Geologic Time Ratios, And Estimates Of The Earth’s Age And Of Man’s Antiquity -- By: Warren Upham

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 050:197 (Oct 1893)
Article: Geologic Time Ratios, And Estimates Of The Earth’s Age And Of Man’s Antiquity
Author: Warren Upham


Geologic Time Ratios, And Estimates Of The Earth’s Age And Of Man’s Antiquity

Warren Upham

The ancient Greek philosophers reasoned backward to primal cosmic conditions which they called Chaos; and the inspired author of the sublime first chapter of Genesis saw the earth, at the beginning of his earliest vision, “without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” In obedience to the Creator there came, in the first Mosaic vision, light, and the division of day and night; in the second vision, a world-wide ocean, and the gathering of a dense cloud-bank above a stratum of open air; in the third vision, areas of land, clothed with vegetation; in the fourth, the appearance of sun, moon, and stars, when rifts were first made in the previously continuous envelope of clouds; in the fifth, swimming and flying animals; and in the sixth and last vision, lowly and higher land animals, succeeded by God’s crowning work, man and woman, endowed with the lofty capabilities of the human mind. So completely is this sequence in accord with the history revealed in the rocks to the geologist that Dana, the most eminent of Americans in this science, declares the record of Genesis “profoundly philosophical, true and divine, a declaration 01 authorship, both of Creation and the Bible.”

Heathen sages, in all times, of whatever nation or religion, and modern scientists, whether Christian or agnostic,

have sought to penetrate the mysteries of the origin of man and of the earth, and to conjecture or measure their antiquity. Prominent among the contributions to these inquiries during the past year 1892 are Prof. G. F. Wright’s series of Lowell Lectures on the “Antiquity and Origin of the Human Race,” given in Boston during February and March; the treatment of the question of geologic time by Sir Archibald Geikie in his presidential address1 before the British Association for the Advancement of Science; another consideration of the same question by Mr. W J McGee in a paper entitled “Comparative Chronology,”2 read before the section of anthropology in the American Association; an article by Prof. James Geikie, “On the Glacial Succession in Europe;”3 and Professor Wright’s second and abridged work on the Ice age, bearing the title, “Man and the Glacial Period.”

These writers and others, as Dana, Haughton, Wallace, and Alexander Winchell, weigh the geologic evidences of the earth’s age. They are all approximately in agreement as to the ratios of the several great divisions of geologic time, but di...

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