On the other hand, the pre-history of our island, outside the limitation imposed on it by the appearance of man on the scene, goes back to the dawn of life on the globe; and it is largely to the modifications effected under the influence of cosmic agencies during this infinitely longer period that the country became a suitable habitat for Homo sapiens. A few preliminary words on this aspect of the subject will not, therefore, be considered out of place, as thereby the true starting-point of our main thesis will be brought into clearer relief. As we cannot endorse the opinion long held as a dogma in theological cosmogonies, that the multitudinous phenomena of the material world—the distribution of land and water, the evolution of plants and animals, the recurrence of seasons, etc.—were specially designed to minister to the welfare of man- kind, we are bound to account for them on some other hypothesis. On this point all we affirm is that they were the outcome of the fixed laws which then governed, and still govern, the universe. Evidence in support of this conclusion is not far to seek. In the Geological and Palæontological records we have ample details of the successive changes the earth has undergone since it cooled down sufficiently to admit of organic life on its surface.