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Froth and Fraud in Fundamentalism

"For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?"
-- PAUL (Rom. 3:7).


HARRY RIMMER, Christianity's noisiest evangelist and one of America's leading Fundamentalists, has just published another pamphlet harmonizing science and the Bible and putting to rout all the wicked infidels who uphold evolution. The tract consists of a series of questions and answers, said to have been delivered over the radio, in which a clerical friend posed as "The Inquiring Student" and Mr. Rimmer as "The Honest Professor". As a Fundamentalist clergyman, Mr. Rimmer believes everything in the Bible, from the Story of Creation to that part of the book which Jefferson called "the ravings of a maniac". The keynote of the tract may be had from a single sentence: "There are no scientific errors in the Bible."


Mr. Rimmer, in reply to a question, begins by presenting his credentials. As a lecturer he is greatly in demand at State universities and private colleges of the United States and Canada. In these institutions he addresses students on religious topics and the Christian way of life. "I have been in more than four thousand high-school assemblies," says he, "in the last twenty-five years." No one, of course, is obliged to accept these figures. I do not believe them myself, nor do I believe that Mr. Rimmer believes them when he looks in his shaving-mirror each morning. Twenty-five years is equal, roughly, to 9,125 days. Attending 4,000 high-school assembly meetings throughout the country within that number of days is close to an average attendance of every other day for a quarter of a century. These figures look as reliable to us as those of the multiplying leaves and fishes in the Jesus miracle. "The Honest Professor," like the author of the Book of Jonah, just doesn't seem to realize when a "fish story" gets too big.


Mr. Rimmer is president of the Research Science Bureau, Inc. This bureau, it may be stated, has no scientific standing as a research center; no accredited man of science or university professor would think of consulting it on any scientific matter. But it has an imposing name, and those who do not know our evangelist's capacity for ballyhoo and bluff and pious bluster will be impressed. If there are others connected with the bureau besides Mr. Rimmer, they should be pensioned off. "The Honest Professor" is quite capable of turning out all the appropriate reading matter our hill-billies require.


Wheaton College has conferred on Mr. Rimmer an honorary degree of "Sc.D." If the "science" taught at this religious college is anything like that taught by Mr. Rimmer, the recipient and the college should each be proud of the other. Both are now probably agreed that the sun once stood still at the command of a Jew and that Moses knew more about geology and astronomy than anyone else. The faculty should promptly endorse Mr. Rimmer's remark: "In all of our scientific progress we have not yet discovered one single fact that contradicts or refutes any statement in the Bible."


No educated man, of course, looks for knowledge or even truthful statement in a Fundamentalist tract, but what one gains, from a reading of such material, is a better insight into the workings of Fundamentalist brains and the type of literature the Fundamentalists turn out. Every kind of shabby and decrepit statement is put in print. And it is because a large part of our religious population still gloats over this intellectual sawdust, as if it were grains of gold, that the situation is pathetic. "Some day," says Joseph McCabe, "the world will rub its eyes and, with a laugh, advise its preachers to try auctioneering or something useful".


Evangelists, as a rule, have an exalted opinion of their knowledge of the Bible. Read the book as often as they may, they never can see its contents with the detached eye of the critical freethinker. Most rationalists know the Bible better than do the preachers themselves. I never took a seminary course, but I venture to believe that I have forgotten more about the Bible in the last twenty years than Mr. Rimmer has learned in his entire career. I wasted six years of my life studying the wretched volume; I was repaid in part only by coming to realize what a worthless book it is.


One might as well look for science in Aesop's Fables as in the Bible. Yet it is to the latter work, written by semi-barbarians, that Fundamentalists turn, unmindful of the fact that it has been thoroughly discredited by competent scholarship. Ignorance and hypocrisy alone make a fetich of the book.


As a zoological text-book, the Bible is unique. In it are described all the freak animals of antiquity, claimed to have been seen by the anointed of God, and of which there are no living specimens today: hares that chew the cud, ravens that feed prophets, whales that swallow men, and snakes and jackasses that talk. If there are any fossil bones of these creatures exhibited in Mr. Rimmer's Research Science Bureau museum, he has never mentioned them. If, by chance, he had any at all, he would have surely written them up for the "Science Page" of some Sunday school paper. But Mr. Rimmer is a busy man --far too busy, it seems, getting after those who "willfully deceive their students" and fake their science to bother about setting up a fossil collection of his own. For the sake of the Bible, he should dig up and exhibit the bones of a unicorn.


