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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/428

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

of evolution can end anywhere but where it begins, in a chaos of creative purposes thwarted and disrupted, and in an eternal struggle to amend a shattered divine plan"; and "there is one—and that the simplest—explanation of the universe, which, while showing sustained progress in the past, pledges eternal betterment in the future. This is the gospel of hope for all those who choose to go forward with the supreme moral purpose; it is the gospel of degeneration to every one who, declining obedience to the laws of ethical living, contents himself with animal functioning." The charms of the author's poetic mode of thought and warm style are indisputable. The treatise is divided into three parts, the first two of which are introductory to the main argument, which is developed in the third. In the first part are summed up the leading arguments in favor of evolution, as accounting for structural variety, and as able to explain the actual condition of living creatures. These arguments are given in harmony with the expositions of Spencer, Darwin, and Wallace, as the arguments from the Unity of Nature, from Geography, Geology and Anatomy, Development and Reversion, the Power of Mimicry, and Degeneration. In the second part are shown the commonalty of life between all creatures, and how definitely the links in a consecutive development of life have been established, from the jolly-fishes of the primeval seas to man. In the chapter, "Animals on the Road," in this part, numerous incidents are related showing how nearly many animals have approached to human reason, and how closely they have come to sympathy with man and understanding of him. In the third part, evolution is followed after man is reached, to show that there is not only one evolution of all life, including man and animals, interlinked in origin and in their progressive changes, but that human history, its religions, morals, arts, culminating in universal ethical laws, is also a subject of evolution. The chapter, "Cooperation in Evolution," showing how the vegetable and animal world, from the remote past as now, and man co-operate for development, points out, "that from the very outset, evolution has implied something besides a mere brute struggle for existence; that it involved a mutual helpfulness and co-operation for a common good, and that Nature stood pledged in the cell to create a moral intelligence, and in every cataclysm to establish as the ultimate law, 'On earth peace, good-will to men.'" The first men are believed to have appeared while gigantic saurians still prevailed on the earth, and had to contend with them; hence the serpents as powers of evil in the mythologies. The succession in development was kept up with the drift men, cave men, Iberians, Turanians, and Aryans, each race having advantages over the race that preceded it, and marking a step or steps in civilization. Human life, the family, the state, and the Church, underwent a continuous progress under the combined influence of the laws of heredity; of the spontaneity of evolution or the begetting of ideas one from another; of periodicity, or the running of the courses of ideas and lines of thought in given periods; of irritability, of which the stimulus, antagonism, has been the lever of advance; and of slow achievement. The general course of progressive thought began with the knowledge of natural phenomena and attempts to refer them to adequate causes; whence have sprung, in succession, an agglomeration of myth and science, as theology; a code of arbitrary morals, based on existing knowledge and mythology; attacks on established ritualism and belief, ending after bitter strife in a Reformation; and the establishment of the new heresy as orthodoxy, to be in its turn attacked and superseded. Successive steps in the evolution of mankind were marked by the growth of commerce; tribal life; writing; Greek philosophy; philosophy and oratory; Buddha and Confucius; and, finally, Jesus, who from the stand-point of evolution "does not appear as the incarnation of God, but far more than that, as the incarnation of one hundred thousand years of man. Yes, more, as the incarnation of all life, from its dawn on the earth." "No man," the author declares, "can live in the light and the life of the nobler era of brain, of science, of philosophy, of moral truth, and not behold the face of Jesus of Nazareth as the prophet, the foreseer of the later evolution"; and, "it is impossible that those who are not students of evolution, those who suppose