.tration: FIG. I.--The Monkey Men of Dourga Strait. (Natural History, by _Rev. Dr. Wood_.)]

To G.o.d then, in strict accordance with our reason, is to be attributed not only the origination of matter, but all its future developments.

When I speak of matter, it must be understood that I mean force; for "if matter were not force, and immediately known as force, it could not be known at all, could not be rationally inferred. The operation of force could furnish no evidence of the existence of forceless matter. If force is not matter, then force can exist and operate without matter; its existence and operation are no evidence of the existence of matter.

And as matter is forceless, it can itself give no evidence of its own existence, for that would be an exercise of force. If force cannot exist and operate without matter, then force depends for its existence and operation on the forceless, which destroys itself; or force depends for its existence on matter as some property or force, and so matter and force are identified, and force depends on itself only, as it must."[30]

The idea, then, that force is an attribute of matter and inherent in it, is absurd, for there is not a shadow of evidence that force is or can be an attribute of matter. We have no knowledge of the origin of any force save of that which emanates from human volition. All our knowledge of force presents it as an effort of intelligent will. "We are driven,"

says Winch.e.l.l, "by the necessary laws of thought, to p.r.o.nounce those energies styled gravitation, heat, chemical affinity and their correlates, nothing less than intelligent will. But as it is not human will which energizes in whirlwind and the comet, it must be divine will." "In all cases, the creative power of G.o.d is an act of power, and the power does not perish with its inception, but continues to operate until the act is reversed and undone; so that everything that G.o.d has created const.i.tutes a positive and intrinsic force, though borrowed from Him. Every incident runs back to G.o.d as its originator and real cause.

The true philosophical doctrine makes G.o.d distinct from all his works, and yet acting in them. This doctrine has been held by the greatest thinkers the world has ever produced, such as Descartes, Lerbrisky, Berkeley, Herschel, Faraday, and a mult.i.tude of others." "It seems to be required," says Dr. McCosh, "by that deep law of causation which not only prompts us to seek for a law in everything but an adequate cause, to be found only in an intelligent mind." "Our greatest American thinker, Jonathan Edwards," says Dr. McCosh, (whom I can claim as my predecessor,) "maintains that, as an image in a mirror is kept up by a constant succession of rays of light, so nature is sustained by a constant forth-putting of the divine power. In this view Nature is a perpetual creation. G.o.d is to be seen not only in creation at first, but in the continuance of all things." "They continue to this day according to Thine ordinances."

Returning now to the history of the creation given by Moses, Haeckel says, "Although Moses looks upon the results of the great laws of organic development as the direct actions of a constructing Creator, yet in his theory there lies hidden the ruling idea of a progressive development and a differentiation of the originally simple matter. We can therefore bestow our just and sincere admiration on the Jewish lawgiver's grand insight into nature, without discovering in it a so-called 'divine revelation.' That it cannot be such is clear from the fact that two great fundamental errors are a.s.serted in it, namely, first the _geocentric_ error, that the earth is the fixed central point of the whole universe, round which the sun, moon and stars move; and secondly, the _anthropocentric_ error that man is the premeditated aim of the creation of the world, for whose service alone all the rest of nature is said to have been created. The former of these errors was demolished by Copernicus' System of the Universe in the beginning of the sixteenth century, the latter by Lamarck's Doctrine of Descent in the beginning of the nineteenth century."

[Ill.u.s.tration: FIG. I.--Australian Savage.--_Orton._]

[Ill.u.s.tration: FIG. II.--Skull of Orang-utan (Simia satyrus).--_Orton._]

[Ill.u.s.tration: FIG. III.--Skull of Chimpanzee (Troglodytes niger).]

[Ill.u.s.tration: FIG. IV.--Skull of Gorilla.--_Duncan._]

[Ill.u.s.tration: FIG. V.--Skull of European.]

[Ill.u.s.tration: FIG. VI.--Skull of Negro.--_Orton._]

Prof. Huxley, in his lecture on "Evidences of Evolution," spoke of the Mosaic account as Milton's hypothesis. First, "because," says Huxley, "we are now a.s.sured upon the authority of the highest critics, and even of dignitaries of the church, that there is no evidence whatever that Moses ever wrote this chapter, or knew anything about it;" and second, as this hypothesis is presented in Milton's work on "Paradise Lost," it is appropriate to call it the Miltonic Hypothesis. "In the Miltonic account," says Huxley, "the order in which animals should have made their appearance in the stratified rocks would be this: Fishes, including the great whale, and birds; after that all the varieties of terrestrial animals. Nothing could be further from the facts as we find them. As a matter of fact we know of not the slightest evidence of the existence of birds before the jura.s.sic and perhaps the tria.s.sic formations. If there were any parallel between the Miltonic account and the circ.u.mstantial evidence, we ought to have abundant evidence in the devonian, the silurian, and carboniferous rocks. I need not tell you that this is not the case, and that not a trace of birds makes its appearance until the far later period which I have mentioned. And again, if it be true that all varieties of fishes, and the great whales and the like, made their appearance on the fifth day, then we ought to find the remains of these things in the older rocks--in those which preceded the carboniferous epoch. Fishes, it is true, we find, and numerous ones; but the great whales are absent, and the fishes are not such as now live.

