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Frederik A. G. Klee (November 26, 1808-March 13, 1864) and Caroline Sophie Marie

Frederikke Nicoline v. Moth Klee (July 14, 1812- December 14, 1884) (See Genealogy

table II)

Frederik was the only child of Heinrich Gottlieb von Klee and wife Anna Elizabeth Fabritius.

Frederik and Anna were parents of Anna Elisabeth (Elise) Caroline Klee , Dr. Frederik Emil

Klee and Waldemar G. Klee. More details will be found on the Index page and in other links

from there.


FREDERIK A.G. KLEE Brief biography, by Johannes C. H. R. Steenstrup.

Editor’s note: I am including a translation of the text from this Danish Website

<> because it contains some information

about Frederik A. G. Klee and his father that we were lacking. However, it contains some

misleading information about both father and son as well. The father, Heinrich Gottlieb von

Klee, was born of German ancestry and raised in Riga, Latvia, which had been under

Swedish rule, but passed into Russian hands when Russia defeated Sweden in the early 18th

century. Germans had settled in the Baltic countries as far back as the year 1200, when the

Northern Crusades began. Their allegiance to their German origins evaporated over the

centuries. Once in the Russian fold, the Baltic Germans were devoted citizens of Russia and

played major roles in the fields of science, politics and the military of their mother country. In

that sense, Heinrich G. von Klee was a Russian. See below for more commentary. (Gerald D

Klee, Webmaster)

This is translated from the website by Barbara Snead, Collection Management Librarian,

Goucher College

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Klee, Frederik Alexander Gottlieb, 1808-64, Postembedsmand og historisk

Forfatter (Postal official and historical author”)

“Frederik Klee, born in Rørvig , Denmark , Nov. 26, 1808. The father, Heinrich G. Klee, was

Russian by birth, (He was from Riga, Latvia, which belonged to Russian at that time in

history.) but since he was married to a Danish woman he entered the Danish service and

distinguished himself as a brave and clever officer. When Russia (Heinrich’s “fatherland)”

was attacked by Napoleon in 1812 he returned, entered the Russian army, and participated in

the next years campaign; shortly thereafter he was the commander in Neumünster and

provided vital services to Denmark. After the truce he resided alternately in Russia ,

Denmark and Norway ; (died in Russia in 1829).

The son, who had accompanied the father to his alternating places of residence,

matriculated in 1826 at the University of Copenhagen , took the law degree exam in 1831,

became an associate in 1834, then achieved full responsibility in 1840 under the general

directorship of the postal service, then in 1847 was chief of the postal service’s revisions


In 1852 he obtained the title of justice councilor. From 1842-43 he was commissioned to

travel around the country to create a proposal for the revision of postal connections, and his

plan went into effect with the new regulation. Klee demonstrated overall warm enthusiasm

for our communications system and reaped great gain from its development; in this way he,

together with Dr. C.M. Poulsen, worked out the first practicably based proposal for a

railway, steamship and telegraph system for Denmark and Schleswig (1850). In 1862 he was

appointed as the government’s financial administrator for the railroad of Jutland and Funen.

This clearly talented and hard working man at the same time also cultivated interests of a

totally different sort. Already as a student he had pursued studies in history and had won the

university’s gold medal for a thesis on the relationship of Rügen [German island] to Denmark

before 1658.

He published practically oriented historical guide-books as well as authoritative and well-


comprehensive handbooks on “Europe since 1815” (1837), “ America , chiefly in Recent

Times” (1837-39), “History of the European States since 1815” (4 vol., 1860-63).

In his historic works he combined the geological and the paleontological; the theories he put

forth on the ancient conditions of the earth and on various ethnographic relations of the past

(such as “The Flood”, 1842, “Relics of the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages”, 1854) were

noteworthy for their bold originality.

From 1858 to 1864 Klee represented the second precinct of the Randers district in

Parliament. He died on March 13 1864. Klee married Caroline Sophie Frederikke Marie

Nicoline Moth in 1837 (born 14 July 1812, died 14 December 1884), daughter of Major


Erslew, Forf. Lex.

Illustr. Tid. 20. Marts 1864.

Johannes C. H. R. Steenstrup.

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* [EDITOR’S NOTE: Re: In an otherwise reliable discussion, the assertion by J. Steenstrup

(1844-1935), the renowned historian who was the author of this biographical entry, does not

give F A Klee sufficient credit for his scientific contributions. In his book on the geological

history of the earth, Klee was extremely accurate in many details and in some respects he

was almost a century ahead of his time. For example, in his 1842 book about the original

state of the Earth (Klee, Frederik. Syndfloden. En række af geologiske Hypotheser fremsatte

fra et verdenshistorisk Standpunct. 1842) he proposed that at a much earlier time the

continents were fused together in a massive supercontinent (that we now call Pangaea) that

later split up into the present continents. In 1912 Wegener published a similar hypothesis and

was ridiculed for it. Much later, in the 20th century, proofs of Tectonic Plate Theory

explained the mechanisms underlying continental shifts. This confirmed the hypotheses of

both Klee and Wegener, but by that time F A. Klee’s contribution had been forgotten. When

  1. Klee’s book came out in 1842, geology was not yet a full fledged science. No one

theorizing on geology at that time was entirely accurate. Some of Klee’s speculations turned

out to be invalid, but he was more often right than many of his contemporaries. Incidentally,

  1. Klee was only 34 years of age when the book was first published (in Danish). It was widely

popular and was translated into Swedish, German and French. I might add that Chapter II,

on Fossils , is so accurate that it would not be out of place in a modern textbook. Although

Klee’s book is popularly written, he references the work of many well known contemporary

and earlier scientists. The reader can scroll down on this page to further discussion, as well

as an English translation Le Deluge (The Flood), by Frederik Klee] The second half of the

book contains descriptions of creation myths of various cultures. I did not include that

section. Frederik Klee was only 34 years of age when this book was published in Danish.

Gerald D Klee, Editor and Webmaster; Gerald D Klee, MD, is a great grandson of Frederik

  1. G. Klee


Historical notes on Frederik Alexander Klee from family

sources in Denmark:

The Danish King, Frederik VI, supported Heinrich’s only son, Frederik

Alexander Klee during his

study of law. Mogens Klee, a Danish descendant of Dr Frederik Emil Klee,

told me

“Frederik Alexander was a universal genius. He became chief of a sector of

the Danish

Post authorities and he introduced the use of stamps to Denmark in 1854.

He wrote important works on history, geography, geology and other


(The Royal Danish Library has over thirty listings of publications that

can be seen online. GDK) As a young student he won a gold medal from the

University of Copenhagen for a historical treatise about the Wends in the

middle ages.*

(The Wends were a Baltic people of Slavic origin. The island of Ruegen was

inhabited by Wends.)

* “ Mogens’ son Henning describes the award to Frederik as follows:

We know, that during his law studies before he graduated, he delivered a dissertation about

the history of the German island in the Baltic called Ruegen, (which was under Danish

administration for several centuries in the Middle Ages, and for which he was rewarded with

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the Gold Medal of the University of Copenhagen”. This dissertation, which runs about 200

pages in old, handwritten Gothic script is in the possession of Ida Klee.

Henning also informed me that “Frederik Klee was member of the Danish Parliament from

1856-1864 when he died. He represented the National Liberal Party, which wanted to

dissolve the old Dano-German state consisting of Lauenburg, Holstein , Slesvig and the

Kingdom of Denmark including Iceland, Faroe Islands and Greenland, by separating Slesvig

from Holstein and Lauenburg, which were German speaking provinces.

