Karl Alois Kneller.

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prescribed organs of the Church, always found in him
a ready submission and obedience." *

On the relation of science to religion, D'Omalius has
recorded his own convictions.

When the Belgian Academy celebrated on December i6 th
1866 the fiftieth anniversary of its foundation, D'Omalius, as
Director of the scientific department, was called upon to
deliver the speech of the day 2 . He took as his subject the
relations existing between science and religious belief. "I
propose to lay before you some considerations", the speech
begins, "which will show you how unjust is the charge so
commonly made that the articles of our Christian faith are
in contradiction with the established results of science." He
then enumerates the stock objections to the Christian ac-
count of Creation, the Fall, the unity of the human race,
immortality, and so on. His treatment of his subject is evi-
dently inspired by the desire to go as far as he can to
meet the scruples of science. "I admit", he proceeds, "that
for our finite intellects there are grave difficulties in both
these fundamental dogmas the existence of an omnipotent,
immaterial God, and the act of Creation but it is still
more difficult to conceive the existence of the universe and
its marvellous order without postulating the prior existence
of an omnipotent Being. And so science and reason can
produce no valid objection in regard to either of the pro-

1 En matiere religieuse , d'Omalius etait Catholique pratiquant.
Les dogmes et les devoirs , enseignes par les organes legaux de la
religion , etaient acceptes sans observations , et il montra pendant
toute sa vie la plus grande soumission a 1'Eglise. D'une grande
tolerance, il s'abstenait de jamais prendre part aux discussions re-
ligieuses, laissant a chacun le soin de la responsabilite de rechercher
la verite ou bon lui semble (D u p o n t in Annuaire of the Belgian
Academy XLII 278).

2 Bulletins de TAcade'mie Royale des sciences, des lettres et des
beaux-arts de Belgique, 35* anne"e, 2 e serie, XXII, Bruxelles 1866,
555 563. Reprinted without the introduction in the Revue generate V,
Bruxelles 1867, 1823.


blems in question." 1 He criticises sharply those champions
of religion who, although without training or learning in
science, presume to pronounce authoritatively on its con-
clusions. But on the other hand human pride and passion,
burning to cast off the yoke of religion, are continually ex-
aggerating the obscurities of religion and the mistakes of
some of its defenders.

D'Omalius marshals in his discourse all the arguments
familiar to the modern theologian. He concludes : "To sum
up, I have no hesitation in saying that in my judgment there
is no real opposition between our religious beliefs and the
conclusions of science." 2

Andre Dumont is another name of rare distinction
in Belgian science. He was commissioned by the Govern-
ment to make a geological map 3 of his native country,
spent thirteen years (1836 1849) at the task, and pro-
duced a masterpiece. His "remarkable researches" exer-
cised a "not inconsiderable influence on the whole deve-
lopment of tertiary stratigraphy". Born in 1809, Dumont
was snatched away by an early and sudden death in
1857. "He honoured religion", it was said of him,
"as much by his piety, as geology by his profound
insight and industry." 4 As he lay on his death-bed

1 Ante 556: II est encore plus difficile de concevoir 1'existence
de 1'univers et de son arrangement admirable, sans qu'il ait preexiste
un Etre tout-puissant. Cf. p. 561 : Nous ne pouvons pas plus con-
cevoir le mouvement des astres sans une cause premiere d' impulsion,
que nous ne concevons la naissance d'un etre vivant sans 1'inter-
vention d'un Etre preexistant.

2 En resume, je n'hesite pas a dire qu'il n'existe , a mes yeux,
aucune opposition reelle entre nos croyances religieuses et les de-
monstrations donnees par 1'etat actuel des sciences naturelles (ib. 563).

3 v. Zittel, Gesch. der Geologie und Palaontologie 533 603 702.

4 Andre Dumont , mort a la fleur de 1'age, laissant apres lui de
vastes travaux et des esperances plus vastes encore, a fait autant


his mind was busy with the relations of his science to
Holy Writ. "On the day before his death, as he was
about to receive the last Sacraments, he said to the
Bishop of Liege: 'It is amazing how after all the
labours of Geology we are forced to recognise that
Moses, writing in an age so primitive and remote, was
able to give a perfectly accurate account of the whole
history of the earth, especially of the various orders
of beings and of the line of succession in which they
stand.'" 1

D'Omalius and Dumont limited their researches to
the geological conformation of Belgium, and bestowed
but little attention on the fossils which are to be
found in the various strata. The chief pioneer and
authority in this latter department was the Lou vain
Professor Van Beneden about whom we shall have
a word to say later.

