1. The first and absolutely incontrovertible conclusion is that this theory of successive ages must be a gross blunder, in its baleful effects on every branch of modern thought deplorable beyond computation. But it is now perfectly obvious that the geological distinctions as to age between the fossils are fantastic and unjustifiable. No one kind of true fossil can be proved to be older or younger than another intrinsically and necessarily, and the methods of reasoning by which this idea has been supported in the past are little else than a burlesque on modern scientific methods, and are a belated survival from the methods of the scholastics of the Middle Ages.
Not by any means that all rock deposits are of the same age. The lower ones in any particular locality are of course “older” than the upper ones, that is, they were deposited first. But from this it by no means follows that the fossils contained in these lower rocks came into being and lived and died before the fossils in the upper ones. The latter conclusion involves several additional assumptions which are wholly unscientific in spirit and incredible as matters of fact, one of which assumptions is the biological form of the onion-coat theory. But since thousands of modern living kinds of plants and animals are found in the fossil state, man included, and no one of them can be proved to have lived for a period of time alone and before others, we must by other methods, more scientific and accurate than the slipshod methods hitherto in vogue, attempt to decide as best we can how these various forms of life were buried, and how the past and the present are connected together. But the theory of definite successive ages, with the forms of life appearing on earth in a precise and invariable order, is dead for all coming time for every man who has had a chance to examine the evidence and has enough training in logic and scientific methods to know when a thing is really proved.
And how utterly absurd for the friends of the Bible to spend their time bandying arguments with the evolutionist over such minor details as the question of just what geological “age” should be assigned for the first appearance of man on the earth, when the evolutionist’s major premise is itself directly antagonistic to the most fundamental facts regarding the first chapters of the Bible, and above all, when this major premise is really the weakest spot in the whole theory, the one sore spot that evolutionists never want to have touched at all.
I fancy I hear some one object, and ask what we are to do with the systematic arrangement of the fossils, the so-called “geological succession,” that monument to the painstaking labors of thousands of scientists all over the world. This geological series is still on our hands; what are we to do with it?
It is scarcely necessary for me to say that this arrangement of the fossils is not at all affected by my criticism of the cause of the geological changes. The geological series is merely an old-time taxonomic series, a classification of the forms of life that used to live on the earth, and is of course just as artificial as any similar arrangement of the modern forms of life would be.