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Gifford Lecture the Twentieth.

Gifford Lecture the Twentieth.

The action — South American types left here to themselves change into new species from accumulation of their own individual spontaneous differences — The birds — Differences in the times and modes of arrival between land and sea birds — Carte and tierce — Contradiction — Parried by a word — An advocate's proof — The printer and Mr. Darwin's woulds — The sea-gull — The finches — Sir William Jardine — The process to Darwin — What was to him “a new birth” — Where the determinative advantage for these different beaks — The individual central islands not incommunicably separate — French birds at Dover — Isolation — Ex-contrario — Individual difference the single secret that is the “law” which has been “discovered” of “natural selection’ — Apply influence of external conditions to the Galapagos — Kant — The Galapagos rat and mouse — New beings but yet the old names — If difference goes always on only to difference without return to identity why are there not infinitely more species? — Bowen — Darwin only empedoclean — Parsons — Lyell — Monsters (giants and dwarfs) sterile — Frederick's grenadiers the pygmies — Divergent species at home — The Galapagos but the Mr. Jorkins of the Darwinians — The tortoise where did it come from? — The amblyrhyncus similarly inexplicable — Lizards of the secondary epoch — The Galapagos Islands absolutely without a vestige of the struggle for life in any direction — The breeder and nature can act only on what is already there — The breeder deals in identity not difference and his breeds would all turn back to the original — No breeder a new species — Nature acts not on Darwin's method but design — Toothed birds the hipparion the otter-sheep — Accidental individual difference to he the sole creator in the end of all that enormous and infinitely complicated concert to unity! — Farewell.

BEING now possessed of some idea of the scene of the action we may proceed forthwith to this latter itself. And that is to this sole effect: That South American types of life became in process of time specifically changed in those islands of the Galapagos in consequence of their isolation as well partial as total. The types particularly selected to be dwelt on are the birds. “In the Galapagos Islands” says Mr. Darwin in the Origin (348) “there are 26 land-birds; of these 21 (or perhaps 23) are peculiar whereas of the 11 marine birds only 2 are peculiar;” and this difference Mr. Darwin explained by difference in the numbers of the immigration and in the times of it. “Species” he said “occasionally arriving after long intervals of time in a new and isolated district and having to compete with new associates would be eminently liable to modification and would often produce groups of modified descendants.” We are to understand that is this to have been the case with the land-birds: they only “occasionally” arrived “after long intervals of time” and they had to “compete with new associates.” As for the sea-birds the excess of non-modification in them was due it is said “partly” to their “having immigrated in a body so that their mutual relations were not much disturbed” and “partly to the frequent arrival of unmodified immigrants from the mother-country with which the insular forms have intercrossed.” We see here that invariable felicity of Mr. Darwin that if there is a foin in carte it is as swiftly followed up by a fence in tierce. Few immigrants at long intervals give us modification—carte; but many immigrants at frequent intervals quite as much withdraw modification—tierce! Mr. Darwin blows hot and cold with equal vigour. It is only fair to observe however that Mr. Darwin has a reason why sea-birds have immigrated differently from land-birds. “It is obvious” he says “that marine birds could arrive at these islands much more easily and frequently than landbirds.” But even here in his own facts is there not pretty well his own contradiction? If marine birds can immigrate more easily and frequently than land-birds it at least sounds strange that while there are 26 of the land there are only 11 of the sea. It is quite possible of course as regards new species that the many come from the few and contrariwise the few from the many. No one can doubt at any rate that Mr. Darwin's ingenuity could make it appear so. He can find a word at any moment that is an open sesamè to any difficulty. He says himself that from end to end of it his Origin of Species is “one long argument.” And so it is! From end to end of it it is what the Germans call an Advocatenbeweis: from end to end of it it is an advocate's proof. Even in what lies at this moment before us just in the same way as we saw already he that continues to read will find almost every proposition conditioned by a would. It is always this would take place and that would take place. In point of actual fact there are so many woulds in Mr. Darwin's books on natural selection that one may be forgiven if one finds oneself speculating with some curiosity about the resources of a printer's fount. In this reference and as concerns the many from the few or the few from the many would it be unfair to say that one would not expect such an animal as a gull to be one of the only two remarkably modified sea-birds? One would expect it to arrive always in very large numbers and on occasions of very frequent occurrence. From the known habits of the gull one would expect this almost more in its case than in that of any other sea-bird—one would really least of all expect the gull to be the exceptional sea-bird to display in the Galapagos even as much modification as the land-birds. Mr. Darwin himself cannot help exclaiming here “Considering the wandering habits of the gulls I was surprised to find that the species inhabiting these islands is peculiar.” It is a situation and a circumstance naturally to give exit to a whole flight of woulds and would nots! (Journal 380).

