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The difference between Mr. Darwin and the author of "The Vestiges of Creation,” as stated by the Westminster, is, that the latter found the solution of the diversity of the forms of organic life “in the idea of consecutive development;" while Lamarck made transmutation depend mainly on the efforts of the animal.

(12.) Evenings at the Microscope ; or, Researches among the minuter Forms

of Animal Life. By Pulip HENRY Gosse, F.R.S.” 12mo., pp. 480. New

York: D. Appleton & Co. 1860. Mr. Gosse is not only a profound naturalist, but a most vivid describer and writer. He unites great skill in practical analysis with rare pictorial power of pen. Let books like this be put into the hands of our youth, and the rightminded portion of young America will learn that there are wonders in nature infinitely surpassing in splendor and witchery the visions of fairy romance. The staple of the work consists of original observation, and it is invested with a characteristic freshness and life. We give as a fair specimen the opening paragraphs:

“ Not many years ago an eminent microscopist received a communication in. quiring whether, if a minute portion of dried skin were submitted to him, he could determine it to be humun skin or not. He replied that he thought he could. Accordingly a very minute fragment was forwarded to him, somewhat resembling what might be torn from the surface of an old trunk, with all the hair rubbed off.

" The professor brought his microscope to bear upon it, and presently found some fine hairs scattered over the surface; after carefully examining which, he pronounced with confidence that they were human hairs, and such as grow on the naked parts of the body; and still further, that the person who owned them was of a fair complexion.

" This was a very interesting decision, because the fragment of skin was taken from the door of an old church in Yorkshire; in the vicinity of which a tradition is preserved, that about a thousand years ago a Danish robber had violated this church, and having been taken, was condemned to be flayed, and his skin nailed to the church-door, as a terror to evil-doers. The action of the weather and other causes had long ago removed all traces of the stretched and dried skin, except that, from under the edges of the broad-headed nails with which the door was stulded, fragments still peeped out. It was one of these atoms, obtained by drawing one of the nails, that was subjected to microscopical scrutiny; and it was interesting to find that the wonder-showing tube could confirm the tradition with the utmost certainty; not only in the general fact, that it was really the skin of man, but in the special one of the race to which that man belonged, namely, one with fair complexion and light hair, such as the Danes are well known to possess."


(13.) “ Archaia; or, Studies of the Cosmogony and Natural History of the

Hebrew Scriptures. By J. W. Dawson, LL. D., Principal of M’Gill College, author of · Acadian Geology, etc.?” 12mo., pp. 400. Montreal: B.

Dawson & Son. 1860. Dr. Dawson takes a high rank among the savans of our day, and whatever he gives to the public challenges attention and respect. The present work is the product of profound scholarship in both the natural and the sacred records. We are inclined to think that it presents, not only the most ingenious, but the most satisfactory harmony between the two records, if, indeed, in the perpetually recurring changes of the statements of science at the present day, any scheme of harmony whatever can be considered satisfactory. He adopts the æonic day theory; but varies his adjustment of the two records, which we present below, somewhat from that of Hugh Miller.






The Beginning.

Creation of Matter. First Day.-Earth mantled by the Va- Condensation of Planetary Bodies from porous Deep-Production of Light. a nebulous mass—Hypothesis of origi

nal incandescence. Second Day.-Earth covered by the Primitive Universal Ocean, and estab

Waters.- Formation of the Atmos- lishment of Atmospheric equilibrium.

phere. Third Day-Emergence of Dry Land- Elevation of the land which furnished Introduction of Vegetation.

the materials of the Azoic rocks-
Azoic Period of Geology.

Fourth Day.Completion of the ar- Metamorphism of Azoic rocks and rangements of the Solar System. disturbances preceeding the Cam

brian epoch-Dominion of "Existing

Causes” begins.
Fifth Day.-Invertebrates and Fishes, Palaeozoic Peroid-Reign of Inverte-

and afterward great Reptiles and brates and Fishes.
Birds created.

Mesozoic Period—Reign of Reptiles Sixth Day.--Introduction of Mammals Tertiary Period-Reign of Mammals.

-Creation of Man and Edenic Group Post Tertiary-Existing Mammals and
of Animals.

Seventh Day.-Cessation of Work of Period of Human History.

Creation-Fall and Redemption of

Eighth Day.-New Heavens and Earth

to succeed the Human Epoch—"The
Rest (Sabbath) that remains to the
People of God.''

The Appendix contains a number of valuable scientific extracts and fragments, inserted for their bearing upon the Scripture records. We select the following passage in which Dr. Dawson applies his American researches to check the rapid conclusions of the European savans in regard to the Abbeville exhumations:

“The objects found are here admitted to differ from the implements of the primitive Celts, and they differ in like manner from those of the American Indians, which are almost if not quite undistinguishable from those of ancient Europe and Asia. One at least of the kinds mentioned has scarcely a semblance of artificial form, and the others are all merely fractured, not ground or polished.