As you know Denmark lost Slesvig (Alt spelling Schleswig)) and Holstein in a war with

Prussia and Austria in 1864 and in 1920 only the Northern Part of Slesvig was reunited with


Frederik Klee’s scholarly works

Frederik Klee published many scholarly works. Probably the most famous is one about how

the earth was formed, which he first published at the age of 34 in Danish. ( Klee, Frederik.

Syndfloden. En række af geologiske Hypotheser fremsatte fra et verdenshistorisk Standpunct) It was

later published in German under the title “Der Urzustand der Erde” and in Swedish and

French, “Le Deluge”. At the time it was written, geology was in its infancy and science had

not yet replaced the Bible as the authoritative source of knowledge of natural events.

Scientists and other writers who dared to challenge the creation myth of the Bible were often

subject to attack. Largely for that reason Charles Darwin, who was a contemporary of

Frederik Klee, waited until 1859 to publish his Origin of Species.

“Le Deluge” is full of facts and speculations that seem to be radically inconsistent with the

Biblical story of creation. At the time he wrote, it was still believed that God created the

world only about 5 or 6 thousand years ago and that all history of humans and other forms of

life took place within that narrow time frame. F. Klee repeatedly asserts that the Bible is

never wrong as he contradicts it on page after page. I doubt that F. Klee really believed that

what he wrote was literally consistent with Holy Scripture. It seems more likely that he said

that only to protect himself against attack from religious fundamentalists.

In writing about the formation of the earth, Frederik Klee was following in the footsteps of

the Dane Nicolaus Steno (Latinized version of the Danish name Niels Stensen), who is called

the father of geology for his work in the 17th Century.

Below is an English translation of Part I, chapters I, II ,III, IV, VI and XII of Le Deluge, by

Frederik A. G. Klee (The translation was done by Allison Butler, using the German

edition “Der Urzustand der Erde” and the French edition, “Le Deluge”

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Note how the author expresses profound acceptance of the Creation myth, while introducing

all kinds of exceptions to it.

Le Deluge by Frederik Klee

Chapter I – Part I

Preliminary Observations

There was a time when scientists could legitimately claim to grasp the whole of human

knowledge. Today, even the most gifted individual humbly recognizes that a lifetime is

hardly enough to fully probe any one of the countless sources of science. Even limiting

oneself to the most fundamental truths, it is easy to become lost in the vastness of the facts

that nature and history offer up for examination. Besides, who would dare to assume that the

field of science, as large as it appears, is not susceptible to further growth? Who would dare

to accept the deceiving illusion that we have finally reached the end of the same struggle

against superstition, ignorance and doubt that the truth has been battling for centuries? How

could someone of limited intelligence believe that sun of progress has completely dispersed

the clouds of ignorance that hide the ultimate goals of humankind: truth and freedom, since

the light of science still only illuminates a small number of experts of the intellectual world?

On the contrary, look at the number of people throughout the many generations that have

existed on this earth, who have exercised their intelligence in efforts to understand the rules

governing the universe! Should we not deplore the fact that most of them were afraid to

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reveal their discoveries to their contemporaries? It is because they feared the masses, who

with their prejudices, superstitions, and egoism have always been an obstacle against the

improvement of man. Once defeated, the masses treat these truths with indifference – truths

which we now consider to be the most precious jewels of intelligence. Take into

consideration the fierce struggle endured by Christianity to establish its doctrines! Eighteen

centuries have passed and barely more than a quarter of the earth’s inhabitants have adopted

other forms of this religion, which is simple yet so highly regarded.

The ideas that we have today concerning the shape of the earth and its climates etc.,

are ideas that each one of us has blindly adopted as common banalities that do not need to be

further examined. What struggles these ideas have endured against the gross incredulity and

obstinate ignorance of the past! How many centuries passed before we decided to renounce

the theory that the world is flat! – or for us to recognize that the north is not ruled by an

eternal cold, freezing everything in its path, and that a ravaging fire does not exist beyond the

equator (which was crossed with much fear by Gomer’s followers), Editor’s note: Gomer was

a Biblical character)- or for Columbus to convince his incredulous contemporaries that other

lands could be discovered by crossing the Atlantic (an idea which seems so simple to us

nowadays)! – or for us to finally acknowledge that powerful laws govern the universe, which

force the earth and the planets to circulate in orbits around the sun! The truth, however, has

emerged victorious over these struggles. Even those who disregarded it initially were

eventually forced to accept it and submit to its powerful force. Ever since the first

intellectual movement was recognized by man, the fact remains that the more our world is

illuminated, the more the truth will be universally recognized (this will continue to be so, as

long as the world exists).

Strengthened by this persuasion, I will attempt to analyze a page from the great book

of nature – a page, which is still quite obscure, yet whose contents are astonishingly rich. I

am not motivated by a vain assumption that my opinions are faultless, but by the irresistible

desire to present the scholars with a series of hypotheses for examination, (hypotheses which

I am profoundly convinced are true). First and foremost, I would like to point out that I wish

this work to be judged not only from a geological standpoint, but more so from a historical

point of view, since my goal is to shed light on a remarkable period in the history of

humankind; and thus I ask for the tolerance of the geologists for any errors I have made, since

it is true that no author should publish his work without having sufficiently developed and

studied it. On the other hand, an author must not hold back results, which he/she feels to be

sound or which could help to shed new light on the field of science. I cannot ignore the great

difference that exists between the conclusions that I have established in this book and the

opinions of philosophers and prominent scholars on these matters. I have no doubt that they

will be resistant to some of the ideas, however I trust they will be impartial when examining

my work. I dare to hope that if I succeed in persuading them of the soundness of my

principal idea, they will further develop this theory that I have exposed in bits and pieces. As

for the form, I agree that this work leaves something to be desired, however I would like to

point out that its main goal, which is an explanation of the deluge and its related phenomena,

was not a brief undertaking. Basically, I had an idea for several years, which I developed

amidst many doubts and struggles. Swayed by the authority of scholars who seemed to be

opposed to this idea, I dismissed it several times, only to turn back to it again with conviction

and new interest. What can I say – I could not convince myself that the account of the flood

in Genesis, which contains many fundamental truths, was not based on historical evidence. I

therefore turned to the sources of both history and science. The study of historical traditions

as well as the examination of the remarkable shapes of the coasts of the five parts of the

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world (which show evidence everywhere of the former existence of the seas) reconfirmed the

idea that I had developed about the act of creation as it is told in the Bible.

Before tackling this subject, and before making it accessible to a larger number of

readers (if permitted), I will talk about fossils, interesting remains from many years ago, and

will then expose an abridged summary of the history of geology. I will go on to present an

outline of the various strata that make up the earth’s crust based on their relative age, by

briefly explaining how the earth successively arrived at its actual state, or, in other terms,

how the world (a glorious name that we have given to our earth, which is so meager in

proportion to the rest of the universe) was created. It is superfluous to say that my intention

here is to simply give a course on systematic geology.

There was a time when unbiased scholars would have smiled at the thought that the

earth had been created by the simple word of the All-Powerful; the account of Genesis was

viewed as a figurative narrative adapted for the limited intelligence of the people of Israel. It

was affirmed with a perseverance that usually characterizes incredulity, that it would have

been unworthy of God to use a certain number of days in the creation of the world. A zealous

misunderstanding subsequently came about, rejecting the testimonies about the creation of

the world that were communicated in the Scriptures. It was forgotten that the establishment

of eternal and immutable laws, according to which the earth and the universe as well as

creation itself were gradually developed, imply the existence of an all-knowing and all-

powerful God.

Geology confirms the accuracy of the account creation in Genesis, provided that we

do not persist in confusing the spirit with the word. Here we are called to use our ability to

think and to reflect, which is one of the most precious gifts granted to us by God. By

proceeding in this way, each one of us can find a simple and true account of creation in the

Scripture, keeping with geological laws and worthy of its divine author. We should be

amazed by the fact that it was not until the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that several

scholars, armed with all of the experience and science of the past, had the idea to observe

several of the truths that Moses had already taught to his people.