But if the birds at the Galapagos are peculiarly selected for remark of these it is the finches that as Mr. Darwin would have it are specially to be considered. “Ornithology—curious finches” are his own words in the heading of the chapter in his Journal. Of the twenty-six land-birds in fact the finches are so remarkable that they constitute one half of them. In the Galapagos Islands there are no less than thirteen new species of finches; and Mr. Darwin is so much impressed with them that he illustrates his description of them in the Journal by actual drawings of them. I have the book here and they may be seen. The figures given are very evidently heads of finches even as we know them in this country. No. 1 refers to the Geospiza magnirostris and is distinguished by a very full large beak. The beak of No. 2 the Geospiza fortis is less large but still strong. That of No. 3 the Geospiza parvula is very much such as we may see in our own finches sparrows or even canaries. The beak of No. 4 is small and sharp almost as in our own wrens. Between Nos. 1 and 3 it appears there is not only one but actually six intermediate species. “The perfectly graduated series in the size of their beaks” Mr. Darwin calls “a probable consequence of their numbers;” and it is by reason of these numbers that “one might really fancy” he says “that from an original paucity of birds in this archipelago one species had been taken and modified for different ends.” Now in these four finch heads we have what in the mind of Mr. Darwin was the motive and the generative speck of the whole ultimate theory. Because he found in these islands so many finches and in the different islands different ones Mr. Darwin was led to speculate on their possible origin. There was a common analogy in all of them; and that analogy was an analogy that bore only on a certain South American type. The obvious inference accordingly was that all these finches however much they were modified had been actually modified one and all of them out of a single characteristic type; and that type was to be found only in South America. As one sees it is at once assumed here that the thirteen different finches constitute or represent thirteen different species; and consequently the first thing it occurs to us to ask is What is a species? We remember how Mr. Darwin was himself put to it to determine a species in his Cirrepedes and how he needs must laugh at his brother naturalists in the same endeavour generally. We are told that be the differences what they may these birds always bear to each other the closest resemblance. The thirteen males are all black the thirteen females are all brown and they are to be found all or the most of them feeding together. We really should like to know if they cannot pair together. Mr. Darwin is chagrined; but it does not at least at first sight seem unnatural that Sir William Jardine I suppose the greatest ornithological authority thought that “some of the Galapagos so-called species ought to be called varieties” and that “some of the sub-genera supposed to be wholly endemic have been found on the continent” (ii. 246). On the whole we really should like to know on what it was that the specific difference turned for Mr. Darwin himself. This is plain that if they were not species and species endemic to the Galapagos Mr. Darwin must have made a bad start. But suppose them species and that they were not specially or directly created as seems to Mr. Darwin (though not to us) the only other alternative how does he conceive his own process of modification the pullulation of differences to have naturally evolved them? As we see and as is insisted on they vary in their beaks. Is it there that Mr. Darwin finds his peculiar pulse? In the Life and Letters he expressly exemplifies to us what he would call “a new birth.” It is “a bird born with a beak 1/100th of an inch longer than usual.” That evidently to him is a good instance of the first step in a pullulation of differences. May we suppose then that he sees the beaks of these finches pullulate and pullulate into the new species which he describes and draws in his book? If Mr. Darwin asserts it we cannot deny it. But when we look at his own pictures great beaks strong beaks small beaks tiny beaks may we be allowed to ask on which side we shall assume the determinative “advantage” to lie—the determinative “advantage” that is always postulated in the theory? Shall it be the great beaks that have pullulated into strength or shall it be the small beaks that have pullulated into fineness? We know that Mr. Darwin regards the isolation of these islands precisely as the one determining condition of this growth of species. But that being so we cannot but recognise that his very condition must blow quite as vigorously cold as hot—fence quite as securely in tierce as in carte. If the strong and great are due to it so also are the small and fine. Mr. Darwin sees so much potency in the isolation and lays so much stress on it that he attributes to it not only the general difference of life in the archipelago from life on the continent but even the individual difference of life on one island as compared with life on another. “By far the most remarkable feature in the natural history of this archipelago is that the different islands to a considerable extent are inhabited by a different set of beings” (394); “Several of the islands possess their own species” (397); “Different islands have their representatives of Geospiza”—the finch (395). To such expressions as these Mr. Darwin adds others to the effect that in his belief these islands are incommunicably cut off the one from the other. This latter circumstance as in the interest of the view which it is his dearest wish to impress he is even at some pains in his usual colouring way at least to accentuate. In the Origin these islands he says “are separated by deep arms of the sea in most cases wider than the British Channel: the currents of the sea are rapid and sweep between the islands and gales of wind are extraordinarily rare; so that the islands are far more effectually separated from each other than they appear on a map.” Now as regards distances the statement here must be confined to what I have called the outlying islands: it is wholly out of place when referred to those in the centre. At most five or six miles will bring all the latter into connection the one with the other; and these five or six miles concern only the separation of two from the other five islands while otherwise all are very much nearer each other than even five or six miles. The Galapagos Islands therefore specially at least those that constitute Mr. Darwin's references are not separated by arms of the sea “in most cases wider than the British Channel” which is a gap of twenty-five miles. Then the currents between may be “rapid;” but in that respect they must vary much with different states of the tides. Lastly as regards gales of wind they may be “rare;” but the very phrase allows them from time to time to exist. Nay the very lizards would seem numerous as they are to be somewhat dependent on storms for their support. “They consume” says Mr. Darwin “much of the succulent cactus the branches of which are occasionally broken off by the wind!” We may remember too that the craters on these islands have their windward sides “either much lower than the other sides or quite broken down and removed in consequence of the combined action of the Pacific swell and the southern Trades.” Gales of wind then may be “extraordinarily rare;” but they do happen and we can hardly conclude with Mr. Darwin from the mere rarity of them that “neither the birds insects nor lighter seeds would be blown from island to island.” On the contrary it does seem precisely certain that seeds insects and birds would from time to time not possibly escape being blown from island to island. But what of the prevailing serenity and calm? Mr. Darwin describes in the Origin (356) many of the birds as specially well adapted for flying from island to island: are we to suppose that two or three or five or six miles would not in such circumstances prove to all such birds rather a temptation and an attraction than an intimidation and restraint? Even the British Channel was but a step to the French birds that covered the cliffs of Dover when liberté égalité fraternité took during the Revolution to slaughtering them. On the whole whether we look to Mr. Darwin's own measures or to Mr. Darwin's own facts we are without any warrant to conclude that in the Galapagos island isolated from island stands a region of its own.

