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a great gap did separate that lower deposit from the upper. He says it is difficult to correlate the ages of the cave deposits with the gravel, and in that I agree
with him ; but if the fauna of the caves containing hyænas is in any way comparable with the fauna of the river gravels containing implements, how much older must be the fauna of Kent's Cavern containing bears and rough implements ?
Professor HUGHES.--I must apologise that owing to pressure of work and to my being called off unexpectedly, I was unable to send in my paper in time to have it printed before the meeting. The discussion has covered à very wide field, a wider field than I had anticipated would have to be traversed, so that I must go quickly over the notes I have taken. The first speaker talked principally about the Thames district, and brought examples from London of Roman remains which have been found over the deposits to which I have called attention. But I fail to see how these Roman remains bear upon the question I was dealing with. The Roman remains were dropped on the surface and buried in the ground, and still more recent things have been found nearer the surface. What I stated was that the formation in which the mammoth and man were found was an alluvial deposit which must have been left by a river behaving as rivers usually do. · All the earlier speakers laid great stress on the fact that in the Thames valley near London the river is not doing any work of excavation at the present time. With that I entirely agree, and one of my chief arguments is founded on it. The Thames in the lower part of its course deposits what it got from higher ground; for the denudation we must go higher up the valley.
Mr. J. E. HOWARD.The mammoth remains show no denudation since that period. The Thames has not cut down the valley since the time the mammoth inhabited the district.
Professor HUGHES.—[Professor Hughes described on the black-board the mode in which he asserted the denudation to have taken place.] He continued, I was glad to hear that all the speakers allowed a long time to have been required to form the valley at the present rate of waste ; but the point which has been lost sight of is the denudation which takes place at the rapids and waterfalls, and though, as has been mentioned by one speaker, the river bed of the Somme at the period of the deposition of the flint-implement-bearing gravels may have fallen at the rate of 2 ft. in a mile, even that would admit of rapid denudation if the fall were not uniform along the whole length. The denudation would go on at the rapids where the valley was being cut back (not cut down) and in the lower reaches below the falls and rapids there would be no excavation going on. Earthquakes might modify the conditions by producing fissures, but we ought to go and examine the ground in each case and see whether there is any evidence of such cracks. I have noticed how the rate of waste would be affected by upheaval and depression, but we have no evidence in these cases of exceptional or cataclysmic action. If there had been such we should see masses of stone and coarse material carried to points where the velocity of the water was checked. But I ask you to look at the sand and gravel and
say whether you think they can have heen deposited that way. You find shells and you find loam interstratified with the gravel, and it is quite clear from their character and arrangement that they were not carried by great cataclysms. The raised beaches of the coast are quite different from the river terraces of which I speak. They are sea beaches at a higher level than is now reached by the tide, and though some can be explained by the action of the sea on a sloping shore now cut back to a cliff, no tide could carry the shingle up and form a beach several hundred feet above the sea. Again, with regard to the width of the valley we have no reason to suppose that it was ever filled with water right across. A river is continually shifting its channel on the low ground. I have walked over many dry places in Wales where I have myself known the river once ran.
A river does not cut straight down along the whole of its course. What a river does is this. [Here he illustrated his remarks by sketches drawn upon the black-board.] When it is checked at any point by an obstacle, such as a hard rock or by its having reached low flat ground, it is thrown across the valley from side to side, partly by the weir-like banks thrown up by itself, and undermining first one side then the other, forms in time a wide valley. When it has cut down through the obstacle, or upheaval has put an end to the ponding back by the sea, then the river excavates a deep channel through the alluvial plain which was formed during the stationary period, and patches of the old alluvial deposits are left as terraces. The next point was that there were no human bones found. Now, we must remember that in all the explorations made by the Challenger and the various ships that have been sent out for the purpose of dredging, no single human bone has been dredged up, and yet how many thousands have gone to the bottom of the sea. Again, when the Lake of Haarlem was drained not a human bone was found ; so that there is not very much importance to be attached to the absence of bones in the gravel. I take my stand upon this, that here [pointing to the flint implements] you have the work of man. Three pieces of flint have been put before me by way of test. I suppose the gentleman who questioned me knew something of them, but I knew nothing. I recognised these pieces [showing them] as the work of man, from the combination of blows that have produced the form usually associated with man's handiwork ; but with regard to this (holding up another piece], I do not know how it has been produced, but I am certain that nature alone has been at work here. In the implement which I say is the work of man I find that blows have been delivered all round the edge with the evident and definite design of producing this form. We can recognise these implements from the outline, and refer theni to a certain date by their known association. It is possible that in some cases the flint may have received a blow or two to try it, and then have been thrown away. Here is one of such pieces [showing it]. It is not dressed round the edge ; it is a mere rough piece, such as we find abundance of. I have expressed a doubt as to this [producing a piece of flint], in the production of which only three blows have been required. The reason why I have a doubt about it is this :-We have found the old workings, where the ancient people dug down to the flints and dressed them, leaving the bits they knocked off behind them, and these bits have been found lying about in heaps of hundreds.
Mr. CALLARD.—Do you find them at St. Acheul. This [the flint in question) comes from that place. I brought it myself, and, as far as I know, there is no indication of any workings there.
