THEOSOPHY, Vol. 20, No. 12, October, 1932
(Pages 543-546; Size: 14K)
(Number 40 of a 103-part series)


XXXV (In Three Parts)

Part II

AS the orthodox -- or "orthogenetic" -- evolutionist felt the sands of certainty in genetic matters crumble under his feet from the insidious rush of facts, he could at least seize upon the comforting reef of objective past history. No matter how hopeless might be the problem of the "how" and "why," at least he could say "it did so happen; the how and the why are arcana which will doubtless in due time be revealed to the faithful!" But this comfort is being fast snatched away by the same ruthless hand of fact.

The record of the stones conspires with the palimpsest of the human frame to mock at scientific "certainties." The erstwhile strong hopes of finding the "cradle of man" in Central Asia were at least temporarily exploded by the return of the Andrews Expedition in 1930, laden with many fossils, some new in type, but conspicuously lacking in human fragments of any age.(1)

The ghost of the Piltdown man, who set science bitterly by the ear in the 'teens of this century -- agreeably to the Secret Doctrine prophecy(2) -- and was then hastily buried to cover the scandal, has risen again to walk like Banquo, with equally disturbing effect, around the banquet table of Science. Prof. Henry Fairfield Osborn stated in 1931 that the oldest man was not the Java specimen, the Pithecanthropus Erectus, as had hitherto been supposed, but this self-same Piltdown individual of more "modern" type.(3) Even the thick skull-walls of the Piltdown man are now looked upon askance. As though in a sort of impatient disgust, Dr. O. Elliott Smith lumps him and the Peking man, for whom such high hopes as "ancestor" were also held, as "pathological specimens."(4) Both their skulls are thick indeed; but they give in their bony structure no analogy to any known ape. There seems to be "no reason why the skull of primitive man should have attained such an enormous thickness," except disease, or "some freakish mutation." And therefore man is deprived heartlessly of two more "ape-like ancestors!" Will this slaughter never cease?

It seems not. Prof. J. C. M. Shaw(5) removes the famous brutal crouching "Neanderthal" from the ancestral gallery entirely by finding him alive among us, in a very different race. Certain characteristics of his jaws and teeth are found in mixed races composed of negro stock fused with the Australian blacks. No more Theosophically interesting discovery was ever made; for a portion of the Australians, according to Theosophy, are remnants of the semi-animal offshoots of Lemuria.(6) Why, asks H. P. Blavatsky, could not low type races have lived beside civilized ones in prehistoric times, even as they do now?(7) According to the discovery of Dr. Shaw, they may just as well have done so; he sufficiently exposes the error of assuming that merely because primitive races existed at a certain time they and no others then represented the whole of mankind. The Neanderthals, thinks he, were hybrids between these two races, which are thus of vast antiquity themselves and far removed from relationship with the modern white man. But H.P.B. definitely made the same connection as Dr. Shaw, forty-four years in advance.

...the brutal (?) appearance of ... skulls, such as the Neanderthal, point to a very low type of Humanity. But they may sometimes point also to something besides; to a race of men quite distinct from our (Fifth Race) Humanity.

As said by an anthropologist in "Modern Thought" ... "The theory, scientifically based or not, of Peyrère may be considered to be equivalent to that which divided man in two species. Broca, Virey, and a number of the French anthropologists have recognised that the lower race of man, comprising the Australian, Tasmanian, and Negro race, excluding the Kaffirs and the Northern Africans, should be placed apart... as good a distinct species as many of the kinds of finches... It has never originated a system of architecture or a religion of its own." (Secret Doctrine, 1888, II, 724-5).

Sir Arthur Keith, evolutionary fundamentalist as he is, corroborates.(8) He holds that the Neanderthal was the real aborigine of Europe. At the present time the white man is replacing the black in Australia; the Cro-Magnon, representing a "primitive type" of white man -- heaven knows why "primitive," since there is no trace of the "primitive" either in their skeletons or in their art -- similarly replaced the Neanderthal in Europe during the Old Stone Age. Exactly. Thus does history repeat itself; for all one knows, history embodied in the same identical Egos. Sir Arthur concludes that the Southwestern part of Asia is now the only possible origin of the white man. But Drs. Leakey and Hans Reck think otherwise.(9) In Africa, say they, men of modern type lived hundreds of thousands of years ago, before the Ice Age. Their bones were found in the clay strata of Oldoway in Tanganyika. Some of these modern type bones were in the deepest layers.