For the most part Mr. Darwin is very resolute in his faith in isolation as a main element or agency in the birth of species; but there are times especially latterly when he actually seems to vacillate. He writes to Hooker in 1844: “Isolation is the chief concomitant or cause of the appearance of new forms.” As late as 1876 “it would have been a strange fact” he exclaims (iii. 159) “if I had overlooked the importance of isolation seeing it was such cases as that of the Galapagos which chiefly led me to study the origin of species.” Still four years earlier we can get such an avowal as this from him (iii. 156): “I rejoice to think that I formerly said as emphatically as I could that neither isolation nor time by themselves do anything for the modification of species.” What however is really emphatical here ought to fall on the words “by themselves.” The declaration alluded to occurs in the fourth chapter of the Origin. There we find isolation described as “an important element in the modification of species” but not as an absolutely necessary and indispensable element. It is only important as giving the chance for variation. That too is the rôle of time in the process; and says Mr. Darwin “it has been erroneously asserted that the element of time has been assumed by me to play an all-important part in modifying species as if all the forms of life were necessarily undergoing change through some innate law.” No; it is neither isolation nor time nor “innate law” that shall be allowed to interfere with what to Mr. Darwin as to Mr. Huxley is the central idea and quintessence of the system individual difference. That—individual difference—is the law of natural selection which has been discovered; and years only corroborate and confirm Mr. Darwin's allegiance to the purity of it. So it is that he says in 1876 (iii 159)—no doubt with isolation in his mind—“I cannot doubt that many new species have been simultaneously developed within the same large continental area;” while two years later as regards individual difference he writes (iii. 161) in this strong way: “As our knowledge advances very slight differences considered by sytematists as of no importance in structure are continually found to be functionally important.” Evidently it is more and more what depends on difference that occupies his thought and absorbs his attention. Nevertheless it was certainly isolation in the first place the isolation of the Galapagos that availed to suggest to him the possibility of new species forming themselves or being formed on the ordinary terms that are usual in nature. Then undoubtedly it had appeared to him that a changing organism if left to itself uncrossed and uninterfered with would be in the precise position favourable for the transmutation of itself into a new species. Isolation might not create species or could not create species but it would be at all events the peculiar feeding-ground in which species through the manifestation and accumulation of difference would create itself.

