Ragnarok : the Age of Fire and Gravel eBook

Ignatius Donnelly
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 440 pages of information about Ragnarok .

Is not the conclusion very strong that Atlantis was the island-home of the race, in whose cave Job dwelt; on whose shores Phaëton fell; on whose fields Adam lived; on whose plain Sodom and Gomorrah stood, and Odin and Thor and Citli died; from which the Quiches and the Aztecs wandered to America; the center of all the races; the root of all the mythologies?

{p. 389}



LET ME consider, briefly, those objections to my theory which have probably presented themsevles {_sic_} to some of my readers.

First, it may be said: 

“We don’t understand you.  You argue that there could not have been such an ice-age as the glacialists affirm, and yet you speak of a period of cold and ice and snow.”

True:  ’but there is a great difference between such a climate as that of Scotland, damp and cold, snowy and blowy, and a continental ice-sheet, a mile or two thick, reaching from John o’ Groat’s House to the Mediterranean.  We can see that the oranges of Spain can grow to-day within a comparatively short distance of Edinburgh; but we can not realize that any tropical or semitropical plant could have survived in Africa when a precipice of ice, five thousand feet high, frowned on the coast of Italy; or that any form of life could have survived on earth when the equator in South America was covered with a continental ice-sheet a mile in thickness, or even ten feet in thickness.  We can conceive of a glacial age of snow-storms, rains, hail, and wind—­a terribly trying and disagreeable climate for man and beast—­but we can not believe that the whole world was once in the condition that the dead waste of ice-covered Greenland is in now.

{p. 390}

Secondly, it may be said—­

“The whole world is now agreed that ice produced the Drift; what right, then, has any one man to set up a different theory against the opinions of mankind? "

One man, Mohammed said, with God on his side, is a majority; and one man, with the truth on his side, must become a majority.

All recognized truths once rested, solitary and alone, in some one brain.

Truth is born an acorn, not an oak.

The Rev. Sydney Smith once said that there was a kind of men into whom you could not introduce a new idea without a surgical operation.  He might have added that, when you had once forced an idea into the head of such a man, you could not deliver him of it without instruments.

The conservatism of unthinkingness is one of the potential forces of the world.  It lies athwart the progress of mankind like a colossal mountain-chain, chilling the atmosphere on both sides of it for a thousand miles.  The Hannibal who would reach the eternal city of Truth on the other side of these Alps must fight his way over ice and hew his way through rocks.

Project Gutenberg
Ragnarok : the Age of Fire and Gravel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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