If we turn to England we shall have no difficulty in
finding great geologists who were at the same time loyal
Christians. William Buckland 2 (f 1856) devoted
a special volume to the study of the relations between
his science and natural theology 3 . Schonbein tells us
that he heard him at the Scientific Congress at Birming-

d'honneur a la religion par sa fidelite qu'a la geologic par ses de-
couvertes (Lefebvre in Revue des quest, scient. L , Louvain
1901, 67). A son of Dumont's consecrated himself to religious life
in the Society of Jesus.

1 Ami de la religion CLX^V, Paris 1857, 626.

2 v. Zittel, Gesch. der Geologie und Palaontologie 162.
Cf. Mrs. Gordon, The Life and Correspondence of W. Buckland,
London 1894.

3 Geology and Mineralogy considered with reference to Natural
Theology, London 1838. Cf. ante p. 224.


ham in 1839 declaim vehemently against the "ground-
less prejudice against science so prevalent in England
at the time, which attributed to scientific men a hostility
to religion".

The German geologist K. C. Von Leonhard * who
spent a good deal of time in the company of Buck-
land at Heidelberg writes of him as follows:

"The great Oxford Professor insisted again and again -
and for me his views were as congenial as they were in-
structive on the reconcilability of geological research with
Sacred Scripture. He had devoted long thought to religious
as well as to scientific problems. It was a great joy to hear
him speak out in his decided, attractive way. The account
of creation given in Genesis he regarded as part of the
infallible word of God, with which science must never allow
itself to be betrayed into conflict. But none the less, cer-
tain modifications of the commonly accepted explanation of
the Mosaic story were necessary, and science on its part
could not yet claim to have established a complete history
of the earth."

, Writing of Buckland's Bridgewater Treatise "with
which his name will long be associated and remembered"
a famous brother-geologist, Roderick Impey Mur-
chison (f 1871), says: "Whatever new facts may be
discovered, the book will always hold its ground as a
proof of the rich and abundant insight which enabled
him to reconstruct forms of a long vanished past, and
bring them before our imagination, and so make visible
to all the Providence of the Almighty as it manifested
itself in the early history of creation." 2 Murchison re-
peats towards the end of his great work the belief here
expressed in the existence of the Creator. The facts

1 Aus unserer Zeit in meinem Leben II, Stuttgart 1856, 229.

2 Journal of the R. Geographical Society XXVII, London 1857, cvi.
Kneller, Christianity. 1 8


of Geology are to him "memoranda which the Creator
has put before our eyes in the book of nature" *. In
his contributions to the Geographical Society he takes
frequent occasion to express his interest in the various
Christian missions 2 .

Edward Hitchcock (f 1864), one of the leading
geologists of America, wrote at large on the relations
between the Scriptures and science. His excellent
and popular book on the history of creation 3 "com-
bines the ideas of Buckland with those of the theo-
logians" 4 . Another writer on the same subject was
the celebrated Scotch savant John Mac Culloch 5
(t I ^35)- Hitchcock was a Congregationalist preacher;
Buckland, like his colleagues W. D. Conybeare(f 1857),
and A. Sedgwick (f 1872), was a minister of the
Anglican Church 6 . Conybeare exchanged geology for
theology so far back as i8$2 7 .

On April 14 th 1895 America lost her greatest geologist,
James Dwight Dana, then in his eighty-second

1 Journal of the R. Geographical Society XXVII, London 1857, .cv.

2 Ib. e. g. XIV (1844) cjx; XXXV (1865) CLXXVII.

8 The religion of Geology and its connected sciences (1851).

4 Biographic gen. by Hoefer XXIV 807.

5 System of Geology, with a Theory of the Earth and an Explanation
of its Connection with the Sacred Records, London 1831. Proofs
and illustrations of the attributes of God, from the facts and laws
of the physical universe being the foundation of natural and revealed
religion, London 1837.

6 Hugh Miller, The Testimony of the Rocks; or Geology
in its bearings on the two theologies, natural and revealed, Edinburgh
1857, 117. The author of this volume was likewise a diligent ob-
server of nature.

