3. Finally, there is the further conclusion, the only conclusion now possible, if there is no definite order in which the fossils occur, namely, that life in all its varied forms must have originated on the globe by causes not now operative, and this Creation of all the types of life may just as reasonably have taken place all at once, as in some order prolonged over a long period.
As I have pointed out in my “Fundamentals,” a strict scientific method may destroy the theory of Successive Ages, and it may show that there has been a great world catastrophe. But here the work of strict inductive science ends. It cannot show just how or when life or the various kinds of life did originate, it can only show how it did not. It destroys forever the fantastic scheme of a definite and precise order in which the various types of life occurred on the globe, and thus it leaves the way open to say that life must have originated by just such a literal Creation as is recorded in the first chapters of the Bible. But this is as far as it can be expected to go. It is strong evidence in favor of a direct and literal Creation; but it furnishes this evidence by indirection, that is, by demolishing the only alternative or rival of Creation that can command a moment’s attention from a rational mind.
But if life is not now being created from the not-living, if new kinds of life are not now appearing by natural process, if above all we cannot prove in any way worthy of being called scientific that certain types of life lived before others, if in fine man himself is found fossil and no one fossil can be proved older than another or than that of man himself, why is not a literal Creation demonstrated as a scientific certainty for every mind capable of appreciating the force of logical reasoning?
CREATION AND THE CREATOR
We need not here attempt to discuss the existence or even the nature of God. The Infinite One in all His attributes is above and beyond discussion. But there are some things that we can very profitably gather together as the net results of modern scientific investigation regarding the origin of things; and to this task we must now address ourselves in a very brief way.
We shall not attempt to deal with the astronomical aspects of the question, or the origin of our world as a planet or the origin of the solar system. This would lead us too far afield. We shall make more progress in dealing with the questions nearest at hand, namely, the origin of the present order of things on our globe.
First we must summarize the facts as we now know them in the five departments of knowledge with which we have had to deal.
1. Both matter and energy seem now to be at a standstill, so far as creation is concerned; no means being known to science whereby the fixed quantity of both with which we have to deal in this world can be increased (or diminished) in the slightest degree.