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We are always glad when we can agree with our author, and have much pleasure in expressing our entire concurrence with bis chapter on the Lamarckian doctrine of progression and transmutation of species. This doctrine, which we had imagined to have been exploded long ago, was brought into momentary vogue a few years ago by the author of the Vestiges. It were difficult to say whether it is more effectually overthrown by the hard argumentation of Captain Hutton, or by the keen satire of Mr. Miller.
Thus we have the author's picture of the earth at the conclu. sion of the sixth day, The sun, moon and stars were shining as now upon an earth richly clothed with verdure, growing upon primitive rocks thrown up into hills and ridges, and curi. ously broken and distorted, yet utterly destitute of soil ;* an earth inhabited by races of beings living in harmony and peace upon those without-soil-produced vegetables, and ruled over by man as yet sinless, holy and happy—while the waters were peopled, as now, by the various races of fishes, including the predaceous, if indeed there be any fishes that are not, in part at least, predaceous. At this time, it is not unimportant to remark, our author conceives the dry land to have been confined to the equatoreal regions, with the exception of some small islets scattered up and down the northern hemisphere.
A few sentences will suffice to state our author's view of what took place between the creation and the deluge. We learn from the scriptures that our first parents, in their state of innocence, were in no need of clothing; and that after the fall, the garments they first wore were intended merely for decency, and not at all for warmth. But soon they were furnished by God himself with clothing suited to a colder climate than that in which they had previously lived. We have reason to believe therefore that, on the fall of man, the temperature of the earth was greatly lowered. But as we have no reason to believe that the relation of our planet to the sun was altered, this reduction of temperature must have taken place in consequence of some change in the earth or its atmosphere. Now such a reduction would be effected by the formation of additional lands in the circumpolar regions, which would allow the accumulation of snow and ice, and so lower the temperature over the whole globe. Such, according to our author, was the actual event. The islets that had hitherto studded the northern hemisphere were extended into continents, by the action of sub-marine volcanoes; and it is to the action of these volcanoes, and the frightful commotions that they produced amongst the waters, that our author ascribes the formation of the transition and secondary strata, up to the termination of the carboniferous system. There is a considerable amount of ingenuity displayed in the way in which our author shews that a great length of time was not pecessary for the deposition of these systems. But, to our thinking, one single fact is fatal altogether to the theory, that these systems were actually deposited at the period assigned to their deposition. For obvi. ous reasons there is not any one of the formations in the earth's crust that has been so closely examined as the coal formation. Now we hold that, if this formation had originated at the period contended for by Captain Hutton, it must have contained the remains of mammalia ; we hold further that, if such remains had existed in the coal formation, they must, ere now, have been detected. But it is a fact that there has not been found the slightest reason to believe that a single lung. breathing animal existed in the forests, which, it is admitted by Captain Hutton, were the nucleus of the coal formation. Now we tbink there is very good reason to believe that the formation of the carboniferous system was an essential preliminary to the existence of such animals. It seems to be all but proved by M. Brongniart (as quoted by several of the writers now on our table) that the enormous quantities of carbon now incorporated in the coal and carboniferous lime-stone, must have been derived from the atmosphere. Before the formation of the system in question, therefore, this carbon must have been diffused throughout the atmosphere in the shape of carbonic acid gas. Now the quantity of this gas that must have been then abstracted, in addition to the quantity now contained in the atmosphere, would certainly render it unfit for the respiration of any warm-blooded animal. Consequently it was only after it was absorbed by the gigantic vegetation now embedded in the coal-fields, and permanently shut in, so to speak, by the fossilization of this vegetation, that the atmosphere became respirable by such animals. This, to be sure, is theory, although it is, at the least, a theory to which there attaches much vraisemblance ; but the fact we hold to be incontrovertible, that mammalia did not exist on the earth at the period of the formation of the carboniferous system; and this fact is utterly subversive of the whole theory of Captain Hutton. It is of no consequence for the argument, whether the reasoning, by which he seeks to establish that these formations were effected rapidly, be sound or not. The question is not quamdiu, but quando; not how long a time was occupied in the formation of the coal measures, but whether these measures were formed before or after the
* We do not think we do our author any injustice in imputing this fatal defect to his system. We find nothing whatsoever in his whole work that will account for the formation of soil previously to the creation of the vegetable kingdom.
creation of animals. According to either of the systems of explaining the first chapter of Genesis, between which we have acknowledged that we cannot make up our mind to a decision, the former question is left perfectly open; there is no contradiction between either of them, and all that Captain Hutton seeks to prove, respecting the length of time that was spent in the deposition of the strata. According to the one method of interpretation, the deposits must have been lodged in the course of the fifth day ; according to the other, they must have been lodged in the course of that indefinite period which preceded the first day; but how long a portion of that indefinitely long fifth day in the one case, or of that indefinitely long period in the other, elapsed during the process of deposition, neither the one system nor the otheris con. cerned to determine. With respect to this part of the subject we shall only notice at present, reserving it for fuller consideration immediately, that it was about the period of the fall, according to our author, that the predatory mammalia were first created.
The upper transition and lower secondary formations having been thus deposited, according to our author, in the course of the violent volcanic phenomena that immediately succeeded the fall of man, we understand him to teach that the remaining secondary formations were lodged during the period that elapsed between the fall and the flood; the Wealden and cretaceous system during the prevalence of the flood itself; and the tertiary since the flood.
