The Worship of Human Intellect, part 2 (of 2)
Now are all the variations of life on this so-called “planet” of “ours” is by development or evolution, it would be quite proper to ask how life first started on the earth after it had cooled down sufficiently to form the so-called “crust of the -globe.” Was it from a mere “fortuitous concourse of atoms?” Or was the operation directed by some intelligent mind, or cause? And if the latter, then by whose mind was matter directed, and who guided the inert mass, and stamped upon it His design? It appears to me that science, in rejecting the Creation recorded in the Bible, has got into a dense fog, where the wildest speculations prevail and nothing certain can be known.
I deny the possibility of inert matter setting up any automatic force.
The trend of Professor Wallace’s argument is seen in the opening of chap. 6, where he says: “Darwin solved the origin of organic species from other species, and thus enabled us to understand how the whole of the existing forms of life have been developed out of pre-existing forms.” And he goes on to say that “astronomers hope to be able to solve the problem of the evolution of suns from some earlier stellar types.” He adheres to the postulated predication that there is evolution everywhere, and that man has been evolved from lower types: but the author of the book holds himself back, and will not go so far as Darwin dlid in defining the question of the origin of life. There are two sets of facts, parallel and related, yet at the same time distinct. They are the physical facts of organic chemistry (which is the chemistry of carbon compounds) and the physical facts of organized beings. There is no known reason why we may not make sugar, starch, or albumen from their elements; but that would bring us 110 nearer to the production of a living starch-cell or the living germ of an egg. What science knows of matter and force gives us no trace of reason to suppose that its “professors” will ever produce a living organism unless another order of existence is added to them the psychical: life, mind, will.
Life comes from life only; therefore, spontaneous generation, i.e., “abiogenesis,” is a leap into illogical darkness. Where life appears there must be a life-giver and that brings us to the Eternal self-existent Life-Giver whom we know as God. The Lord God-Jehovah, Creator of Heaven and Earth. Mr. Wallace says, “there may be, and probably are, other universes, perhaps other kinds of matter, and subject to other laws, perhaps more like our conceptions of the ether, perhaps wholly non-material, and what we can only: conceive as spiritual.” Five assumptions in five lines. “Perhaps” and “may be.”
The author of the work under notice has shown no faith in the God of the Bible as the Creator, and in Jesus Christ as his Redeemer. But he has shown his belief in Spiritualism, which I understand he expounded and openly defended over twenty years ago.
In some respects, Dr Wallace and Mr Bruce Wallace are of the same calibre in regard to spiritualism: and neither of them will definitely assert his belief in one self-existent Eternal Being, the Creator of all, by whose creative World all things came into existence; because both their minds are darkened by the false idea of evolution, and the evils of spiritualism: so I am informed. But Dr Wallace seems to have ceased making any open confession, he simply leaves us to suppose he inclines to the belief of man having a spiritual side to his organization, by quoting a few lines by Tennyson and Shakespeare here and there. And he flavours his writings with spicy lines such as: “What a piece of work is man. How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty! In action like an angel!”
This may be all very beautiful; and no doubt to the mind of Tennyson the concept conveyed in the teaching of the inherent Immortality of Man, apart from Christ, was a traditional one. But in any case, the Bible and the God of the Bible are entirely left out, and ignored by the author of Man’s Place in the Universe.
According to Dr A. Wallace the faith which professors of modern science have hitherto placed in Sir Isaac Newton’s theory of gravitation is somewhat slacking down, and its power of attraction is fading away. This is evident from Prof. Wallace’s statements as follows. He says:
“One of the greatest difficulties with regard to the vast system of stars around us is the question of its permanence and stability…., But our mathematical astronomers can find no indications of such stability of the stellar universe as a whole, if subject to the law of gravitation alone. In reply to some questions on this point, my friend, Professor George Darwin writes as follows: ‘A symmetrical annual system of bodies might revolve in a circle with or without a central body. Such a system would be stable. If the bodies are of unequal masses and not symmetrically disposed, the break-up of the system would probably be more rapid than in the ideal case of symmetry. Mr. E.T. Whittaker (Secretary to the Royal Astronomical Society), to whom Professor Darwin sent my Questions, writes: I doubt w principal phenomena of the stellar universe are consequences of the law of gravitation at all.’”