If it is in the interest of modification difference as the centre of the theory that Mr. Darwin may seem somewhat to vacillate as regards isolation we may recollect that we saw some similar vacillation in respect to external conditions. In the first instance he appeared to have an implacable aversion to all such conditions as climate etc. having had anything to do with the modification of organisms. By and by as to Moritz Wagner in 1876 he admits that in regard to “the direct action of the environment there is now a large body of evidence.” Well now is there any reason why we may not apply that here? Everything was strange and new in these islands—how strange how new! Craters and caverns and black lava and red scoriæ and salt pools—suffocating heat—brown brushwood even when in flower that smelt sickly—huge tortoises crawling more than fourteen stone in weight—big black and yellow lizards on the rocks or in the cinders by thousands—how could we expect to find anything whatever the same here? “In birds of the same species which have to live in different climates” says Kant (WW. vi. 321) “there are provisions for the growth of a new coating of feathers should certain of them inhabit a cold climate which provisions however in a temperate climate are kept in reserve. Since wheat in a cold country must have more protection from wet and cold than in a dry and warm one it possesses a natural capability of clothing itself in a gradually thicker integument. This forethought of nature by calculated precautions to prepare its creature for all future contingencies in order that it may preserve itself and adapt itself to the diversity of climate and soil is a just subject of wonder and with the migrations and transplantations of animals and plants gives rise to new species in appearance which are nothing else than races and varieties of the same kind the natural inborn capacities of which have variously developed themselves in long periods of time according to occasion.” Thus then for the production of apparent new species Kant points to innate original nature as respondent to the influence of the varying external conditions; whereas Mr. Darwin for an equal result depends on “accumulation of individual differences” and that too only “spontaneously” only by “accident” only by “chance” as for example in “a bird born with a beak 1/100th of an inch longer than usual.” But after all was not Mr. Darwin coming round to Kant's way of it when as late as 1876 he confesses (iii. 159): “In my opinion the greatest error which I have committed has been not allowing sufficient weight to the direct action of environment i.e. food climate” etc.? In his earlier days indeed Mr. Darwin did admit as much as this even for the Galapagos. He found in them he says only two mammals a rat and a mouse. The rat has evidently been imported Mr. Darwin says and “is merely a variety produced by the new and peculiar climate food and soil to which it has been subjected” (378); nor as regards the mouse are we left in any doubt that his opinion was identical. Now Mr. Darwin tells us in the Origin (113) that the rat and the mouse “have been transported by man to many parts of the world; they live under the cold climate of Faroe in the north and of the Falklands in the south and on many an island in the torrid zones.” If then the strange environment of the Galapagos could so change forms so persistent as these that the one may almost be allowed to rank and the other does rank as a new species why should we resort to a different genesis for the birds and the rest? Mr. Darwin says of these islands (Journal 377 and 393) that in them “a vast majority of all the land animals and more than half of the flowering plants are aboriginal productions: it was most striking to be surrounded by new birds new reptiles new shells new insects new plants!” Mr. Darwin says this; he calls all these animals and plants new; and yet he gives to the whole of them all the old names! Of the twenty-six birds thirteen are finches three are mocking thrushes and three tyrant fly-catchers two are owls and two are swallows; there are a hawk and a wren and a dove. If the animals themselves are new and if as Mr. Darwin says also “most of the organic productions are aboriginal creations found nowhere else” so that “we seem to be brought somewhat near to that great fact—that mystery of mysteries—the first appearance of new beings on this earth” (378)—how is it that we have in our ears all the old familiar sounds and see before our eyes only all the old familiar names? New creations should be new creations and quite unlike the old—new creations consequently should have names of their own and not only misleadingly carry the appellatives of creations past. If indeed the peculiarities here have led Mr. Darwin to the discovery of the true rationale of creation how is it that we have more to surprise us than even this strange matter of names?—how is it that new creations are not much more common experiences? In each of the million upon million of individuals that exist always and everywhere upon our globe an accumulation of differences ought to be going on constantly—ought to be the one event; and species consequently ought by this time of day to be absolutely innumerable. Something like this objection has been already made to Mr. Darwin; and though he says little I think he shows himself sensitive to it. Professor Bowen of Harvard writes once “If the doctrine were true geological strata would be full of monsters which have failed.” Whereat Mr. Darwin contemptuously scoffs: “A very clear view this writer” (whom he afterwards styles “a singularly unobservant man”) “had of the struggle for existence” (ii. 304 372)! We have only here again however the earliest—the Greek—suggestion of the struggle for existence and the survival of the fittest unwittingly come upon by Mr. Darwin. Empedocles fabled as we have seen that all sorts of organisms spontaneously take birth but only those survive which are fit; and that is precisely the import of Mr. Darwin's scoff to Bowen: In the struggle for existence namely monsters would disappear. Professor Parsons also of Harvard seems to have repeated Bowen's objection. Mr. Darwin calls his whole paper “worth nothing” (ii. 331); but at the same time he writes on the same day to another correspondent “If you see Professor Parsons will you thank him for the extremely liberal and fair spirit in which his essay is written? Please tell him I reflected much on the chance of favourable monstrosities” etc. Now these two professors are outsiders; but it is a strange thing that Sir Charles Lyell who is no outsider makes also to Mr. Darwin precisely the same objection (ii. 290). ‘You ask (I see)” writes Darwin to Lyell “why we do not have monstrosities in higher animals? but when they live they are almost always sterile (even giants and dwarfs are generally sterile).” There is a little addition here—sterility—to the Empedoclean idea; but may we not attempt to take the point off it in Mr. Darwin's own manner by counter-instances? To say “generally” is to say too much; for we know that the inhabitants of Potsdam are a tall race inasmuch as they are the descendants of the Prussian king's seven-foot eight-foot and nine-foot grenadiers; and as for dwarfs we are just on the point of hearing from Mr. Stanley about a whole nation of such who under the name of pygmies have been fighting the cranes since the beginning of history!