7 The Journal of the R. Geographical Soc. XXVIII, London 1858,
cxxix f.


year. "Dana", says Von Zittel 1 , "was a most brilliant
geologist, zoologist and mineralogist; his services in
science won him in succession the Wollaston Medal,
the Copley Medal, and the great Walker prize. He was
accepted on all sides as the master of American Geo-
logy, and the development of that science owed much
to his influence". He was a member of the famous Wilkes
Expedition which spent fours years in investigating the
coast of South America and the Pacific Ocean; the
classification and systematisation of the materials ob-
tained during the voyage occupied Dana for thirty years.
"His studies of the geology of the Pacific, the volcanoes
of the Sandwich Islands, the coral formations, and of
various species of zoophytes and Crustacea stand in the
very forefront of the literature of travel." 2

If we wish to know what the "first geologist of
America" thought of religion, we have only to turn to
the title-page of his "Manual of Geology" 3 . We find
two quotations, the first from Juvenal: Numquam aliud
natura, aliud sapientia docet ; the second from Cicero :
Licet iam oculis quodammodo contemplari pulchri-
tudinem rerum earum quas divina providentia dicimus

At the outset he offers praise to God as the great
Guide and Law-giver who has shaped and directed to

1 Ante 459. Cf. Dan. C. Oilman, The Life of James Dwight
Dana, scientific explorer, mineralogist, geologist, zoologist. New
York 1899.

2 v. Zittel, Geschichte der Geologie 459.

3 James D. Dana, Manual of Geology : treating of the prin-
ciples of the science with special reference to American geological
history, 4. edition 1896. Our references are to the 2 nd ed., New
York 1876.



its goal the history of the earth *. The book concludes
with a discussion of the Biblical account of Creation.
That account, writes Dana, is rich in so many truths
which the human author could not possibly have de-
rived from the science of his day that no explanation
save that of divine inspiration is adequate.

"The record in the Bible", he writes, "is therefore pro-
foundly philosophical in the scheme of creation which it
presents. It is both true and divine. It is a declaration of
authorship, both of Creation and the Bible, on the first page
of the sacred volume. There can be no real conflict be-
tween the two books of the Great Author. Both are re-
velations made by Him to Man the earlier telling of God-
made harmonies, coming up from the deep past, and rising
to their height when Man appeared; the latter teaching Man's
relations to his Maker and speaking of loftier harmonies in
the eternal future." 2

Sir William Dawson (f 1899), Chancellor of the
University of Montreal, President of the Royal Canadian
Scientific Society, was "one of the most eminent geo-
logists of Canada, the scientific survey of which was
in great measure his work" 3 . He was a Presbyterian 4
and published many apologetic studies on the relations
of science to Revelation 5 .

1 ... although Infinite Mind has guided all events towards the
great end a world for mind , the earth has under His guidance
and appointed law passed through a regular course of history or

2 Dana, Manual of Geology 770.

3 Wildermann's Jahrbuch der Naturwissenschaften XV (1899
to 1900) 479. Cf. Henry M. Ami, Sir John William Dawson in
The American Geologist XXVI, Minneapolis 1900, I 48. Nature LXI,
London and New York 1899 1900, 80.

4 Ami ante 8 10.

5 Archaia, or Studies of the Narrative of the Creation in Genesis.
Montreal 1857. Archaia, or Studies of the Cosmogony and Natural


"There is surely", he writes, "a latent Gospel in
nature which has always been proclaimed in it, though
often to heedless ears, and which required the infinite
knowledge and love of Jesus to interpret it clearly to
us. No doubt this Gospel, like that of Christianity it-
self, is turned into gall and bitterness by modern pessi-
mistic advocates of the mere struggle for existence;
but to rightly constituted minds Christ's interpretation
is better, as it is also more happy and hopeful" 1 .

J. H. Fuchs, whose name we have already mentioned,
deserves a special word as the great champion of what
was called "Neo-Neptunism" 2 . In opposition to the theory
of "Vulcanism" then dominant in Geology, he main-
tained in an academic thesis that the origin of the rocks
is to be sought in an antecedent aqueous condition, and
to be explained by chemical processes. "Although
many of Fuchs' contentions have been dismissed as
quite untenable, his work made and marks an epoch in
the history of Genetic Geology. His 'Neo-Neptunism'
was taken up and further developed by Bischof and
others" 3 .

Karl Gustav Bischof 4 (born 1792 at Woerth, died
1870) was at first a chemist; during his professorate at
Bonn he turned his attention to Geology, and made

History of the Hebrew Scriptures. Ib. 1860. On the Antiquity of
Man. Ib. 1863. Nature and the Bible. New York 1875. The
Dawn of Life, Montreal 1875. The Origin of the World, according
to Revelation and Science. Ib. 1877, 6 th ed., London 1823, etc.

