Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/63

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53
PROFESSOR HUXLEY'S LECTURES.

the fourth day marine animals and birds appeared. And it is further clear that terrestrial life made its appearance upon the sixth day, and not before. Hence, it follows that, if in the large mass of circumstantial evidence as to what really has happened in the past history of the globe—if in that we find down to a certain point indications of the existence of terrestrial animals, it is perfectly certain that all that has taken place since that time must be referred to the sixth day.

In this great Carboniferous formation whence America has derived so vast a proportion of her actual and potential wealth, in that formation and in the beds of coal which are formed from the vegetation of that period, we find abundant evidence of the existence of terrestrial animals. They have been described not only by European naturalists, but by your own naturalists. There are to be found in the coal of your own coal-fields numerous insects allied to our cockroaches. There are to be found there spiders and scorpions of large size, and so similar to existing scorpions that it requires the practised eye of the naturalist to distinguish them. Inasmuch as these things can be proved to have been alive in the Carboniferous epoch, it is. perfectly clear that, if the Miltonic account is correct, the huge mass of rocks extending from the middle of the Palæozoic formations to the end of the series must belong to the day or period which is termed by Milton the sixth day of the creation. But, further, it is expressly stated that aquatic animals took their origin upon the fifth day, and did not exist before; hence all formations in which aquatic animals can be proved to exist, and which therefore lived at the time these formations were deposited, must have been deposited during the time of the period which Milton speaks of as the fifth day. But there is absolutely no fossiliferous rock in which you do not find the remains of marine animals. The lowest forms of life in the Silurian are marine animals, and, if the view which is entertained by Principal Dawson and Dr. Carpenter respecting the nature of the Eozoön be correct, if it is true that animal remains exist at a period as far antecedent to the deposit in the coal as the coal is from us, at the bottom of the series of stratified rocks in the Laurentian strata, it follows plainly enough that the whole series of stratified rocks, if they are to be brought into harmony with Milton at all, must be referred to the sixth day, and we cannot hope to find the slightest trace of the work of the other days in our stratified formations. When one comes to consider this, one sees how absolutely futile are the attempts that have been made to run a parallel between the story told by the stratified rocks as we know them and the account which Milton gives of it. The whole series of stratified rocks must be referred to the last two periods, and neither the Carboniferous nor any other formation can afford evidence of the work of the third day. Not only is there this objection to any attempt to run a parallel between the Miltonic account and the actual facts, but there is a further difficulty. In the