But as regards the Galapagos organisms bearing the same names as those elsewhere—as regards the Galapagos birds for example being for the most part finches one wonders that Mr. Darwin should have had any call to find his idea only in them or their neighbours. We have plenty of divergent species—finches wrens linnets etc.—at home. Why go so far afield for an idea that we may find within our own doors? Nay what after all does the whole thing come to? How is it that we are brought face to face with that mystery of mysteries creation any more here than absolutely anywhere else? No doubt Mr. Darwin's words have a peculiar excitation for us—“somewhat near to that mystery of mysteries the first appearance of new beings on this earth!” We breathlessly read further we feel an awe as though on the point of seeing the very veil at last upraised from the countenance of the universe the secret of the birth of all the beings that have lived the secret of the birth of man—is it any wonder that we are coerced and constrained and surprised into a mere “pshaw!” in the end when all that we come to are these four finches? It has been well for the friends of Mr. Darwin that the Galapagos archipelago has been kept as the ultimate referee only in its own cloud. It was uncommonly convenient for Mr. Spenlow in David Copperfield to be able on occasion to point conclusively upstairs to the unseen Mr. Jorkins. Once seen however the terrible Mr. Jorkins proved to be the most harmless of mortals. Even so the Galapagos when seen are not seen to take us one step nearer the mystery of life. We have seen what has been said of the birds; but is it any better with the reptiles? The huge tortoise is called “aboriginal;” “it is found nowhere else in this quarter of the world;” “it may be questioned” Mr. Darwin avows “whether it is in any other place an aboriginal.” One asks with astonishment then where did it come from? No South American type will account for it here. And pullulation of individual differences! are we to suppose that it pullulated out of the bare rock? Of what avail is the whole theory in such a case? Then are we one whit better off with the lizard the amblyrhyncus? Mr. Darwin speaks of its progenitor “arriving” at the Galapagos; but he adds “from what country it is impossible to say as its affinity I believe is not very clear to any known species” (ii. 336). That is he has no warrant but his own supposition for speaking of it as even “arriving.” He warns the geologist who may “refer back in his mind” to the monstrous lizards of the Secondary epochs “that this archipelago instead of possessing a humid climate and rank vegetation as was the case then cannot be considered otherwise than extremely arid and for an equatorial region remarkably temperate.” From Secondary lizard to Galapagos lizard were connection even possible that is a vast difference an incalculable difference is it possible to suppose that the pullulation of difference could ever bridge it?

