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par'kular use; and what else but design ever produces such? The woodpecker lives chiefly upon insects, lodged in the bodies of decayed or decaying trees. For the purpose of boring into the wood, it is furnished with a bill, straight, hard, angular, and sharp. When, by means of this piercer, it has reached the cells of the insects, then comes the office of its tongue; which tongue is first, of such a length that the bird can dart it out three or four inches from the bill, in this respect differing greatly from every other species of bird; in the second place, it is tipped with a stiff, fharb, bony thorn; and,, in the third place, which appears to me the most remarkable property of all, this tip is dentated on both sides, like the beard of an arrow or the barb of a hook. The description of the part declares its use. The bird, having exposed the retreats of the insects by the assistance of its bill, with a motion inconceivably quick lunches out at them this long tongue; transfixes them upon the barbed needle at the end of it; and thus draws its prey within its mouth. If this be not mechanism, what is? Should it be faid, that, by continual endeavours to shoot out the tongue to the stretch, rujjj'j; the the woodpecker species may by degrees have lengthened the organ itself, beyond that of other birds, what account can be given of its form; of its tip? How, in particular, did it get its barbs, its dentation? These barbs, in my opinion, wherever they occur, are decisive proofs of mechanical contrivance.
III. I shall add one more example for the fake of its novelty. It is always an agreeable discovery, when, having remarked in an am> mal an extraordinary structure, we come at length to find out an unexpected use for it. The following narrative, which Goldsmith has taken from BufFon, furnishes ah instance of this kind. The babyrouessa, or Indian hog, a species of wild boar found in the East Indies, has two bent teeth, more than half a yard long, growing upwards, and, which is the singularity, from the upper jaw. These instruments are not wanted for desence, that service being provided for by two tusks issuing from the under jaw, and resembling those of the common boar. Nor does the animal use them for desence. They might seem therefore to be both a superfluity and an incumbrance. But observe the event. The animal bitches one of these bent upper teeth upon the
branch branch of a tree, and then suffers its whole body to swing from it. This is its manner of taking repose, and of consulting for its safety. It continues the whole night suspended by its tooth, both easy in its posture, and secure; being out of the reach of animals which hunt it for prey *.
I CAN hardly imagine to myself a more distinguishing mark, and, consequently, a more certain proof of design, than preparation, i. e. the providing of things beforehand, which are not to be used until a considerable time asterwards; for this implies a contemplation of the future, which belongs only to intelligence.
Of these prospective contrivances the bodies of animals furnish various examples.
I. The human teeth afford an instance, not only of prospective contrivance, but of the completion of the contrivance being designedly suspended. They are formed within the gums, and there they stop: the fact being, that, their further advance to maturity would not only be useless to the new-born animal, but extremely in its way; as it is evident that the act of sucking, by which it is for some time to be nourished, will be performed with more ease both to the nurse and to the infant, whilst the inside of the mouth, and edges of the gums, are smooth and soft, that if set with hard, pointed bones. By the time they are wanted, the teeth are ready. They have been lodged within the gums sot some months past, but detained, as it were, in their sockets, so long as their further protrusion would interfere with the office to which the mouth is destined. .Nature, namely, that intelligence which was employed in creation, looked beyond the first year of the infant's life; yet, whilst she was. providing for functions which were after that term to become necessary, was careful not to incommode those which preceded them. What renders it more probable that this is the effect of design is, that the teeth are impersect, whilst all other parts of the mouth are persect. The lips are perfect, the tongue is perfect ; the cheeks, the jaws, the palate, the pharynx, the larynx, are all perfect. The teeth alone are not so. This is the fact with respect to the human mouth:' the fact also is, that the parts above enumerated, are called into use from the beginning; whereas the teeth would be only so many obstacles and annoyances, if they were there. When a ;"u ,)', T contrary