Hermann Marcus Kottinger.

The youth's liberal guide for their moral culture and religious enlightenment online

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therefore 50,000 — 100,000 years must there have passed away. -^2.)

It has also been computed, how much ground the Mississippi annually conveys
to its delta, and thereby concluded that for the accumulation of its alluvia at
least 50,000, may be even 100,000 years were wanted, i-^^

5. The age of the human race. From the age of the human race also may
be inferred that the earth must be many thousand years older than people
formerly believed (cf. ^ 9).

What conclusion follows from the related facts ?

From these facts the conclusion follows that the age of earth is higher than
any calculation can define.

How old would the earth be according to the Jewish-Christian era ?

Only 5,000 — 6,000 years.

What must we decidedly say with regard to this belief?

That it is erroneous. (24.)

§ 8. Organic Life— Doctrine of descent.

What change on earth must have been accomplished, before organic life
(animals and plants) could get existence?

Its crust must have been cooled and condensed, must have become solid and

What forces have contributed in particular to development of organic life ?

Heat and light.

What are the latest naturalists teaching with regard to all organic life ?

That animals and plants originally, and both ai the same time, have been de-
veloped from cells; therefore that they were not created. (25.)

Whereof descend the cells, in the opinion of some naturalists ?

From still simpler elements, which they call jnotieres :\.ud protoplasts (primitive
organisms.) (26.)

But how did the latter get existence ?

So far, science cannot explain their origin.

Of which elements do both cells of animals and plants consist?

Of the same elements, namely : Oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen and carbon ; only
the cjuantity and the arrangement of these are different.

What creatures originated on earth, when the mass of vapors in which it was
enveloped, by precipitation was dissolved in water?

Such an ones which are fit for life in water, e. g., fishes.

When did plant-eaters make their appearance ?

Since earth had produced plants and forests.

When could carnivorous animals begin to exist ?

After the formation of plant-eaters.


On what condition, then, did the origin of the organic forms depend ?

On the exterior condition of the earth.

How can the truth of this assertion be proved ?

In this way : In the course of time different layers of the earth were formed ;
in every one the remainders of other species of organisms are found; only in
the Plutonic strata, which mostly are the lowest, they are entirely missmg. In
the higher layers first appear coal strata; besides ferns, 40 — 50 feet long, occa-
sionally also palm and pine trees, and other plants ; but they don't much
resemble the Flora of our time.

What species of animals are embedded in these layers ?

Shell-fish, snails, oysters and many sea-fish, but neither mammals nor birds.

What fossils occur in the layers which are stretched above the coal strata ?

Amphibia of immense length, as lizzards which are 40 feet long ; winged
lizzards, too, the wings of which measure over 16 feet; besides land and sea
dragons, from 30 to 40 feet long ; and in general, the most formidable beasts of
prey ; also petrified fish, but few mammals.

In which are the most fossils found ?

In the layers which are yet much higher bedded, those of the Tertiary period
[m the Neptunian mountains). In thesj, sea animals, especially shell-fish, change
to the higher classes of animals. The mammals there found are often of
gigantic si/e and strange form, as the mastodon, the giant salam^ander, and the
mammoth-elephant. The latter is frequently found in Siberia, frozen up in the
ice and mud of the rivers and islands ; the mastodon, in North America, sunk
in the clay and mire of the rivers and swamps (as that of the Ohio River).
These species are now extinct. Of man there have been thus far found lew
remains ; but in the most recent time they have found in these mountains bones
and flint stones, in which there is indicated an artificial management. (27.)

Which gradation of origin do the remains of the organisms exhibit ?

The oldest exhibit the simplest shapes; they belong to the class of shells and
fish Afterwards amphibia followed; after these creepers, birds and mammals i
of the latter the lowest forms appear again the first. Man made his appearance
the last. The same law is also conspicuous in the kingdom of plants. First the
tangs took origin, after them the ferns, then plants with blossoms (phanerogamia),
among which the trees with pointed leaves (as pines and firs; were the first.
Still the transitions from one period of formation to another don't exhibit any
abrupt contrast; they were effected by degrees. (28.)

What corollaries can be deduced from these observations?

1. The older a layer of our earth, the simpler; the more recent, the more
perfect are the extant organic forms of our planet.

2. Organic life grows more perfect m the same degree as the planet itself has

3 In every period many other organic bodies are found.


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Online LibraryHermann Marcus KottingerThe youth's liberal guide for their moral culture and religious enlightenment → online text (page 23 of 28)