. Heb. iv, 9; 2 Peter iii, 13.

In so far as one can judge, without actually inspecting the specimens, these appear to be fatal defects in their claim to be weapons. The observers have evidently not taken into consideration the effects of intense frost in splitting flinty and jaspery stones. It is easy to find, among the debris of the jasper veins of Nova Scotia, for instance, abundance of ready-made arrow-beads and other weapons; and there is every reason to believe that the Indians, and perhaps the aboriginal Celts also, sought for and found those naturally split stones which gave them the least trouble in the manufacture, just as they selected beach pebbles of suitable forms for anchors, pestles, and hammers, and hard slates with oblique joints for knives. To these natural forms, however, the savage usually adds a little polishing, notching, or other adaptation; and this seems to be wanting in the greater part of the specimens from Abbeville.

" 2. Nothing is more difficult, especially in an uneven country, than to ascer. tain the extent to which old gravels have been rearranged by earthquake waves or land floods. Nor does the occurrence in them of bones of extinct ani. mals prove anything, since these are shifted with the gravel. Very careful and detailed observations of the locality would be required to attain any certainty on this point.

" 3. The places in which gravel pits are dug, are often just those to which the aborigines are likely to have resorted for their supply of flint weapons. They may have burrowed in the gravel for that purpose, and their pits may have been subsequently filled up. Farther, savages generally make their implements as near as possible to the places where they procure the raw material; and in making flint weapons, where the material abounds, they reject without scruple all except those that are most easily worked into form. If of human origin at all, the so-called weapons of Abbeville are more like such rejectamenta than perfected implements. This would also account for the quantity found, which would otherwise seem to be inconsistent with the supposition of human workmanship.

“4. The circumstance that no bones or other remains referable to man have been found with the flint articles, is more in accordance with the suppositions stated above, than with that of their human origin, in any other way than as the rejectamenta of an ancient manufacture.

5. From a summary of the facts given by Sir Charles Lyell at the late meeting of the British Association, (1859,) as the result of personal investigations, it appears that the gravels in question are fluviatile and dependent on the present valley of the Somme, though still apparently of very great antiquity. This places the subject in an entirely different position from that in which it was left by Perthes and Prestwick. River gravels are often composed of older debris, reassorted in a comparatively short time, and containing tertiary remains intermixed with those that are modern ; and it is usually quite impossible to determine their age with certainty. Farther, if we may judge from American rivers, those of France must, when the country was covered with forests, have been much larger than at present; and at the same time their annual freshets must have been smaller, so that nothing is more natural than that remains of the savage aborigines should be found in beds now far removed from the action of the rivers. When to this we add the occurrence at intervals of great river inundatious, we cannot, without a series of investigations bearing on the effects of all these changes, allow any great antiquity to be claimed for such deposits. The subject is, in short, in such a condition at present that nothing can with safety be affirmed with respect to it.”

We append also the following passage :

"Should the objects found in this case prove to be really products of art, and their position be certainly in the pleistocene drift, cotemporary with the extinct Elephant, Rhinoceros, Hyena, etc., of the west of Europe, then we might with certainty conclude--First, that the race by which these implements were made existed at a period immeasurably more ancient than any assigned even by Bunsen's new chronology, or the myths of Egypt or China, to the human species; and secondly, that this race is not at all connected with biblical or historical man, but must be an extinct species of anthropoid animal, belonging to a prior geological period. That there cannot have been any such species before man,


and sufficiently intelligent to make flint weapons, I am not prepared to maintain; but I do not regard the evidence adduced as at all sufficient to establish its existence, still less to carry back the human species to a period rendered even geologically improbable by the lapse of time, and the extinction of nearly all the land-animals in the mean time."

We can name no more valuable work on its subject than the present volume.

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(14.) " Annual of Scientific Discovery: or, Year-book of Facts in Science and

Art for 1860. Exhibiting the most important Discoveries and Improvements in Mechanics, Useful Arts, Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, Astronomy, Geology, Zoology, Botany, Mineralogy, Meteorology, Geography, Antiquities, etc., together with Notes on the Progress of Science during the year 1859; a List of recent Scientific Publications; Obituaries of Eminent Scientific Men, etc. Edited by David A. WELLS, A.M., author of Principles of Natural Philosophy, Principles of Chemistry, Science of Common Things, etc.” 12mo., pp. 430. Boston: Gould & Lincoln ; New York: Sheldon

& Co.; Cincinnati : George S. Blanchard; London: Trubner & Co. 1860. We have repeatedly adverted to the high value of the Scientific Annual, both as a matter of reference to the man of science, and as a means of posting up for those who stand without the scientific circle, but desire to keep . step with the advances of scientific progress.

Two points of special interest have been under discussion during the past year, namely: The Preadamite antiquity of Man, and Spontaneous Generation.

