John Muehleisen Arnold.

Genesis and science; or The first leaves of the Bible online

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as yet too little known to admit of anything like a
detailed classification, still enough is known to trace
a close connection between them. Professors Barton
and Vater, in examining 85 languages, discovered
137 roots which occur in European and Asiatic
languages among the Mantshus, Mongols, Celts,
Baskians and Estlanders. Malte-Brun has also
clearly traced the links between the old and the now


world. In Africa, the roots of the language spoken
on the coast of Mozambique and in the Kaffir lands
are related to those on the West Coast, Congo Loango
and Angola. From the Canary Islands to the Oasis
of Siwa only one tongue prevails. Lepsius has
demonstrated the connection not only between the
Coptic and the old Egyptian languages, but also
between those Egyptian tongues and the two great
Semitic and Indo-Germanic or Asian families as
regards roots in general, and the pronouns and
numericals in particular. Bentley more recently
discovered the so-called Semitic element in the
grammatical structure of the Coptic, and Pritchard
traced the analogy between the Coptic and the Negro
family of languages.

Thus we find classes of tongues, as we found races
of man, yet these two do not fall together ; for
instance, the dark-skinned Abyssinians speak a
Semitic language, which confirms our previous dis-
covery that a different corporeal formation does not
prove a different descent. On the contrary, as the
colour and conformation of the human body have
nowhere a fixed line of demarcation, neither have the

There are a considerable number of identical or
cognate roots in all languages, which clearly point
back to a period in which a connection existed between
the nations that use the languages, and when the
grammatical structure designated by Klaproth as
ante-diluvian was not yet developed.

Thus the words abba, baba, or papa and mama,
are universally the same, and lest it be objected that
these are the most easy sounds for infants to pro-
duce, we remind the objectors that it is unaccount-
ably strange that the names of father and mother



are never interchanged, papa never being used for
mania, nor mama for papa. Let us take the words
father, mother and God as examples of the same
root being traceable to one parent stock : —



. . . Papa


... Abbo


... Papa


... Abba


... Pape

Moxas, in Peru ... Tata


... Papa

Greenland ..

. . . Atta-tak


... Papa

Bretonian ..

... Tat


... Baba


... Dad

Saliva Indians

... Babba


... Tato

Kalmucks ...

. . . Babai


... Dada

Bengalee . . .

... Bap


... Ata


... Baba


... Tete

Niger Joriba

... Babba


... Tata

Fullah Negroes ... Baba


... Titi


... Aba


... Pa


. . . Abam


... Pu


... Ab, obo


Bapa or Pa


... Aba-shi

Javanese . . .

. . . Bapa


... Abbah


... Baw


... Abbai



... Bao


... Mama

Japanese Islands ... Umma


... Mam mo

Hebrews ...

... Em

Albanese . . .

. . . Mamme


... Ma


, . . Mama


... Mu


. . . Mama


Ma and Mama


... Ama


... Me


. . . Emma


... Mau


. . . Erne


... Mau


. . . Immes



... Mao


Koda, Cbudai


.. Deva

Samoyedes . . .



.. Dewa


Kut or Kutka


.. Theos

Vancouver ..



.. Dai



... Teo-tl



South Sea

... Tua or Atua




... Tien

Any one acquainted with the mere rudiments of
philology cannot fail to see that these examples


might be multiplied ad infinitum, even amongst quite
distinct families of tongues.

This analogy is most copious and surprising among
the cognate tongues. I have myself traced the
affinity, in the so-called Semitic family, from Hebrew
to the Syraic, Arabic, Ethiopic, Amharic, and Chal-
dean languages, and the result fills 41 folio pages
of tables setting forth the roots. In going through
the so-called Arian family of tongues I pursued the
Sanscrit roots through the Marathi, Hindustani,
Persian, Greek, Latin, German, and other modern
European languages, in tables extending over 108
folio pages.