On the subject of natural history, Mr.Rimmer could not hold his own with a water-carrier in the zoo. He has stated repeatedly that the camel "does not divide the hoof" -- an error he must continue to defend as long as he believes the Bible. Yet he is quite safe in making this statement, since it is not likely that any of his Fundamentalist readers will take the trouble to look at a camel. Why should they, when they have a Christian's word for it?


The camel is a ruminant with two toes on each foot, the hoof of which is split in front by the division of the toes. The two digits are entirely exposed, not "encased in a cutaneous pad." Mr. Rimmer's conception of a "balloon tire' hoof, covering the two toes and hiding them from view, is pure fancy. Lydekker's ''New Natural History" describes the extremities as follows: "The feet form broad expanded cushion-like pads . . . of which the under surface is undivided, while the front shows a division into two toes, each of which bears abroad nail on the upper surface." This constitutes a cloven foot, marked by the separation of toes. The Bible and Mr. Rimmer are both wrong.


The Bible states that the hare chews the cud. This is an obvious error. The hare is a rodent, not, a ruminant, and only ruminants regurgitate their food. But what does a plain error in the Bible mean to an evangelist? Only that the inspired word of God does not mean what it says when what it says is wrong. For an "infallible" book, this is embarrassing enough.


Mr. Rimmer tells us that the word "hare" appears in the Bible due to a mistranslation of the word "arnebeth." 'The translators of the Old Testament," says he, "did not possess the faintest idea of what animal was intended by the Mosaic reference. They took a wild leap in the dark and landed on the hare. . ."


While it is true that translators of the Bible have taken, at times, wild leaps in the dark and liberties with the text) there is nothing to suggest that they did so in this particular case. The "arnebeth" is not "an unidentified animal," as Mr. Rimmer claims. A highly critical authority, the "Encyclopaedia Biblica," translates "arnebeth" into "hare," and recognizes as "an error" the biblical statement that the hare chews the cud. The error, it states, may be "accounted for by the peculiar and constant twitching of the hare's upper lip when feeding, which, to the superficial observer [there were many in biblical times] has somewhat the appearance of the motion of the jaws when the cud is being chewed by ruminants. Five species of hare (Lepus) have been described by Tristam from Palestine, where, he states, they are "highly esteemed by the Arabs as food." The Bible is as wrong on the hare as it is on a great many other things.


It is not likely that many children of today believe in the nursery tale of Noah's Ark. But the president of the Research Science Bureau does, and he justifies, his belief on the ground that "there are no scientific errors in the Bible." How can there be when "the Bible is right, and any one who opposes it is wrong?" The thought that anything can be wrong with the record does not enter Mr. Rimmer's head. No one as shrewd as he is going to be foolish enough to think that the ancient patriarchs could have lied or been mistaken about anything.


The mythology behind the Flood story is well known to modern scholarship. The Encyclopaedia Britannica article on the Deluge (written by a distinguished clergyman) shows how the whole story was adapted and "recast" from a Babylonian myth. "The fact of the ultimate Babylonian origin of the Israelitish narratives cannot seriously be questioned. The Canaanites or the North Arabians handed on at least a portion of their myths to the Israelites, and the creation and deluge stories were among these. That the Israelitish priests gradually recast them is an easy and altogether satisfactory conjecture."


A matter of scholarship, however, does not trouble Mr. Rimmer. In the role of "The Honest Professor" he states: "I do not believe that there are any myths in Genesis. I believe that history of Noah and his Ark."


