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IN the year 1865 Professor Samuel Finley Breese Morse, to whom the world is indebted for the application of the principles of electro-magnetism to telegraphy, gave the sum of ten thousand dollars to Union Theological Seminary to found a lectureship in memy of his father, the Rev. Jedediah Morse, D.D., theologian, geographer, and gazetteer. The subject of the lectures was to have to do with "The relations of the Bible to any of the sciences." The ten chapters of this book correspond to ten lectures, eight of which were delivered as Morse Lectures at Union Theological Seminary during the early spring of 1895. The first nine chapters appear in form and substance as they were given in the lectures, except that Chapters VI. and VII. were condensed in one lecture. Chapter X.
new, and I have not hesitated to add a few paragraphs wherever the argument seemed especially to demand further evidence or illustration.
One of my friends, reading the title of these lectures, said: "Of man's origin you know nothing, of his future you know less." I fear that many share his opinion, although they might not express it so emphatically.
It would seem, therefore, to be in order to show that science is now competent to deal with this question; not that she can give a final and conclusive answer, but that we can reach results which are probably in
the main correct. We may grant very chee
We take for granted the probable truth of th
If man has been evolved from simple living stance protoplasm, by a process of evolution, some day be possible to write a history of that pr But have we yet sufficient knowledge to justify
Before the history of any period can be writte
ters of this book.
Now, for some of the ancestral stages of man velopment a very high degree of probability
*See Phylogenetic Chart, p. 310.
claimed. One of man's earliest ancestors was almost certainly a unicellular animal. A little later he very probably passed through a gastræa stage. He traversed fish, amphibian, and reptilian grades. oviparous monotreme and the marsupial almost cerThe tainly represent lower mammalian ancestral stages. But what kind of fish, what species of amphibian, what form of reptiles most closely resembles the old ancestor? How did each of these ancestors look? I do not know. It looks as if our ancestral tree were entirely uncertain and we were left without any foundation for history or argument.
But the history of the development of anatomical details, however important and desirable, is not the only history which can be written, nor is it essential. It would be interesting to know the size of brain, girth of chest, average stature, and the features of the ancient Greeks and Romans. But this is not the most important part of their history, nor is it essential. The great question is, What did they contribute to human progress?
Even if we cannot accurately portray the anatomical details of a single ancestral stage, can we perhaps discover what function governed its life and was the aim of its existence? Did it live to eat, or to move, or to think? If we cannot tell exactly how it looked, can we tell what it lived for and what it contributed to the evolution of man?
Now, the sequence of dominant functions or aims in life can be traced with far more ease and safety, not to say certainty, than one of anatomical details. The latter characterize small groups, genera, families, or classes; while the dominant function characterizes all
can be satisfied that ever higher functions to dominance in the successive stages of El human development, if we can further be that the sequence is irreversible, we shall be A that future man will be more and more comcontrolled by the very highest powers or aims ch this sequence points. Otherwise we must eve the continuity of history. But the germs future are always concealed in the history of resent. Hence-pardon the reiteration—if we can trace this sequence of dominant functions, whose blution has filled past ages, we can safely foretell mething at least of man's future development.
The argument and method is therefore purely historical. Here and there we will try to find why and how things had to be so. But all such digressions are of small account compared with the fact that things were or are thus and so. And a mistaken explanation will not invalidate the facts of history.
The subject of our history is the development, not of a single human race nor of the movements of a century, but the development of animal life through ages. And even if our attempts to decipher a few pages here and there in the volumes of this vast biological history are not as successful as we could hope, we must not allow ourselves to be discouraged from future efforts. Even if our translation is here and there at fault, we must never forget the existence of the history. Some are due to their hayof the worst errors of biologists germs of the ing forgotten that in the lower stages the higher though invisible to any microscope. Our study of the worm is inadequate and likely to mislead us, unless we remember that a worm