1 Quoted by Ami ante 10.

2 tiber die Theorien der Erde (1837). Gesammelte Schriften 199
to 218.

3 v. Giimbel in the Allgemeine deutsche Biographic VIII 167.

4 Ib. II 665669.


investigations into the geological formation of the Rhine-
land. At the outset he was a convinced "Vulcanist".
His study of mineral springs (1824), and still more his
"classical work" on the internal heat of the earth (1837)
"won for the plutonistic theories, then struggling into
prominence, an all but universal acceptance". And
yet Bischof himself was to become later in life the most
outspoken opponent of these theories. "An epoch-
making and pioneer work" is the characterisation given
of his "Text-book of Chemical and Physical Geology"
(1848 54). In this Bischof developed the ideas put
forward by Fuchs, and, as the work went on, changed
over completely from the "Plutonist" to the "Neptunist"
side. His notes on the part played in geological pro-
cesses by water, and its manifold activity, hold a place
among the master-pieces of Speculative Geology, and
remain for all time an invaluable source of indispensable
facts and stimulating ideas. "Bischof remains for all
time one of the most powerful influences in the whole
history of Geology." *

To complete the picture we should add that Bischof
also did much for the application of science to practical
life. It was at his suggestion that the now famous mineral
well at Bad Neuenahr was bored. He also showed how
copper could be extracted from ores regarded as worth-
less, and published a paper on the cause of hailstorms
and certain preventive and protective measures that
might be taken to diminish their harmfulness.

1 v. Giimbel in the Allgemeine deutsche Biographic VIII 668
669. Also v. Z i 1 1 e 1 (Gesch. der Geologic und Palaontologie 306)
praises Bischof s "bewunderungswlirdige Sachkenntnis" ; he has "die
chemische Geologie zu einem neuen, selbstandigen Wissenszweig er-

K. G. BISCHOF. 279

In the years 1842 and 1843 popular lectures were
delivered at Bonn by the teachers of the High School,
the receipts of these lectures going to the building-
fund of the Bonn Cathedral. We quote one or two
passages from Bischof's course.

"We come then by a simple process of reasoning to this
conclusion that the earth when it came forth from the hand
of the Almighty must have been a fiery ball. ... Is there
anything strange in this? Have we not daily before our
eyes an instance of such a fiery ball, though a far vaster
one ? I need not name it ... it is that from which all life
proceeds, and which, before the light of revelation broke
upon them, was worshipped by many nations as their di-
vinity." l

In another passage, having claimed, on the basis of ex-
periments made by himself, a period of 353 million years
to allow cooling-down of the earth, he goes on : "These
vast figures in no way contradict what is written in Scrip-
ture. The 'days' spoken of in Genesis must obviously be
taken to mean great periods of time. Do we not read in
the Epistles of St. Peter (chap. 3, verse 8) that 'a day be-
fore the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years
as a day'?

"By a miracle God created the world; by a miracle the
first plant appeared on the earth. For when we seek to
analyse the causes of phenomena, and pursue the process
stage by stage from the most immediate to the most remote,
we always, in the end, come on an ultimate cause which
lies outside the material world ; we come on a miracle 2 .
The question: How came the first plant on the earth?
merges in the larger problem of the origin of all that is."

"Nothing on earth possesses its end in itself; everything
has been created for an end higher than itself; man him-

1 Populare Vorlesungen tiber naturwissenschaftliche Gegenstande,
im Jahre 1842 gehalten vor den gebildeten Bewohnern von Bonn,
Bonn 1843, 5-

2 The theologian will not call this work of God a miracle.


self exists only to glorify God, and to prepare himself for

"In this distinguished assembly I may feel sure that there
are none of those short-sighted minds, that can see in nature
only a planless welter. To those who think after that fashion,
nothing can be more illuminative than a study of the ex-
tremely simple means by which great results are attained,
and nothing can more fully convince them that planless-
ness is a quality absolutely alien to the Divine mind."

In the second part of the course, that of 1843, we find
among other characteristic passages: "If we are unable to
discern in all phenomena the directing hand of God, this
is to be ascribed to our mental limitations. When we study
things in their totality we discern everywhere the working
of an Omnipotent Providence, Who governs the world with
infinite goodness and wisdom."

