Professor Prestwich On Some Supposed New Evidence Of The Deluge -- By: G. Frederick Wright

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 052:208 (Oct 1895)
Article: Professor Prestwich On Some Supposed New Evidence Of The Deluge
Author: G. Frederick Wright


Professor Prestwich1 On Some Supposed New Evidence Of The Deluge

Prof. G. Frederick Wright

In scientific circles the name of no geologist carries more weight than that of Joseph Prestwich, late professor of geology in the University of Oxford, and author of one of the most elaborate and comprehensive treatises on geology which have ever been published. In England Professor Prestwich’s position is very much such as that of the late Professor Dana was in America. His descriptions of the geological facts which have come under his own observation are generally set down to be as nearly perfect as it is possible for a human observer to make them. It is worthy also of note, in connection with the present subject, that Professor Prestwich was the first English geologist fully to recognize the evidence of glacial man in the gravel deposits of Northern France and Southern England. For nearly forty years he has been foremost in the investigations establishing the great antiquity of paleolithic man in Western Europe.

The scientific papers from which the present summary is made, are the result of observations extending over a lifetime; but the facts were of such a nature as long to resist all ordinary attempts at explanation. It was only as a last resort that the distinguished author applied to them the theory, that since the advent of man there has been in Western Europe a subsidence of the land to the extent of between one thousand and two thousand feet, from which it subsequently rose in a succession of earthquake shocks. In the opinion of Professor Prestwich this theory, and this only, adequately accounts for all the phenomena, which he details, and thus brings into the view of science an event closely corresponding to that described in Genesis, which is recorded to have been so destructive to the life both of men and animals. We will endeavor to compress into a few pages the more salient points in the evidence; but to receive an adequate impression of the arguments one must consult the original papers with their abundant illustrations. It should be noted, also, that the facts dwelt upon all relate to regions outside of the glaciated area, and have been carefully distinguished from the many anomalous gravel deposits which have been so diligently studied in connection with the direct evidences of glacial action.

The evidence is classed under three heads, namely, The Rubble-drift of Southern England and Northern France; The High-level Loess of France and Central Europe; and The Ossiferous Breccias of the Continent.

1. The Rubble-drift.—At numerous places over the southern counties of England and on the south side of Dover St...

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