of Laurentian rocks, and others of quartz-pebbles, which must have been the remains of rocks subjected to very perfect erosion. The pure quartz-rocks tell the same tale, while limestones and slates speak also of chemical separation of the materials of older rocks. The Huronian evidently tells of movements in the previous Laurentian, and changes in its texture so great that the former may be regarded as a comparatively modern rock, though vastly older than any part of the palæozoic series.
Still later than the Huronian is the great micaceous series called by Hunt the Mont Alban or White Mountain group, and the Taconian or lower Taconic of Emmons, which recalls in some measure the conditions of the Huronian. The precise relations of these to the later formations, and to certain doubtful deposits around Lake Superior, can scarcely be said to be settled, though it would seem that they are all older than the fossiliferous Cambrian rocks which practically constitute the base of the palæozoic. I have, I may say, satisfied myself, in regions which I have studied, of the existence and order of these rocks as successive formations, though I would not dogmatize as to the precise relations of those last mentioned, or as to the precise age of some disputed formations which may either be of the age of the older eozoic formations, or may be peculiar kinds of palæozoic rocks modified by metamorphism. Probably neither of the extreme views now agitated is absolutely correct.
After what has been said, you will perhaps not be astonished that a great geological battle rages over the old crystalline rocks. By some geologists they are almost entirely explained away, or referred to igneous action or to the alteration of ordinary sediments. Under the treatment of another school, they grow to great series of pre-Cambrian rocks, constituting vast systems of formations, distinguishable from each other, not by fossils, but by differences of mineral character. I have already indicated the manner in which I believe the dispute will ultimately be settled, and the President of the Geological Section will treat it more fully in his opening address.
After the solitary appearance of Eozoön in the Laurentian, and of a few uncertain forms in the Huronian and Taconian, we find ourselves in the Cambrian, in the presence of a nearly complete invertebrate fauna of protozoa, polyps, echinoderms, mollusks, and Crustacea; and this not confined to one locality merely, but apparently extended simultaneously throughout the ocean. This sudden incoming of animal life, along with the subsequent introduction of successive groups of invertebrates, and finally of vertebrate animals, furnishes one of the greatest of the unsolved problems of geology, which geologists were wont to settle by the supposition of successive creations. In an address theo-at the Detroit meeting of the Association in 1875, I endeavored to set forth the facts as to this succession, and the general principles involved in it, and to show the insufficiency of the