THEOSOPHY, Vol. 13, No. 10, August, 1925
(Pages 449-452; Size: 13K)
(Number 8 of an 8-part series)
ANTIQUITY OF MAN
A WILDERNESS OF ILLUSIONSThe council of the association affirms that the evidences in favor of the evolution of man are sufficient to convince every scientist of note in the world, and that these evidences are increasing in number and importance every year. (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1922; Science, May 29, 1925.)THE discordant voices of Speculation -- and the words of Knowledge! Empirical and groping theory contrasted with the records of actual, though secret, History!
It is an indubitable historic fact that man is immediately descended from apes, and more remotely from a long line of lower vertebrates. (Prof. Ernst Haeckel.)
As far as science has discovered, there always was a man -- some not so developed, but still human beings in all their functions, much as we are today. (Dr. Clark Wissler, curator-in-chief, anthropological section, American Museum of Natural History, New York.)
Paleontology tells us nothing on the subject -- it knows no ancestors of man. (Prof. W. Branco, director of the Institute of Geology and Paleontology, University of Berlin.)
I know nothing of the origin of man except what I am told in the Scriptures -- that God created him. I do not know any more than that, and I do not know of anyone who does. (Sir William Dawson, president of McGill University.)
The only statement consistent with her dignity that Science can make is to say that she knows nothing about the origin of man. (Prof. Reinke.)
We can not teach, nor can we regard as one of the results of scientific research, that man is descended from the ape or any other animal. (Prof. Virchow.)
It isn't certain that man ascended from the monkey, but it is the most reasonable hypothesis. Therefore I admit it and teach it in my book. (Prof. Pinard.)
To search for the "Missing Link" is useless. (H. P. Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine, 1888, I, 184, fn.) ...the "missing link," such as to prove the existing theory undeniably, will never be found by palæontologists. (S.D. II, 260.)
Thus Occultism rejects the idea that Nature developed man from the ape, or even from an ancestor common to both, but traces, on the contrary, some of the most anthropoid species to the Third Race man of the early Atlantean period. ... the "ancestor" of the present anthropoid animal, the ape, is the direct production of the yet mindless Man, who desecrated his human dignity by putting himself physically on the level of an animal. (S.D. II, 185 et seq.)
...it was these third Race "men" who, through promiscuous connection with animal species lower than themselves, created that missing link which became ages later (in the tertiary period only) the remote ancestor of the real ape as we find it now in the pithecoid family. (S.D. I, 190.)
Where scientists of note can so contradict one another, there is reason to set aside "authority" and to search out facts. Where a "weird and bizarre" doctrine can show a consistent power of prophecy so many years in advance, while "common-sense" falls into war with itself, it is high time the bases of that "common-sense" were examined.
What is there about these "evidences" which leads to such contradictions? Fortunately for illustration, we have just had a typical example -- the Taungs discovery.
Here the geological fact is that the skull of a baby ape, somewhat distorted by pressure, was found in a stratum of indeterminate age. The biological fact is that this skull, as related to man, was on a par with the present gorilla and chimpanzee, though belonging to a new genus. The historical and psychological fact -- and let reliers upon "authority" heed well -- is that Prof. Dart, the finder, led by the excitement of discovery, perchance also deluded by the sweet voice of beckoning fame, and unversed in the biologic traits of ape development, saw here a type "intermediate between the gorilla and Pithecanthropus Erectus" -- thus a true "missing link" -- and so published his "discovery" to the world.
Let the report speak:"The most definite thing we can say about it as yet," said Prof. Dart, "is that the type is an ancestral one, which, as Prof. Elliott Smith has stated, is intermediate between the gorilla and pithecanthropus (the Java ape man).Now let us examine Prof. Smith's final verdict:
"Consequently it is reasonable to assume that it lived before the pithecanthropus --and the age of that has been assessed at half a million years.
"The only way of arriving at the age of the fossil was by calculating the succession of strata. The Taungs deposit was of such nature, however, that the study of the succession of strata was extraordinarily difficult.
"We are," he said, "not positive when the actual lime cliff was formed, although it probably occurred some time in the tertiary period." [Italics ours.] (Interview by Universal Service, Capetown, March 21, 1925.)Prof. Raymond Dart's discovery at Taungs, in Bechuanaland, of a fossilized anthropoid skull had been claimed as the link that hitherto had been missing. But it was not one of the significant things for which they had been searching. It was an unmistakable ape, nearly akin to those still living in Africa, the chimpanzee and gorilla, and there was no justification for the creation of a new family, though it represented a new genus.And for an example of the manner in which a towering scientific theory can be erected upon a foundation of illusion, the reader is referred to Prof. Dart's own remarks. (Literary Digest, March 28, 1925.) With unconscious and biting irony, Prof. Dart therein disposes of the "ape-ancestor" theory in toto! For this fact of the inverse development of the ape skull -- its growing loss of humanoid characteristics -- shows the anthropoids to be a degenerate species, more likely to have descended from man than to have been his ancestors. And scientists of note have seen this and remarked upon it. (See THEOSOPHY, December, 1924, p. 79.) [Note: This refers to "The Origin of The Ape", the 2nd article in this 8-part series. You are now reading the 8th one. --Compiler.]