It is a logical, if incorrect conclusion, which is expressed by a writer in the Los Angeles Examiner, March 16, 1930. The legends of giants, ogres, and monsters which are found all over the world, he thinks are due to memories, by a superior race, of a low, brutal type which terrorized it in ancient times. He is not so far from the truth in some ways, at that.

However, it is America, the "new World" whose soil is among the oldest on the planet, which has most recently disgorged disconcertments. A geologist of San Diego, Malcolm J. Rogers, claims that ten years of study has furnished him with evidence that man was in California at the beginning of the Recent period, not less than 20,000 years ago.(10) However, this is mild indeed.

William T. Sharp, manager of the Bannock Manganese Mining Company, found some odd remains under 350 feet of limestone.(11) This has been a little too much. One fails to find mention of it elsewhere. Still, there is enough. Dr. William Duncan Strong says that man was in America before the Mammoth, that ancient references show the animal to have been known to the early peoples.(12) At Carlsbad, New Mexico, a very old type of arrowhead was found seven feet below the floor of a cave, mixed with bones of Pleistocene or Glacial animals. There was a burned horn among a mass of bones which was evidently accumulated by human agency.(13) Prof. W. B. Scott, of Princeton, claims that mastodons were alive in the time of Columbus. There is on exhibition a human skull which had been stepped on by a mastodon; which painful experience at least had the value of proving simultaneous existence. Other scientists, however, object to this summary rejuvenescence of the vanished mammoth in favor of prejudice.(14) Dr. C. F. Rumold found in quarries at Amherst some human footprints under 13 layers of sandstone totalling 105 feet in thickness. Lake Erie, he says, was born later than this race -- in fact, 50,000 years later.(15)

Dr. Krogman, of the University of Chicago, opines that Indian bones at Folsom, Arizona, with extinct mammals, place the age of human habitation on the continent at over 20,000 years.(16)

Dr. Chester Stock, of the University of California, describes in Science, October 17, 1930, the conditions in Gypsum Cave, Nevada. Man-made tools were found with the bones of several species of extinct animals -- including the ground sloth, which is certainly of respectable antiquity. Like some others, Dr. Stock raises the saving question as to how old these mammals really were?

Dr. Herman Wirth goes so far as to look for the "cradle of man" in North America.(17) Historic symbols, he says, carved on the gables of ancient houses on the borders of the North Sea led him into the Arctic Circle and to a period "as dim as the Paleolithic." Which is both gratifying and romantic, if a bit indefinite.

Let us, then, next turn to the disconcerting flood of fact which flows with equal volume under the weakening foundations of the greatest scientific illusion of all -- the illusion born of ancient sins of the flesh and the anomalous origin of the Great Apes.

COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:


No human-born doctrine, no creed, however sanctified by custom and antiquity, can compare in sacredness with the religion of Nature. The Key of Wisdom that unlocks the massive gates leading to the arcana of the innermost sanctuaries can be found hidden in her bosom only: and that bosom is in the countries pointed to by the great seer of the past century Emanuel Swedenborg. There lies the heart of nature, that shrine whence issued the early races of primeval Humanity, and which is the cradle of physical man. --S.D. II, p. 797.

Next article:
XXXV (Part III of III)
(Part 41 of a 103-part series)

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(1) Science, October 17, 1930.
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(2) Vol. II, 690.
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(3) Los Angeles Times, Sept. 21, 1931.
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(4) Scientific Monthly, Sept. 1931.
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(5) The Week's Science, Oct. 12, 1931.
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(6) Secret Doctrine, II, 195.
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(7) Do. II, 520 et circa.
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(8) New York Times Magazine, October 12, 1930.
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(9) The Week's Science, Dec. 21, 1931.
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(10) The Los Angeles Times, June 19, 1931.
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(11) New York Times, 1929.
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(12) Herald-Tribune, Dec. 31, 1931.
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(13) Science News-Letter, Feb. 6, 1932.
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(14) Washington Star, April 5, 1930.
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(15) Undated clipping.
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(16) Los Angeles Times, Nov. 30, 1929.
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(17) Washington Star, June 1, 1930.
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