The Ark, thinks Mr. Rimmer, may have been a much larger vessel than most people suppose, and its size "turns upon the length of the cubit." But Mr. Rimmer himself states the length of the cubit: "In the days of Noah a cubit was generally the length of a man's forearm from the inside of his elbow to the tip of his longest finger." As described in the Bible, the Ark was three hundred cubits long. With the cubit as 18 inches, that would make a ship of 450 feet. This, by the way, is almost half the length of the great French liner "Normandie," which is 981 feet long. Even such a ship, however, would not be big enough to carry even a sizable fraction of the several million species scattered over the face of the globe. It is not likely, moreover, from our knowledge of early man, that those who lived at the reputed time of Noah could have built a ship even the size of a tug-boat. After all, ship building is a matter of evolution; and it is nowhere stated that Noah and his sons ran a shipyard. Noah was a "husbandman," or tiller of the soil, says the Bible--not a marine engineer.


The whole story is too silly for words, for even a child might inquire how a flood 15 cubits deep 1 could have raised a ship higher than the highest mountains and deposited it, at last, on a mountain 17,000 feet high. From the biblical account, the flood waters themselves were barely more than enough to keep the Ark afloat, since the Ark was 30 cubits high, or just twice as high as the water was deep. With the load it carried, the Ark must have almost touched bottom. As for the "mountains" covered by the flood, these must have been mere foot hills. Considered "historically," a universal flood is out of the question, since such an inundation would have affected the entire globe and all the people living at the time. As it was, the very flood which is supposed to have covered Mt. Ararat and destroyed the world, was not sufficiently deep to wet even the feet of the ancient Egyptians. As Floyd Darrow remarks 2 "at the very time that the whole earth, according to the Hebrew chronicle, was submerged with a universal deluge, the Pharaoh Koufou-Cheops was building his pyramid."
1. "Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered,"--Gen. -vii, 20.
2. Miracles, a Modern View, p. 57.


"The modern study of geology and comparative mythology," says Hasting's "Dictionary of the Bible", "has made it impossible to see in the story of the Deluge the literal record of an historical event . . The collection by Noah of a pair of every kind of animal, bird and creeping thing, which would include species peculiar to different countries from the Arctic regions to the tropics, is inconceivable. And no less so the housing of them all, the feeding and care of them by eight persons, the arrangements to prevent their devouring one another and the provision, of the widely diverse conditions of life necessary for creatures from different countries and climates. From every point of view it is clear that the story is legendary." Legendary it is to all but pious dolts.


In response to the question, "Do you believe that it is possible for a whale to swallow a man?" Mr. Rimmer answers: "Entirely possible." Within the whale's head, says he, there is "an enlargement of the nasal sinus which makes a tank of many hundreds of feet of cubic capacity." In this chamber one can travel comfortably if one has faith in God. "It is from this tank the whale breathes while he is submerged. There is a wide opening from the mouth into this tank, and a man could very well live for days in that space." This cavity is a pure invention of Mr. Rimmer's. There is no such "tank" nor "wide opening" in the whale's head, and even if there were, it would not help the Jonah story. Jonah we are told, lived in the "belly" of the creature, not in the animal's head, The "belly" is not the "sinus," nor does it provide proper ventilation for those who take three-day voyages in whales. Whales breathe by the means of lungs, and when they are submerged they live exactly as a pearl diver does when he is under water. There is no "nasal sinus" in the whale nor any enlarged air chamber in which a man could sit and contemplate God.


Our largest whales have enormous mouth cavities but narrow throats, "So small are the animals on which the Greenland whale feeds," says a standard authority 3 "that it is commonly said that this species would be choked if it attempted to swallow a herring." Most whales feed on small crustaceans, jelly-fishes, and molluscs, In a few cases, pieces of giant cuttle-fish the size of a man's torso (and-badly mangled) have been found in the stomachs of sperm whales, but food is usually restricted to small marine life. The finback whales which are among the largest of all cetaceans, "have throats of such small size that they are only large enough at the most to allow the passage of a man's arm." 4 As Lydekker's "New Natural History" sums up, "the size of the animals devoured for food bears no sort of relation to the .dimensions of their devourers."
3. Lydekker's New Natural History, Vol, III, p. 6.
4. Letter from the Smithsonian Museum.


