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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

parallel distant strata—though some species appear to characterize strata respectively, yet many range up and down through other than those, in which they attain their maximum development, or of which they may be especially characteristic.

Two difficulties thus arose: the increase of miraculous interferences seemed to increase proportionately their improbability; especially as there was no corroboration this time from the Word of God; while the fact of species ranging through several strata threw another stumbling-block in the way of the cataclysmic theory; for either they must have been recreated two or three times, or else lived through the supposed cataclysms considered as designed methods of destruction.

Another class of phenomena now appeared, to show a still greater difficulty in the way of belief in the creative hypothesis. Zoology, botany, as well as paleontology, gradually increased the number of living and extinct forms almost indefinitely; and in proportion as fresh discoveries were made, so it was found that numbers of forms took up positions, when classified, intermediate to other forms hitherto well distinct—"osculant" or intercalary forms as they are called. These often increased so much, that even genera well marked at first became blended together by transitional or intermediate forms.

Hence it has come to pass, from the result of this discovery, that so far from forms or types of organisms being easy and of a precise character, in accordance with the idea of each being well defined after his kind, systematic zoology and botany are the most difficult tasks a naturalist can undertake. Here, then, an overwhelming difficulty, only to be fully appreciated by a really scientific person, rises against the conception of each kind having been specially created as we see them now. Indeed, it may be added that the very idea of kind or species has been resolved into an abstract conception, finding in Nature generally no more than a relative existence.

Fresh difficulties were still in store, which must be overcome if the former theory of creation is to obtain any longer—horticulture, floriculture, agriculture, and the breeding of animals, have rapidly risen to become important and flourishing occupations. From their pursuit it was soon discovered that kinds reproducing their like never did so absolutely, but that offspring appeared always to differ from their parents in some trifling if not considerable degree. This property of Nature, to which also the human race is invariably subject, man has seized upon, and by judicious treatment can almost mould his cattle to whatever form he pleases, or stock his fields and gardens with roots of any form or with flowers of any shade of color required. After many years of successful propagation, generation after generation, we have now arrived at the result that animals and plants can be produced by careful breeding and selection, which, had they been wild, our earlier naturalists would have undoubtedly regarded as having been respec-