« PreviousContinue »
STREAM OF LIFE
ON OUR GLOBE.
ITS ARCHIVES, TRADITIONS, AND LAWS,
AS REVEALED BY
MODERN DISCOVERIES IN GEOLOGY AND
A SKETCH IN UNTECHNICAL LANGUAGE OF THE BEGINNING AND
GOVERN ITS PROGRESS AND OPERATIONS.
J. L. MILTON, M.R.C.S.
A WORD OR TWO BEFOREHAND.
THE work now before the reader is an attempt to repro1 duce in the plainest language an outline of some few of the newest and most interesting discoveries in geology, language, and physiology, particularly those relating to the first appearance of man upon earth, and the gradual growth and laws of life. Throughout, une object has been to examine how far external causes, to which the power of affecting the life and destinies of man has been ascribed, really possess any such influence or not; for though the opinion may seem almost heretical, I am inclined to think that even in the most artificial state men remain, as a mass, totally unaffected by change of diet or climate, or the conquests of peace or war. But like the greek chorus I rather offer a commentary than pronounce an individual opinion ; as the drama unfolds itself, I sum up the story and leave every man to judge for bimself.
Perhaps the reader may think that the chapter on coloured stars, however interesting the topic may be, has not much to do with the subject of life on our globe. But I have to plead that some of the points discussed, such as the climate of the planets and the chance of their being inhabited, have a bearing upon possible changes in our atmosphere, involving the alteration and even the extinction of life as we see it; and that if little can be done now