We have seen that Mr. Darwin speaks of the struggle for existence as an essential element of the theory and we know it otherwise to be such; what countenance then does the very feeding ground and breeding ground and originating ground of natural selection show it? Why none—absolutely none! Throughout the whole of the Galapagos archipelago there is not a vestige of the struggle for existence—not a trace! We have attempted to make good that there are storms of wind; but these as Mr. Darwin says are “extraordinarily rare.” Then there is heat but it is temperate and for the most part there is no rain. The birds live there if anywhere on earth in perfectly halcyon weather and they have all food; they have never the slightest occasion in that respect to affect the slightest quarrel with one another. Nor is it otherwise with the only other inhabitants the lizards and tortoises. “The numbers of individuals of each species are extraordinarily great.” Of the lizards Mr. Darwin remarks their numbers are such that “we could not for some time find a spot free from their burrows on which to pitch our tent.” “This reptile” he says “has no enemy whatever on shore.” “They are not at all timorous.” As they crawl “they often stop and doze for a minute or two.” “I have seen” says Mr Darwin “these lizards and the huge tortoises feeding together.” “I have seen” he says again “one of the thick-billed finches picking at one end of a piece of cactus while a lizard was eating at the other end; and afterwards the little bird with the utmost indifference hopped on the back of the reptile.” Only “if two are placed on the ground and held together they will fight and bite each other; but I” adds Mr. Darwin “caught many by the tail and they never tried to bite me.” The tortoises have “broad and well-beaten paths in every direction from the wells down to the sea-coast: it was a curious spectacle to behold many of these huge creatures one set eagerly travelling onwards with outstretched necks and another set returning after having drunk their fill.” “I frequently got on their backs” says Mr. Darwin “and then giving a few raps on the hinder part of their shells they would rise up and walk away.” The female “drops her eggs indiscriminately in any hole”—she has no fear for them! To this entire scene of peace and calm and indolent enjoyment it cannot he said that even the hawk “the carrion-feeding buzzard” as it is otherwise called is a single exception; for only the young newly-hatched tortoises are its prey. As for the old ones they “seem generally to die from accidents as from falling down precipices.” It is maintained that nobody had ever found any one of them dead “without some evident cause.” All living things on these islands birds and all even the carrion-buzzard are of a tameness in the extreme: “all of them often approached sufficiently near to be killed with a switch a cap or a hat—a gun is here almost superfluous; for with the muzzle I (Mr. Darwin) pushed a hawk (the carrion-buzzard) off the branch of a tree!”

