Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/618

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and he, too, insisted that the fossils were produced by the Deluge. Strengthened by his great authority, the assault on the true scientific position was strong: Mazurier exhibited certain fossil remains of a mammoth discovered in France as bones of the giants mentioned in Scripture; Father Torrubia did the same thing in Spain; Increase Mather sent to England similar remains discovered in America, with a like statement.

For the edification of the faithful, such "bones of the giants mentioned in Scripture" were hung up in public places. Jurieu saw some of them thus suspended in one of the churches of Valence; and Henrion, apparently under the stimulus thus given, drew up tables showing the size of our antediluvian ancestors, in which the height of Adam was given as 123 feet 9 inches, that of Eve as 118 feet 9 inches and 9 lines.[1]

But the most brilliant service rendered to the theological theory came from another quarter; for, in 1726, Scheuchzer, having discovered a large fossil lizard, exhibited it to the world as the "human witness of the Deluge";[2] this great discovery was hailed everywhere with joy, for it seemed to prove not only that human beings were drowned at the Deluge, but that "there were giants in those days." Cheered by the applause thus gained, he determined to make the theological position impregnable. Mixing together various texts of Scripture with notions derived from the philosophy of Descartes and the speculations of Whiston, he developed the theory that "the fountains of the great deep" were broken up by the direct physical action of the hand of God, which, literally applied to the axis of the earth, suddenly stopped the earth's rotation, broke up "the fountains of the great deep," spilled the water therein contained, and produced the Deluge. But his service to sacred science did not end here, for he prepared an edition of the Bible, in which magnificent engravings in great number illustrated his view and enforced it upon all readers. Of these engravings no less than thirty-four were devoted to the Deluge alone.[3]

In the midst of this war appeared an episode very comical but very

  1. See Cuvier, "Recherches sur les Ossements fossiles," fourth edition, vol. vii, p. 56; also, Geoffroy St.-Hilaire, cited by Berger de Xivrey, "Traditions tératologiques," p. 190.
  2. "Homo diluvii testis."
  3. See Zöckler, vol. ii, p. 172. For the ancient belief regarding giants, see Leopardi, "Saggio." For accounts of the views of Mazurier and Scheuchzer, see Cuvier; also, Büchner, "Man in Past, Present, and Future," English translation, pp. 235, 236. For Increase Mather's views, see "Philosophical Transactions," vol. xxiv, p. 85. As to similar fossils sent from New York to the Royal Society as remains of giants, see Weld, "History of the Royal Society," vol. i, p. 421. For Father Torrubia and his "Gigantologia Española," see D'Archiae, "Introduction à l'Étude de la Paléontologie stratographique," Paris, 1864, p. 201. For admirable summaries, see Lyell, "Principles of Geology," London, 1867; D'Archiae, "Géologie et Paléontologie," Paris, 1866; Pictet, "Traité de Paléontologie," Paris, 1853; Vezian, "Prodrome de la Géologie," Paris, 1863; Haeckel, "History of Creation," English translation, New York, 1876, chapter iii; and,