Though less conversant with the Malay -Polynesian
family of languages, yet I found that in the Javanese,
Sundanese, and Malay we have a sort of medium
which connects this whole tribe of tongues directly
with the Indo-Germanic or Arian family, so that
partially, at least, we may assume the branching
out of the Malay-Polynesian languages from the

That there is nothing unphilosophical in the
Biblical record which traces the confusion of tongues
originally to a religious degeneracy, will appear from
the fact that to this hour the greatest confusion of
tongues 'prevails where morally and religiously the
human race lapsed most deeply.

A few illustrations will suffice. Humboldt
counted among the 80,000 savages on the Orinoko
about 200 tribes, who spoke 8—10 different
languages. The degraded Papuas in New Guinea
are split up into numerous tribes, and not less
numerous are their languages. Their degraded
brethren in the interior of the Peninsula of Malacca,
though few in number, yet have in use among


themselves an astounding variety of tongues. On
the Island of Timor, I have ascertained from the
best possible authority, that some forty idioms are
spoken, and in the Isle of Borneo, about one hundred
idioms are supposed to be in use in the various
parts. "In those days the earth was divided," and
when some geognostic catastrophe introduced fresh
barriers between man and man, the rupture of the
one "lip" or tongue was lastingly established.

But there is language because there is reason ; and
the one is the gift of God as well as the other.
Without the great gift of reason there could be no
language, and reason no less than language estab-
lishes the unity of mankind. If man be destined
to subdue the earth, there must be inherent in his
nature a power superior to the earth. And besides
man there seems to be no other being for whom the
treasures of the earth are laid up. There are
other eyes to see the beauty of nature, and other
ears to hear its melody, yet except in man there is
do reason to understand the meaning, and no heart
to feel the force of nature's language. Reason
observes the scale of being as it rises from the death-
like form of the crystal to the plant, and from the
plant to the animal, and from the sentient animal to
the rational consciousness and liberty of the rational
human being.

But there is a third characteristic gift by which
man is distinguished and linked to his fellow man
more than by any other bond. It is that of faith.
More than language and reason, faith raises mankind
as a distinctive body. The question may be asked
whether and in how far the animal is gifted with
reasoning powers; but man alone has the gift of
faith. His existence is not fettered to this earth or


to this present life, and the thought of immortality
has been described as the first act of immortality.
Nature and scripture alike teach that in death we
cease not to exist. As there could be no beginning
of the organic world except by the creative power
which lies beyond matter, so without immortality
there could be no ending which would be at all in
keeping with its beginning. Faith, conscience,
reason, religion, capacity to know, love, revere
and serve God, — these are distinctive peculiarities
which elevate man far beyond the level of ordinary
organisms ; and here we pause. Should it be possible
that in making and endowing every creature with
its own legitimate desire and object in life, God
should have put into our hearts hopes, desires, and
aspirations which it is impossible could ever be
realised? But it is just here where science and
reason reach the threshold beyond which they dare
not venture, and where faith assumes its own proper
rights and functions which the former dare not
dispute. If this bright light of the future were
extinguished, nothing but everlasting despair would

4. The Question of the Antiquity of Man.

Klein, in 1868, endeavoured to prove the age of
our globe as being about 2000 millions of years;
others argued that some 50,000 years were absolutely
necessary, for instance, for the migration of the lied
Indians from Asia to America. Even some of the
opponents of the evolution hypothesis are dissatisfied
with the narrow span of 6000 which the Biblical
chronology offers them, and they welcome the fact
that the Septuagint reckons nearly 5000 years where
the Hebrew chronology has only 4000. But
critically speaking, the wider chronology of the



Septuagint has very little value, and even if this
were not a serious objection, such a concession of a
thousand years would scarcely be appreciated by

But the simplest mode of meeting the claims of
geology as to the high antiquity of man, is to dis-
pute them. If men have existed on this earth for
stupendous ages, consisting of millions of years, we
must surely have seen or found some records or
histories, in poems and traditions of their doings, on
papyrus, lead, or rocks ; for it is impossible that they
should have passed away without leaving a trace
of their activity, extending over some 50,000 years,
if indeed they were beings of the same passions as
ourselves. The monsters which are supposed to have
ruled over the pre-historic world prior to the advent
of man, have left their relics and preserved their
memories in the rocks, and should man alone have
lived and toiled upon the earth without leaving a
vestige of his life and toil behind?