Our author has all the argument on his side, when he is engaged in refuting the theory of a partial inundation. He leaves not Dr. Pye Smith "a leg to stand on;" and were it not that our article has already exceeded its proper limits, we should very gladly make some extracts from this portion of his work. Not less successful is he in demolishing Mr. Penn's theory of a total interchange of land and sea. Indeed it is characteristic of our author, as of many other writers, that his intellect is more of a “ destructive than a “constructive character more fitted, if we may borrow the language of his own craft, to tear up and disrupt and reduce to mere boulders and debris the unsound theories of others, than to lay a solid and compactly stratified theory of his own. We cannot read the Bible account of the deluge without being persuaded that it ought to be unders stood literally, as of a universal deluge, in which water enveloped the whole earth at one time, and gradually subsided, leaving virtually the same land that had been land before, and the same sea that had been sea before. Nor are we at all certain, (although Geologists, whether Mosuic or mineral, do not seem to have even hinted at such a supposition) that there is not water enough in the clouds, and the seas, and diffused through the crust of the earth, to effect this envelopment. As to the quantity of water usually contained in the clouds, and held in solution or mechanical suspension in the atmosphere, it is perhaps impossible to form an estimate. But as the rain fell uninterruptedly for forty days and forty nights-and, it is unquestionable, with vast vio lence-and as the evaporation into so moist an atmosphere must have been almost nothing, it cannot be doubted that a large quantity of water was derived from this source. Still less do we know of the quantity of water, that is actually contained within the crust of the earth. We speak not now of any imagined reservoir of water in the centre of the earth. Indeed we hold it proved that none Buch exists. But we speak of the ordinary water-courses, which we meet with on every occasion that we bore into the earth, and the ordinary moisture with which the earth is impregnated, certainly to a very considerable depth. Now, suppose for a moment, that by some means or other a great pressure had been exerted all over the earth's surface, the effect of this would have been to cause the earth to disgorge this water from every pore, like a squeezed sponge. In short, we should have a phenomenon, that we may be helped to the conception of by imagining mil. lions of Artesian wells spouting up monstrous jets all over the earth's surface, from under the sea as well as on the surface of the dry ground. The compressing of the elastic strata of the earth would also considerably diminish its volume, and so aid in the raising of the level of the water above its surface. We throw out this suggestion as a mere hint, without dogmatizing, or asserting, (as the wont of the authors, with whom we have had to deal, is to far too great an extent), that this really was the mode in which the inundation was effected, or that this is what is meant by the “ breaking up of the fountains of the deep.". But we can see no reason to prevent our saying that it may have been; and the supposition seems to us to do less violence to the literality of the sacred record, than either Dr. Pye Smith's supposition of a partial deluge, Messrs. Penn and Fairholme's supposition of an inter-change of level between land and sea, or Captain Hutton's supposition of a subsidence of a great part of the land, and a subsequent elevation, partly of the same land that had been elevated before, and partly of new land that had been previously submerged.
We have already, in passing, noticed various flaws in Captain Hutton's system, which we regard as fatal to its integrity. But there is one point on which the whole essentially depends, to which we have already referred, but the consideration of which we have reserved till now. We mean his theory of “sub„sequent creations." We have stated that he considers that no predatory land animals existed up to the fall; that they were created subsequently to that event; and that, as new lands were gradually formed by volcanic action, they were stocked by a
fresh creation of animals and vegetables suited to their several climates. He also considers that no animals peculiar to cold climates, and no predatory animals, were preserved in the ark, and that the present races of these animals are descended from stocks created after the deluge. And moreover that all vegeta. tion was destroyed by the deluge, and that its place was supplied by an act or process of creation, similar to that which effected the garniture of the earth on the third day of creation. Now we would remark, first of all, in reference to this matter, that it seems distinctly to contradict the statements of scripture. When man was created, it is declared that “ God rested from all his works." • Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the hosts of them.” And then at the flood we are certainly told very distinctly that Noah was directed to take with him into the ark (we know not what language could be framed to express universality unless it be expressed by the language of the sacred text in reference to this matter) every clean beast by sevens, the male and his female, and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female; of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female.”-Gen. vii. 2, 3. Again :-“ of clean beasts, and beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth.” -v. 8. And again :-"Every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fow) after his kind, every bird of every sort : and they went in with Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him."-v. 14-16. Precisely similar language is employed in describing the exit of the varied crew.
From the very nature of the case it is not easy to prove by natural history that no new creation has taken place since the creation of man; but we may safely say that, except by reasoning in a circle, first assuming the truth of Captain Hutton's geological theory, or some similar theory, and then proving postAdamic creation from its necessity to the establishment of that theory, it cannot be supported. We may here introduce what Mr. Miller says on the subject :-
So far as both the geologic and the scriptural evidence extends, no species or family of existences seems to have been introduced by creation into the present scene of being since the appearance of man. In scripture the formation of the buman race is described as the terminal act of a series, “good” in all its previous stages, which became “ and Geologists, judging from the modicum of evidence which they have hitherto succeeded in collecting on the subject, evidence still meagre, but, so far as it goes, independent and distinct, pronounce post-Adamic creations,'at least " improbable.” The Naturalist finds certain animal and vegetable species restricted to certain circles, and that in certain foci in these
very good” then ;