In Bischof s purely scientific works we find the same ideas
at least hinted at. He speaks of the "providential plan"
after which "the Almighty" created the world and treats as
self-evident the proposition that we find tokens, everywhere
and throughout all creation, of purposiveness, and the wise
ordering of things to the service of organic life. "That
the Almighty, Who in the words of Genesis created the
world out of nothing", he says on another page, "is able
to transform one element into another is surely a proposition
which nobody will dream of disputing." 1

Gerhard Vom Rath (f 1888) and Heinrich
Von Dechen (f 1889), who with Bischof, were the
most distinguished geologists of Bonn University were
both Protestants 2 . Von Dechen was a member of what

1 G. Bischof, Lehrbuch der chemischen und physikalischen
Geologic II i, Bonn 1851, 9. Cf. 1(1847) 981: "es ist eine weise
Anordnung im Haushalt der Natur" etc.

2 H. Laspeyres in the Verhandhmgen des naturhistorischen
Vereins der preufi. Rheinlande etc. XLVI, Bonn 1889, 244 245;
cf. 240 in which he , on the death of his son, writes of his "un-
bedingte Ergebung in den gottlichen Willen".


was called the Orthodox Church ; Vom Rath belonged
to a free Church, but was none the less ardent in con-
forming his life and opinions to the teaching of the
Bible "which he made his daily reading, and knew as
intimately as he knew his instruments" 1 .

We come now to a name more distinguished even than
that of Bischof. Friedrich AugustQuenstedt (born
at Eisleben 1809, died at Tubingen 1889), a North
German by birth, won his laurels at Tubingen. "For
more than half a century", writes Q. Fraas 2 , "Quenstedt
taught in the Suabian Athens, honoured on all sides as
one of the keenest and fruitfullest minds among German
geologists. But although he enjoyed a University repu-
tation he was still more widely known as a tireless
traveller and investigator; indeed there was no part of
Upper or Lower Suabia in which he was not a familiar
and respected figure. He was a veritable praeceptor
Sueviae in Geology." Von Zittel bears similar witness
to Quenstedt's greatness; his study of the formation
and fossils of the Suabian Jura was so thorough as to
leave practically nothing of any importance to his suc-
cessors 3 .

Quenstedt has left his religious opinious on record
in more than one of his works. Thus we read at the
beginning of his "Epochs of Nature" 4 : "In propor-
tion as research deepens , it seems to become more
and more obscure. The fundamental design of the

1 Leopoldina XXV, Halle 1889, 84.

2 Nekrolog auf Quenstedt in the Neue Jahrbiicher fur Mineralogie,
Geologic, Palaontologie 1890, I.

3 Gesch. der Geologic und Palaontologie 522.

4 Tubingen 1861, 2.


Creator seems to retreat more and more from our gaze,
in proportion as we push our investigations deeper and
fancy ourselves to be on the point of grasping it" The
processes of transformation and evolution which are to
be observed in the organic world he refers back to the
will and directing intelligence of God 1 .

Of the Scriptural story of Creation he always speaks
with profound respect; though we cannot accept all
that he has to say on the theological questions raised
by it. Having glanced rapidly at its outlines he re-
marks: "The picture given here is so rich in truth,
that, considering the ancient and historic documents, we
feel compelled to say that Moses, who lived 3400 years
ago, was the greatest geologist of all times." 2 He
dwells with obvious gratification on the many points in
which the Mosaic account is corroborated by science 3 .

Fried rich Pfaff (born^ 1825 at 8 Erlangen; died in
1886 as a Professor in the University of his native
town), was of a South German stock, and spent all his
life in South Germany. He made contributions of great
importance to Mineralogy, Crystallography, and Geo-
Physics. He first attracted notice by his book "The
Story of Creation with Special Reference to the Biblical
Account" (1855). I n this ne sought to bring the results
of Geology into harmony with the Bible. He writes
from the same standpoint in the third edition of his
"Story of Creation", published in 1882, and in his tractate

1 Epochs of Nature 831.

z Die Schopfung der Erde und ihre Bewohner, Stuttgart 1882, 8.

3 E. g. ib. : "Jetzt erst, am vierten Tage, wird die Sonne fertig.
Wie wahr ! Denn die kleine Erde mufite sich lange vor der riesigen
Sonne gestalten."


"The Evolution of the World according to Atomism" 1 .
He wrote a long series of polemical works in criticism
of the extravagances of the evolutionists, and of the
materialistic ideas propagated by them in the popular
mind. "Relying on the historical fact 'that a people,
as soon as it has lost belief in a divine government of
the world, falls into moral ruin', he went into battle;
what he longed for above all, was to preserve in that
German nation which he loved so ardently the sense of
the ideal, and especially the belief in a moral order." 2

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