Not one solitary species of fish now in existence is to be found there, and hence you are introduced again to the difficulty, to the dilemma, that either the creatures that were created then, which came into existence the sixth day, were not those which are found at present, or are not the direct and immediate predecessors of those which now exist; but in that case you must either have had a fresh species of which nothing has been said, or else the whole story must be given up as absolutely devoid of any circ.u.mstantial evidence."

It is for these and many other reasons that I feel bound to omit the Mosaic account, no matter how near some portions of it coincide with the facts the earth has opened out to the scientist.


It is maintained by Kant's Cosmogony that every substance, be it solid or liquid, const.i.tuting the entire universe, was, inconceivable ages ago, in their h.o.m.ogeneous gaseous or nebulous condition. Owing to an impulse being given to the nebulous ma.s.s, it acquired a rotary movement, which divided the nebulous ma.s.s up into a number of ma.s.ses which, owing to the rotation, acquired greater density than the remaining gaseous ma.s.s, and then acted on the latter as central points of attraction. Our solar system was thus a gigantic gaseous or nebulous ball, all the particles of which revolved around a common central point--the solar nucleus. This nebulous ball a.s.sumed by its continual rotation a more or less flattened spheroidal form. By the continual revolution of this ma.s.s, under the influence of the centripetal and centrifugal forces, a circular nebular ring separated (like the present ring around Saturn) from the rotating ball. In time the nebulous ring condensed to a planet, which began to revolve around its own axis. When the centrifugal force became more powerful than the centripetal force in the planet, rings were formed, which, in turn, formed planets which revolved around their axes, as also around their planets, as the latter moved around the sun, and thus arose the moons, only one of which moves around our earth, while four move around Jupiter and six around Ura.n.u.s. This order of things was repeated over and over again until thereby arose the different solar systems--the planets rotating around their central suns, and the satellites or moons moving around their planets. By a continuous increasing of refrigeration and condensation, a fiery fluid or molten state occurred in these rotating bodies. They then emitted an enormous amount of heat by rapid condensation, and the rotating bodies--suns, planets, and moons--soon became glowing b.a.l.l.s of fire, emitting light and heat. The 1/1000 part of a pound of magnesium wire, burning in the open air, will give a light which will last during one second, and can be seen at a distance of thirty miles; imagine, then, what the light would be from these huge b.a.l.l.s of fire floating through s.p.a.ce. The earth forms a small part--nay, even the sun whose ma.s.s is equal to 354,936 earths like ours, is but an infinitesimal portion of the whole. By the continual emitting of heat, however, these fiery b.a.l.l.s had a crust form on the outside, which enclosed a fiery fluid nucleus. The crust for a time must have been a smooth sheet, but afterward very uneven, having protuberances and cavities form over its surface, owing to the molten ma.s.s within becoming condensed and contracted; the crust not following this change sufficiently close, must have fallen in, and thus produced the cavities.

[Ill.u.s.tration: Mongolian.]

[Ill.u.s.tration: Malay.]

[Ill.u.s.tration: Ethiopian.]

[Ill.u.s.tration: American Indian.]

[Ill.u.s.tration: FACIAL ANGLE, by _Prof. Nelson Sizer_. 1, Snake; 2, Dog; 3, Elephant; 4, Ape; 5, Human Idiot; 6, The Bushman; 7, The Uncultivated; 8, The Improved; 9, The Civilized; 10, The Enlightened; 11, The Caucasian (highest type).]

[Ill.u.s.tration: Caucasian (after _Van Evrie_).]

[Ill.u.s.tration: Head of Nose-Ape (after _Brehm_).]

[Ill.u.s.tration: Julia Pastrana (Photographed by _Hintye_).]

[Ill.u.s.tration: Living Idiot (on Blackwell's Island).]

All the time, by the condensation, the diameter of the earth was being diminished. The irregular cooling of the crust caused irregular contractions on the surface, and as the diameter of the molten ma.s.s within was continually diminishing, many elevations and depressions were caused, which were the foundations of mountains and valleys.

