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In the facts and theory thus succinctly stated are found the data on which is based the remote antiquity of our race. The argument is twofold; first, from the intermixture of the flint implements with the animal remains, showing that the men who fashioned and used the former were contemporaneous with the latter, and secondly, from the immense periods of time necessary to the geological changes deseribed. We may consider these two classes of proof separately.
First : does the association of human remains with *those of animals now extinct, prove that they existed contemporaneously in a former geological period? On this point I can not claim to advance an independent opinion of my own of any value, neither have I room for the details of this argument. I shall content myself with citing the testimony of savants who, if any, are competent to speak concerning it, and whose names are at least. equal in weight with those of any who have spoken on the other side.
Professor H. D. Rogers sums up the evidence in reference to this question as follows:
“ The argument which we erect upon all these manifest indications of turbulent action in the waters which left this very promiscuous deposit is, that by pointing to an agency — an incursion, we mean, of the by no means distant ocean — perfectly capable of invading the dry land within historic times, and mixing up its more recent surface objects with previously buried relics of an earlier or pre-historic epoch, we are debarred from assuming that the two classes of monuments were coeval, and that from the imputed age of the one we are to infer the antiquity of the other. This is what those do who view all the surface drifts as but one formation, pointing to but one date, calling it the Diluvium. We pray the reader to observe that it is far from our meaning here that we can disprove the contemporaneousness of the Aint-shaping men and the great antediluvian quadrupeds. We only assert, but assert confidently, that the phenomena utterly ·
fail to prove it. The burden of the case is with those who, treating the Diluvium as one and indivisible in the mode of formation, and in date, accept the mere fact of present association in it as evidence of co-existence in time. If, therefore, it can be shown, on an interpretation of geology in accordance with sound physical principles, that a redressing of the deposit may have taken place, the verdict must be, that this co-existence in time is not established, and the antediluvian antiquity of man must be cast out of the high court of science with a verdict of Not Proven.” *
But it is not necessary to insist upon this negative conclusion. Let it be conceded that man was contemporaneous with those ancient quadrupeds, the
question of their actual date remains still undetermined. Says a writer in the Westminster Review for April, 1863, who is evidently an able geologist and an ardent advocate of the doctrine of man's remote antiquity,
“ Regarding the contemporaneousness of man with the great extinct Pachyderms as fully proved by the facts and reasonings already adduced, we have now to inquire how this contemporaneousness is to be accounted for; whether by affirming the prolonged existence of these mammals into the human period, as ordinarily understood, or by antedating the commencement of the human period so as to place it in some part of what has been designated the Post-pliocene, as distinguished from the Recent epoch. The acceptance of the former solution might be justified by the unquestionable fact that the existence of the Bos Primogenius was prolonged even into the historic period, and seems favored by the preservation of the carcasses of the mammoth and rhinoceros. But it is obviously not required by either of these facts; since many species of animals, whose first introduction dates much further back in geological time, are at present contemporaneous with man; and carcasses once frozen up might be preserved for thousands of years as well as for hundreds, for millions. as well as for thousands."
That is, the mere fact that man was contemporary with those extinct animal tribes proves nothing as to his antiquity. They may have come down to
his day, or he may have begun to be in theirs; and the bare juxtaposition of their remains in a geological formation can not tell us which.
Professor Rogers is very explicit to the same effect:
• “Let us admit that the wrought flints are truly contemporaneous with the animals whose bones lie side by side with them, and that the deposit imbedding both is the general Diluvium or mammalian drift, do these facts determine the flints to have been fashioned in an age preceding the usually assigned date of the birth of man? Logically, it must be conceded they do not; for, independent of the absence or presence of these or other vestiges of man in the Diluvium, its antiquity, or relation to historic time, is obviously not ascertainable. Apart from human relics in, or over, or under the drift, how can we link it on to historic time at all? Before the fint implements were found in this superficial formation, or so long as the traces of man were known only in deposits later than the Diluvium, it was deemed to belong to an age antecedent to the creation of man, and had, therefore, a relatively high antiquity assigned to it; but now, granting that the relics of man have been authenticated as buried in it, is it sound reasoning, we would ask, to infer for these relics the very antiquity which was only attributable to the Diluvium because it was believed destitute of all such human vestiges? The Diluvium of the geologists has, since the illustrious Cuvier, been always looked upon as something very ancient, simply because he and his successors, finding it replete with the remains of huge land mammals no longer living, never succeeded in detecting in it a solitary bone or tooth of any human being, nor indeed of anything indicative of man's existence; but now that things indicative of man have been found, it is surely illogical, and a begging of the very question itself, to impute an age incompatible with his then existing.
“ As matters now stand, is it noi as natural to infer the relative recency of the extinct Elephas Primogenius, and the other mammals of the Diluvium, from the co-existence of the works of man with them, on the ground that the human is the living and the modern race, as it is to deduce the antiquity of man from the once erroneously assumed greater age of those animals? I would repeat, then, that a specially remote age is not attributable to the Aint-carrying men of the Diluvium, simply because it is the Diluvium or the mammoth-imbedding gravel which contains them. If the association with these extinct animals does intimate a long pre-historic antiquity, the evidences of this are to be sought in some of the other attendant phenomena.” *
We come, then, to the second argument derived from these alleged " attendant phenomena,” viz., the geological changes recorded in the features of the Somme valley, and the immense periods of time which they must have required.