We read also:
It is yet further said:
I have always maintained that the cosmic process, since it often favors the ill-doer more than the virtuous man, could never by any possibility have evolved the ethical ideal.
Prof. Huxley now bears the most satisfactory witness to this truth, saying:
Just so! It would be difficult to declare more emphatically that ethics could never have formed part and parcel of the general process of evolution.
But with that change, whatever it may have been, which first introduced into this planet an intellectual, and therefore ethical, nature, it is no wonder that consequences thence resulted destructive of antecedent harmonies.
Many persons deplore the ravages which the one intellectual animal (man) has effected on the fair face of Nature. As a naturalist I feel this strongly, and the extinction of so many curious and beautiful forms of life which human progress occasions is very painful to contemplate. It seems to us hateful that the harmonious results of Nature's conflicting powers should be disturbed and upset to meet the vulgar needs of uncultured human life.
Yet reason should convince us that this sentiment is a mistaken one. We may, indeed, most reasonably regret the loss of species of animals and plants which greater care and foresight might have preserved; yet we should never forget that over the irrational world man legitimately holds sway, and that weighed in the balance with him the rest counts for nothing. The very poorest homestead, the ugliest row of cottages, the most common-
- [December Monthly, pp. 189, 190.]
- [December Monthly, p. 187.] The Italics are mine.