There is no authentic case on record of any man having been swallowed alive by a whale. Many years ago a modern Jonah story was invented and went the rounds of religious publications. I myself tracked it down in the "Christian Herald," which had repeated the silly tale in an article prepared for that magazine by the wife of a well-known Protestant clergyman, who himself wrote me that he saw "nothing inconsistent in the story." The original yarn had already been authoritatively denied and subsequently dealt with, at length, in "The Literary Digest" of Feb. 23, 1907. My own account was published in "The Truth Seeker" of Sept. 3, 1910. It may be well to insert here a letter I received at the time from Dr. C. H. Townsend, then the Acting Director of the American Museum of Natural History and now of the New York Aquarium, concerning the inability of whales to swallow men alive:


"Your inquiry as to the ability of a whale to swallow a man without masticating him has been received.


"There is no evidence that such a feat would be possible. Sperm whales kill and devour very large giant squids, and good-sized pieces have been found in their stomachs by whalers, but the sperm whale has a small mouth, which is well supplied with teeth. Its food is torn to pieces before being swallowed. This is probably true of other toothed whales. The whalebone whales, whose jaws are supplied with baleen plates instead of teeth, feed only on very small forms of surface life and are not known to swallow any large food.


"You are safe to assume that existing whales (I cannot at present inform you about extinct species) do not swallow morsels of food as large as a man's body."


Mr. Rimmer insists, however, that Jonah was not swallowed by a whale but by a fish.5 In this he is contradicted by his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who distinctly states that Jonah was swallowed by a "whale". If Jesus is right, Mr. Rimmer is wrong. Whether "whale" or "fish", Jonah would have had a nice mangling before he reached the gullet.


5. The Old Testament states that Jonah was swallowed by a "fish", the New Testament, by a "whale". Those who write an infallible book should get together on the facts.


"We have reason to believe," writes Mr. Rimmer, "that Jonah was swallowed by a great fish that is called "Rhynodon typuus" and which is rather common today." We have no reason to believe anything of the kind. The Whale shark, "Rhineodon typus" (not "Rhynodon typuus", as Mr. Rimmer calls it), which grows to a measured length of 45 feet and to an estimated length of 70 feet, is an absolutely harmless creature, which feeds on small surface fishes, squids, swimming crabs, and jellyfishes. It is known for its remarkably small throat. Its tiny teeth are like files, 3,000 in each jaw. Dr. E. W. Gudger, Honorary Associate in Ichthyology, American Museum of Natural History, is the world's highest authority on this particular fish, having studied it for more than 25 years and written over 40 papers and monographs on the subject. I personally consulted Dr. Gudger, who told me that the whale shark has a throat no wider than a man's fist and swallows fishes no larger than minnows.


Mr. Rimmer's fantastic statement that this shark can swallow a man made Dr. Gudger laugh. While the mouth is cavernous, the throat itself is only four inches wide and has a sharp elbow or bend behind the opening. This gullet would not permit the passage of a man's arm. "The whale shark," writes Dr. Gudger, 6 "is not the fish that swallowed Jonah." Mr. Rimmer will have to try again, on some other fish.
6. The Scientific Monthly, March, 1940, p. 227.


"Human flesh," says Mr. Rimmer, "does not petrify, nor can it be fossilized." This statement will be news to our archaeologists. In the American Museum of Natural History, in New York, there is a human body completely petrified and preserved though natural causes. In the ancient catacombs in Mexico, one may walk between long lines of mummified human bodies propped up against the stone walls of the corridors. These men, standing like sentries, have been dead for hundreds of years; their flesh is fossilized. The mummy of Pizarro, preserved for four hundred years, may be seen in a glass casket in the Cathedral at Lima, Peru. The mummy of Yuaa, now in the Cairo Museum, is one of the best preserved in Egypt; its flesh has been petrified for thousands of years. Every mummy is petrified flesh and bone. "Petrify," according to Webster's New International Dictionary, is "to convert (organic matter) into stone or stony substances." "Fossilize," says the same authority, is to "cause to become antiquated, rigid, or fixed, as by fossilization; to mummify ... " and "to convert into a fossil; to petrify; as, to fossilize bones or wood." The idea that human flesh may sometimes become as hard as stone should not be difficult for those who believe that Lot's wife turned into a pillar of salt. As for flesh in general, literally tons of mammoth flesh have been fossilized in the ice, and whole carcasses have been dug out of the frozen soil of the tundra of northern Siberia. These bodies, hardened and preserved for thousands of years, show that, under certain conditions, flesh itself becomes fossilized.


The antiquity of man, the great age of the earth, and a stellar evolution of millions of millions of years are the detested doctrines of a horrible infidelity. To Mr. Rimmer it is sad and iniquitous that men should teach these ideas; and my own activities are plaintively described, in one of his books, as due to a "darkened heart and mind."


"The Bible," says Mr. Rimmer, "nowhere states how long it took God to create the universe" -- it merely states that the heavens and the earth "were created in the beginning." "The six-day period which follows that statement," says he, "refers to this planet alone" and to "its refurnishing for the appearance of man." But does this period refer to "this planet alone"? According to Genesis, God had labored three days and three nights of this six-day working period before he "made the stars also." According to this, the earth existed before the stars. The whole job of planet and star-making was done in six days so that God could rest on the seventh and we could read our Sunday newspapers.


In my testimony at the Floyd-Rimmer trial, I stated that the earth is about 2,000 million years old. Mr. Rimmer questions my figure, as he does that of Dr. Hotchkiss, President of the Michigan College of Mining and Technology, whose book, "The Story of a Billion Years," is cited by Mr. Rimmer. "In that work," says our evangelist, "the author flatly states that at least one thousand, five hundred-million years of age is proved for the earth by the process of radio activity." These figures, of course, are highly disconcerting to a Fundamentalist, who is bound to believe that the world is only a few thousand years old and that the earth was created a few days before mankind itself. Like Dr. Lightfoot, who gave the birthday of the earth as Oct. 25, 4004 B.C., Mr. Rimmer is a conservative man he believes that the ancient prophets knew more about the matter than our scientists of today.


"The two geologically oldest granites studied," writes J. Harlen Bretz, 7 "appear to have crystallized from a liquid condition l,125,000,000 and 1,500,000,000 years ago." This is considerably before Moses decided to get his wisdom from the sky and even before Adam and Eve got their knowledge by eating it off a tree. And the formation of this granite represents but a part of the geological history of the earth. For millions of years before that our earth existed in a molten state and for millions of years as a gaseous globe. Through the work of the geologist and the astronomer, we now know the approximate age of the earth. "If we wish to fix our thoughts on a round number," says Jeans, 8 "probably 2,000 million years is the best to select."
7. The Nature of the World and of Man (H. H. Newman, editor). p. 83.
8. The Universe Around Us, p. 152.


Our "Honest Professor" scouts the idea that radioactivity can prove any great age for the rocks, yet it is by this method today that geologists form part of their estimates as to the age of the earth.


We now know the time it takes for uranium and thorium to change into lead. Knowing this, we can examine a particular specimen of igneous rock, and, by finding out the proportionate amounts of uranium, thorium, helium, radium, and lead it contains, determine the age of the deposit. "Thus our new knowledge of these radioactive elements," says Allison Hardy, 9 "... gives us a fairly accurate method of determining the age of igneous rocks, and it has been put into practice by a number of very able investigators. Barrell, Ellsworth, Arthur Holmes, Davs, and Roger Wells have analyzed a great many samples, and have ascertained that the oldest igneous rocks known were formed about 1,540 millions of years ago." There are also the great sedimentary formations, composed of layers of sand, clay or lime, laid down by the sea and hardened into stone over vast periods of time. The age of these rocks, measured by the cycle method, reaches into many hundreds of millions of years.
9. The A. B. C. of Geology, p 97.


One need not go down deep into the bowels of the earth to discover how utterly foolish the Bible chronology is, for the British Isles are a standing refutation of the Genesis account. Here is a land which has risen slowly out of the sea, and whose famous chalk beds and snow white cliffs are composed largely of the fossil shells of tiny marine animals which once lived at the bottom of the sea. These chalk beds, some of which are more than a thousand feet thick, mark the graveyard of myriads of microscopic organisms, whose dead bodies, layer by layer, once piled the ocean floor. "I think you will agree with me," wrote Thomas Huxley, 10 "that it must have taken some time for the skeletons of animalcules of a hundredth of an inch in diameter to heap up such a mass as that. . . . The chalk is vastly older than Adam himself."
10. Lay Sermons, Addresses, and Reviews, pp. 189 and 195.


There is no certain way, says Mr.Rimmer, "by which it can be proved that any one fossil is any older than another.... The fossils are dated by the sort of rock in which they are found, the rock is dated by the fossils it contains " Here is a gem of Fundamentalist brilliancy that should evoke a smile, since it assumes that the ages of the rocks cannot be determined unless there are fossils in them. Were there no fossils in existence, we could still determine the age of the earth.


Today we can, determine the age of rocks independent of any fossils we may find. Where there are no fossils at all, we date the rocks by referring to a variety of facts factors such as erosion, the amount of salt in the sea, the forming of huge deltas (the delta of the Orinoco is larger than the entire state of New Jersey), the duration of ice ages, glacial movements, and, above all, the chemical time-clock of radioactivity.


The presence of fossils in a rock is merely additional evidence; where they are found together, they fit nicely into the evolutionary picture, both in regard to the ascending scale of life and to the successive stages by which the layers of the earth have been laid down. The geologist and the paleontologist thus work hand in hand: the one tracing the order of stratifications and the time factors involved, the other the unfoldment of life as it develops from simple to more complex forms. The ascending order of organisms is well marked in the successive strata of the earth and proves the evolution of higher from lower forms of life over vast periods of time. As for the age of a fossil, this is determined by its proper classification in the zoological series by the method of comparative anatomy, and by checking the "find" with the particular stratum in which it was found.


Fossil evidence, however, can throw light on the age of rocks. No dinosaur bones are found in any recent formations; their presence in a rock would indicate at once that the rock is very old, and we could immediately assign the rock to a definite epoch.


The deposits of the Archeozoic era consist of the oldest known rocks in the world. These rocks may be seen and studied in the Great Lakes regions of the United States, where great mining excavations have been carried on for many years. So far Archeozoic rocks have yielded fossil evidence only of lower forms of life, such as sponges, crustaceans, and worms. Since Mr.Rimmer professes to be something of a paleontologist, we challenge him to find for us, in these deposits, the bones of a man. If he can discover so much as a single human fossil in these ancient rocks, he will be doing more to disturb the minds of evolutionists than by writing a thousand pamphlets.


The evidence of the fossils would not, of course, impress Mr. Rimmer. He who accepts, without a blink, all the absurd stories in the Bible, casts a skeptical and scornful eye at the record of the rocks. "The simplest forms of life that the earth has ever known," says he, "are all alive and flourishing right now" -- how then can we believe "that the simplest forms of life are the older, and the more complex forms are the more recent in geologic time"? Simply by observing that, in the successive layers of the earth, the lower forms of life invariably precede the higher; one never finds a higher form appearing first in a lower or older stratum. If, for example, our Fundamentalists could find as much as a monkey's tooth in the Devonian strata, they could quickly overturn the apple-cart of evolution. If, again, it could be shown that vertebrates precede invertebrates in the ascending layers of rock, it would be worth noting. We know that the simplest forms of life are the oldest because they appear first and are found alone in the earlier strata. There are no elephants' tusks in the Cambrian rocks.


As for lower and higher living forms existing side by side, this is exactly what one should expect in the process of a blind evolution. It is precisely what one should not expect from the doctrine of creation.


Those animals which came first are rated lowest in the line of descent. In the development of the individual frog we have a recapitulation of this animal's evolution from a fish-like form with gills to an air-breather with lungs and legs. Tadpoles and frogs live side by side in the same pool, but no one should have the least doubt as to which is the fewer and earlier form of life. The individual tadpole develops into a frog before our eyes; one never sees an individual frog develop into a tadpole. Though both exist today, the horse is higher than the clam, since the clam precedes the horse in geologic strata. A man is higher than a fish because he has gill arches before birth; one never finds the vestigial organs of a man in an unborn fish. Fishes are older than man.


Diversity of structure is exactly what one should expect from evolution. Natural selection kills off those forms unfitted to survive; whether high or low, an organism continues to live only so long as it can meet the changing conditions of life. Many animal forms, unsuited to environment, are ruthlessly exterminated. Some advance; other degenerate, as have numerous parasites. Many organisms have remained without undergoing any appreciable change in structure from earlier times. Thus our God-given cockroaches are very much as they were millions of years ago. For straight-line ancestry, theirs is among the oldest in the world, and none of our best families can boast as long a lineage as theirs: cockroaches are the aristocrats of time. We cannot all progress alike, nor should Mr. Rimmer look for too much improvement in every organism. Monkeys still swing from trees, and only a few primitive anthropoid apes evolved into man.


The fossil remains of Pithecanthropus erectus come in next for Mr. Rimmer's scrutiny. This find, says he, consists of "a tiny section" of the skull, a thigh-bone, and several smaller pieces of the skeleton. The scar city of the exhibit amuses Mr. Rimmer. "With the exception of the femur," says he, "all of the bones would be easily held in the hollow of your hand." This, by the way, is considerably more fossil evidence than has ever been dug up of Adam and Eve, and Christians have yet to find enough of the original rib out of which Eve was made to hold on one's finger nail. The entire skull-cap (called by Mr. Rimmer "a tiny section" of the skull) gives us a definite picture of the type of man the Java Ape Man was. This early man, says Keith, was "a being human in stature, human in gait, human in all its parts, save its brain." As another authority puts it, "the skull-cap indicates a low, flat forehead, beetling brows, and a capacity about two-thirds of the modem size." Intellectually he was not high, since his brain was small (940c.c.)-but how can one expect a Fundamentalist to know much about brains, when the word "brain" isn't used in the Bible? Such knowledge may be had only by studying anatomy. As Ellsworth Huntington observes, 11 "the most primitive heads are long, narrow, and low, with small brain capacity. As man has evolved, his head has tended first to lengthen from back to front: then to become higher, and finally broader. Thus there has been a series of steps toward a round head. Such a head is biologically the highest and most specialized, because it can hold the largest brain in proportion to its surface and weight." Thus the skull-cap of Pithecanthropus erectus warrants the "reconstructions" we see in our museums of today... and to which Mr. Rimmer objects. The Java Ape Man in the flesh would shock a gathering of savages. He was, in fact, one of those primitive types of man whom Ingersoll would have described as having a spoonful of brains in the back of his head. If living today, he would be a Fundamentalist.
11. "The Character of Races, p. 75.


Regarding the antiquity of man, Mr. Rimmer quotes Dr. Hrdlicka to the effect that our two American continents bear no ''historical" evidence of man's existence prior to 1,000 B.C. and, further, that human history "anywhere upon the globe" does not go back more than 10,000 years. From this he would have his readers suppose that Dr. Hrdlicka is teaching that "human history" covers the entire age of man. Obviously, this is not the case, since there is a pre-historic period, proved by fossil evidence itself and from facts which show that man is descended from an ape. There is no question on this point among leading anthropologists. Dr. Hrdlicka himself believes in the evolution of man through a long line of animal forms. As for the biblical chronology, the Ancient Jews sold the Christians a bad bill of goods.


Mr. Rimmer falsifies the record in regard to Dr. Hrdlicka's attitude toward Pithecanthropus erectus. "Dr. Hrdlicka," writes Mr. Rimmer, "hastened to Brussels and made a careful and personal examination of the fragments of the Java man. He then instructed the Smithsonian Institution to get rid of all their [he means"] reconstructions of Pithecanthropus erectus, because he had concluded that the bones which came from Java were purely human in their origin and bore noresemblances to these later reconstructions."


Knowing the mendacity behind these words, I wrote to Dr. Hrdlicka quoting the above passage in full and inviting him to register his reaction to Mr. Rimmer's statement. He promptly replied: "Made out of whole cloth." 12 Yet in spite of these shyster tactics, "The Honest Professor" had the gall to state: "No greater hoax was ever perpetrated on the gullible public by the eminent Barnum than this false and misleading alleged demonstration of the antiquity of man."
12. Those who wish the details may consult Dr. Hrdlicka's book, Skeletal Remains of Early Man (Smith. Misc. Coll. LXXXIII 1930).