After the temperature of the earth had been reduced by the thickening of the crust--when it became sufficiently cool--the water which existed in steam was condensed and precipitated, falling in torrents, washing down the elevations, filling the depressions with the mud carried along, and depositing it in layers. It was not until the earth became covered with water that life was possible in any form, as both animals and plants consist to a very great extent of water. At this stage in the history of the earth, then, the little ma.s.s of protoplasm, which we have spoken so much about, came into existence in all probability, as has been stated, by spontaneous generation.


Let us now examine some of the laws of evolution, as also some of the connecting links which blend one stage of man's development with another, which at first thought would seem unexplainable.

Haeckel[31] summarizes the inductive evidences of Darwinism as follows: 1. Paleontological series (phylogeny); 2. Embryological development of the individual (ontogeny); 3. The correspondence in the terms of these two series; 4. Comparative anatomy (typical forms and structures); 5.

Correspondence between comparative anatomy and ontogeny; 6. Rudimentary organs (dipeliology); 7. The natural system of organisms (cla.s.sification); 8. Geographical distribution (chorology); 9. Adaptation to the environment (oecology); 10. The unity of biological phenomena.

It will of course be impossible to consider even hastily all of the inductive evidence belonging to the several groups mentioned above, for the scope of this work would not permit of it. Only such facts as present themselves most forcibly to the mind will be considered.

Darwinism, as has already been stated, is not the doctrine of evolution; it is, however, a successful attempt to explain the law or manner of evolution. The _law of natural selection_, pointed out by Darwin, is called by Herbert Spencer, _The struggle for existence_. Darwin discovered that natural selection produces fitness between organisms and their circ.u.mstances, which explains the law of _the survival of the fittest_.

It is a well-known fact that man can, by pursuing a certain method of breeding or cultivation, improve and in various ways modify the character of the different domestic animals and plants. By always selecting the best specimen from which to propagate the race, those features which it is desired to perpetuate become more and more developed; so that what are admitted to be real varieties sometimes acquire, in the course of successive generations, a character as strikingly distinct, to all appearances, from those of the varieties, as one species is from another species of the same genus. It is evident that both natural and artificial selection depends on adaptation and inheritance. The difference between the two forms of selection is that, in the first case, the will of man makes the selection according to a plan, whereas in natural selection the struggle for life and the survival of the fittest acts without a plan other than that the most adaptable organism shall survive which is most fit to contend with the circ.u.mstances under which it is placed. Natural selection acts, therefore, much more slowly than artificial selection, although it brings about the same end. Adaptation in the struggle for life is an absolute necessity.

In every act of breeding, a certain amount of protoplasm is transferred from the parents to the child, and along with it there is transferred the individual peculiar molecular motion. Adaptation or trans.m.u.tation depends upon the material influence which organism experiences from its surroundings, or its conditions of existence; while the transmission from inheritance is due to the partial ident.i.ty of producing and produced organisms.

Organized beings, as a rule, are gifted with enormous powers of increase. Wild plants yield their crop of seed annually, and most wild animals bring forth their young yearly or oftener. Should this process go on unchecked, in a short time the earth would be completely overrun with living beings. It has been calculated that if a plant produces fifty seeds (which is far below the reproductive capacity of many plants) the first year, each of these seeds growing up into a plant which produces fifty seeds, or altogether two thousand five hundred seeds the next year, and so on, it would under favorable conditions of growth give rise in nine years to more plants by five hundred trillions than there are square feet of dry land upon the surface of the earth.

Slow-breeding man has been known to double his number in twenty-five years, and according to Euler, this might occur in little over twelve years. But a.s.suming the former rate of increase, and taking the population of the United States at only thirty millions, in six hundred and eighty-five years their living progeny would have each but a square foot to stand upon, were they spread over the entire globe, land and water included. But millions of species are doing the same thing, so that the inevitable result of this strife cannot be a matter of chance.

Evidently those individuals or varieties having some advantage over their compet.i.tors will stand the best chance to live, while those dest.i.tute of these advantages will be liable to destruction. Nature may be said (metaphorically) to choose (like the will of man in artificial selection) which shall be preserved and which destroyed.

That portion of the theory of development which maintains the common descent of all species of animals and plants from the simplest common origin, I have already stated with full justice should be called Lamarckism. Progress is recognized by all scientists to be a law of nature. Some of the more important facts which sustain the theory of development, I propose now to present as briefly as possible.


One of the strongest arguments in favor of the hypothesis of a genetic connection among all animals (including man), at least among all those belonging to the same great types, is the presence of rudimentary parts.

By rudiments in anatomy are meant organs or structures imperfectly developed, so as to be almost or entirely without functional use. "Each of them represents in germ, as it were, in one animal (or plant), that which is perfect and useful in another type."