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I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of true science. … I inferred that genera & Families with very few species (i. e. from Extinction) would be apt (not necessarily always) to have narrow ranges & disjoined ranges. You will not perceive, perhaps, what I am driving at & it is not worth enlarging on, — but I look at Extinction as common cause of small genera & disjoined ranges & therefore they ought, if they behaved properly & as nature does not lie to go together!
The movements of nature are in a never ending circle. The animal species which has once been put into a train of motion is still probably moving in that train. For, if one link in nature's chain might be lost, another and another might be lost, till this whole system of things should evanish by piece-meal.
On the possibility of contact with an alien civilization:I think it would be a disaster. The extraterrestrials would probably be far in advance of us. The history of advanced races meeting more primitive people on this planet is not very happy, and they were the same species. I think we should keep our heads low.
Lastly, isolation, by checking immigration and consequently competition, will give time for any new variety to be slowly improved; and this may sometimes be of importance in the production of new species. If, however, an isolated area be very small, either from being surrounded by barriers, or from having very peculiar physical conditions, the total number of the individuals supported on it will necessarily be very small; and fewness of individuals will greatly retard the production of new species through natural selection, by decreasing the chance of the appearance of favourable variations.
Men will seem to see new destructions in the sky. The flames that fall from it will seem to rise in it and to fly from it with terror. They will hear every kind of animals speak in human language. They will instantaneously run in person in various parts of the world, without motion. They will see the greatest splendour in the midst of darkness. O! marvel of the human race! What madness has led you thus! You will speak with animals of every species and they with you in human speech. You will see yourself fall from great heights without any harm and torrents will accompany you, and will mingle with their rapid course.
When we descend to details, we can prove that no one species has changed (i.e., we cannot prove that a single species has changed): nor can we prove that the supposed changes are beneficial, which is the groundwork of the theory. Nor can we explain why some species have changed and others have not.
Now to Some it appears not at all worth while to follow out the endless divisions of Nature; and moreover a dangerous undertaking, without fruit and issue. As we can never reach, say they, the absolutely smallest grain of material bodies, never find their simplest compartments, since all magnitude loses itself, forwards and backwards, in infinitude; so likewise is it with the species of bodies and powers; here too one comes on new species, new combinations, new appearances, even to infinitude. These seem only to stop, continue they, when our diligence tires; and so it is spending precious time with idle contemplations and tedious enumerations; and this becomes at last a true delirium, a real vertigo over the horrid Deep
Words are acoustical signs for concepts; concepts, however, are more or less definite image signs for often recurring and associated sensations, for groups of sensations. To understand one another, it is not enough that one use the same words; one also has to use the same words for the same species of inner experiences; in the end one has to have one's experiences in common.
Can it then be doubted, but that God, who is infinitely fine Spirit, and withal intelligent, can make and change all species and kind of body as he pleaseth? But I dare not say, that this is the way by which God Almighty worketh, because it is past my apprehension: yet it serves very well to demonstrate, that the omnipotence of God implieth no contradiction.