John Muehleisen Arnold.

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LIBRARY

OF THE

Theological Seminary,

PRINCETON, N. J.



Cus
Sim
Boc



BL 240 .A74 1875
Arnold, John Muehleisen,

1817-1881.
Genesis and science; or The

first leaves of the Bible









\



GENESIS AND SCIENCE



OR



THE FIRST LEAVES OF THE BIBLE.



WORKS BY THE SAME AU1H0R.



SECOND EDITION.

ENGLISH BIBLICAL CRITICISM, & THE AUTHORSHIP
OF THE PENTATEUCH.

SECOND EDITION.

TRUE AND FALSE RELIGION; OR, THE ORIGIN,
DEVELOPMENT AND CHARACTER OF DIFFERENT SYS-
TEMS OF BELIEF.



THIRD EDITION.

ISLAM : ITS HISTORY, CHARACTER, AND RELATION

TO CHRISTIANITY.



THE MOSLEM MISSION FIELD. The 109th Thousand.

FOURTH EDITION.
A PLEA FOR MISSIONARY LABOURERS.



ST. PAUL'S EXAMPLE: ITS SUPREME WEIGHT IN

MATTERS OF RITUAL, AS WELL AS IN MATTERS OF
FAITH. SERMON PRINTED BY REQUEST.

BIBLE CATECHISM; OR, SCRIPTURE ANSWERS TO
QUESTIONS ON THE CHURCH CATECHISM.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO FAIRBAIRN'S THEOLOGICAL
BIBLE DICTIONARY



GENESIS AND SCIENCE



THE FIRST LEAVES OF THE BIBLE.



BY THE



REV. JOHN MUEHLEISEN ARNOLD, B.D., D.D.,

Honorary Secretary of the Moslem Mission Society.



"Was Himmel an die Menschen treibet,
Sie besser macht ; was Probe halt ;
Was Walirheit ist und Wahrheit bleibet
Fur diese und fur jene Welt :
Das ist uns lieilig, ist uns hehr !
Ihr Fasler, faselt morgen melir."

Claudius.



SECOND EDITION.



^Ccmbmt:

LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.,



MDCCCLXXV.

[All rights reserved.']



EMILY FAITHFULL,

PRINTER IN ORDINARY TO THE QUEEN,

PRAED STREET, PADDINGTON, W.



PREFACE.



Though strictly original in its conception, and
based on a foundation and plan of its own, the
following treatise is, to a great extent, constructed
of materials derived from foreign works of rare merit,
and not easily accessible to the English reader ;
and this will undoubtedly be its chief recom-
mendation. The chief aim has been faithfully to
reproduce the most recent outcome of the very
abundant and faithful labours of the leading
naturalists, physicists, and theologians on the Conti-
nent, respecting the supposed dissonance between
Genesis and Science.

Many are acquainted with the writings of La Place,
Cuvier, Lalande, Elie de Beaumont, Arago, Klap-
roth, Pasteur, De Luc, Marcel de Serres, Agassiz,
de Rougemont, Copernicus, Kepler, Mitdler, Sey-
ffarth, von Schubert, Silberschlag, Liebig, Blumen-
bach, the two Humboldts, Ehrenberg, Bopp, Patter,
Auberlin, Kurtz, Keil, Lange, Delitzsch, and others.
But few comparatively have studied the works
of A. and It. Wagner, Euler, Grone, Huber, Fabri,
Knobel, von Pfaff, Virchow, Luschka, Lilken,



ii. PREFACE.

von Bar, Burmeister, Keerl, Stutz, Miiller, Zoll-
mann, Pruner, von Bronn, von Meyer, Fuchs, Mohr,
Ebrard, Bohner, Lotze, Oswald Heer, Retzius, Quen-
stedt, Christlieb, Fraas, Zockler, Goppert, Aeby, Bis-
cliof, Kolliker, Reusch, Giebel, Beuss, Perty, Nageli,
Ulrici, Frohscliammer, Eraw, Settegast, von Leonhard,
Hyrtl, Helmholz, Richers, Hoffmann, Snell, PHlippi,
Lund, Schilling, von Siebold, Cornelius, Deshayes,
Dubeux, de la Beche, Semenov, de Christol, de
Candolle, Flourens, Paul Janet, Tournal, and others,
who have severally written upon one or other of the
subjects treated in this volume.

