Historical Reprints Fiction RAGNAROK: THE AGE OF FIRE and GRAVEL


Catalog # SKU0997
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.50 lbs
Author Name Ignatius Donnelly




READER,--Let us reason together:--

What do we dwell on? The earth. What part of the earth? The latest formations, of course. We live upon the top of a mighty series of stratified rocks, laid down in the water of ancient seas and lakes, during incalculable ages, said, by geologists, to be from ten to twenty miles in thickness.

Think of that! Rock piled over rock, from the primeval granite upward, to a height four times greater than our highest mountains, and every rock stratified like the leaves of a book; and every leaf containing the records of an intensely interesting history, illustrated with engravings, in the shape of fossils, of all forms of life, from the primordial cell up to the bones of man and his implements.

But it is not with the pages of this sublime volume we have to deal in this book. It is with a vastly different but equally wonderful formation.

Upon the top of the last of this series of stratified rocks we find THE DRIFT.


WHEN men began, for the first time, to study the drift deposits, they believed that they found in them the results of the Noachic Deluge; and hence the Drift was called the Diluvium, and the period of time in which it was laid down was entitled the Diluvial age. It was supposed that--

"Somehow and somewhere in the far north a series of gigantic waves was mysteriously propagated. These waves were supposed to have precipitated themselves upon the land, and then swept madly over mountain and valley alike, carrying along with them a mighty burden of rocks and stones and rubbish. Such deluges were called 'waves of translation.'" There were many difficulties about this theory:

In the first place, there was no cause assigned for these waves, which must have been great enough to have swept over the tops of high mountains, for the evidences of the Drift age are found three thousand feet above the Baltic, four thousand feet high in the Grampians of Scotland, and six thousand feet high in New England.

In the next place, if this deposit had been swept up from or by the sea, it would contain marks of its origin. The shells of the sea, the bones of fish, the remains of seals and whales, would have been taken up by these great deluges, and carried over the land, and have remained mingled in the débris which they deposited. This is not the case. The unstratified Drift is unfossiliferous, and where the stratified Drift contains fossils they are the remains of land animals, except in a few low-lying districts near the sea.

"Over the interior of the continent it contains no marine fossils or relics."

Geikie says:

"Not a single trace of any marine organism has yet been detected in true till." Moreover, if the sea-waves made these great deposits, they must have picked up the material composing them either from the shores of the sea or the beds of streams. And when we consider the vastness of the drift-deposits, extending, as they do, over continents, with a depth of hundreds of feet, it would puzzle us to say where were the sea-beaches or rivers on the globe that could produce such inconceivable quantities of gravel, sand, and clay. The production of gravel is limited to a small marge of the ocean, not usually more than a mile wide, where the waves and the rocks meet. If we suppose the whole shore of the oceans around the northern half of America to be piled up with gravel five hundred feet thick, it would go but a little way to form the immense deposits which stretch from the Arctic Sea to Patagonia.

The stones of the "till" are strangely marked, striated, and scratched, with lines parallel to the longest diameter. No such stones are found in river-beds or on sea-shores.

Paperback, 5 x 8, 445+ pages (illustrated)

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