In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
His (Professor Huxley's) conclusion is an hypothesis evolved from an hypothesis. To see that this is indeed the case, let us put his argument in syllogistic form. It is as follows: Wherever we have an ascending series of animals with modifications of structure rising one above another, the later forms must have evolved themselves from the earlier. In the case of these fossil horses we have such a series, therefore the theory of evolution is established universally for all organized and animal life. Now, even if we admit his premises, everyone must see that the conclusion is far too sweeping. It ought to have been confined to the horses of which he was treating. But passing that, let us ask where is the proof of the major premise? Indeed, that premise is suppressed altogether, and he nowhere attempts to show that the existence of an ascending series of animals, with modifications of structure ascending, one above another, is an infallible indication that the higher members of the series evolved themselves out of the lower. The existence of a series does not necessarily involve the evolution of the higher members of it from the lower. The steps of a stair rise up one above another, but we cannot reason that therefore the whole staircase has developed itself out of the lowest step. It may be possible to arrange all the different modifications of the steam engine, from its first and crudest form up to its latest and most complete organized structure, in regular gradation; but that would not prove that the last grew out of the first. No doubt in such a case there has been progress — no doubt there has been development too — but it was progress guided and development directed by a presiding and intervening mind. All present experience is against this major premise which Huxley has so quietly taken for granted. It is a pure conjecture. I will go so far as to say that even if he should find in the geologic records all the intervening forms he desires, these will not furnish evidence that the higher members of the series rose out of the lower by a process of evolution. The existence of a graduated series is one thing; the growth of the series out of its lowest member is quite another.
(W. M. Taylor, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.