Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/306

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Tournal, of Narbonne, discovered in the cavern of Bize specimens of human industry, with a fragment of a human skeleton, among bones of extinct animals. In the following year Christol published accounts of his excavations in the caverns of Gard; he had found in position, and under conditions which forbade the idea of after-disturbance, human remains mixed with bones of the extinct hyena of the early Quaternary period. Little general notice was taken of this, for the reactionary orthodox atmosphere involved such discoveries in darkness.

But in the French Revolution of 1830 the old politico-theological system collapsed: Charles X and his advisers fled for their lives; the other continental monarchs got glimpses of new light; the priesthood in charge of education were put on their good behavior for a time, and a better era began.

Under the constitutional monarchy of the house of Orleans in France and Belgium less attention was therefore paid by Government to the saving of souls; and we have in rapid succession new discoveries of remains of human industry, and even of human skeletons so mingled with bones of extinct animals as to give additional proofs that the origin of man was at a period vastly earlier than any which theologians had dreamed of.

A few years later the reactionary clerical influence against science in this field rallied again. Schmerling in 1833 explored a multitude of caverns in Belgium, especially at Engis and Engihoul, and found human skulls and bones closely associated with bones of extinct animals, such as the cave bear, hyena, elephant, and rhinoceros, while mingled with these were evidences of human workmanship in the shape of chipped flint implements; discoveries of a similar sort were made by De Serres in France and Lund in Brazil; but, at least as far as continental Europe was concerned, these discoveries were received with much coolness, both by Catholic leaders of opinion in France and Belgium, and by Protestant leaders in England and Holland. Schmerling himself appears to have been overawed, and gave forth a sort of apologetic theory, half scientific, half theologic, vainly hoping to satisfy the clerical side.

Nor was it much better in England. Sir Charles Lyell, so devoted a servant of prehistoric research thirty years later, was still holding out against it on the scientific side; and, as to the theological side, it was the period when that great churchman, Dean Cockburn, was insulting geologists from the pulpit of York Minster, and the Rev. Mellor Brown denouncing geology as "a black art," "a forbidden province"; and when in America Prof. Moses Stuart and others like him were belittling the work of Benjamin Silliman and Edward Hitchcock.

In 1840 Godwin Austin presented to the Royal Geological So-