Then after quoting Professor Newcomb’s calculation as to the
“Effect of gravitation in a universe of 100 million stars, each live times the mass of our sun, and spread over a sphere which it would take light 30,000 years to cross:”
with which he is not in harmony, he also states that:
“It is questionable whether the effect, which we call ‘gravitation,’ given by Isaac Newton, is the cause of results in connection with the principal phenomena of the stellar universe.
“I have been working myself at spiral nebula,” says Prof. Wallace, “and have got a first approximation to an explanation that it is electro dynamical and not gravitational.”
Accepting two different mathematician’s opinions the writer says that:
“We need not limit ourselves to the laws of gravitation as having determined the present form of the stellar universe; and this is the more important because we may thus escape from a conclusion which many astronomers seem to think inevitable, viz., that the observed proper motions of the stars cannot be explained by gravitative forces of the system itself.”
Therefore, the idea of gravitation (which truly belongs to the regions of metaphysics, existing only in imagination and not in fact) is falling into discredit, and one might almost say into disrepute. Professor Wallace’s book sheds ignore than one ray of hope that the light of reason is dawning upon the minds of some of the science-makers, the evidence of which appears in one of his quotations from Professor Huxley: — “that the results you get out of the mathematical mill depends entirely on what you put into it.”
True! If you put in, you’ll get out. And my advice in seeking after truth is this: if you don’t possess a real standard unit to start your mill, don’t forge one! It won’t pay in the long run, because although the faith some have in the Bible may be very weak in comparison to that which they have placed in this world’s “wisdom” yet honesty will ever be found “the best policy.” But earnest Christians who are real truth-seekers and truth-lovers will never relax their faith in the Bible, when they have proved it to be true, because they “know whom they have believed” in too real a sense ever possibly to be shaken by any mere man-made system, however cunningly it may be constructed.
Prof. Wallace has ingeniously endeavoured to make the various portions of the globular hypothesis dovetail into each other, and thus present a glossed surface of apparent consistency; that is, in the eyes of some, but not of all. Because personally I can perceive no true gloss of beauty. But nevertheless, the most carefully polished fallacy can only present external and transient attractions, even to those whose minds have been grossly fed upon that which will not stand the searching test of the Word of the Living God. Moreover, the most cleverly framed Scripture-contradicting myths present no “face value” to the keen truth-seeker. No mere superficial glitter can hide from his penetrating gaze unsoundness which lies beneath. And in spite of adroit burnishing performed with rare agates carefully prepared for the purpose by the author of all lies, still he who rests in the lord of the Lord knows assuredly that only “The foundation of God standeth sure,” and everything built on other foundation however apparently smooth may be its surface must eventually come to nought, and fall to rise no more!
Prof. Wallace has taken the globe theory for his basis; therefore, his primary assumptions remain unproved, and, at the risk of offending the great upholders of “The New Astronomy;” I will endure to mention some things which refuse to “fall into line” with ordinary common-sense deductions.
Take, for example, the theory about the origin of the moon, and the formation of the ocean beds, Professor Darwin who appears to be Dr Wallace’s oracle originated the former notion, which is that the earth, at some remote date, (being still in a practically fluid condition.) was spinning round at a rate variously estimated at from 2 to 4 hours per turn; it bulged out in the equatorial regions; and matters reached a critical climax when the centrifugal force overcame the gravitational and cohesive powers of the rotating ellipsoid. Two or more pieces were torn out of its flanks, and ultimately coalesced forming the moon.
What a strange conception! The pieces are said to have kept at first in close proximity to the earth’s surface, though gradually, the loosened masses were pushed outwards, further and further away from the earth. Here Dr Wallace has placed himself on the horns of a mechanical dilemma seeing that if the mass that was ultimately to make up to moon detached itself in separate pieces from the fast revolving earth (through excess of centrifugal force) the various pieces must according to the Law of Mechanics have been flung outwards at a tangent normal to the radius drawn to the point of separation; though if the earth were in a more or less fluid condition as these professors maintain the separation would not necessarily be an abrupt one. That makes it more difficult for one to imagine how the separation of a fluid mass can be affected in separate portions.