1. It has been argued that to explain the changes
which had taken place in the features of our race,
in the structure of their languages, and generally
on the surface of the globe, morally, politically, and
physically, it demanded a far higher antiquity than
Genesis allows. It is thought, for instance, that some
4000 years at least were needed to account for the
extent of the iron mines on the Island of Elba.
Yet the Etonians had occasion to dig many a deep
hole into the earth for the iron wherewith to conquer
the world. Again, science as cultivated in Egypt,
it is thought, must have taken a longer period to
develop than Genesis allows ; but I would ask, how
many thousand years have intervened between the
Copernican and the Ptolemcean systems of astronomy ?


And how many ages of scientific toil were needed to
introduce steam, the art of printing, the use of
electricity? Marcel de Serres shrewdly observed
that two good mathematical heads among the
ancients could have achieved all the astronomical
knowledge of the old world.

2. As one of the chief evidences is adduced the
existence of the so called flint implements, discovered
in diluvial strata in connection with the so called
ante-diluvial animal bones. But some of these same
flint hatches have holes, which of course must have
been made by some sort of iron or steel instruments,
and if it be asked why these iron instruments were
not found in situ with the flint instruments, we
reply, simply because the people who used them,
knew their value and wisely carried them away with
them. When these flints first made their appearance
they were generally regarded as lithological curi-
osities, liisus natures, without the slightest suspicion
that they were the work of man. Hence, the
workmen in England and Prance on their dis-
covery considered them as natural formations. A
gentleman who for twelve years collected flint imple-
ments all over England, declares that all the types
put forth by archaeologists, could be found among the
flints crushed by a stone crusher for the purpose of
road mending. Some of these flints, it is allowed,
have been touched up by the human hand, but it
was the natural shape of the flint which sug-
gested both the use of them in their natural con-
dition and their being touched up. It required the
fantastic imagination of Boucher de Perthes to
distinguish them as works of art, and it has been
shrewdly observed that the natural coating of the
palaeolithic forms of flint still adhering to the flint


hatches on being dug up from the chalk beds, is
certainly against their being manufactured by
human hands. It was the same learned Frenchman
who recognised heads of men and animals in
ordinary pebbles ; in others he saw the instruments
used in primitive ages for cutting the hair and
nails ! And it has been facetiously observed that the
French antiquarian went begging with his rare
discoveries, till some Englishman came to the rescue
to confirm his theory. There are strong symptoms
that this hypothesis is fast falling into utter discredit,
for the more cautious sciologists begin to see that
the simple fact of these flakes being found over so
large an area, and in such vast quantities, is alone
sufficient to destroy the hope of their being proved
what they were said to be.

3. The rubbish heaps in Denmark, known
as Kjoekken-moed dings, sometimes as much as
1000 feet long, 4 feet thick, and about 200 wide,
have been carefully examined, and the result was
a wild claim for a fabulous antiquity. They contain
stone implements, bones of fish, the beaver, the
seal, the red-deer, the roe, the wild swan, the
penguin, and the urus. It is doubtful whether
these rubbish heaps reach back to the time of the
Romans, or the great southward migrations of
northern peoples, though an age of at least 10,000
years was once claimed for them.

4. Again, neither the discoveries of Lund in the
Brazils, nor the exploration of the Belgian caverns
in 1833, nor of the Kent-hole about the same period,
nor the somewhat later discoveries in the valley of
the Somme, nor yet the recent unearthing of the
important remains in Wurtemberg have furnished
any other data than, that man was contem-


poraneous with what are considered pre-historic
animals. It will suffice at present to state that they
were originally deemed ante-diluvian and pre-
historic, because no human fossils or bones were found
in connection with them. But when human bones
were later found, together with these supposed pre-
historic animal bones, instead of ascribing them to
the only period to which they both could belong, the
antiquity of man was in consequence thrown farther
back. That man perished in the same caverns with
the so called ante-diluvian animals is indisputable.