The doubts in regard to the modern origin of the human race are founded upon

late geographical developments and especially the discovery of certain rude weapons, as they are considered, in the neighbourhood of Abbeville and Amiens, France. What an American savan thinks upon the subject will be found in our notice of Dr. Dawson's Archaia.

The doctrine of Spontaneous Generation is discussed with ingenuity by a philosopher somewhat prone to materialistic tendencies, Mr. George Henry Lewes; but his results are decidedly adverse to all conclusions deduced from experiments hitherto made. So liable to error are experiments made upon things so minute as the subjects of these experiments are, so uniformly ha all imagined successes in these experiments proved failures, that a negative demonstration is well nigh attained. Besides this fact, the following acute remarks of Professor Dana, of Yale College, afford some positive views that may be considered as setting this question very much at rest :

" There is a well-known principle in the system of nature that deserves to be considered in this connection. The principle is so fully sustained by all research, both in chemistry and zoology, including the important experiments above mentioned, that it may well carry with it great weight, and quiet both apprehension and expectation on this subject. It is this: The forces in life and inorganic nature act in opposite directions—the former upward, the latter downward.

“ The vital force, in the organic substances it forms, ascends through vegetable and animal life to an exalted height in the scale of compounds at an extreme remove from saturation with oxygen; inorganic force descends toward the saturated oxide. The former reaches a point which from its very elevation is one of great instability; the latter tends toward one of perfect stability. There is hence a counterpart or cyclical relation between the two great lives of action in nature.

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“As some readers of these remarks may not be familiar with chemistry, a further word of explanation is added.

“When an element unites with its full allowance of oxygen, as determined by its affinities, it is in a sense saturated with it. Since the attraction of the elements for oxygen is the most universal, and, in general, the strongest in nature, the oxides as a class are the most stable of compounds; the rocks, the earth's foundations, are made of them. But evanescence and unceasing change are in the fundamental idea of the living structure; and, consequently, the material of the plant or animal contains only oxygen enough to give increased stability to the combination. Moreover, the compounds augment in instability, through this and other ways, with the rise in the grade of organic life, and reach probably their farthest extreme in this respect in the brain. Here, then, is the summit of the series of compounds which arise under the agency of life. The stable oxide is at the lower end of the series in nature, the material of the brain at the upper. Passing from the latter condition toward the former, is therefore a real descent; and it is the natural downward course of inorganic forces; while passing toward the latter is as truly an ascent; it is the countermovement of life.

“ The plant through its vital functions may take carbonic acid, and from it continue to elaborate the organic products constituting vegetable fiber, until a whole tree of such material is made, and then produce the higher material of the flower and seed. The animal may then go to the plants and use them in making a still higher class of products, muscular fiber and nerve. After all this is done, now turn over the material to the action of chemical and physical forces, and the work of years of life is soon pulled down from its height, and one part after another descends toward that state of comparative inactivity, the condition of an oxide. Chemistry makes organic products by commencing with those of a higher grade than the kind to be made, but not otherwise. Albumen is a prominent material of the egg; and chemistry has not succeeded in making dead albumen, much less living.

"The very relation of life to chemistry is therefore evidence that chemistry cannot make life; it works in just the reverse direction. And in this reciprocal relation one of the profoundest laws of nature is exhibited. It leads the mind to recognize one author for both, and not to imagine that one side in the cycle has generated the other.

“2. There is another consideration, which, if it has not the force of demonstration, may help the mind to understand the extent of the transition from dead matter to living.

“ (a.) Iu ordinary inorganic composition, there is the simple formation of inorganic particles, and, on consolidation, their aggregation into crystals, the perfect individuals of inorganic nature. With the enlargement of the crystal there is no gain of new powers or qualities : it simply exists. In fact, in entering this state of perfection, there is a loss of latent force; for the gas is the highest condition of stored or magazined force in inorganic nature, the liquid the next, and the solid the lowest, -this condition of power being related directly to the amount of heat.

(b.) The plant grows from its germ, enlarges, accumulates force, storing it away in vegetable fiber, and accomplishes its highest functions in its blossoms and fruit. But there is here only latent or stored force generated, besides that which is used up in growth, and no mechanical force. The minute spore or reproductive cellule of some seaweeds has locomotive power, but it is lost at the commencement of germination; and the plant is ever after as incapable of self-locomotion as a rock.

" (c.) In the animal, there is not only a storing of force in animal products, (the fifth and highest grade of stored force in nature,) but there is also increasing mechanical force from the first beginning of development. It is almost or quite zero in the germ; but from this it goes on increasing, until, in the horse, it gets to be a one-horse power; or in the ant, a one-ant power; and so for each species. And in addition to mechanical force, there is, in the higher group, the more exalted mental force ; for the mind, while not itself material, is yet so dependent on the material, that its action draws deeply upon the energies


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