Wednesday, 11 March 2015

DR. BUCKLAND'S TREATISE ON GEOLOGY.

—A writer in the Tasmanian, has repeatedly referred to some false conclusions drawn by himself from the above work, with an air of triumph which, for his own sake, is sincerely to be regretted, as it betokens that dangerous error to which superficial minds are subject, of indulging scepticism on questions which have puzzled the human intellect, and drawn forth opposite and inconsistent theories, although these questions were already settled by the fiat of Him who cannot err. This writer alludes to the statement afforded by Dr. Buckland of the opinions of philosophers, respecting the origin and antiquity of our globe, and to the deduction from their contradictory character, that the question is one beyond the grasp of mind ; as if this overthrew the Mosaic account, which does not depend on the researches of man, but is founded on the revelation of heaven. The illegitimacy of this deduction must be obvious to a child, and needs no further answer. We append some of these contradictory and absurd theories : They are fitted to amuse, and also to give pain—pain that the human mind should so arrogantly contemn the information of heaven on questions beyond its reach, and expose itself to an abyss of folly and darkness in its vain and ineffectual competition with higher light. The practical reflection to be drawn is that of humility in the contemplation of our own powers, and confidence in the announcements of Heaven.

' The earth,' says Burnet, ' was first invested with an uniform light crust, which covered the abyss of the sea, and which being broken up for the production of the deluge, formed the mountains by its fragments.'—Theoria Sacra.

' The deluge,' says Woodward, ' was occasioned by a momentary suspension of cohesion among the particles of mineral bodies. The whole of the globe was dissolved, and the paste thus formed became penetrated with shells.'— Essay.

' God raised up,'says Schenckzer, 'the mountains, for the purpose of allowing the waters which had produced the deluge to run off, and selected those places in which were the greatest quantity of rocks, without which the mountains could not have supported themselves.'-Mem. de l' Academ.

The earth was formed from the atmosphere of one comet, and deluged by the train of another. The heat which it retained from its origin was the cause of exciting its inhabitants to sin, for which they were all drowned, excepting the fishes, which, having been fortunately exempt from the heat, remained innocent.'—Whiston, New Theory.

' The earth is an extinguished sun, a vitrified globe, on which the vapours falling down again, after it had cooled, formed seas, which afterwards deposited the limestone formations.'—Leibnitz Protog├Ža.

' The whole globe was covered with water many thousand years. The water gradually retired. All the land animals were originally inhabitants of the sea. Man was originally a fish ; and there are still fish to be met with in the ocean which are half men, on their progress to the perfect human shape, and whose descend- ants will in process of time men '—Demaillet.

The earth was a fragment of the sun, struck off red hot by the blow of a comet, together with all the other planets, which were also red hot fragments. The age of the world, then, can be calculated from the number of years which it would take to cool so large a mass from a red hot down to its present temperature. But it is of course growing colder every year, and, as well as the other planets, must finally be a globe of ice.' —Buffon Theorie.

' All things were originally fluid. The waters gave birth to microscopic insects ; the insects, in the course of ages, magnified themselves into the larger animals ; the animals, in the course of ages, converted a portion of the water into calcarious earth ; the vegetables converted another portion into clay! These two substances, in the course of ages, converted themselves into silex ; and thus the siliceous mountains are the oldest of all. All the solid parts of the earth, therefore, owe their existence to life, and without life, the globe would still be entirely liquid.'—Lamark. This, too, is the favorite mode among the German philosophers ! of accounting for the formation and filling of the world.

' The earth is a great animal ; it is alive ; a vital fluid circulates in it ; every particle of it is alive ; it has instinct and volition, even to the most elementary molecules, which attract and repel each other according to sympathies and antipathies. Every mineral has the power of converting immense masses into its own nature, as we convert food into flesh and blood. The mountains are the respiratory organs of the globe ! The schists are the organs of secretion ; the mineral veins are abscesses ; and the metals are products of disease, for which reason, most of them have a repulsive smell.'—Patrin. Dict. d' Histoire Naturelle.


' All is done by polarization.'—Oken.

Hobart Town Courier 26 May 1837

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