5. Again, how many men of true science begin to
feel that the once celebrated hypothesis of a
succession of ages of stone, bronze, and iron, is
altogether chymerical and destitute of any solid
foundation. Eor example, no iron is found in Egypt,
yet, who will deny that the Egyptians must have
used it very largely ? The blue colour of the sword
and other weapons I noticed in the frescoes of
Thebes, and the representations of butchers sharpen-
ing their knives upon what seems to be steel fastened
to their aprons, settles the question. Indeed, with
what other metal could the stones have been prepared
for their gigantic buildings? The most degraded
tribes of Africa have iron in use, and the question
arises when they could have had their ages of stone
and of bronze ? It is scarcely needful to remind the
reader that the uphill march of intellect through
ages of stone, bronze, and iron, is exactly the reverse
of the more rational classical succession of the
golden, the silver, the bronze, and the iron ages.
Hence it is significant that at Meulen, near Zurich,
the three supposed successive ages of stone, bronze,
and iron were discovered reposing together in the



6. The "glacial period" was also called upon to
contribute its share of evidence to establish the high

y antiquity of man. This famous period is the so
called "culminating point of a series of ages,
beginning in the latter part of the tertiary era,"
during which our more southern regions are supposed
to have shared the climate of the north pole. No
sooner was this theory of the "glacial period" set
afloat, than grooves or furrows, produced by the
glacial abrasions, were diligently sought, and were
thought to have been discovered several times in
various places, especially in Saxony, and great
was the satisfaction expressed at the discovery of
the proof. But these supposed traces of the glacial
period proved to be the veritable ruts of the large
two wheeled cars of the Saxon boors, and of the
timber dragged after them from the wooded heights
of the forest. The glacial theory has not yet been
fully consigned to the resting place of all exploded
speculations, but very few scientific men persist in
advocating it.

7. The oldest fossil bones of man which have
come to light, are found together with primeval
elephants and other extinct animals, from which
circumstance the existence of man prior to the
diluvial crisis was considered probable; yet the
absurd claim of 50,000 years for the Diluvium has
been long ago rejected. The fossil jawbone of
Florida, for which 135,000 years were at first
demanded, is no longer heard of. Dowler's famous
skull of the Mississippi, which was estimated some
57,000 years, has been quietly put out of the way.
The fossil bones near Natchez, to which American
savants ascribed an age of 10,000 years, have been
declared not to belong to the supposed pre-adamite


race of the new world. Lyell, who examined them
on the spot, set his face wholly against their high

8. The inferences which have been drawn from
the structure of the globe touching the time when
man made his appearance, must of necessity be
fallacious, since the condition of the earth has not
always been the same. Besides the fully developed,
and consolidated conditions in any given body will
offer more resistence than those not yet matured, or
consolidated ; as for instance, a wall just reared, or
the tender shoot of a tree just come out. Hence no
dates and figures can have the least value in the
estimation of a truly scientific mind, however
imposing they may appear to vulgar eyes.

The assumption of a higher temperature will
account for many results which may seem incredible.
Goeppert, as we shall see in a later chapter, pro-
duced coal within a period from two to six yea 3.
Ehrenberg, by means of increased temperature, ob-
served in his own particular line, equally marvellous
results in a comparatively short time in the develop-
ment and transmutations of infusoria. The French
geologian Daubree observed near the hot springs at
Plombieres, the accelerated formations of eolith
and other mineral metamorphoses ; and he produced
artificially several kinds of silicious stalactite in a
marvellously short period. Hence we may infer
what must have been the glowing energies of nature
in the springtide of her existence.