It was unfortunate that Prof. Dart had no access to skulls of infant gorillas, chimpanzees, or orangs, of an age corresponding to that of the Taungs skull, for had such material been available he would have realized that the posture and poise of the head, the shape of the jaws, and many details of the nose, face, and cranium, upon which he relied for proof of his contention that Australopithecus was more nearly akin to man, were essentially identical with the conditions met with in the infant gorilla and chimpanzee. (London lecture reported by A.P., June 13, 1925.)
The truth shrieks aloud from a comparative photograph of human and gorilla skeletons in the San Francisco Chronicle, April 12, 1925. The unnatural engrafting is evident in every line of the bones -- corroborating the awkward build and carriage of the living anthropoid, in such contrast with the graceful monkey. And the monkey, by the way, has been found by blood tests not to be on the same line of descent as man and ape. (Science, May 8, 1925.)
More than this, there has never been a "primitive" man discovered who was an ancestor of present man; all have to be relegated to branches of an absolutely imaginary main stock. (See diagram, Literary Digest, March 28, 1925, and Prof. Osborn's Men of the Old Stone Age.)
Prof. Dart's faux pas is no isolated phenomenon in evolutionism; the wretched pithecanthropus, the sole tangible piece of direct evidence to date, was never seen by the scientists who builded thereupon, until the other day! And thus for generations the public was kept in ignorance of the fact that those who spoke so learnedly of its nature had only second-hand information, which has proven delusive! (Science, April 24, 1925; August 17, 1923.) One day an astonished and angered public will awaken to the unforgivable manner in which these evidences have been "doctored," perverted, and manufactured. One can only hope that the reaction will not lead back into another outburst of religious superstition -- for Darwinism is far closer the truth than are the creeds.
Truth moves slowly; vested error is pertinacious. Writing in the New York Times, February 15, 1925, a scientist who is in a position to know better, sets down the pithecanthropus in a direct line of descent with the lemur, Old World monkey, Chimpanzee, and Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon men, as ancestors of modern man; and piles Ossa upon Pelion by denying the existence of man in America before the glacial periods, while classifying the Calaveras skull as an error!
But the cycle turns; new and startling discoveries are on the way, and a few years more will see that "revulsion of thought" predicted by H. P. Blavatsky. Recently some stone hammers, thought to be about 12,000,000 years old, and found under 100 feet of stone, were sent to the Smithsonian -- that venerable burying ground of important discoveries. One day, however, such relics will be resurrected; or, if lost, sought for like the Foxhall jawbone, now priceless, but lost since 1855 -- because the "science" of that day rejected it a priori!
With the untombing of murdered facts, the immemorial hosts of the "Sons of Fire," the thinking principle in mankind -- will "revisit the glimpses of the moon" under their true aspect; and their history -- a history of spiritual glories resigned that greater heights might be later achieved -- will live once more in the annals of mankind. The nightmare of materialism dispelled, there may be room once more for a civilization founded upon an understanding of the nature and purpose of Soul.
COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:
LIGHT, THE MAGICIAN
Light--the first mentioned in Genesis, is termed by the kabalists, Sephira, or the Divine Intelligence, the mother of all the Sephiroth, while the Concealed Wisdom is the father. Light is the first begotten, and the first emanation of the Supreme, and Light is Life, says the evangelist. Both are electricity -- the life-principle, the anima mundi, pervading the universe, the electric vivifier of all things. Light is the great Protean magician, and under the Divine Will of the architect, its multifarious, omnipotent waves gave birth to every form as well as to every living being. From its swelling, electric bosom, springs matter and spirit. Within its beams lie the beginnings of all physical and chemical action, and of all cosmic and spiritual phenomena; it vitalizes and disorganizes; it gives life and produces death, and from its primordial point gradually emerged into existence the myriads of worlds, visible and invisible celestial bodies. It was at the ray of this First mother, one in three, that God, according to Plato, "lighted a fire, which we now call the sun," and, which is not the cause of either light or heat, but merely the focus, or, as we might say, the lens, by which the rays of the primordial light become materialized, are concentrated upon our solar systems, and produce all the correlations of forces. --H.P.B, Isis Unveiled.
[Reminder: The ANTIQUITY OF MAN series has now ended.]
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