From The Archives
ROBERT INGERSOLL (1833 – 1899)
The Great Agnostic
ONE of the foundation stones of our faith is the Old Testament. If that book is not true, if its authors were unaided men, if it contains blunders and falsehoods, then that stone crumbles to dust.
The geologists demonstrated that the author of Genesis was mistaken as to the age of the world, and that the story of the universe having been created in six days, about six thousand years ago could not be true.
The theologians then took the ground that the “days” spoken of in Genesis were periods of time, epochs, six “long whiles,” and that the work of creation might have been commenced millions of years ago.
The change of days into epochs was considered by the believers of the Bible as a great triumph over the hosts of infidelity. The fact that Jehovah had ordered the Jews to keep the Sabbath, giving as a reason that he had made the world in six days and rested on the seventh, did not interfere with the acceptance of the “epoch” theory.
But there is still another question. How long has man been upon the earth?
According to the Bible, Adam was certainly the first man, and in his case the epoch theory cannot change the account. The Bible gives the age at which Adam died, and gives the generations to the flood—then to Abraham and so on, and shows that from the creation of Adam to the birth of Christ it was about four thousand and four years.
According to the sacred Scriptures man has been on this earth five thousand eight hundred and ninety-nine years and no more.
Is this true?