Since the time of Aristotle, the Ancients recognized four elements: earth, fire, water and air,

which were assumed to be the main constituents of nature, and to which all bodies could be

reduced by chemical process. The chemists later proved that these elements, themselves

make up other elements. Today, we can account for no less than fifty simple bodies, which

will perhaps be further broken down as science progresses.

Based on the information that science has gathered, there are currently only sixteen elements

that make up the composition of the earth’s crust and the fluids that cover and surround it, or

that are in continuous circulation. They are oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon, sulphur,

chlorine, fluorine, phosphorus, silicon, aluminum, potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium,

iron, and manganese. The first six of these elements play the most important role.

It is very rare, however, to find these elements in their pure form. Generally, they combine

with each other in an infinite number of ways and therefore create various compound bodies,

which are endowed with particular properties according to the proportions with which they

are mixed. Thus the atmosphere of our earth is made up of various gasses, (though mainly of

oxygen and nitrogen in a proportion of approximately 21 to 79) which are maintained in the

form of air by the extensive force of the heat. Water is composed of oxygen and hydrogen in

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a proportion of 89 to 11. Fire is the result of a specific combination of oxygen, sulphur,

chlorine, etc., and various combustibles. According to the research of modern chemists, soils

are made up of metal oxides (specific combinations of metals with oxygen). A large number

of minerals are simply water precipitates, mainly from the sea.

The Ancients already acknowledged that water played a significant role in the formation of

the earth’s crust. Genesis recounts how the water covered the earth before the first

appearance of the animals, the plants, and man; according to Chinese and Egyptian traditions,

water is the original element; traditions from India claim that water was the first work of the

Creator; even the inhabitants of the New-World (among them Mexicans and Peruvians) call

the first Age of the world “the Age of water”.

From a physical point of view, one does not have to be a trained observer to realize that the

sea played a major role in the history of the formation of the continents; frequent allusions to

the actions of these waters can be found in the writings of authors throughout time. However,

credit must be given to the geologists of the last centuries who scientifically established that

all of the earth’s soils are marine deposits, and consequently, that in former times the

majority of our continents were covered by the sea. These geologists are the ones who taught

us that wherever we penetrate into the depths of the earth in order to extract metals, we

encounter deposits, which are similar to those formed by the sea nowadays. They have also

shown us that these deposits are set in layers, one on top of the other with a perfect regularity

and order, even in areas where the original layering was altered by catastrophe. Furthermore,

we have no reason to doubt that the sea actually covered these areas in former times if we

consider the fact that many of these soils contain petrifactions of plants and marine animals,

which, according to their quantity and circumstance, is sufficient proof that they lived and

perished in the same area.

In order to ensure a complete understanding of what is to follow, I feel it is necessary to

discuss fossils in greater detail, which constitute one of the essential parts of our geological


Chapter II – Part I


We would have the wrong idea about fossils if we believed them to be simply the

remains of organic bodies, that is, of petrified animals or plant life. For the most part, a fossil

is a mineral that has filled the space previously occupied by an organic body (plant or

animal), whereby the hard parts have been successively penetrated and replaced by mineral

substances. Sometimes, this substitution is carried out with such precision, that these

minerals take on the exact same form and structure of the deceased bodies, which give them a

striking resemblance to the destroyed organic body. It is this same process that turns wood

into crude quartz-agate, and later into opal; the parts of flint stone replace the original plant

substance, conserving the structure of the plant. The more delicate and soft the organic parts

of a body, the more difficult it is to preserve its structure. This explains why we only

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encounter organic bodies in a fossilized state that are more resistant to destruction due to their

hardness and their chemical nature.

We mainly find the trunks, branches, and roots of plants in the fossilized state.

Animal debris usually consists of teeth, bones, scales and other hard parts; but of all the

fossils, shells are the most common. They are found in all shapes and dimensions, and

sometimes in such large quantities that up to 10,454 were counted in just 45 grams of

limestone in the surrounding area of Sienna. The distribution of these fossils is even more

remarkable; enormous rocks of coral similar to those found in the south sea and vast shoals of

shells exist in the middle of the continents. There is hardly any Neptunian soil that does not

contain a large quantity, and they have been detected at all depths in the carboniferous soils

of England and Belgium at nearly 330 meters below sea level. They can also be found at the

summit of the highest mountains in Europe at 4,330 meters and in Asia at a height of 5,330

meters. Their presence is independent of the nature of the soil since they can be found in

very hard rock as well as in sand and marl deposits. However, this does not prevent them

from varying according to the diverse soils in which they are found. Those found at great

depths differ considerably from currently existing plants and animals, whereas those found in

the upper layers greatly resemble them. At some point, each of these layers must have been

positioned at the surface of the earth. The animals and plants whose remains are found in

these soils must have been buried and covered up by subsequent layers as a result of some

sort of accident. Finally, just as nowadays animals vary according to the general conditions

in which they exist, the same applies to the great diversity that can be found among fossils of

different regions. We are mainly able distinguish those from the salt-water deposits and

those from the fresh water deposits. In the layers just below the surface, for example in the

Basins of both Paris and London, salt-water fossils can be found on top of fresh-water fossils,

which proves that these areas were alternatively covered by the sea and then rivers or lakes.

Fossilized plants have also attracted the attention of scholars. Among the eminent

botanists who have studied plant fossils, I will mention Alexandre de Jussieu, Schlotheim,

Count Sternberg and in particular, Mr. Adolphe Brongniart, who discovered that the same

progressive development exists in the plant kingdom as in the animal world. All in all, the

study of plants was not pursued with the same perseverance as the study of animal fossils.

Only 5 – 600 plants fossils have been identified, which is quite small compared to the number

of existing plants. Previously existing plants have been associated with three or four main

time periods. The plants from the first period known as the insular period, such as the

cryptogams of gigantic proportions (lychopods, ferns), grew in islands that were not highly

elevated above sea-level. They are colossal plants whose structure is very simple and not

highly varied. All of these species are extinct and do not relate to any of existing plant

families. We have identified one type of fern in particular, whose trunk was covered in

extremely remarkable scales. In the second period: the littoral period, we find a much larger

variety of plants. Their structure is more compound and they present certain similarities with

existing plants. Some represent species, which currently exist although they are not as

widespread as before, such as the “cycade” family, which must have been very abundant in

its day.

During the third period, known as the continental period, plants were more or less

similar to currently existing ones. In general, the families and classes are the same, but the

species are different. Dicotyledons, which are the highest on the plant scale are very frequent

in this third period. Leaves have also been found that resemble in every respect our poplars,

willows, and maples.

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Everything indicates that the animal kingdom played a highly important role

throughout these three periods. This is attested in the immensity of the carboniferous soils:

the remains of primitive forests, which provide us today with one of our most basic resources.

The study of animal fossils began long before that of plants. It is not surprising that at

that particular stage in the development of natural sciences, fossilized debris was considered

to be a trick of nature, and many of these animals of colossal size and strange shapes, which

still continue to amaze us today, prompted the development of fables, including the legend of

the defeated rebel angels, who were 6 meters tall and whose assumed remains are none other

than those of the mammoth or antediluvian elephant. Other fables include the story of

Teutoboch, the 10-meter giant who was the king of the first Germans. His remains were

found in Dauphine and were later recognized to be the remains of a mastodon. There are also

the giants of Sicily, whose remains are actually those of hippopotami and the story of the

Primitive Man, described by Scheuchzer in 1726, who believed that the soft parts and the

skin of this man had been changed into stone. It was later discovered that these remains were

those of an extinct species of salamander. There is also the fable of the giant vulture, a

winged monster shaped more like a basilisk than a dragon, which was said to devour entire

families. Today we recognize that the remains or this giant vulture are the bones of the

northern rhinoceros. Finally there is the fable of the petrified Cavalier from the forest of

Fontainbleau, who was displayed to the curious public by avid speculators, but who was later

declared by the Academy of Paris to be nothing more than a concretion of sandstone. A

chisel is most likely to have helped end all speculation.

