Custom order essays
But it would be quite as extravagant to insist that all space is swarming with duplicates of the globe we inhabit.
We have no right to ask, "Why, then, were they made?
Who shall assure us that all suns, even double suns, have planets?
Or that all planets are habitable, while it is certain that the only celestial body which can be closely scrutinized is " desolate and void? Civilization has no monument five thousand years old, the age of some still living trees. Darwin demands three hundred millions, which implies his belief that ten times the period is far too narrow a reckoning for the entire sedimentary custom order essays series.
But even the least fanciful geologist will concede that not fewer than one million centuries parts the age of granite from the age of man c. So long, ere she was freighted with a thinker or a worshipper, or had become the domicile of man and his marvels, our planet performed her rounds as punctually and perfectly as she custom order essays does to-day. In pre- sence of this fact, how precarious the taunt, and how inconsiderate the sneer, which parades physical bulk as the infallible index whether of created dignity or of creative regards d! As if the earth, when she first re- ceived a rational inhabitant, did not thereby become a value in the universe which would neither have been impaired nor augmented had she shrunk that instant to the dimensions of Mercury, or expanded that in- stant to the girth of Sirius. We owe allegiance to science, but none to ro- mance masquerading in scientific costume.
Now if astronomy supplies a survey of space, geology yields an inquest of time. And this latter, by opposing the twin immensity of past duration to the vastness of the starry universe, contributes a salutary and invin- cible check to gratuitous guess-work in the garb of philosophy. Who shall tell us that wherever matter is life must be, with the moon a naked desert? Who shall tell us that where life is custom order essays there must also be reason and moral responsibility, with the certainty confronting him that this earth has been ten thou- sand years the abode exclusively of brutes, for one that it has been the home of man? Geology, like astronomy, though with still more peremptory grasp, leads us back to a beginning. Its bulging equator and flattened poles, its pavement of congealed lava, which we name granite, nay, the oldest water-woven carpeting of that pavement composed of the detritus of the igneous rocks, all attest the emerg- ence of our planet from a primitive temperature and a crisis of forces in which no life could subsist. At a low estimate, as we have seen, a million centuries intervene between that period and the present.
Which interval, whatever its length, forms a chronicle of custom order essays the genesis of life, the procession of the types of life, and the advent of man. Besting on the primitive crust of the globe, and stretching upwards through a thickness of tens of thousands of feet to the old red sandstone, are sedi- mentary strata, — Silurian, Cambrian, Laurentian,— which it may be convenient to group as the sub- Devonian series. To reach, save approximately, the absolute life-limit, science can scarcely hope : enough that a region has been reached where life is findable but not found f. Under the lower garb of fish, this takes possession of the waters throughout the old red, carboniferous, and permian systems, on to the end of the paleeozoic pe- riod : throughout the entire mesozoic period, it is do- minant under the higher though continuous garb of gigantic reptiles — as also of birds — both on land and sea.
Can an invertebrate animal improve itself into a fish? Can a bird, or a reptile, never suckled itself, improvise an apparatus for suckling its offspring? The vertebrate structure is the endowment of life with power : the mammalian function superadds love.
Each act of the long drama contributes to the result, though the enigma is not unravelled till the whole is seen. The dynasty of the lower verte- brate, and the dynasty of the mammal, await their explanation in the master- creature who succeeds to both. The rocks, therefore, which are the monument of a "high and ancient order," are also the receptacle of a natural revelation. Palaeontology, like the Mosaic cosmogony, leads up to its " image of God.
It is an evolution foreseen, controlled, and piloted throughout by Divine thought and will, or it is hap-hazard de- velopment of unconscious force. To the latter doc- trine the rocky archives are in changeless antagonism. All life that we know of presupposes life 1 : even were its microscopic forms producible from a "corps putrescible," whence that " corps m? A lower animal cannot create itself into a higher animal. But this is a process effected for the creature, not hy it. Transmutation of species, un- known to human experience, is equally unknown to geology. Each creature, throughout the long succession, comes in as it goes out, and goes out as it came in. If, by the operation of natural law, a sub-vertebrate could custom order essays produce a ver- tebrate, or a reptile a mammal, in the old periods of the earth, why not now?
For the facts of geology there is therefore but one solution, — the periodical exertion of supernatural power. To such intervention is it specially necessary to refer the origin of the human race.
Between man and all lower existence there stretches a chasm defined by what may be called the language-generating brain. At both ends of the scale, therefore, the two orders of endowment pass through the assigned range by every, or almost every, shade of transition. Bounded by cerebral tropics lies a huge zone vacant, nearly equal to both the outlying ranges above and below. Even the most ab- normally low individual human brain and the most abnormally high individual brute brain leave two- thirds of its normal compass unspanned. Like the parent prerogative of which it is the sign and the satellite, this endowment secludes mankind as of one blood and one brotherhood, between which and the very highest of the manco-cerebral mammalia u a great gulf is fixed q.