Where I could not adopt their arguments or make
their conclusions my own, I endeavoured to show,
from what are deemed authoritative statements, how
great is the confusion among themselves, and how
utterly without weight and value, in consequence,
must be the assertions hazarded by scientists against
the Book of Genesis. If censured, as I shall be, for
not recklessly deciding some of the burning questions
of the day, I shall quietly submit and take it very
patiently. Is there not a time for everything ? If
revelation has long since closed its canon, certainly
science has not, and before this is done, it is vain to
apprehend danger for the cause of truth.

Whatever be the effect of these chapters upon
the wavering, it would reveal a vast deal of bigotry
and ignorance of the real questions at issue, if in the
face of the difficulties, incongruities, and perplexities
of certain theories exposed in this book, a small faction
of sciologians were to persist in claiming infalli-
bility for themselves, or in rashly reiterating the



PREFACE. iii.

charges of supposed contradictions between faith and
science. If there remain problems, this will only
show that, as yet, neither Natural Philosophy, nor
Theology as a science, have wholly fulfilled their
mission. Ours may be an age of unprecedented
intellectual progress, but if, like the circumnavigator
of the globe, scientific progress were to come back to
the point whence it started, the agitated needle of
controversy, after restlessly quivering over every
degree in the compass of human thought, may finally
come to its rest where least expected.

The ignominious defeat of the able materialistic

a

developist, Carl Vogt, at the recent Stuttgardt Con-
ference of German naturalists by an immense majority,
is certainly a sign that the reaction has fairly com-
menced, and that in less than ten years, Darwinism,
which falsely ascribes to nature what really belongs
to culture, will be only remembered as one of the
delusions of the past.

Lastly a few words by way of personal explanation.
First, when " English Biblical Criticism and the
Authorship of the Pentateuch," was published and
republished within three months in 1864, it was an-
nounced that this present treatise would follow
quickly as a kind of sequel. That pledge could not be
redeemed till 1867, when the comparatively easy charge
of the Consular Chaplaincy at Batavia first enabled me
to publish it, and it may interest some of my readers
to learn that one of the two independent translations
of the treatise into Dutch, which soon followed
its publication, was executed by a Dutch lawyer;
the other by the accomplished authoress of Flore et



iv. PREFACE.

Pomone de Java, Madame Bertha Hoola van
Nooten.

Secondly, the reader will observe that this work
has been printed at the Victoria Press, from type
set up by young women, the entire process being-
done by female hands, excepting only the laborious
press work. Having some experience in printing, I
hold that the Victoria Press need not mind
sending out workwomcmship of this description,
and Miss Emily Faithfull, in opening this and
various other fresh occupations for women in these
days of wild competition and reckless selfish-
ness, is worthy of the honour bestowed upon her by
the Sovereign, and deserves still greater help and
sympathy than she has, as yet, received in her noble
efforts.

Thirdly, it may have happened, whilst hasten-
ing this book through the press, prior to my
returning to the more practical work of a parish priest,
that some minor point may have been overlooked, mis-
stated, or imperfectly set forth ; but I earnestly trust
that any such oversight or misstatement in this my last
literary work, will not wholly mar the help the book
is intended to minister to minds having need of



being re-assured.



St. Peter's Day, 1875 ;

27, Bristol Gardens, London, "W.



J. M. A.



CONTENTS.



INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.

Pages i — ii.
The periodical recurrence of false alarms. Destiny of
Classical Paganism. Why Science never could become
the object of Divine Revelation. Stand-point of Genesis
practically the same as that of Science. How the scien-
tific blunders committed by the Hindu Shastras were
avoided in Genesis. Whence the objections to Genesis.
Modern samples of scientific fallacies. Hopeful sign of the
times.

CHAP. I. MATERIALISM AND SCIENCE.

Pages 12 — 54.
The anti-materialistic tendency of true Science illustrated by
modern scientific discoveries in astronomy, botany, chemistry,
physiology, and zoology. The unscientific character of ma-
terialism. Its superstitious character illustrated in various
ways. The fallacy of its arguments. The modern physio-
latrous materialism traced to its true source. The materialistic
philosophical doctrine of atoms among Buddhists, Greeks, and
Romans. Mediaeval materialism. Post-Reformation mate-
rialism. Hobbes preparing the great Rebellion in England.
Hume, Bolingbroke, Voltaire, and the French Encyclopae-
dists preparing the great French Revolution. Dogmas of
modern materialism. The impending reign of terror, and
the deadly fruitsof materialism, morally, socially, religiously,
and politically.



ii CONTENTS.

CHAP. II. GENESIS AND EVOLUTION.

