The Testimony of the Rocks: Or, Geology in Its Bearings on the Two Theologies, Natural and Revealed (Classic Reprint)

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Fb&c Limited, 19 de jan. de 2018 - 532 páginas
Excerpt from The Testimony of the Rocks: Or, Geology in Its Bearings on the Two Theologies, Natural and Revealed

Restricted to the Paleozoic and Secondary rocks, more especially to the Old Red and Carboniferous Systems of the one division, and the Oolitic System of the other; and the long extinct organisms which I found in them certainly did not conflict with the view of Chalmers. All I found necessary at the time to the work of reconciliation was some scheme that would permit me to assign to the earth a high antiquity, and to regard it as the scene of many succeeding creations. During the last nine years, however, I have spent a few weeks every autumn in exploring the later formations, and acquainting myself with their peculiar organisms. I have traced them upwards from the raised beaches and old coast lines of the human period, to the brick clays, Clyde beds, and drift and boulder deposits of the Pleistocene era, and again from these, with the help of museums and collections, up through the mammaliferous crag of England, to its Red and its Coral crags. And the conclusion at which I have been compelled to arrive is, that for many long ages ere man was ushered into being, not a few of his humbler contemporaries of the fields and woods enjoyed life in their present haunts, and that for thousands of years anterior to even their appearance, many of the existing molluscs lived in our seas. That day during which the present creation came into being, and in which God, when he had made the beast of the earth after his kind, and the cattle after their kind, at length' terminated the work by moulding a creature in his own image, to whom he gave dominion over them all, was not a brief period of a few hours' duration, but extended over mayhap millenniums of centuries. No blank chaotic gap of death and darkness separated the creation to which man belongs from that of the old extinct elephant, hippopotamus, and hyazna; for familiar animals such as the red deer, the roe, the fox, the wild cat, and the badger, lived throughout the period which connected their times with our own; and so I have been compelled to hold, that the days of creation were not natural, but prophetic days, and stretched far back into the bygone eternity. After in some degree committing myself to the other side, I have yielded to evidence which I found it impossible to resist; and such in this matter has been my inconsistency, _ - nu inconsistency of which the world has furnished examples in all the sciences, and will, I trust, in its onward progress, continue to furnish many more.

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