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It also includes an able de- fence of this belief against its supposed unfavourable influence on the doctrine of original sin.
ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF CREATION, 315 THE PHILOSOPHY OF CREATION. Interest of universe, and of all physical affordable essay writing service causes, or in the se- the ques- tion, condary and more accessible meaning, of the earliest history of the cosmical arrangements of stellar or planetary systems, or more particularly of our own globe, of its physical revolutions, or of the successive introduction of new forms of organised 316 PHILOSOPHY OF CREATION. Various And the discussion which has been called forth has grounds of discussion, exhibited the greatest variety of tone and character. By others, again, it has been taken up on religious grounds, or mixed up in various degrees with the influence of a theological creed, to which speculations of a more scientific kind have been deemed hostile.
The truth is, the same observa- tions will in a great degree apply to this question ESSAY III. And until these distinctions are properly drawn in the mind of the inquirer, it will be to little purpose to discuss the details of controversy.
It will be allowed, then, in conformity to prin- Properly a subject for ciples before laid down, that on purely physical and pky sical J r J conjecture.
Meaning of It must also be borne in mind, that we have by the term " creation. The very use of the term " creation " may in- deed be supposed to point to associations of a higher kind, which are altogether beyond the simple scientific question.
Even in earlier times, and under very erroneous systems of philosophy, we trace some recognition of these sounder principles. In carrying on this inquiry with special reference 320 PHILOSOPHY OF CREATION. IN any question as to the origin of the world pur- Sources of informa- sued on scientific grounds, the sources to which we tion - FossU remains. More recently, however, this has affordable essay writing service been much dis- puted.
Not only have particular instances sup- posed to invalidate this law, been brought forward as demanding certain modifications in the statement of affordable essay writing service it, but the entire principle has been contested and positively denied.
And those who have pursued the inquiry (restricted merely to the question of fact) have been ranked under the two schools of Progres- sion and Non-progression. It may, indeed, be fairly questioned whether such distinct designations, applied without qualification, can be fairly supposed to characterise any parties in the scientific world, or whether we may not rather regard the differences as of a more limited character. At any rate, a very brief summary of the principal arguments on either side will materially conduce to our object. Throughout the long period of the Silurian formations, he con- tends that we have little evidence of any advance or progress in the scale of organisation. In general, that the remains actually preserved in any formation furnish us with no certain standard or adequate representation of the entire existing state of the organic world at the time, is evident from the very partial, local, and accidental manner Address to Geological Society, 1851. But in some instances, it is further urged, we Analogies of species. We infer, as it were, the absence of the principals from the presence of their substitutes. The argu- ment, of course, depends on the force and correctness of this analogy, and the general evidence of such a system.
With regard to the absence of terrestrial remains, Marine formations. But there must have been Y 3 326 PHILOSOPHY OF CREATION.
Changes Again, if progression be supposed, it is an ad- chiefly in higher mitted part of the law that in the lower forms, forms. Thus it would be in proportion as we ascend to the higher classes, that any marked signs of change or improvement might be ex- pected, influence of There is one material consideration the force of terrestrial heat.
We are thus led to consider generally the proper Force of negative force of negative evidence as such : in other words, evidence.
Negative evidence is strong in proportion as we may be able to show from circumstances a high probability that instances would be found if they existed, or a high probabi- lity, from other analogies, that they did not exist. Non-appearance would here be nearly tantamount to non-existence. Non-appearance would here be no presumption even of non-existence. Origin of As to the great question of the first origin of life globe. An azoic rock is no necessary proof of an azoic period, Animals may have lived and flourished abundantly where, from peculiar causes, none of their remains might have been imbedded. An- alogical considerations may avail to guide conjecture to a certain extent. But the earliest forms AS YET known are not of the lowest organisation. In the inductive prosecution Law of sue- cession of of the question of the progress of life, the first forms - object would be to endeavour to determine the law to which the order of succession of species in different epochs may be found to conform. And, again, it is a point of material importance, but one in which few writers are agreed, what we mean by advance or progress, or what really constitutes a higher or more perfect organisation. Scale of It would rather seem that each species is higher advance. That species may be higher in certain respects and lower in others, is also dwelt upon and illustrated ESSAY III. Not a simple advance in the very imperfect knowledge we at present pos- from lower sess of it, it is at least clear that, so far from a regular advance from lower to higher forms, in many in- stances there appears rather a deterioration and de- gradation of character in the progress of time towards the existing state of things. But what seems most Combina- tion of cha- material towards the probable ultimate enunciation racters.
Miller so forcibly expresses it, we find " the crocodile lying intrenched in the fish. One of the most material points in the whole Principle of the conti- inquiry relates to the question of continuity of nuit y f geological character observable in paleontological indications phenomena, throughout successive formations. On this point, then, we must make a few observa- tions. It was not many years ago that the whole mass of rocks below the old red sandstone, and above what was called the primary, was confounded together under the common name of " grauwacke.
But we have now, in the one case, through the combined labours of Sir R. Barrande : again, in the other case, the labours of Sir C. Throughout all formations, the grand truth to unity of plan of or- which every accession of geological discovery bears ganisation in all witness in a more remarkable manner, is the principle epochs, of unity of plan continually exemplified in all the varieties of organic structures disclosed.
Whether a given organic fossil (as in some instances in more recent beds) exhibit characters differing from some known form only as a variety or sub-species, or whether (as in earlier cases) it present features unknown to any existing genus or order, 338 PHILOSOPHY OF CKEATION.