One circumstance that contributed to the propagation of the idea that these fossilized

remains were those of fantastic creatures was the opinion put forward by the ancient

naturalists, that no compound body species could become extinct on earth. By establishing

that these unknown petrified remains must have in fact belonged to extinct species of

animals, Lister (English) and Blumenbach (German) were the first to pave the way for more

sound ideas. However, it was Cuvier who would allow us to catch a glimpse of the immense

significance and scope of the study of fossils by establishing the great principle of the

correlation of forms in compound beings: a principle by which at least each being, if need be,

can be recognized by a single fragment of one of its parts. It is true, as Cuvier also remarks,

that determining the species to which a particular quadruped fossil belongs is very difficult,

considering the fact that it is very rare to find the complete skeleton, and even more so the

skin or hairs, etc. However, science has succeeded in defeating these difficulties, thanks to

the ingenious system of the illustrious naturalist, by which a single tooth or bone suffices to

determine the species to which it belongs. Thus, the mandible or jawbone of a carnivorous

animal makes it possible to determine the actual shape and size of the whole head. In order

for the animal to be able to carry its prey, for example, it must have certain muscles that

determine a particular shape of the neck and vertebrae. Its nails must be mobile for it to seize

its prey, and this determines the shape of the foot, etc. Cuvier was able to describe and

classify close to 100 species of animal fossils based on this method. Out of this number,

there were 70 species that were unknown to the ancient naturalists. The forms of these

monstrous species differed greatly from currently existing animals and astonished the world.

Paleontology began to progress rapidly down this path. A great deal of research on

fossils was carried out by eminent naturalists such as Alexander Brongniart, Lamarck,

Deshayes, d’Orbigny in France, Goldfuss, Count Munster, H.G. Bronn, Hoffmann, C.H. v.

Zieten in Germany, J. Sowerby, W. Buckland, Phillips in England, and Agassiz in

Switzerland, some of whose findings we will discuss later on.

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Among the non-vertebrate animals, the animal-plants or petrified zoophytes are found

in very large quantities, which is very easy to understand. The majority of animals of this

species, in particular the polyps, grow on rocks and since they are unable to move, they have

a much greater chance of survival. One of the most interesting discoveries of our time made

near Carlsbad by the naturalist, C. Fischer of Pirkenhammer and later completed by Professor

Ehrenberg in Berlin is the existence of fossilized infusoria. It has been calculated and

claimed that 41 million of these animals exist within 27mm


of slate in the regions of Bilin,

Bohemia and Cassel.

Mollusks play an equally important role. Deposits formed almost exclusively by

shells can be found in all formations of the earth’s crust. Those with considerable dimensions

show evidence of orthoceratites, which measure up to 2 meters in length. The debris of

crustaceans (of trilobites) has also been found in the oldest strata. On the other hand, worms

are not very evident, and insects are even less frequent. Spider fossils, which have been

found in the carboniferous soils of England, are among the latter. We also know that insects

are found in amber, which is a resinous vegetable substance. It is a type of hardened gum

originating from pine trees belonging to the antediluvian flora.

Among the vertebrate animals, fish and reptiles are the most important for geology,

not only because of their number, but because fish, whose natural habitat is water,

characterize almost all of the Neptunian layers and therefore provide us with information

about the fauna of the seas during different periods as well as the natural revolutions that they

endured. It is for this reason that several geologists devoted themselves entirely to the study

of fish fossils. They have identified more than 1700 species distributed in almost all of the

Neptunian formations. Mount Bolca near Verona provides a remarkable example of the

number of fish fossils that can found in a limited area. Mr. Agassiz identified 127 species,

not one of which resembles any currently existing one.

The reptiles of the antediluvian world differ greatly from those of today. The

saurians, among others, were animals of gigantic dimensions and fantastic shapes, which are

reminiscent of the chimeric monsters of the fable. Such large quantities of these reptiles have

been found in certain strata, that it is believed that they ruled the animal kingdom for several

epochs along the gulfs and in the swamps.

One British woman, Miss Anning, introduced us to one of the most remarkable

amphibians, the ichthyosaurus, which has the mandible of a dolphin, the teeth of a crocodile,

and the sternum and head of a lizard. This animal must have lived in very large groups since

fossilized excrement of this reptile can be found covering more than half of a rock formation

in Gloucestershire, which is several inches thick and extends over a mile in length. It is

assumed that the ichthyosaurus was an excellent swimmer, but was not very mobile on land.

Its mandible was long and pointed and its face was almond-shaped. It had an extremely large

head and a very short neck. A number of the mandibles found measure up to 2 meters in

length with some of these animals measuring up to at least 5 meters in length.

Another animal of the same family, which has a less fantastic appearance but which is

even more extraordinary, is the plesiosaurus, identified by Mr. Conybeare. This animal has a

small head and an extremely long neck. Some measure up to almost 9 meters in length.

The naturalists have found 15 other animal species of the same family, including the

mosasaurus, an intermediary species between the crocodile and the lizard measuring 8 meters

Page 12

in length; the megalosaurus, identified by Buckland, which is a reptile measuring over 13

meters in length; the iguanodon, which resembles the Mexican iguana, but which measures

23 meters in length; and finally the pterodactyl, discovered near Eichstaedt, of which 8

species were identified measuring between 50 and 130 cm in length. This animal prompted

various debates, however the general agreement is that it is considered to be a flying reptile.

Only a very small number of fossilized toads have been discovered. Bird fossils are

even more rare, which is easy to understand if we assume that their ability to fly allowed

them to escape somewhat from the catastrophes that led to the death of the land animals.

However, footprints of birds have been found in certain layers of sandstone. Petrified eggs

and feather imprints in limestone also exist, however we have not yet discovered fossilized

beaks, heads or talons, which are the essential parts needed for the rigorous identification of


The mammals of the antediluvian world, which during the more recent epochs present

as animals of a much more complex structure, appear to have reached their greatest

development during the period immediately preceding the deluge. Their fossilized remains

are found in both recent and alluvial soil. The fact that these animals existed on the eve of

the deluge gives us reason to believe that they were wiped out by this catastrophe. I will

touch on this topic later on when I further discuss the deluge. For the time being, I will limit

myself to mentioning some of the remarkable species of mammals that were already extinct

before the deluge, such as the paleother (?), of which there must have been 10-12 species; the

largest were the size of a rhinoceros and the others ranged from the size of a horse to the size

of a pig. There is also the anoplother, of which 5 known species exist, as well as the

cheropotamus, and the adapis, etc. These animals are all pachyderms, which have been

mainly found in the Paris Basin.


Chapter III – Part 1

A Summary of the History of Geology

The Jews and the Egyptians are the only ancient peoples to have demonstrated any

understanding of geology. If we compare Moses’ simple yet noble account of the creation of

the world with the vague and complicated description written by the Greek philosophers, we

are forced to agree that the cosmogony of the Jewish legislature is greatly superior. And yet,

Moses was raised by Egyptian priests and lived approximately 16 centuries before Jesus

Christ. The doctrines of the philosophers, who for the most part derived from the same

school and who lived much later on, refer to little more than isolated facts. Thalès de Milet



century B.C.) taught that the earth was formed by water. Xénophane de Colophon (6


century B.C.) believed that initially, the continent was covered by water, and Herodotus (5


century B.C.) held the same opinion with regards to Egypt: that it was created by the Nile.

