Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/260

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think he underestimates the potency of a smaller number, for certainly, before a score had made their appearance, "The Modern Huxleys," whose skins are so ruthlessly stripped off, would call upon their eternal protoplasmic firmament to fall upon them and hide them forever from the calamities to come.

The author of the performance before us is of a most conservative temper, and refrains from altering even by a hair's-breadth any of the questions he has undertaken to discuss. All the conflicts, confusions, and obscurities of the subject, are faithfully reflected in his pages. For the alleged stripping off of disguises and plucking out the core of things, we have sought in vain, our impression being that this is exactly what the author has avoided. The assiduity with which he leaves things as he finds them is remarkable, and this trait gives a special value to his treatment of the subject. What is denounced by many people, Mr. Leifchild denounces, and what is indorsed by many other people, Mr. Leifchild indorses, and, if it happen to be the same thing, that is none of his business. Mr. Lyell's views of species are quoted, and then it is naively stated that Mr. Lyell has abandoned them—with Mr. Lyell be all the responsibility. His book may therefore be taken as having some value in indicating the various drifts of public opinion. Mr. Herbert Spencer is freely denounced by certain parties as the prince of materialists and the arch-enemy of all religion, because he is the leading exponent of the doctrine of evolution, and Mr. Leifchild joins in the condemnation, and quotes President Porter, of Yale, exultingly as the great "Spencer-crusher." But there are others who maintain that the doctrine of evolution is not necessarily atheistic, or materialistic, or destructive of religion, and with these also Mr. Leifchild is in equal accord. Lest the readers of Chancellor Crosby's introduction should be puzzled at this statement, and perhaps a little skeptical about it, we quote the following passages from "The Great Problem:"

"The earnest and increased study of Nature in our day leads us to much broader views of Divine action than have been formerly entertained; and to these views natural science conducts us without really leading us away from the Deity. Just as we now discover more and more geographically, so we discern more and more theologically. The earth is far larger to us than to Herodotus; Columbus was a far better geographer than the Grecian; but the discovery of America did not annul the existence of England or Spain. The discovery of new stars does not extinguish the old stars, does not darken one beam of their light. In like manner, the discovery of Natural and Sexual Selection, or rather the application of them, does not limit the action of the Creator" (p. 256). "The unity of Evolution, as comprehended by the Cosmos, is aptly described by Mr. Spencer, who shows the higher generalization of our knowledge concerning Evolution to be—so far as we know the constitution of the world—one unceasing and all-perfecting system, advancing everywhere and in all. After elaborately working out his own theory, Mr. Spencer suggestively intimates that the laws of Evolution, contemplated as holding true of each order of existence separately, hold true when we contemplate the several orders of existences as forming together one natural whole. While we think of Evolution as divided into Astronomic, Biologic, Psychologic, Sociologic, etc., it may seem to a certain extent a coincidence that the same law of metamorphosis holds throughout all its divisions. But when we recognize these divisions as mere conventional groupings made to facilitate the arrangement and acquisition of knowledge—when we regard the different existences with which they deal as component parts of one Cosmos—we see at once that there are not several kinds of Evolution having certain traits in common, but one Evolution going on everywhere after the same manner. While any whole is evolving, there is always going on an Evolution of the parts into which it divides itself. This holds true of the totality of things as made up of parts within parts, from the greatest down to the smallest. We know that, while a physically cohering aggregate like the human body is getting larger, and taking on its general shape, each of its organs is doing the same; that, while each organ is growing and becoming unlike others, there is going on a differentiation and integration of its component tissues and vessels; and that even the components of these components are severally increasing and passing into more definitely heterogeneous structures. But we have not duly remarked that, setting out with the human body as a minute part, and ascending