Genesis flood

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The Genesis Flood in Pre-Darwinian American Geology The Case of Edward Hitchcock Rodney L Stiling Department of History Seattle Pacific University rstiling@spu.edu 206/281-2680 19C American Geology • Qualitative Quantitative • Proto-mathematical Mathematical • Pre-petroleum Petroleum • Pre-Darwinian Darwinian Edward Hitchcock 1793-1864 • • • • • • Pastor Teacher Professor of Geology & Chemistry College President Author Professional Geologist – State Surveys – AGS / AAGN / AAAS Hitchcock and Geology • Student of Benjamin Silliman at Yale • Professor of Geology and Chemistry at Amherst College from 1825 • Head of Massachusetts State Geological Survey (1831 – 1841) • First President of Association of American Geologists and Naturalists (1841) • Founding Member of AAAS The Flood: Four Interpretations • • • • Revolution Model (Cuvier) Diluvial Model (Buckland) Transient / Blended Model (Buckland) Local / Regional Model (Smith) Four Floods Overview Thomas Cole (1801-1848) “The Subsiding Waters of the Deluge” (1829) Continental-Seabed Revolution Model (~1820) Drawn from Georges Cuvier (1812)– “the catastrophes caused the different parts of our continents to rise by degrees from the basin of the sea, but it has also frequently happened, that lands which had been laid dry have been again covered by the water if there is any circumstance thoroughly established in geology, it is, that the crust of our globe has been subjected to a great and sudden revolution, the epoch of which cannot be dated much farther back than Blended / Transient Model (1838) • Hitchcock: “deluge” and “powerful rush of water” have indeed swept North America, but, “is it, or is it not identical with that described by Moses?” • Problem: Human remains never found in diluvial formations (Buckland, 1836) • Therefore diluvium anterior to humankind • Deluges frequent but brief; Noah’s Flood evidence either blended or overgrown: “no traces be now remaining on the earth’s surface of that event.” Four Floods Overview Local/Regional/Partial Model (1841) • Influence of John Pye Smith (1774-1851) • On the Relation Between the Holy Scriptures and Some Parts of Geological Science (1839) • Hitchcock – Flood: “universal terms with limited meaning” and “not universal over the globe, but only over the region inhabited by man.” • Central Asia – no geological traces Local/Regional/Partial Flood Local/Regional/Partial Flood Hitchcock’s Summary “ on no subject has there been a greater change of opinion From a belief in the complete destruction and dissolution of the globe by that event, those best qualified to judge now doubt whether it be possible to identify one mark of that event in nature.” The Religion of Geology (1851) Relations of Geosciences with Religion: Hitchcock       Remained fully committed to Christian faith Found lifelong joy and fulfillment in the pursuit of the geological sciences Committed to scientific rigor and excellence Never backed away from belief that the Genesis Flood constituted an actual historical event Thus : Commitment to reconciliation of science and scripture “Christian Geologist” and “Reconciler” Result: adjusted both scriptural interpretation models and geological models to maintain reconciliation Joseph Turner (1775-1851) “The Deluge” (1804-5) Joseph Turner (1775-1851) “The Deluge” (Engraving) 1813 Francis Danby (1793-1861) “The Deluge” (1837-40) John Martin (1789-1854) “The Deluge” (1834) The Genesis Flood in Pre-Darwinian American Geology: The Case of Edward Hitchcock Rod Stiling Department of History Seattle Pacific University rstiling@spu.edu 206/281-2680 [...]... last emerged” Four Floods Overview Diluvial Model (1823) William Buckland (1784-1856) Reliquiae Diluvianae (1823) “ .undeniable evidence of a recent transient inundation justified in applying the epithet diluvial to the results of this great convulsion .” Hitchcock: Diluvium = Flood evidence Geology is “found more and more to speak the language of Revelation” Diluvial Model Four Floods Overview... humankind • Deluges frequent but brief; Noah’s Flood evidence either blended or overgrown: “no traces be now remaining on the earth’s surface of that event.” Four Floods Overview Local/Regional/Partial Model (1841) • Influence of John Pye Smith (1774-1851) • On the Relation Between the Holy Scriptures and Some Parts of Geological Science (1839) • Hitchcock – Flood: “universal terms with limited meaning”... Flood: “universal terms with limited meaning” and “not universal over the globe, but only over the region inhabited by man.” • Central Asia – no geological traces Local/Regional/Partial Flood Local/Regional/Partial Flood Hitchcock’s Summary “ on no subject has there been a greater change of opinion From a belief in the complete destruction and dissolution of the globe by that event, those best qualified... fully committed to Christian faith Found lifelong joy and fulfillment in the pursuit of the geological sciences Committed to scientific rigor and excellence Never backed away from belief that the Genesis Flood constituted an actual historical event Thus : Commitment to reconciliation of science and scripture “Christian Geologist” and “Reconciler” Result: adjusted both scriptural interpretation models... Joseph Turner (1775-1851) “The Deluge” (1804-5) Joseph Turner (1775-1851) “The Deluge” (Engraving) 1813 Francis Danby (1793-1861) “The Deluge” (1837-40) John Martin (1789-1854) “The Deluge” (1834) The Genesis Flood in Pre-Darwinian American Geology: The Case of Edward Hitchcock Rod Stiling Department of History Seattle Pacific University rstiling@spu.edu 206/281-2680
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