[Footnote 32: In commenting on these views of Bateson, Prof. S.C. Holmes, of the University of California, well speaks of them as “an illustration of the bankruptcy of present evolutionary theory.”—Science, September 3, 1915.]
Let us sum up the situation. We began this chapter with the question, Have new kinds of plants and animals originated in modern times comparable in all essential respects with the idea of true species?
The answer of modern science is reluctantly obtained, but it is a negative. De Vries and others have indeed originated new kinds that were loudly hailed as new species, and are doubtless as deserving of specific rank as many already listed for years in the treatises of specialists. Indeed there is every reason to believe that almost countless numbers of our taxonomic species have originated from common ancestral originals. But as these so-called species are now known to be freely or moderately cross fertile with other related species, their hybrids following the ordinary laws of Mendelian inheritance, we see that they are not true species but mere analytic varieties.
In short, we now know that our taxonomic classifications have been marked off on altogether too narrow lines. This has tended greatly to confuse the question at issue. But from our enlarged views of the laws and nature of heredity and variation, as well as from the original intent of the term species as defined by the great scientist who originated it, the verdict of an impartial investigator must be that we have never seen a new species originate by any natural or artificial method since the dawn of scientific observation.
Here again we find the record of Creation confirmed; for the failure of the thousands of modern investigators to originate genuine new species proves that in this respect also Creation is not now going on. And all the analogies from the origin of matter, of energy, of life, and from the laws of the reproduction of cells, indicate that we have at last found rock bottom truth regarding the vexed question of the origin of species. So far as science can observe and record, each living thing on earth, in air, in water, reproduces “after its kind.”
GEOLOGY AND ITS LESSONS
In all the previous chapters I have not been giving any very new facts or any discoveries of my own. True, my conclusions from the facts may seem novel; but in general I have been giving merely facts which are almost universally acknowledged by educated men. The conservation laws of matter and of energy, the impassable gulf between the living and the not-living, the laws governing cell multiplication, are matters of common knowledge and will be found in the appropriate college text-books throughout the civilized world.