9. Fallacious, too, are the calculations as to ages
which have been made from the successive deposits
on the shores of rivers and at the bottom of lakes
and in the sea. In Auvergne, deposits are formed
of marl in the sweet-water lakes, consisting of thin


leaves about the thickness of a paper, containing
multitudes of the crustaceous coverings of the cypris
and of small shells ; and for the vertical thickness
of the marl strata which is from 60 to 100 feet, it
would require protracted ages, from 14,000 to 24,000
years ! Judging from the rate at which rocks are
now forming in lakes and seas, we are told it would
require 12,560,000 years to form the entire thick-
ness of the earth strata ; but if the rate of oceanic
deposits is taken as a standard of comparison, they
must have occupied some 52,800,000 years ! Such
theories deserve no refutation. In 1859 an old
Scandinavian ship was dug up on the east coast of
Sleswig containing implements, weapons, bones of
horses, etc., which, to judge from the depth,
appeared to have been buried for many thousand
years, but these were mixed up with the con-
tents, coins of Roman Emperors, some of them
from the vears 138 — 168, together with other
articles which date as late as the 4th century
of our era. We all know that the storm of a single
night, or the tempests of a single season, may
produce what may seem the work of thousands of
years. Hence, the 135,000 years which Dowler
gave to the Florida jawbone, might be reduced to a
comparatively short period; just as the 12,000 years
of Horner's bricks and fragments of earthenware
discovered in the Nile deposits near Memphis, were
suddenly brought down to the early centuries of our
era. Even the otherwise safe criterion of the
concentric rings in trees, have proved worthless,
since the same year which produces but one ring in
Europe, will in tropical countries produce three,
four, five, and even six rings ; so that the giant trees


in California are only about one quarter as old as
they were thought.

10. It has been a favourite subject with palaeonto-
logists and archaeologists to refer to the Lake Dwell-
ings, as if the discoveries connected with them could
serve to determine the age in which man came upon
the scene. It stands to reason that most uncertain
must be the calculations based upon the contents of
the supposed layers which are revealed, especially if
the turf formations which superimpose, be made the
starting point. The best informed students of this
special branch of archaeological research have at last
agreed, that some of the oldest Lake Dwellings date
back to the time when the Phoenician colonies spread
themselves westward. Certain it seems that in some
of the oldest are discovered remains which point to
commercial intercourse between Europe and the
Phoenician colony at Carthage. Some of the later
Lake Dwellings may have been cotemporaneous with
the Cranogens in Ireland, many of which existed
between the ninth and the seventeenth centuries.
As monuments of antiquity they are important, but
they fail to prove the fabulous antiquity claimed for
man, and from them it will be difficult, if not
impossible, even to fix the probable age in which
civilization dawned in Europe.

5. Infallible Method of fixing the Antiquity of Man.

Hebrew chronology is, as is well known, identical
with Hebrew genealogy. The one rests upon the
other. Granting that it be fragmentary and that it
may therefore admit of different combinations, yet
even in this imperfect form it has totally destroyed
the extravagant pretensions of the heathen chrono-
logies, and we may add of the not less extravagant


modern geological eras. Geology cannot fix the
antiquity of man, since the crust of the earth
nowhere presents a complete record of the past.
Nor is there any hope of the settlement of some of
the gravest questions, as long as the leading geologians
have not yet settled among themselves at what
period man entered upon the scene. On the other
hand, neither the skulls which have been discovered,
nor the successive ages of stone, bronze, and iron,
which are supposed to have been discovered, can
definitely help us in fixing the antiquity of man.
Our only hope is in the speedy and entire rescue of
the study of physical science from the hands of
unscrupulous and rash speculators, and in its being
resumed under the guidance of ancient history and
true philosophy, not excluding that oldest historical
record in the world, contained in the Old Testament.
If this be done, we shall in due time be brought
back once more to the dictum of such men as De Luc,
D'Aubisson, Dolomieu, Schlotheim, Blumenbach,
Wagner, Cuvier, and Schubert, who hold that as far
as science can come to any approximate dates, it
establishes the Biblical chronology as rational and
trustworthy. If it be asked what has been discovered,

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Online LibraryJohn Muehleisen ArnoldGenesis and science; or The first leaves of the Bible → online text (page 11 of 27)