I need go no farther probatum est; the case is now complete. This archipelago whatever it was in the way of suggestion to Mr. Darwin himself can hardly be allowed so far as I see to be anything better than a Mr. Spenlow's Jorkins to anybody else. As for “the central idea the quintessence of Darwinism” the pullulation of differences it is quite possible as Mr. Darwin suggests that there might be “a bird born with a beak 1/100th of an inch longer than usual;” but is the conception of such initial step enough to enable us to picture even in imagination the eventual production of all those beaks to say nothing of the various birds themselves? Individual does differ from individual; no two individuals are perfectly alike. Manifestly then there is development of difference of difference after difference of differences infinite. But is it so certain as Mr. Darwin will have it that difference goes on—that difference adds to itself—that difference never stops—till there emerges—what?—its own opposite an identity a fixed new identity that actually propagates its own identity as a species before our eyes illimitably? But does the difference go on only so?—does the difference add to itself only so? If there is advance of difference into a new is there not return of difference into the old identity? We can see the latter at every minute of the day and on all sides of us; but we never see the former—never have seen the former. No man not even a breeder has ever seen the former. A breeder if he is to breed must have his material to work on; he knows that to effect the modifications he wants he can only take advantage of what is already there. Nay it is not by the accumulation of differences that the breeder effects his purposes but by the accumulation of identities. If he wants wool he adds wool to wool; if he wants flesh he adds flesh to flesh; if he wants bone he adds bone to bone; if he wants weight he adds weight to weight; if he wants speed he adds speed to speed. But do as he may the breeder knows well that but for his artifices his breeds would all turn back again to what they were at first. You must keep the coal up if you would keep the fire up. But with all his skills and all his contrivances and all his perseverances no breeder has ever yet produced a new species. We do not deny any more than Kant that nature can produce new species: we only deny that nature has no secret for the process but the accumulation of the differences of accident. We know no proof of this—toothed birds the hipparion itself and even the wonderful “otter” sheep notwithstanding. We claim design for nature whatever we admit!

Mr. Darwin follows up his suggestion of the accident the chance of his 100th of an inch more than usual in this emphatic way (iii. 33): “The more I work the more I feel convinced that it is by the accumulation of such extremely slight variations that new species arise.” That is as much as to assert that out of an accidental speck of proteine the accidental pullulation of difference (mere difference) produced—without design—mechanically as it were—you and me the circulation of the blood the respiration of the lungs the action of a brain!

But I must break off here: these lectures are now at an end. It was to expound Natural Theology that this place was given me. The proofs for the being of a God are Natural Theology. These proofs I followed historically on the affirmative side with some fulness almost from first to last. On the negative side I had to make a selection of what history offered me there; but I endeavoured to meet the want by the production of what on the whole are generally and publicly esteemed the three authoritative degrees of the relative argumentation.

I beg to thank you for the great attention with which you have always honoured me and to bid you respectfully Farewell!

From the book: