David Livingstone's take on geology and creation

From: Jack Haas (haasj@attbi.com)
Date: Tue Jan 28 2003 - 16:06:31 EST

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    I thought that you might get a chuckle from this writings of Scottish missionary/explorer/physican David Livingstone (1813-1873)
    Jack Haas

    ....In reading, every thing that I could lay my hands on was devoured except novels. Scientific works and books of travels
    were my especial delight; though my father, believing, with many of his time who ought to have known better, that the former
    were inimical to religion, would have preferred to have seen me poring over the "Cloud of Witnesses", or Boston's "Fourfold State"...In recognizing the plants pointed out in my first medical book, that extraordinary old work on astrological medicine, Culpeper's "Herbal", I had the guidance of a book on the plants of Lanarkshire, by Patrick. Limited as my time was, I found opportunities to scour the whole country-side, "collecting simples".....On one of these exploring tours we entered a limestone quarry --long before geology was so popular as it is now. It is impossible to describe the delight and wonder with which I began to collect the shells found in the carboniferous limestone which crops out in High Blantyre and Cambuslang. A quarry-man, seeing a little boy so engaged, looked with that pitying eye which the benevolent assume when viewing the insane. Addressing him with, "How ever did these shells come into these rocks?" "When God made the rocks, he made the shells in them," was the damping reply. What a deal of trouble geologists might have saved themselves by adopting the Turk-like philosophy of this Scotchman!

    From Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa; 1857
    By David Livingstone, LL.D., D.C.L.,

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