Pages 54 — 101.
The philosophical conclusions of the present day. Equi-
vocal and homogeneous generation. The developist theory
traced to its fountain head ; being imported by M.
Demaillet, from Hindustan into France, in 1748. Criticism
of the Transmutation hypothesis by English, French,
German, and other savants. The purely scientific diffi-
culties of the Evolution theory. Its hypothetical assumptions,
absolutely and mathematically disproved. The law of
compensation, inter-dependence, and harmony. How the
ape gradually became endowed with a human body and
a reasonable soul. The principle of Evolution and inorganic
substances. The fearfully demoralizing and brutalizing
tendency of the Evolution theory. Specimen of the Bible
of the Future.

CHAP. III. GENESIS AND ANTHROPOLOGY.

Pages 10 1 — 144.

Monogenistic or Polygenistic origin of man. Species and
Genera. Presumptive physiological evidence of the unity
of all races. Divergence in the colour, the hair, and the
skull. Reasons why all classifications derived from them
are fallacious. The causality and permanency of race
examined. The unity of mankind proved from the gifts
of language, of reason, and of faith. The antiquity of the
human family. Infallible method of fixing the antiquity of
mankind by the approximate uniform date which all ancient
mythologies assign to the general deluge.

CHAP. IV. GENESIS AND ANCIENT MYTHS.

Pages 145 — 197.

General traditions of ancient nations respecting the origin of
all things. Primitive monotheism. Cosmogonical legends.



CONTENTS. iii

The mundane egg and primitive chaos. The hexaemeron,
or the six creation days. Myths respecting- man's creation,
his original felicity in Paradise, his degeneracy and fall by
the woman, and the general hope of recovery. Myths
respecting the ten patriarchs before the flood, the tower of
Babylon, and subsequent dispersion of mankind. Myths
respecting truths, originally revealed. The final lustration
of the earth by fire ; immortality of the soul ; resurrection
of the dead : judgment to come. Relation of Pagan myths
to the Book of Genesis. Are myths embodied in the Book
of Genesis ?

CHAP. V. GENESIS AND THE DELUGE.
Pages 197 — 247

The sons of God and the daughters of men. Examina-
tion of the theory that the sons of God are the descendants
of Seth. The hypothesis that they were the angels of God
held by the whole Jewish synagogue, and the un-
divided Church, during the first four centuries. The flood
legends of the Babylonians, and the Assyrians, as recently de-
cyphered by George Smith in the Cuneiform Deluge Tablet :
and of the Syrians, Persians, Hindus, Chinese, Japanese,
Thibetans, and Tartars. The flood legends of Greece,
Scandinavia, Wales, Germany, Russia, North, Central, and
South America. The flood legends of Egypt, Central, and
South Africa. The physical cause and the universality of the
Noachidian Deluge. Examination of the alleged difficulties
of the Ark, and its internal arrangements.

CHAP. VI. GENESIS AND ASTRONOMY.
Pages 247 — 274

Objections came first, not from astronomers, but from theo-
logians. The earth a star among stars. Symmetry and
harmony. The significance of the heavenly bodies as
the great clock of the Universe.- The planetary jubilee in
our solar system at the birth of Christ. The great fulness



iv CONTENTS.

of time. The central position ascribed to this planet not
mathematical, but moral. Demonstrated by a comparative
view of all the planets, that the earth is central. The ap-
pearance of the " light-bearers " on the fourth day of the
hexaemeron, and the divine philosophy in perfecting the in-
dispensable conditions for animal existence. One of the
many theories of the physical development of our planetary
system when first created.

CHAP. VII. GENESIS, GEOLOGY, & PALEONTOLOGY.

Pages 274 — 351.
Geology its history and geological eras. Examination of
the earth strata and their fossil enclosures. The older
formations do not enclose lower types as was proclaimed.
The primeval types have never died out. The Sauria mon-
sters. Comparison of the fossil with the present fauna. The
remains of man among what were deemed pre-historic fossils.
The three great catastrophes which befell this our globe.
Argument for analogy. Facts and fictions of palaeontology.
The identity of many, the difference of some, and the
extinction of other species accounted for. The ancient view
vindicated. Alleged difficulties of Genesis reviewed. The
restitution hypothesis. The day-period theory. The sup-
posed analogy to prophecy. The first 40 Hebrew Para-
shioth of Genesis. " The Book of the genesis of the world,"
and " the Book of the genesis of Jesus Christ."



GENESIS AND SCIENCE.



INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.



