Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 29.djvu/134
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
which Moses wrote as "living creatures." But still later, in the Quaternary, there were fishes, amphibians or reptiles, mammals and birds, whales and seals. Most of the birds are still represented. Some, however, have died out very recently, say within a century or less. Of the others, save the mammals, all kinds, so far as known, are still in existence. The mammals are nearly all extinct.*
At this time, therefore, the marine life and the " fowl " of to-day came into exist- ence. I note here a circumstance that is in remarkable harmony with the well-known fact that many species of invertebrates, and perhaps some others, have come down from the Tertiary. There is the fiat that the waters were to swarm with living creatures, and then, in the next verse, an assertion of crcatorship so broad as to include every living creature as if it said God " created, " through his way of doing such things, all that appeared for the first at that time, as well as all else then living.
Coming still further down in the world's history, we reach the horizon of to-day, with its living species of land-animals, including cattle, beasts, and creeping things. The remark about the previous horizon applies here also.
I submit, therefore, as the result of an examination of the Mosaic record, that Pro- fessor Huxley's " central idea " has no ex- istence in Genesis if taken without " flexi- bility " or additions ; and, it appears to me that, according to geology, the story as told in Genesis is true as to its order. A flora containing fruit-trees did come before the living air and water population ; and these came before living cattle and beasts.
As to all other matters pertaining to life the account is silent, but silence is not falsehood.
In the limited space of a letter I have been able to give but scant justice to my theme.
Other important questions press upon me. What about man ? What is the true " central idea " ? What about the rest of the chapter ; will it bear this intensely liter- al treatment ? And the " days," are they days or periods ?
I can but hint at answers, and that only to two of the questions. Paleontology tells very little about man. Genesis says only that God made a pair whom he called Adam.f There may have been older races. Such seem to be referred to when Cain says he is afraid that whoever meets him will kill him ; and so where the account speaks
Page 345. Nicholson's M Ancient Life Historv" : tt No extinct forms of fishes, amphibians, or reptiles are known to occur." Also Dana. " Manual of Geol- ogy ." third edition, p. 503: "The mammals are nearly all extinct."
t Or man, according to the margin of the Re- vised Version.
��of. the sons of God and the daughters of men.
The true " central idea " is God's cre- atorship. This might have been given in one sentence, or have been extended into particulars, and these particulars might have been given in any order, or, if the au- thor was wise enough to be able to do it, the particular acts of creatorship might have been named in the order of their oc- currence. As there are, on a close analysis, some forty matters of order or fact in this story, it is impossible that by any chance or guess they should fall into the true order. But what if they are there ? As to the " days," I suppose that they were twenty- four hours long, and that creation was mill- ions of years in being accomplished. The paradox is, as it seems to me, easily explained, but to attempt it noAv, or to give my reasons for believing the order identical with that revealed by science, would extend this letter beyond its due limits. Yours truly,
C. B. Warring. Poughkeepsie, N. T., March 21, 18S6.
��ANTIDOTES FOR SNAKE-POISON.
Messrs. Editors :
In " The Popular Science Monthly " for May, 1S85, I read with great interest an address by Professor William W. Keen, M. D., in the course of which he mentioned Drs. Weir Mitchell and Reichert, of Phila- delphia, as being engaged in experiments on the venom of the cobra and rattlesnake. At that time I decided to send you the ac- count of an incident which might furnish a clew to a proper antidote for this venom ; but a protracted illness in my family has hitherto prevented the carrying out of this intention. I am now in a position to do so, and shall therefore proceed at once to the narrative of the incident in ques- tion.
In the summer of 18S3, while engaged in some field-work in Polonio Pass, San Luis Obispo County, California, a young "setter" dog, belonging to a comrade, was bitten on the nose by a rattlesnake. The dog suffered for a few days, but did not die. However, from a sprightly and intelligent animal, he became transformed into a sickly and stupid one. He became emaciated and miserable, and his vision was greatly im- paired in fact, all of his faculties seemed to be benumbed.
Shortly afterward we went up into the Sacramento River Canon, and took this dog, together with a host of others (the usual concomitants of an engineer's camp), with us to our new field of labor. Now, in the late autumn the banks of the upper Sacramento River become annually lined with the decay- ing bodies of large numbers of " dog " sal-