However none of them provide a complete account of the creation of the world. Remarkably,

some assume that the origins of the earth are Neptunian, whereas others who use the presence

of the volcanoes in Italy and Greece as a guide believe the earth to be the result of volcanic

Page 13

phenomena. Zenon and Heraclitus (5


century B.C.) assume that fire caused the formation of

the earth, and Empedocles of Agrigento (middle of the 5


century) thought that mountains

were a result of internal fire. Born in 430, Plato recounts that the island of Atlantis, which

was situated near the Strait of Gibraltar and which was larger than Libya and Asia combined

was destroyed by a flood and earthquake. Aristotle, who was born in 384 B.C., and who was

the founder of natural sciences of his time, considers the earth as a sort of living being, to

which he attributes a period of youth, adolescence and old age. Finally, Strabon, who was

born in 60 B.C., taught that the internal fire, which was incessantly active deep within the

earth, had uplifted on numerous occasions and had caused not only islands, but also entire

parts of the globe to disappear below the sea.

The cultivation of science came to a halt during the centuries to follow. Finally,

Omar el Alem, an Arab scholar who lived during the 10


century after Christ, wrote a

dissertation on the backward motion of the sea. However, along with the decadence of the

power of the Arabs came the flourish of the arts and sciences. Five hundred years passed

during which so much care was given to material interests that man was left with little time to

study the earth. Italy, which was rich in fossils and so favorable for the research of scholars,

was destined to become once again the forum of the scientific renaissance. It was there at the

beginning of the 16


century, that the famous scholar Fracastor opposed the opinion that

fossils found in various soils were carried and deposited by the sea. From that point on,

interest in geology spread throughout France and Germany. The Dane, Niels Steensen, more

generally known under the name of Nicolas Stenon, based his famous theory


, which was

introduced to Europe by Mr. Elie de Beaumont, upon the phenomena of nature in Italy. This

work undeniably places our compatriot in first place among geologists prior to Werner, who

he may have surpassed had he been his contemporary or successor, based on the soundness of

his ideas. Nicolas Stenon claimed that the earth’s crust was made up of stacked, parallel

layers that were formed by the sea, lakes, or rivers etc., and that upheavals of these layers

were the result of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, forming the mountains and valleys. He

was also the first to prove the existence of land prior to the appearance of organic beings.

However, his less enlightened contemporaries soon forgot his profound and very sound

ideas. Had they been further developed, these ideas would have advanced the science of

geology greatly beyond its current stage. The prejudices of the period were an enormous

threat to the progress of this science and absurd hypotheses were developed on the pretext of

placing the Bible in harmony with geological phenomena.

In their explanation of the deluge, scholars of the highest merit proved themselves to

be prolific in developing inconceivable hypotheses. Thomas Burnet, an English scholar



assumed for example, that the earth’s surface initially consisted of a smooth, level, and light

crust, which covered the chasms of the seas. He believed that this crust eventually burst and

caused the deluge. Subsequently, the debris from this primal crust fused together to create

the surface of the earth as it is at present. Burnet’s compatriot, John Woodward


, who was a

learned professor at Cambridge, shared and further developed his opinion along with a slew

of new absurdities. William Whiston, a skilful astronomer, believed that the deluge was

caused by the encounter of the earth with the tail of a comet that he had observed in 1680



The famed philosophers Descartes


and Leibnitz


held the opinion that the earth was the

remains of a burnt out sun. According to the former, the various elements were arranged in

such a way that fire occupied the center of the globe and water covered the surface. He

attributed the volcanic activity and the formation of metals, etc., to the central internal fire.

Leibnitz, on the other hand, believed that after the earth had cooled, it was transformed into a

mass of granite, covered in glass and gravel and full of crevasses. He claimed that as the

Page 14

atmosphere cooled, it was transformed into water and flooded the earth as it violently

precipitated to the ground. As the surface of the earth was fissured in several areas, it

provided an outlet for the water, and thus the continents and islands appeared as a

consequence of these upheavals. Jacques Scheuchzer of Zurich claimed that the waters that

caused the deluge had sprung up from reservoirs originating from the interior of the earth.

He believed that the mountains were formed by the rocky substances of the earth, which were

primarily dispersed as a result of the deluge but were then gathered and assembled by the

direct intervention of a divine power, whose intention it was to place the mountains in areas

where rocks were the most abundant


. The theories of scholars, which were to follow,

proved to be more in accordance with the laws of nature. Pluche


, an abbot, claimed that the

deluge was caused by a displacement of the earth’s axis accompanied by a subsidence of the

earth’s surface. Engel[9]

, a bailiff, thought that this catastrophe was caused by a shift of

gravity. Le Cat


was of the opinion that the continents were formed by the movement of

the sea, which while creating its banks piled up deposits and alluvium, whereas Maillet


believed that the continents were formed by the backward motion of the sea. Lazaro



, who was regarded for a long time as one of the leading representatives of

volcanism, was opposed to these opinions. In general, however, his ideas were far less

profound than those expounded by Stenon a century earlier. Like Stenon, he suggested that

the continents had been raised above sea level by the internal fire and that the fossils that

were discovered were remains of animals that had lived there.



expounded his system in 1743, however, although his ingenious hypotheses

and his elegant style attracted the interest and approval of the public, his opinions were

considered by the Sorbonne to be heretical. He believed that a comet had grazed the equator

of the sun in an oblique direction and had thus caused the separation of the planets. The

planets, which were igneous fluid masses (like the sun), were gradually cooled by the poles

and continued to cool as they moved towards the equator. According to his calculations, it

must have taken the earth 74,800 years to attain its current temperature, and it would take

another 93,000 to lower its average temperature to zero. All creatures would be therefore

destined to perish as the heat dissipated. He claimed that the continents were formed by

water from the atmosphere, which precipitated so violently that the continents were left dry

as the water rushed to fill the fissures caused by the consolidation of the igneous mass.

Furthermore, he divided the history of the development of the earth into 6 periods, which he

called “the epochs of nature”. As ingenious as it was, this system was found to be at odds

with practical knowledge on several points and subsequently had to be abandoned. Pallas’

ideas are in many respects more in accordance with the laws of nature even though they are

by no means faultless


. He claimed, for example, that the numerous fossils that have been

found in Siberia were carried and deposited there by a deluge. This deluge was the result of a

volcanic eruption, which caused the Indian Ocean to flood the continent of Asia. As a result

of this catastrophe, plants and animals of southern Asian were carried towards northern

regions and subsequently froze in the ice.

The DeLuc brothers (in particular Jean André


), who were contemporaries of Pallas,

made genuine progress in the field of natural sciences, particularly in meteorology. Although

Jean André was able to use evidence to demonstrate the fallacy of earlier systems, he failed in

his attempt to explain the creation of the world and the deluge in complete accordance with

the book of Genesis. Satisfactory geological results were obtained only after an extensive

study of a series of successive soils and the fossils that they contained (an essential

requirement for every good theory of creation). Fortunately, the geologists eventually

decided to abandon their hypotheses and focus on the more practical side of their science.

Page 15

These geologists include among others the Germans J.G. Lehmann, and C. Fuschel, the

English Mitchel and Withurst, and the famous French geologist, Saussure who, independent

of all schools, expounded various new ideas and results based on thorough research that he

conducted during his numerous travels in the Alps


. In general, however, Saussure’s

published results tended to be limited. On the other hand, the German geologist, A.G.

Werner, developed a general theory based on his own local experiments and subsequently

became not only the creator of a mineralogy system, but also founded the modern Neptunist

school. Since his ideas were considered for a long period to be indisputable and were highly

influential in the development of geology, I presume that a summary of his system might be

of some interest.