I. Before entering- into the grave subject of this treatise, it is
to be distinctly understood that, cost what it may, everything how-
ever dear and sacred if proved unreal, or untrue, must be unmur-
muringly surrendered. We are indeed accustomed to a periodical
recurrence of false alarms, as if this or that fundamental truth of
religious faith were put in danger by the discovery of some fresh
scientific truth ; but it happens not seldom that what is put forth as
the undoubted result of scientific research to-day, by to-morrow has
to be classed among the many scientific fallacies, which are not
easily forgiven or forgotten. Nor can it be a matter of surprise that
all fresh scientific theories, and every kind of scientific dogmatism
should be received with grave suspicion.

In days when so many run to and fro and knowledge is vastly
increased, we must be prepared to meet calmly every difficulty
which any moment may present itself. Nor is there any reason
why we should question the strong resemblance supposed to exist
between our own days and those which immediately preceded the
dissolution of the national faith of Greece and Rome. We allow
that both epochs are alike marked by extraordinary intellectual pro-
gress in arts and sciences, combined with the most daring inquiry
into religious systems, which before had been accepted with implicit
confidence.

The question, however is, are we to regard the renewed flight
of intellect as the forerunner of the certain downfall of Christianity.
The answer is simple. If our belief were of the same order as
that of classical Paganism, the result would be doubtless the same.
But as Christianity differs altogether, it needs neither to dread the
opposition, nor to court the favour of secular science. Were it
otherwise, it could not be of God, but must, like classical Paganism,
be of the world, and perish with the world.



2 INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.

Since by divine appointment Salvation comes from the Jews, and
Science from the Gentiles, there can be no more collision between
Revelation and Science in our days than there was in the days when
the heathen workmen of Phoenicia constructed the temple in which
the Hebrews were to worship Jehovah. If before the advent of
Christ, religious truth were designed by God to come from the
Jews, and arts and sciences from the Gentiles, we should expect this
double purpose to have been accomplished in "the fulness of time."
Paganism cannot lay any sort of claim to a divine or superhuman
element, yet during " the times of this ignorance, which God winked
at," Paganism was permitted to accomplish some good.

Whatever remained of Paganism and Judaism had forfeited the
divine forbearance in one case and divine sanction in the other. The
times of the long-suffering of God respecting the Gentile world
expired at the same period when the ancient constitution of Israel
had fulfilled its purpose. Hence the Paganism which survived the
advent of Christ is as much a caricature of classical Paganism, as
modern Judaism is a caricature of the theocratical constitution of
Israel. Hence also the impotency of modern Paganism to produce
anything similar to that ancient treasure of arts, science, and civilisa-
tion, which classical Paganism had accumulated before the coming
of Christ, The admission that Paganism before Christ was called
by God to furnish arts and sciences is not a new doctrine, but is
freely taught by St. Augustine.

He says respecting the good which classical Paganism effected : — ■
" As the Egyptians had not only idols and heavy burdens, from which
the Israelites fled with a feeling of abhorrence, but also precious
jewels of silver and jewels of gold, and such things as they required,
which they made use of for better purposes : even so have the
doctrines of the Gentiles not only images and heavy useless burdens,
which must be abhorred by every Christian, but also liberal arts and
sciences, which are fitted for the service of truth."

This divine dispensation, according to which liberal arts and
sciences were mainly reserved to the Gentiles, has not been sufficiently
recognised ; yet there is a singular wisdom in this appointment.
Science never could be made the subject of divine Revelation. Any
revelation of scientific light must of necessity have been imperfect,
since at no point short of communicating omniscience could such a
revelation have stopped. Such a revelation of Science, for instance,
as was known in the last century would be defective in our day ; and
what may satisfy us, now-a-days, will doubtless appear poor and
imperfect to our successors. Since therefore Science could neither be
the subject nor the object of revelation, we may account for the in-
stinctive distrust and for the undisguised aversion with which all
scientific dogmatism is received, not only by liberal divines but



GENESIS AND SCIENCE. 3

by scientific men themselves, who know best to what perpetual
change all sciences are naturally subject. As there is no ob.
jective Science in the sense in which there is an objective
Revelation, most of the assumed facts of the former are but so
many opinions, conjectures, and inferences which never cease
being modified. I am not acquainted with a single man of au-
thority in scientific matters, who has not changed his views at least
once in his career upon some very material point ; and the over-
weening confidence of living scientific men will be as severely
censured by their successors, as they themselves condemn the
presumption of those who have toiled before them.

If the Mosaic cosmology ever be stated to be at variance with
scientific results, it may be asked whether the dissonance arises from
the scientific results of yesterday, or of to-day. Had Science closed
its canon as Revelation has long since done, or had we received by
divine Revelation a perfect knowledge of all the mysterious agencies
which sustain the complex mechanism of the material world, it might
be time to feel uneasy.