Professor HUGHES.— In the particular place where you picked that up they may not have been working ; but they did not use these implements only in the place where they were worked. You may find them carried by man or by streams, Then there were half-made implements and misfits. That is one reason why we find such an immense number; they threw these away. Mr. Topley has asked me to say what multiple I will take. That I will not say ; but I think it must be a large one. That, however, is only my opinion; I have no data to go upon. I think, however, we must feel that the time is much greater than we have been accustomed to deal with in studying history. When I am asked how far off a man is, I may say I do not kuow the exact distance ; but I can say whether it is further than Westminster. And when astronomers tell us that they knock off two or three millions from the distance of the sun, do we feel inclined to say to them, “As you are not sure about the distance, perhaps the sun is only a mile or two off ?" No, we do not ; we allow the correction, still leaving as the ineasure of the sun's distance those enormous quantities which it is difficult to grasp at all. As to the distribution of the bears and the other
malia, I think I have left a sufficient margin. I talked of a period within which all those palæolithic times are included. When subdivisions could be made to correspond, well and good. There is reason for the bears and hyænas not being found together. The bears did not get on well with the hyænas, and where you do find them together the bears have the worst of it. In some great caves in the Pyrenees there is hardly anything but bears, and there the skeletons of the bears are found quite whole and entire. These were the dens they lived in, and whither they dragged themselves to die; in other caves there were only found portions of the remains of bears, because these were parts of carcasses dragged in by other creatures and eaten. Then, in the older cases, the groups of life are so different from those of to-day that if we were to find any traces of man we should not expect to find him as he is now, and it was on this hypothesis that some French savans said they would refer the earlier instances to Man's precursors. (Applause.)
The meeting was then adjourned.
REMARKS BY HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF ARGYLL, K.G.
I CONCUR entirely in the general argument of Professor Hughes on the antiquity of man.
I would observe, however, that it assumes, as most geologists do generally assume, that the gravels which have been found to hold human implements are exclusively river-gravels.
I entertain great doubt on this point. The distribution of our superficial gravels seems to me to indicate that some of them do not belong to any river system, but that they have been spread over hill and valley by marine action. If human implements have been found in gravels of marine origin, an entirely new element is introduced into the question.
My own belief is, that a submergence under the sea to the extent of upwards of 2,000 feet has been one of the very latest of geological changes. During part of this submergence, glacial condition prevailed over a large part of what is now Europe.
My further impression is, that man appeared on the scene when the land was emerging, and that the elevation was comparatively rapid. During this period it is most probable that heavy rains prevailed, and if so, the double action of elevation and of continual floods would greatly shorten the time required for the cutting out of the beds of streams or the deepening of valleys.
The Palæolithic weapons indicate a people somewhat in the condition of the Eskimo, and they may have been the outliers of races in a very different condition, who lived in non-glacial climates to the South.
I wish the attention of geologists were more directed to the questions connected with the admitted fact of sea-gravels at a high elevation on our Welsh and Scottish mountains,
REMARKS BY PROFESSOR T. R. BIRKS, M.A. (CAMB.).
PROFESSOR HUGHES's paper seems to me fully to confirm two principles which I hold: 1st. That there is no genuine scientific evidence for a prequaternary existence of man, i.e., for carrying him further back geologically than the close of the Glacial Drift period. 2nd. That the only definite scientific ground alleged for assigning an immense antiquity to that Drift period is the hypothesis of Mr. Croll, which would fix it definitely to a distance of either 200,000, or 800,000 years.
When Mr. Croll's theory is taken out of the way, the geological evidence for the high antiquity of man resolves itself into two questions :-/st. Does the contemporaneousness of man with certain extinct mammals prove the antiquity of man or the comparative recency of those mammals themselves ? 2nd. Are the conjectural estimates with regard to the growth of stalagmite, and the periods required for the erosion of certain beds of gravel, involving many elements of a most vague and conjectural kind, a sufficient ground for
uperseding and treating as non-existent the distinct and definite statements of Scripture with regard to man's creation and the period when it occurred ?
These estimates would all be modified at once by the physical consequences which must have resulted from such a fact as the Flood of Noab, however brief the period of its actual duration. With regard to erosion, five months, under the circumstances narrated in Gen. ix., might, and probably would, produce effects which could not be wrought by 50,000, or even 800,000 years of change under the present and modern conditions of gradual and almost insensible change, when the deep has been shut up in its " decreed place, and the surface of the ground bas been dry, and when great but more moderate changes of the sea-level have only occurred at intervals of many thousand years.
The six days of creation in the first page of Scripture are, in my judgment, a definite line of separation, drawn by God Himself, between indefinite ages of chaos and darkness and the successive seasons of a Divine cosmos. I have little faith in the success of those who take their stand on the edge of chaos, and gaze intently on its darkness only, in measuring out intervals of time in that dark chaos so exactly as to form any scientific presumption whatever agaiust conclusions drawn from an inductive study of the whole testimony of Scripture with regard to the plan and course of Divine Providence for the last 6,000 years.
I think Professor Hughes's paper is a valuable contribution towards a fair and impartial estimate on the conjectures on the one side and the definite evidence on the other.
REMARKS BY REV. HENRY BRASS, M.A., F.G.S.
A VERY able, thoughtful, impartial paper, and a valuable contribution to this important controversy ; but the concluding remarks are to me far from satisfactory.
(1.) It is assumed that no changes in the level of the valleys of the Thames, Somme, &c., can have taken place during what the author calls “ a very large multiple of the historic times." Yet such changes of level have recently