Werner was the first to demonstrate that the various layers of the earth’s crust are

composed of the same elements, which however are more or less modified. He went on to

divide the soils into a certain number of formations, and although his system was not

completely acceptable, one cannot deny the soundness of his basic idea. Since his

observations were limited to the study of the Ertz mountains and their surroundings, where

the traces of a long and regular formation are evident, he concluded that the system was

purely Neptunian. He believed that the earth was composed of aqueous deposits in which

rock and soil masses initially dissolved and then covered the surface of the earth on repeated

occasions. He was not, however, able to explain the cause of this occurrence. According to

his theory, the lower layers must have inevitably been older than those covering them, as

these deposits could only have been formed successively. Thus, Werner was able to classify

the oldest formations. He labeled the first layers the primitive soils, which were composed of

granite, mica schist, and gneiss etc., crystalline by nature, and devoid of any fossils. The next

layer, which he named the transitional soils


, covered the primitive soils and included hard

limestone and clayey schist etc. They were the first partly crystalline soils to show evidence

of animal or plant debris. Covering the transitional soils were the stratified soils (secondary

soils, or “seam” soils), which appeared to be more recent and were composed of various

types of sandstone, coal, clay, and gypsum. These soils contained an abundance of fossils,

primarily of marine animals. The most recent formations were the alluvium soils. These

soils were composed of clayey and carboniferous layers and contained the remains of cattle,

deer, rhinoceros, and elephants, etc. Werner attributed the displacement of these layers to

purely local circumstances, such as the collapse of caves. He believed that volcanoes were

nothing more than huge fires on the earth, caused by local circumstance.

With this theory, Werner laid the first foundation stone in the chronicling of a natural history

of the earth

[18], dating back thousands of years far beyond man’s recollection. This very

daring idea is generally accepted nowadays and is most likely to continue to be supported as

an irrefutable and unshakeable truth. It is easy to understand that the determination of a

system based on the latest geological research, which carried with it such a high degree of

truth sparked great interest in the enlightened world. Distinguished German, French, and

British scholars enthusiastically engaged themselves in this study, which promised to yield

interesting and valuable results. We have already mentioned several of these scholars in our

discussion on fossils, however I would like to name the Germans, J.C.W. Voigt, J.C.

Freisleben, F.A. Reusz, Leopold von Buch, Alexandre von Humboldt, and finally Goethe; the

French, Brochant de Villiers, d’Aubuisson, de Voisin, etc; the British, Robert Jameson,

founder of the Wernerian Society, W. Smith, Greenough, J. Webster, Conybeare, McColloch,

  1. Buckland, Sedwick, Lyell, Sowerby, etc., as well as Henri Steffens, who was born in

Norway, but received his education and family upbringing in Denmark.

Page 16

Several of these scholars embraced Werner’s ideas and regarded the earth’s crust as having

been formed exclusively by the sea; they are the followers of the modern Neptunian School.

Geology continued to progress, however, and it was discovered that several of the geological

phenomena within Werner’s theory were not only inexplicable, but were also in fact

contradictory. Werner reassigned the basalt to the secondary soil layer, however it was also

found in the composition of the primitive soils. Furthermore, granite, which should have

belonged to the primitive soils and consequently, should have been found under the other

soils, was discovered above them in the Scandinavian mountains as well as in the Alps and

even in the Ertz mountains, where Werner had derived the principles of his system. As a

result, a flurry of new opinions emerged regarding the age of the Alps. The confidence in the

infallibility of Werner’s theory was so great however, that the conflicting opinion of his

student Voigt, an excellent mineralogist, who believed that the formation of the earth’s crust

was largely a result of the internal fire, did not prevail. It was James Hutton


, a Scot, who

received the recognition for founding the volcanic school. He claimed that the mountains had

been raised above sea level and that originally horizontal terrains had been displaced and

broken up by volcanoes. He tried to show that the continents, which were formed in this

way, were later disrupted by volcanic tremors and flooding. New continents were then

formed from the debris. He believed that this occurred at least twice. Hutton’s ideas were

defended ardently by John Playfair, who added informative explanations


to his work, and

by James Hall


, who conducted several interesting experiments, which confirm Hutton’s

theory. Other British, French, and German scholars adherent to the same theory claimed that

several soils, primarily the primitive and non-fossilized soils were not deposits from the

depths of the seas, but were substances melted by the internal fire that had been brought to

the earth’s surface in a liquid state. This liquid then froze after being covered by soils, which

were considered by the Werner school to be more recent. As always, the defendants of this

new theory, who attributed the fire as being the principal factor in the formation of the earth’s

crust, began to exaggerate. Many of their arguments were refuted and a fierce conflict

erupted between those, adherent to the theories of the Neptunist school and those of the

volcanic school. Leopold de Buch and Alexander von Humboldt, who were both supporters

of Werner, emerged victorious from this struggle with their consent to modify his ideas.

Leopold de Buch developed the ingenious theory of upheavals according to which, the

majority of terrains that make up the earth’s crust were originally sediment deposited by the

sea. Later on they were uplifted by the force of the central fire and caused eruptions at sea

level with the anterior Plutonian formations. This theory also helps to explain why the lower

rock layers, including those classified by Werner as primitive soils, are often found above

more recent soil layers. It is a consequence of the interior pressure, which by acting against

the earth’s crust submitted it to intense tension. Thus, the top layers must have broken up and

the lower layers pushed to the surface. Buch’s early writings demonstrate that his first ideas

were primarily Neptunian. His subsequent in depth studies of the Alps and of the volcanoes

of Italy and the South of France reaffirmed these ideas and he could not be swayed. In 1806

through 1808


however, an expedition would convince him otherwise. He traveled through

Scandinavia from Christiania across Norway to the North Pole, continuing across Lapland via

Tornea all the way to Stockholm and then back to Christiania. In the surrounding areas of

this latter town, he was surprised to discover granite, which until that point had been

classified as belonging to the primitive soils. According to Werner’s theory, this granite

should have belonged to the lower soil layers and should have been covered mainly with a

particular limestone containing numerous fossils. Thus, de Buch became the first to show

that Sweden is subject to continual upheaval. After having explored the Canary Islands in

1815 accompanied by the Norwegian botanist, Christian Smith, he concluded that these

Page 17

islands were of volcanic origin. Based on his research, he put forward the idea that the

islands in the Pacific had been formed by volcanic activity. He pointed out that all of the

volcanoes covering the earth could be classified into groups, which proves, according to him,

that the internal fire emerged through large crevasses. He concluded that not only entire

continents, but also mountains had been created and raised by the internal fire. By displacing

the primitive horizontal layers so as to create hills and valleys, these upheavals created the

distinguishing features of the various countries. Later on, he demonstrated that the enormous

mountain range of the Alps was created by the emission of black porphyry from the earth’s

core, or rather and perhaps what is more accurate, that the appearance of black porphyry

correlated with the creation of those mountains.

Although Alexandre von Humboldt introduced the world to many interesting phenomena

regarding the emergence of mountains as well as geology in general, the credit for developing

the scientific theory of upheavals still belongs to the very talented Frenchman, Mr. Elie de

Beaumont. He showed that Leopold de Buch’s evidence relating to the mountains in

Germany could be applied to all mountain systems in all countries, primarily to those in

Europe, the relative age of which he was able to determine by researching the phenomena

that occurred during their upheaval. He showed that the deposits from Neptunian formations,

which consisted of secondary or transitional soils, must have been created over long, uniform,

and calm periods of time, and that from time to time great cataclysms occurred and

interrupted the consistency of these deposits. Thanks to their varying composition, these

formations are easily distinguishable, (i.e. slate, sandstone), and depending on the various

formations, the remains of organic bodies demonstrate very particular characteristics.

According to Mr. de Beaumont, these phenomena, much like the displacement of the layers,

can be attributed to catastrophes that occurred as a result of the upheaval of the mountains.