One of the Quarterly Reviews writes as follows : — " Twenty
years ago, he would have been esteemed a madman who had
asserted that the sun was made of soda and iron, and that a slit in a
shutter would reveal it. Yet science has now universally accepted
this as a fact. Ten years ago all geology was proceeding on the
wholly uncontested dogma of the successive deposition of strata.
But the investigations connected with submarine telegraphy have
proved the simultaneous deposition of strata. Five years ago it
was universally believed that no life could exist in deep-sea levels.
But the voyage of the "Challenger" is, at this moment, proving
that life there exists in abundance."

Whatever Moses knew of astronomy, geology, natural philosophy
or medical science, he acquired not by Revelation but by his being
taught in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. Again the knowledge
of Solomon concerning the objects of natural science was acquired
by study and application, see 1 Kings IV. 32, 34 ; and must not be
confounded with the wisdom which he received in answer to prayer.
To go a step further, Moses might share in the then popular defects
of what are termed the exact sciences, without detriment to his
inspiration, since the cosmogony written by him wholly abstains
from treading upon scientific grounds.

The author of Genesis invariably speaks and writes so as to be
understood, and in order to reproduce the original traditions of the
creation of the universe, it was not necessary that he should give a
theory of the formation of the earth or of the solar system ; much
less that he should furnish a digest in anticipation of the concentrated
research of future generations. Had Moses recorded the creation



4 INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.

of the world in any other than the unscientific style of his narrative
he must have uttered statements which science in after ages would
have been compelled to dispute. This is a point to which too much
weight cannot be attached.

Yet it is just in this report that a dissonance between Science
and the Mosaic cosmogony has been asserted. It is maintained
that Moses described appearances, not facts ; or in other words that
his cosmogony took the optical standpoint. But what other stand-
point could be taken, or is now taken by the astronomer or the
natural philosopher whilst treating the same subjects? If the
cosmogony be a faithful record of appearances, it is as much a
record of facts and stands on the same level with the daily register
of any observatory in the civilised world. If the optical standpoint
of our cosmogony be that which is taken both in the language of
daily life, and of scientific observations, if it be moreover the settled
idiom of all historians, sacred and profane, why should it be objected
to in the writings of Moses ? Had the method of the critics been
adopted, our cosmogony would have been a sealed book to all ages,
excepting only to the few wise men who happen to unseal it towards
the end of time.

This, however, is not all. Had the Mosaic cosmology offered
scientific elements, it could not for example have escaped the pre-
dicament of Hinduism, in which mythological cosmogonies are
amalgamated with religion, astronomy, geography, metaphysics,
anatomy, logic, and history ; and it is this mixing of secular know-
ledge with religious truths which has brought the Pooranas into
irretrievable discredit and contempt with all educated Hindus.
Every thing in Hinduism assumes a religious character and goes
forth under the sanction of divinity : whenever, therefore, we
demolish a faulty member of their body of profane knowledge v/e
demolish a member of their religious system.

Our earth is described in the sacred Pooranas as a " circular of
flat, like the flowers of the water lily, in which the petals project
beyond each other." It consists of seven circular islands, or
continents, each surrounded by a different ocean, the central island
being Yamba Dweep, around which rolls the sea of salt water ;
around the second circular island heaves the sea of sugar-cane-juice ;
around the third, the sea of spirituous liquor; around the fourth, the
sea of clarified butter ; around the fifth, the sea of sour curds ; around
the sixth the sea of milk ; then the seventh and last island is washed
by the sea of sweet water ! Beyond this last ocean is an uninhabited
country of pure gold, so prodigious in extent that it equals all the
islands with their accompanying oceans in magnitude. It is begirt
with a boundary wall of stupendous mountains, which enclose within
their bosom realms of everlasting darkness.



SCIENTIFIC BLUNDERS OF HINDUISM. 5

The central island, the destined habitation of the human race, is
several hundred miles in diameter, and the sea that surrounds it is
of the same breadth. The second island is double the diameter of
the first, and so is the sea that surrounds it. And each of the
remaining- islands and seas, in succession, is double the breadth of
its immediate predecessor. So that the diameter of the whole earth
amounts to several hundred thousand millions of miles.

In the midst of this almost immeasurable plain, from the very
centre of Yamba Dweep, shoots up the mountain, Su-Meru, 600,000
miles high in the form of an inverted pyramid, having its summit,
which is two hundred times broader than the base, surmounted by
three swelling^cones, the highest of these transpiercing the upper



Online LibraryJohn Muehleisen ArnoldGenesis and science; or The first leaves of the Bible → online text (page 1 of 27)