Without carrying this point as far as I should fairly be entitled to do, I will simply ask if this is a fact whether anything (apart from intelligence) could cause these portions to be exactly balanced, and exactly on opposite sides? If they were not so balanced, and on exactly opposite sides, with such a high speed of rotation they would throw the main body, just as a fast-running and ill-balanced pulley can shake a mill wall to pieces. The earth would not travel along its orbit in a smooth line, but would describe a subsidiary small orbit round the common centre of gravity formed by its own mass, and that of the detached portions, independent of the rotation on its axis (though how a globe, rushing through space, can rotate on its axis is inconceivable). If the union of the various fragments took place suddenly, and while still in close proximity to the earth, the throwing effect I have referred to would be intensified.
But I again state that, apart from agreeing with Dr Wallace that the stars are not other inhabited worlds, and that the whole universe is so constructed as to be adapted to man’s organism and necessities, I look upon “The New Astronomy,” from its foundation as a pagan delusion and God denying theory.
I note that Prof. Wallace state the mass of the moon to be one-fiftieth of that of the earth; but Sir Robert Ball, in Earth’s Beginning, put it at one-eightieth. Who is correct, Sir Robert Ball, or Dr Alfred Russell Wallace?
I am not interested to know which moon-theory the learned doctor espouses for I take the Bible and my own God-giver senses alone as my guide in the matter; but it seems right to expose these fallacies in detail, wearying though it may be.
Among other things, Dr Wallace makes out, in conjunction with Mr Ormond Fisher, that the pieces which detached themselves from the earth, to form the moon, left pits, which served subsequently to become the basins of the seas. He always says that these ocean beds are placed in almost complete symmetry with regard to the equator. This is not so. He further says (on p. 275), that “the highest mountains in every part of the globe very often exhibit on their loftiest summits stratified rocks, which contain marine organisms, and were, therefore, originally laid down beneath the sea.” If this be so, what about the “moon-prepared ocean bed?”
Dr Wallace tells us (on p. 234) that, it has been shown by means of the spectroscope, that double stars of short period do originate from a single star (as the moon originated from the earth); “but in these cases it seems probable that the parent star is in the gaseous state,” and thus we are told new stars are made from old ones “while we wait”! So, say these modern science satellites!
Under the heading, “The sun a typical star,” readers are treated to a short discourse upon “sun-spots,” and that the body of the sun is gaseous; but what we commonly term the sun is really the bright spherical nucleus of a nebulous body. “This” semi-liquid gloving surface is termed the photosphere, since from it are given out the light and heat which reach the earth.” Immediately above this surface is the “reversing layer, consisting of dense metallic vapours, only a few hundred miles thick(!). Above the reversing layer comes the chromosphere surrounding the sun to a depth of about 4,000 miles. The chromosphere and its quiescent prominences appear to be truly gaseous, consisting of hydrogen, helium, and coronium, while eruptive prom. evidence show the presence of metallic vapours, especially calcium…… Beyond the red chromosphere and prominences is the marvellous white glory of the corona which extends to an enormous distance round the sun.” Immensity in size and speed seems to be the acme of the astronomer’s imagination.
Dr Wallace states that the stars are suns, and on p. 143, referring to the age of the sun, says: “enormous epochs during which our sun has supported life upon this earth must have been incomparably less than its whole existence as a light giver that the life of most stars must be counted by hundreds, or perhaps by thousands of millions of years.” (Of course, this includes the earth, from which the moon was shot off!)
Now whether Dr Wallace is correct regarding the nature of the sun’s component parts, I will refrain from expressing my opinion, further than to say that to some extent at least I doubt its accuracy. But I know that he is wrong regarding the age of the sun and stars; because in his statements he has contradicted the Scriptures, wherein we read that God created the sun and the moon on the fourth day of Creation week–and the stars also (see Gen. i.)
Regarding motion, the author of this book says: “How these motions originated and are regulated we do not know, but there they are;” and, speaking of the motions of the stars, he says: “although they appear to move in straight lines, they may really be moving in curved orbits.”
True Zetetics love facts and seek them, but nothing is a fact which is contrary to the Creator’s Word. Yet alas! even as evil men denied and killed the Prince of Life, so do many now deny, and seek to slay the Word of Truth.
One of Prof. Wallace’s primary contentions is, that the earth is the only inhabited world. This, as I have already stated, on Bible lines we endorse; but, apart from Holy Writ, we think it impossible to come to such a conclusion from the professor’s standpoint; because as he describes the principles and physical conditions of all human life, and its basis, to consist of the elements of oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and carbon, it does not follow God could not create life upon a physical basis entirely different from ours, and completely beyond our conception.