Based on his examination of these facts, he concluded that the upheavals must have taken

place during four separate periods of time; however after further studies he increased the

number of time periods to twelve and then subsequently to fifteen. It is therefore easy for us

to conceive how important the determination of the relative age of these mountains must be

in terms of the history of the earth’s developmen

[1] De solido intra solidum naturaliter contento

[2] Telluris theoria sacra. Londini 1681.

[3] An Essay towards the natural history of the earth. London, 1685.

[4] A new theory of the earth. London, 1708.

[5] Principia philosophiae (opera omina). 1692.

[6] Protogaea i Acta Lipsiens. 1693. Goettingen, 1749.

[7] Histoire de l’Acadmie des sciences de Paris, an 1708.

[8] Spectacle de la nature. La Haye et Paris. 1739-41.

[9] Wann und wie ist Amerika bevoelkert worden? Essai sur cette question, etc., par E.B. d’E.

Page 18

[10] Magasin francais, 1750.

[11] Telliamed. Amsterdam, 1748 (1755)

[12] De’ Crostacei e degli altri corpi marini ebi, 1740. Also in German entitled “Neue

Untersuchungen”, 1751.

[13] Histoire naturelle, cont. les époques de la nature, supplem. 1778.

[14] Observations sur la formation des montagnes, 1777.

[15] Lettres physiques et morales sur les montagnes et sur l’histoire de la terre et de l’homme.


[16] Voyages dans les Alps, 1779.

[17] In Werner’s “kurze klassifikation und beschreibungen der gebirgsarten”, Dresden, 1787,

the transitional soils are not considered as a separate class.

[18] Ueber die ausserlichen Kennzeichen der Fossilien. 1774

[19] Theory of the earth, 1795.

[20] Explications, 1802.

[21] Transactions of the R. Soc. of Edinburgh, vol. 2.

[22] Reise durch Norwegen und Lappland. Berlin, 1810.


Chapter IV – part I

Mr. Elie de Beaumont’s system of mountain upheaval

Since the hypotheses that I will discuss later on regarding the deluge and related phenomena

are based primarily on de Beaumont’s system, I feel that it is necessary to provide a

chronological summary of the upheaval of the various mountain systems in Europe; these

periods of elevation are not to be confused however with the those that chronicle the actual

formation of the mountains. The following is a summary written by F. Hoffman



Page 19
  1. The Westmoreland and Hundsruck, with their neighboring Eifel and Taunus mountains,

which comprise the oldest mountain system. All of the mountain ranges belonging to this

system run almost exactly from NE ¼ E to SW ¼ W. The mountains of south Scotland and

the Isle of Man are undoubtedly the same age.

  1. The Vosges mountains and the Bocage hills (in the calvados region), which run from E



S –W 15


  1. De Beaumont believes that this system contains part of the old Hartz


  1. The direction of the mountain system of northern England, which runs almost

exactly from S-N with several deviations on both ends stretching from N NW – S SE.

  1. The mountain system of the Netherlands and southern Wales, which in the

Netherlands stretches initially from N – SW up until the left bank of the Meuse river, but then

suddenly changes direction from E-W continuing along the same line into Pembrokeshire.

  1. The system of the Rhine, which includes the Vosges and the Black Forest, and

which extends almost from S-N or from S SW – N NE.

  1. The system comprising the Bohemian Forest and the Thuringian Forest, including the

hills of Autun in the Vendée and the hills of southern Britanny; it runs from SE – NW.

  1. The system which includes the Ertz mountains, the Côte d’Or, Mount Pilas in Forez and

part of the Jura on the left bank of the Rhine; it runs from SW – NE.

  1. The system of Mount Viso, which runs from the coastal mountains (Alpes maritimes) of

Nice and Antibes all the way to Lons-le-Saulnier; direction N NW – S SE.

  1. The system of the Pyrenees and the Apennines whose mountain ranges all run from NW –

SE, comprises i) those parts of the eastern Alps which, after dividing at Goritz run from N-W

to S-E across Carinthia, Carniole [in German “Krain”], Croatia and Dalmatia along the

Adriatic sea to the Morée peninsula and the Greek Islands and ii) the largest part of the Hartz

and the slopes of Westphalia, which run parallel to the Teutoburgerwald.

  1. The mountain system of Corsica and Sardinia, which runs from S-N. This system most

likely includes several mountain ranges from France, Germany, and other neighboring


  1. The system of the western Alps, which includes Mont Blanc, runs 26


N – 26


  1. It

appears that the mountains along the eastern coast of Spain and the mountains of Scandinavia

also belong to this same time period.

  1. The system, which comprises the main mountain range of the Alps from Valais to

Austria, represents without a doubt the most recent elevation, as the period of its formation

coincides with the period of transportation of the erratic blocks, which can be found scattered

throughout alluvial countries. All of the mountain ranges of this colossal system run more or

less from W-E.

Page 20

After having determined the relative age of these mountain systems, de Beaumont in

conjunction with other geologists, continued his study and comparison of other mountain

systems in Europe and on the continents. However, since the geological circumstances of

these continents have not been adequately examined, the ideas that are based on these

circumstances cannot be considered more than plausible theories that have yet to be proven

either right or wrong. What does seem certain though is that the greater the massif, the more

recent it’s elevation occurred. It is therefore conceivable that with the gradual thickening of

the earth’s crust the younger mountains were elevated by a much more powerful and violent

force than the older ones. This hypothesis is as indisputable as the idea upon which Mr. Elie

de Beaumont has based his system of classification.

[1] Geschichte der Geognosie. Berlin, 1838

Le Deluge, Chapter VI – Part 1

The theory of the creation of the world

The illustrious French physicist, Arago, claimed that the earth is a star, which became

covered in a crust when it cooled. This concept is not new, as Descartes and Leibnitz

considered the planet to be a sun with a rigid crust. This hypothesis can be considered to be

as lovely as it is true, as long as we do not err to assume that within the universe, the sun or

the stars are at any lesser stage of development than the earth. Such an assumption would be

particularly devoid of any basis since everything we know concerning these stars points to the

contrary. What’s more, we have no authorization to judge the development of the stars

relative to that of the earth. If the millions of stars, which are scattered throughout space, are

governed by the same fundamental laws of the earth and are made up of the same primitive

matter, then we have reason to believe that no two stars have ever been subject to the same

conditions or circumstances. Just like the power of the Creator, the diversity of creation is


In early prehistoric times, as in all other time periods of the world, igneous matter was

hurled out of the depths of the earth. The volcanoes, which are still active in various climates

around the world, demonstrate so much similarity with respect to their phenomena, that they

must be considered to be an effect of the same cause. Hot springs emerge out of the depths of

the earth and gush forth in large quantities from the various layers of the earth. Relevant to

these facts, which show evidence of the internal heat of the earth, is the important recent

discovery of increasing temperatures taken from the earth’s surface going downwards during

surveys that were done for the construction of artesian wells. The information about the

interior of the earth acquired by this means showed us that despite layers of ice, which can be

found in various regions such as Saxony, Hungary, Russia, and Sweden, the internal heat of

the earth, which is independent of the sun and exterior atmosphere, increases at such an

astounding rate that if this increase were to continue proportionally, the earth would be

burning at a depth of one and half geographic miles, twice the height of the Cotopaxi, and at a

depth of five to six miles all things would be in a state of fusion.

