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Image 8 of The State College cadet, vol. 7, no. 3, December 1896

Part of The State College cadet

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54 THE oanmi. i I check at the hands of the `evolutionists: we will assume that Lord Kelvin’s esti— . mates are co1·rect. It will be found that the t1·uth of the theory of evolution is _ i in no wise aflected by this concession. Opponents of the theory seem never able an ., to realize this, but are constantly falling into error by failing to discriminate be- ii tween two essentially different notions. Either designedly, or through ignor- I I ance they confuse process and explanation of` process. Here again Lord I: Salisbury, among recent opponents of evolution is chief sinner. He and they .; fail utterly to distinguish between Evolution as an inferred or observed order of A sequences between which a casual relation evidently exists, and Evolution as an s explanation of the nature of this casual relation. In other words Evolutionism E is confused with Darwinism. · As regards the other matter-—"Time necessary for development of life by evo- T ¥ lutionary processes," the observations made in the beginning of this paper will . § apply here. A million of years is so inconceivably great, that no one is in a _ position to say off hand whether a certain rate of organic change, is or is not fast r enough to accomplish certain results within this time. K T Spencer, in a recent deliverance upon this subject, in which he makes a re- , l statement of an old illustration, puts the matter very clearly and with mathemat- `K ical precision. The gradual unfolding of the individual in its embryonic devel- opment has long furnished a favorite analogy to the Evolutionist. The differen- — tiation of cell into man in the space of 40 weeks, by growth changes that are perfectly continuous and casually related, illustrates the evolutionary conception i of life development upon this planet. The parallelism here in progress indicates I something more than mere coincidence. \Ve are dealing here with natural law, i I and all natural law is but an expression of dynamical necessity. Von Baer, a I Russian Naturalist, was the first to note this remarkable parallelism in develop- I ment between race and individual member of race, and to formulate into a law; _ Y known to all enibryologists under the name " Von Baer’s Law ” as the foundation ‘ I principle of their science. The law, as he enunciated it, is as follows: " Every animal in its individual history passes over, roughly perhaps and with many .·- breaks. the stages of its ancestral history," or, as Haeckeltersely though somewhat i technically puts it, "Ontegeny repeats l’hylogeny." Individual history repeats - Race history. In the light then of this law and the a1nple justification it has had Y by all the great discoveries in Embryological Science from Von Baer’s day to “ this, Spencer`s illustration has something more than the weight of mere analogy. The substance of the argumentby this distinguished philosopher of evolution may _. be given as follows: In the development of the human embryo in the 40 weeks n of gestation, we have a demonstrated evolution from a protoplasmic cell in the _ ’ amoeba stage of structural simplicity, to the f`ully matured body of the infant if strnctually almost as complex as that of an adult man. Nine months is 403,200 iZ_ minutes. Conceive of this embryonic development as brought about by 403,200 j ’;=`?T!.s· .