When, under cross-examination in the recent Rimmer trial' in New York, I was asked by Mr. Rimmer's Fundamentalist and pious attorney, if I knew of any fact proving evolution, I replied: "Yes. You have a tail." Since that episode, my reference to human tails has stuck in the crop of "The Honest Professor," and, in his recent hedge-podge of a book professing to give an account of the court proceedings, he states: "Mr. Teller still clings with a child-like credulity to the exploded myth that the human embryo has a tail, which he described as being 'longer than the hind legs of the individual'. He extended his remarks to state that certain adult individuals were known to possess fully developed tails ..."


Mr. Rimmer's knowledge of anatomy is not the kind one gets by taking a biological course. It is not even the kind of knowledge one gets by doing a little research on the side. But it serves his purpose when he is writing for ignoramuses. The existence of the human tail, both in the embryonic state and, later on, as an internal appendage of several vertebrae in each and every one of us, is known to every anatomist; while cases of external human tails are a matter of scientific record. Dr. R. Ruggles Gates of the University of London thus states the case in his "Heredity in Man":


"The presence of a tail in man is an anomaly less rare than might be supposed.... The human embryo has a caudal appendage which, at one stage of its development, is one-sixth its total length; and if failure of absorption takes place the infant may be born with it attached. In Bartel's time over 60 cases, including some abnormalities of other kinds, had been recorded. Schaeffet (1892) added 25 more cases, but these were a very heterogeneous collection of anomalies. In the collected works of Robert Koch, vol. ii,, p. 882, are two photographs of human beings with tails as long as a human foot. These photographs were taken by Koch in India in 1871, one a lad of seventeen, the other a child, but apparently they contained no bones. Schultz published ... a photograph of a twelve-year-old boy from French Indo-China with a tail nine inches long. A specimen also exists in the Royal College of Surgeons. Ross Harrison (1901) reviewed the subject and described a case in detail. Some of these tails actuality contain vertebrae, as well as muscles to move them. A baby girl was recently reported from Tennessee with a tail seven inches long which appears to be a case of poetic justice. It has been pointed out that in the orangutan the loss of a tail has proceeded farther than in man, since he has only two or three rudimentary coccygeal vertebrae, while man has four or five or sometimes six."


To Sum up, Mr. Rimmer is a "scientist" only in Fundamentalist circles. His "honorary degree of Doctor of Science" need astonish no one, as it was conferred on him by a Fundamentalist college (Wheaten College, Wheaten, Ill.) at its "convocation" in June,1936. This college is so religious that the letterhead of the President bears the motto, "For Christ and His Kingdom." Jesus knew so little about science that he taught that insanity was due to demon possession. Mr. Rimmer knows so little about science that he agrees with Jesus.


Mr. Rimmer's pretensions as a scientific researcher and as a field paleontologist are glaringly absurd. He has (he claims) "personally exhumed over two thousand complete skeletons of ancient man." This is at a rate of more than one complete skeleton a day for five years. This, too, is many times more skeletons of ancient man than there are in all the museums of the world. "In my own private museum" says he, "I have many scores of skulls of high antiquity." Where this Rimmer museum is, and where he hides these priceless ancient skulls is anybody's guess. And he knows so little about skulls, in the first place, as to say that "'sutures' are the 'seams' that join the lobes of the human skull together."


As Oscar O. Whitenack remarks, in his excellent pamphlet on Mr. Rimmer, 13 our evangelist exhibits "the most colossal ignorance." Mr. Rimmer "writes 'Heidelburg' for Heidelberg, 'Trinal' for Trinil, 'foranum' for foramen (repeated six times), 'ancestory' for ancestry, 'occiputal' for occipital, uses 'principal' for principle, ruminant for quadruped, 'species' for individuals. To impress his readers he attempts to use Latin terms, but writes 'ossi' for ossa, and 'forani' for foramina.


Such is the man who, in "The Inquiring Student and the Honest Professor" and a score of other pamphlets and booklets against evolution, and in pulpits throughout the country, stands forth as the Defender of the Faith.
13 A Twentieth Century Churchman's Viewpoint of Science

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