On the other hand, it is an implication of the Darwinian doctrine that species are essentially unlimited in existence. When they die out—as sooner or later any species may—the verdict must be accidental death, under stress of adverse circumstances, not exhaustion of vitality; and, commonly, when the species seems to die out, it will rather have suffered change. For the stock of vitality which enables it to vary and. survive in changed forms under changed circumstances must be deemed sufficient for a continued unchanged existence under unaltered conditions. And, indeed, the advancement from simpler to more complex, which upon the theory must have attended the diversification, would warrant or require the supposition of increase instead of diminution of power from age to age.
The only case we call to mind which, under the Darwinian view, might be interpreted as a dying out from inherent causes, is that of a species which refuses to vary, and thus lacks the capacity of adaptation to altering conditions. Under altering conditions, this lack would be fatal. But this would be the fatality of some species or form in particular, not of species or forms generally, which, for the most part, may and do vary sufficiently, and in varying survive, seemingly none the worse, but rather the better, for their long tenure of life.
The opposite idea, however, is maintained by M. Naudin,[XII-1] in a detailed exposition of his own views of evolution, which differ widely from those of Darwin in most respects, and notably in excluding that which, in our day, gives to the subject its first claim to scientific (as distinguished from purely speculative) attention; namely, natural selection. Instead of the causes or operations collectively personified under this term, and which are capable of exact or probable appreciation, M. Naudin invokes “the two principles of rhythm and of the decrease of forces in Nature.” He is a thorough evolutionist, starting from essentially the same point with Darwin; for he conceives of all the forms or species of animals and plants “comme tire tout entier d’un protoplasma primordial, uniform, instable, eminemment plastique.”