To: All Msg #81, Sep3093 12:00PM Subject: Re: Source of Adam's Bowels Argument clarke@acme

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From: Paul D. Farrar To: All Msg #81, Sep-30-93 12:00PM Subject: Re: Source of Adam's Bowels Argument Organization: From: farrar@ (Paul D. Farrar) Message-ID: <28fdt7$> Reply-To: farrar@ Newsgroups: (Thomas Clarke) writes: >Some time ago I read a book in which a 19th century American >theologian/philosopher (I don't remember name, that is problem) >was cited as giving an argument for why if the earth was >created (by God, say) that it would have to have been created >with fossils and everything just as if it had eveolved geologically. >Does anyone know the author of this argument. I would like to be >able to cite it without rethinking all my reading for the past >five years. The originator was an Englishman, Philip Gosse, an eminent naturalist (specialty marine invertebrates of the British Isles) and acquaintance of Charles Darwin. Gosse was a very enthusiastic member of the Plymouth Brethren and a strict believer in the absolute correctness of every word of the bible. The publication of Darwin's _Origin.._ caused him great personal dismay. He was too much a believer to accept it, and too good a naturalist to not recognize the revolution in biology. (Much like the devout American naturalist Dana, who, however converted late in life.) After much distraught thinking, he published _Omphalos_, which he saw as the doctrine which would reunite the world of biology with the vanishing world of Paley and the Bridgewater Treatises. _Omphalos_, Greek for navel, refers to the question of whether or not Adam had a navel (full bowels I don't know about). This was once a hot topic apparently; most medieval and Renaissance artists avoided it by using strategically placed vegetation (see Cranach's Adam and Eve). The _Omphalos_ thesis was that God created the earth, and Adam and his navel, according to the Genesis schedule. But for everything to work right, he had to build in features giving the appearance of great age. To his dismay, this effort was met with derision from all quarters; one writer summarized it as "God hid the fossils in the rocks to tempt the geologists into infidelity." [quote from memory, caveat lector] The _Omphalos_ thesis is, of course, quite unanswerable, unverifiable, or unfalsifiable. It is notable as one of the last attempts by a legitimate scientist to give an alternative (sort of) to Darwin. Many modern Creationist arguments have taken the tack of _Omphalos_, often without realizing it. Stephen Gould has written an essay on _Omphalos_. Martin Gardner has, I believe, also written on Gosse, but I have the impression that his essay was rather poor. Gosse is best known today from his son's, literary critic Edmund Gosse, _Father and Son_. _F&S_ is an account which any child of enthusiasts will find eerily resonant. Paul Farrar not an official spokesman I'm not an omphalosceptic, but I play one on TV


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