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raised above the sea, are of the same age as those mountainous schists in the Alps which first disturbed Werner's onion-coat nonsense, and the discovery of which, as Zittel says, “was a a very great blow" to the geologists who upheld the hypothesis of the Archæan or Pre-Cambrian age of “all gneisses and schists."
Nor yet will a true inductive geology say that the many examples of seemingly undisturbed mountains of coral or crinoidal limestone were all grown in situ overnight. If I have shown that the fossils offer no scientific method of proving one kind of fossiliferous deposit older or younger than another, it is to be hoped that the other common-sense tests of age are still left to us, unless, indeed, our long trance under the hypnotic spell of Cuvier and Lyell had allowed these faculties to atrophy. These tests still remain with us; and it is now the business of our science to begin over again and try to construct a scheme of the geological events with less theory and a more strict adherence to objective fact, content if perhaps we can distinguish those multitudinous deposits which were manifestly due to this great world-catastrophe from those which were probably accumulated during the “indefinite” period of the earth's previous existence, or from those which have occurred subsequently. But if we cannot be sure of these matters, let us at least refrain from repeating the sad fooleries of the past in the way of groundless speculation. If these and other problems of the rocks seem too much for us to solve, let us at least honestly say so. We are not required, with our finite minds, to solve all the riddles of the universe.
Many phenomena taken singly would seem to indicate that this great world catastrophe must have occurred a very long time ago. And many of the indications of interval between successive geological events, considered singly and on the basis of uniformity, would also seem to imply a long time. But we cannot hope to settle such matters in a scientific way even approximately, and the sad experience of former blunders ought to teach us modesty and caution. All that a true geology can say with positiveness is that this world catastrophe must have occurred since man and multitudes of living species of plants and animals appeared on the globe. Archeology and Bible chronology, each in its sphere, may seek to establish a more or less approximate date; but geology can only deal with relative time, and no method hitherto devised of reading absolute time from the rocks has the slightest scientific value.
Even less can geology say anything regarding the origin of the species of plants and animais found fossil in the rocks. Geology deals with the ruins of a world, not with the beginning of one. If we now know that no one kind of fossil can be proved to be older or younger than others intrinsically and necessarily, and if we infer from this that all the various types of life probably originated together contemporaneously (which is the most that science can say), we must beware of dogmatizing on this subject in the name of science. If we could read the whole story of the origin of the world from nature alone, we should not have needed the first chapters of Genesis.
But as these matters are considered at length in my “Evolutionary Geology," I need not prolong the discussion of the subject here.
THE science of geology throws much light on the problem of what kind of environment surrounded the race in the early days, though as yet it can say but little regarding the physical habits or social customs of man himself at that time.
Let us first take the matter of climate. In the light of the monumental works of Sir Henry H. Howorth, refuting the glacial theory, and in the light of my own writings on the breakdown of the theory of definite successive ages, there is no need to say anything here regarding the absurd distinctions in point of time made between the various fossiliferous deposits. The Flood marks the great and indelible boundary between the two worlds in which man has lived. And the evidence of geology is unanimous and unequivocal that the world before the Flood enjoyed a sort of perpetual spring, including climatic and atmospheric conditions so astonishing that, were it not for the objective evidence, we could scarcely believe them possible, let alone account for them. Palms and other tropical forms grew in England; and evergreens, like ivies and magnolias, to say nothing of other semitropical or warm-temperate climate forms, grew away up within the arctic circle, thick beds of coal formed out of such vegetation being found scattered over all the lands of that region. Corals and other warm-climate sea forms also occur abundantly in the same parts of the earth; while the Siberian “ mummies” of elephants and other animals show that the climate in which they luxuriated “was abruptly terminated," as Dana says, and “became suddenly extreme as of a single winter's night, and knew no relenting afterwards." This is fact, not fancy.
This mild, equable climate of springlike loveliness was conducive to luxuriant plant growth; and there is nothing in science inconsistent with the touching picture given by Milton, that it was into such a wilderness of beauty and luxury that the first pair were banished from their primal home, compared with which, nevertheless, the rest of the earth seemed tame and dreary by contrast.
“Some natural tears they dropt, but wiped them soon;
Through Eden took their solitary way.” Amid such surroundings of almost Edenic beauty, lavishly supplied by nature with food and every comfort, the early race, who had for a period held open communion with the angels, and who even yet were not wholly shut out from the inspiring visits of those heavenly teachers, multiplied and lived for nearly two thousand years. But the growing wickedness of all but a few, turning into a curse the rich bounties of nature, debasing their manhood in rioting and luxury and equally degrading cruelty and tyranny, led the great Jehovah to change all this pleasant environment, to sweep away the abundant supply of food, and to make man's life a real struggle for existence. Thus it was in true and intelligent love for the race and the generations yet unborn that he
“ Called for a cloud to darken all their years,
And said, Go, spend them in a vale of tears." Into surroundings of climate and vegetation very different now from their original environment, the few survivors from the Deluge went forth from the floating refuge in which their Creator had preserved thein while the war of the elements was transforming that world of beauty into a desolate wilderness, with terrific extremes of heat and cold. In this changed world they were confronted with the alternative of continuous toil or actual starvation. We have no
way of knowing how much knowledge the race brought with them regarding the uses of fire, the domestication of animals, the usefulness of the various cereals,- in short, regarding the whole of the practical lore of the agriculturist and the builder; though it is reasonable to suppose that the race that had but recently conversed with angels, and had learned under their tuition the great facts and principles regarding the natural world, would not be helpless amid their new and strange surroundings. But one thing is self-evident: they were now under the stern necessity of employing all they knew about such matters in the desperate endeavor to wring a bare subsistence from the desolated earth.
Gradually, by unremitting toil, the enlarging group became more comfortable; but again the same characteristics appeared that called down the judgments of God upon the antediluvians. And again the same Power, with kind regard for the future well-being of the race, frustrated their scheme for a centralization of power and the control of all the individual units of mankind, by scattering them abroad upon the face of the earth, to begin in various lands separated nations, which henceforth should “not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.” Dan. 2:43.
The astonishing works of early man thus forcibly driven forth from his second original home, are now to be found in almost all the earth, even in regions where the degenerate descendants have lost all knowledge of what their ancestors once were and did. And these early works, scattered over all the continents, exhibit a most striking similarity. So remarkable, indeed, is this resemblance that it seems conclusive of a very considerable advance in building and the other arts of civilization before these scattered fragments of the race were thus dispersed.
How they could build such wonderful structures, limited largely as they must have been, at least for some time, to the rude implements which each could individually manufacture