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not have become accustomed to some other division of
Light conceived of as independent of the
The record of the rocks tell us unmistakably that plants and animals have flourished through untold ages side by side, new forms succeeding old ones. But in Genesis, the creation of trees and shrubs took place in a period perfectly distinct from animals. The paleBeasts and Cal- ontologist must, then, reject the account of Genesis as
perfectly incredible. Again the distinction between the "the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind," shows a belief that domestic animals were created in a state of domestication. The Hebrew word b'hema means cattle-i.e., domesticated animals, in contradistinction to wild animals. The other term chayah means wild beasts, in contradistinction to tame animals. The use of both terms show that both kinds were believed to have been created "after their kind," and as distinct species. There is nothing contradictory in the conclusion that the statement was at one time believed in, because savage man still believes in parallel assertions, and this particular belief was generally current in Europe before naturalists had shown its contrary to be true, and that all domestic animals were originally wild and by man's selection have been changed from their original physical condition. A vegetable diet is also assigned at first to beasts and man, but the physiologist knows that carnivorous animals have always existed and that the instincts of animals are true to their teeth.
The story of Genesis takes no account of the differMankind and ent races of mankind nor of pre-historic man. Its chronology is recent and special. All attempts to consider it as merely omitting to mention these facts which it could as well have given, must be rejected as
defective reasoning. If it could go so far as to note the creation of cultivated races of beasts, such as cattle, it should not have failed to note the more important races of mankind. The character of the fauna of the country in which the myth originated is stamped on the face of the recital. All attempts to consider it as the true Genesis of the white, or Semitic and Aryan races, and therefore as reliable to this extent, must likewise fail. The history of the descent of man is not yet written, but, so far as we have the facts, they make for the view that the negro is a geographical variety thrown off from an ancient stock of mankind, and therefore not an older stem through which mankind has passed to become white.
Finally, at no time can it be true to say that "thus the heavens and earth were finished and all the hosts of them." Change in all nature is the well attested truth, and this change has never relaxed its endless procession.
Origin of the Negro Races.
Unessential as much of the scientific criticism directed against the ethical portions of the Scripture, is seen to be, such criticism must be appropriate when directed against a portion which deals most exclusively with statements of fact. When we concede that the story of creation in Genesis may still be countenanced as a grand poetical account of the origin of things, and as such be read in the Churches, we feel that we are conceding a great deal. But, evidently, the origin of things. to take out of the Bible its scientific errors throughout is a task as yet in reserve. It must be done if we would show clearly the value of the Bible as an ethical production, but it must be left to time. At the present we are content if a reasonable ground can be shown
Genesis a poetical account of
Genesis, an incomplete account of the origin of things.
for rejecting Genesis. Only in this way is it possibleto overcome the harshness of the dispute between religion and science at the present juncture, only in this. way can the Churches retain their hold upon the intellectual portion of the community. For to all serious people Genesis must seem what it really is, an incomplete and defective account of the origin of things. Its elements of ethical instruction are those of popular religion, mystery and miracle. But as a whole it contains too gross and glaring a contradiction of the evidence drawn from our experience to be of enduring value. It will be of advantage to Religion and Science to cease to teach it literally and to stop all attempts, which must be in vain, of reconciling its statements. with the facts developing in the progress of human knowledge.
In the Biblical story of creation, we have to do with a myth, which had undergone many changes before Genesis was written. Since that time and when the letter could no longer change, many differing conceptions of the origin of things have found their orthodoxy in a play upon the meaning of the words and a distortion of their original intent. A lax wording, a shorter and more general statement, a monotheistic conception, gives an elasticity to the story of Genesis. and a certain adaptiveness to later discoveries; but in its treatment of the heavens and the heavenly bodies, in the little bit of the Earth on which its miracles are performed, it is still akin to the notions of the Homeric: ages with regard to the Universe.