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Goppert and Councillor Haidinger would be very much surprised if one were seriously to point them out as supporters of the theory which Bosizio upholds. Veith is quite right in saying that the processes necessary for the formation of the coal-beds might have taken place in periods of time which to a Buddhist would not appear worthy of mention; but then 10 and 20 times 2000 or 3000 years is not worthy of mention when compared with the Buddhist periods.1
But the coal formation is only one out of the whole series of stratified formations; and therefore 2000 or 3000 years will still less suffice for the formation of the whole series. The thickness of the united palaeozoic formations has been estimated at 40,000 feet. Of course this is an uncertain estimate, but I will give you a few data based on measurements. One division of the Permian system, the Rothliegende, is divided at Mansfeld and in Thuringia into three layers which are respectively 500-800, 200, and 80-300 feet thick The Vosges sandstone, one stratum of one of the three divisions of the Triassic system, is 1200 feet thick in the Vosges; another stratum is 150 thick in some localities, in others above 400 feet thick, and so on.s
I think that enough has now been said to show that the theory that the fossiliferous strata have been formed since the creation of man may be set aside as untenable.8 But if we are to suppose that this forma
1 Die Anfange, p. 359. * Noggerath, Ges- Naturw. iii. 247 seq.
3 "There is hardly anything of importance in geology or palaeontology which Keil would admit, or would even, as were reasonable, leave to science to decide ; and yet there is much which is highly probable, if not completely certain, although many things, of course, are still doubtful. Thus, to mention one thing only, it has doubtless become very apparent that the formation of the enormous coal measures, which evidently contion took place in the pre-human age, the theory that only six days elapsed before the creation of man falls to the ground.
Later on I shall have to discuss more particularly those geological results which must be referred to the Deluge. I close my lecture to-day with a short notice of a theory brought forward by Vosen, who is not a supporter of the theory we have hitherto been discussing.1 He believes that we may find a reason for the existence of many fossil plants and animals in the curse by which God destroyed the vegetation of Paradise. The expression "Cursed be the ground for thy sake" can, he says, only be understood to mean that in the same moment not the Garden of Eden alone, but also the beautiful paradisaical vegetation of the whole earth was destroyed; that a sudden catastrophe of nature transformed the soil of the earth, and that the vegetation of Paradise forthwith disappeared; whereupon a new stunted vegetation sprang up from its grave. Through this mechanical destruction of the vegetable world many animals were buried in the ground with the plants; other animals, sometimes whole races, were destroyed, because, after the curse on the vegetable world, they could not find the food necessary for them; their organization, like that of man, having been formed to be nourished by the fruits of Paradise.
sist of vegetable matter, and for the most part of small plants, must have taken a much longer time tlian Keil supposes, even although that time cannot be accurately determined. The impulse simply to turn aside from matters of this kind is wrong in itself, and should certainly be repressed, for in the nature of the case the decision must rest with natural science, and not with the Bible." Schultz, SchSpfangsgeschvchte, p. 298. Cf. Molley, Geology, p. 310.
1 Das Chrutenthum, p. 715 (3rd ed. p. 750).
So that a great part of the fossils found in later strata, and especially those in the coal formation, may be a portion of the animal and vegetable world of Paradise, which, according to the words of Holy Scripture, existed not only in Eden, but also over the whole earth, and which was then everywhere simultaneously destroyed by the curse.
With reference to this theory, I need, as I have said, make only one short observation. Holy Scripture does not say a word about this, neither does it even indirectly suggest that before the Fall the earth was covered with paradisaical vegetation, and that all or some animals were so organized as to be nourished only by paradisaical food. Nor is there any mention of a sudden catastrophe of nature after the Fall, which would have had the results above described; and had any such taken place, Holy Scripture would hardly be silent on the subject. As to the meaning of the words, "Cursed be the ground," etc., no doubt theologians do not agree about them, but I know no one besides Vosen who would describe the interpretation he brings forward as self-evident, or even, to speak clearly, as admissible.1 You will see, from the facts I have mentioned, that the coal formation, etc., cannot be explained in this manner.
i Pianciani (Cotmogonia, p. 471) says that "some" think that a catastrophe of this description took place after the Fall, but simply adds that the Bible does not mention it.
GEOLOGY AND THE BIBLE ACCORDING TO THE THEORY OF RESTITUTION.
I Have shown in my last lecture that the attempt to include those periods of the earth's history to which the fossils bear witness, in the time which has elapsed since the completion of the six days of creation, has failed. I will now examine the theory according to which the geological periods are placed before the six days of creation.
So far as I know, this theory was first brought forward by the Scotch clergyman Dr. Thos. Chalmers ;1 it was first expressly defended by Buckland, and it has since been adopted and developed by many, and has been much modified in detail; in Germany especially by Kurtz and A. Wagner.2
In its main outlines the theory is as follows:— Between the first act of creation of which the first verse of Genesis speaks, and the first act of the first
'Chalmers, writing in 1804, said that it had been asserted by some that geology, by placing the earth's origin at an earlier period than that assigned to it by Moses, had undermined belief in the inspiration of Holy Scripture, and all the comforting truths which it teaches us. But he adds, this is a groundless fear. The books of Moses in no way fix the age of the earth. In 1814 he developed this view at greater length in his Examination of Owner's Theory of the Earth. Cf. H. Miller, Testimony, p. 107.
* In the second edition of his Geschichte der Urwelt; also by Schubert, Raumer, Hengstenberg, Richers, Reinsch, Keerl, Wolf. (In Germany first by Hezel, p. 178 ; see ZSckler, Gesch. der Beziehungen, ii. 513.)— V. de Bonald, Westermayer, Vosen, and others.
day of the Hexaemeron, of which the third verse speaks, there was a long period of time. Even before the Hexaemeron, the earth was formed, and was a dwelling-place for created beings. This earlier form and this earlier animal and vegetable world was annihilated by a catastrophe, the results of which Genesis describes in the second verse. Thereupon the earth received its present form, and its present animal and vegetable world; and this Moses describes from ver. 3 onwards. In other words, the Hexaemeron treats, not of the first formation of the earth, and of the first creation of organized beings, but of a re-formation of the earth and of a re-creation of organized beings; for which reason this has been called the theory of restitution.
There can be no question of any contradiction between geology and palaeontology and the Bible, according to this theory, for no direct point of contact is left. The interpreter of the Mosaic Hexaemeron need take no notice of what the geologists say about the formation of the earth from a gaseous mass or from a watery or igneous ball; of their teachings concerning the origin of the Azoic, Palaeozoic, Mesozoic, and Cainozoic formations, and about the animal and vegetable world, whose remains are buried in these strata; for all this belongs to a period which preceded the six days of the first chapter of Genesis. The Biblical history of the earth only begins where the palaeontological history of the earth leaves off.1 When
1 "Revelation leaves two large blank leaves between the first and second, and also between the second and third verses of the Biblical account of creation, and on these human science may write what it will in order to