Page 21

According to Leonhard’s meaningful theory, if we believe that the earth was

originally in a gaseous state, or rather that all of the solid elements which form its substance

were spread around in the form of vapors in an area much larger than they occupy today, we

should conclude that little by little the temperature of these vapors was diminished by the

emanation of the heat. The less fluid bodies, and the heaviest, which were the metals, must

have been the first to condense so as to form a metallic core in the center of the area whose

scorching heat prevented the condensation of the other substances. Later on however, other

materials must have condensed under the influence of their affinities and created new

compounds. Due to their strong affinity with a number of other substances, potassium and

sodium most likely played a key role in these processes. Little by little the temperature

continued to decrease. Oxygen, hydrogen and sulfur, in general all of the non-metallic

bodies, combined with one another and produced water and other compounds. After the

internal heat, which accompanied the first mixture of elements, separated the igneous parts

from those which were volatile and the other substances melted according to their chemical

affinities, an initial spherical layer consisting of rocks, those being: gneiss, micaceous schist,

and the oldest granites, formed around the nucleus of the earth. Consequently, the first

products of the earth’s internal creative force, which can be found in the depths of mines as

well as on the snowy peaks of many mountains, are the first results of the coagulation of the

earth’s surface. They are the so-called primitive mountains and form the base of all later rock

formations. At that time, neither plant nor animal life had developed yet: therefore, these

original rock masses must not have contained any traces of organic bodies. Over time, the

development of the internal heat of the earth continued to diminish as the amount of heat that

was being emitted began to exceed the amount being produced. Little by little the surface of

the earth cooled and a considerable part of the atmosphere, which had surrounded the globe

up until that point changed into drops/liquid, and precipitated to the surface in torrential

downpours. The influence of this water was not only mechanical, but also generated chemical

activity as a result of its very high temperature. The earth’s crust, which was still quite thin,

was unable to resist the expansive internal forces. Large and small pieces of debris were torn

away and the layers of gneiss, micaceous schist, and granite broke down and decomposed.

The huge masses of water were violently agitated and driven by their natural tendency to

remain in equilibrium they precipitated from all sides, flooding the chasms, which had

resulted from the subsidence of the land. Huge areas of the former surface, and maybe even

the entire surface, were invaded by the water, which created enormous masses made up of

broken and decomposed matter. This sludge was the origin of the slate soils, which were not

a new creation but were the altered result of a previous formation. The eruptions did not

cease, however and the repeated upheavals from the original plutonic crust, which was

initially formed as one complete whole, explain why these plutonic masses are often only

found in specific isolated areas or over certain distances in the form of mountain ranges. The

contraction of certain parts of the earth’s crust produced fissures and caves. Water penetrated

through these openings to the interior of the earth and caused new eruptions. From within the

earth emerged the granites, the “syenites”, the porphyries and the ancient limestone, which

broke up the former crust of gneiss, micaceous schist, and granite and seeped into the fissures

sometimes rising above the surface of this crust only to be hurled back down. Similar to the

older melted matter, these secondary plutonic masses do not contain any plant or animal

fossils since no living thing could have inhabited the earth at that point. Nor do they contain

detrital rocks or fragments of rock, which are rounded and smooth, as a result of having been

rubbed together by the violent and agitated action of water. On the other hand however, these

masses do contain angular debris from the older plutonic masses, for example; fragments of

old granite have been found in more recently formed granite, fragments of gneiss in porphyry

Page 22

and pieces of micaceous schist in limestone, etc. This is obvious proof that the most recent

plutonic formations emerged through the earliest crust of the earth.

The waters also exerted considerable influence and continued to be both destructive and

regenerative at the same time. The varied materials upon which these waters acted would

eventually become the earliest slate, sand, and limestone soils. Little by little the sea caused

these soils to settle. They can be divided up into different groups corresponding with the

important epochs in the history of the formation of the soils during and after the major

revolutions that acted upon the earth’s crust. The various formations can be distinguished

from one another according to particular characteristics: the Neptunian formations, which

make up the lower soils, are always older than those covering them since the subsequent

deposits must have settled on top of those already in existence. As these Neptunian deposits

were settling, thereby contributing to the consistency and thickness of the earth’s crust, the

internal force of the earth lifted the land higher and higher above the water, initially to form

islands, subsequently as protruding mountain ranges and finally, as continents. Plants

quickly covered the earth and the appearance of primitive animals coincided roughly with

this early and simple vegetation. At that time, the condition of the earth must have differed

greatly from what it is today since all of the plant and animal remains found in the earliest

Neptunian soils belong to extinct species, which differ completely from species of today.

Violent catastrophes destroyed this first creation and many others over thousands of years;

however no creation was ever wiped out without being replaced by a newer and more perfect

order of things.

While the earth’s coagulated crust was still quite thin a tropical climate must have

prevailed, even in those regions furthest from the equator. The earth’s crust emitted hot

vapors from everywhere, boiling springs gushed forth, and plants grew to gigantic

proportions, proof of which has been found in buried forests and carboniferous soils. The

power of the vegetation of that period is truly astonishing. Little by little however, this

abundance diminished as the earth’s crust began to cool and the climates began to differ.

Consequently, a much larger variety of plant forms emerged. It is likely that during the first

period of creation the rays from the sun were not able to penetrate the atmosphere, which

would have been densely covered in vapors. According to geologists, the atmosphere must

have been considerably different than that of its present state and its proportion of carbonic

acid must have been much greater. Nevertheless, the heat of the sun was most likely just as

influential on the development of the earth as it was on plant and animal life.

As the earth’s crust continued to cool, the internal force of the globe continued to

build. Considerable upheavals occurred in various regions and the surface of the continent

increased. Elsewhere, waves swelled up in the immense ocean and all friable matter was

swept away by the water, thereby eliminating all things dissolvable. The larger deposits that

were left formed new slate, sandy and calcareous soils. The occurrence of these Neptunian

catastrophes alternating with Plutonic eruptions, particularly the expulsion of granite and

porphyry, must have been frequent considering the number of layers that have been


As the occurrence of these upheavals decreased and the physical state of the earth

began to stabilize, the sun emerged in all its brilliance, penetrating the hot and cloudy

atmosphere. More advanced forms of plant and animal life subsequently appeared. At last,

with the state of things ready for the arrival of man, he was created by the hand of the

Page 23

Almighty to reign on earth, which was rendered for him through considerable and radical

change to serve as his dwelling-place for his journey through life.

In essence, this theory coincides with the narrative in the first chapter of Genesis.*

(this text appears in the French version only)

Such is the abridged version of the remarkable history of the earth, whose

fundamental periods have been determined by natural scientists. No doubt it is interesting to

compare this history of creation with that written in the first chapter of Genesis, which clearly

and greatly surpasses cosmogonies1


of other ancient cultures and could be considered

entirely true if, as many scholars believe, it is acknowledged that the transcription by ancient

copyists of the narrative of the creation was not always accurate and that the alteration of a

word or phrase could have occurred. Supposing however, that such errors did not occur, after

we learn in Genesis that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, which agrees

with W. Buckland’s2[2]

notion of the universe and the undeveloped mass of the globe, the

narrative goes on to recount the stages of creation generally in keeping with the

aforementioned geological theory and describes the gradual development of the earth: the

light, which is essential for the existence of all organic life, was created first; the aqueous

vapors dispersed to form clouds (the water above the expanse) and the sea (the water below

the expanse); the land and water separated; organic life developed very early; the sun, the

moon and the stars broke through the vaporous atmosphere and revealed themselves in all

their splendor; higher forms of beings emerged and finally, man was created by the hand of


  1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
  2. Now the earth was


formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep,

and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

  1. And God said, “Let there be light”, and there was light.
  2. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
  3. God called the light “day”, and the darkness he called “night”. And there was

evening, and there was morning-the first day.3


  1. And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from


  1. So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water

above it. And it was so.

1[1] A summary of these cosmogonies can be found in Link’s Urwelt , Berlin 1821, volume 1,

  1. 268.

2[2] Geology and Mineralogy, I, 19.

3[3] It is clear that in the Scripture, the word “day” has a double meaning since it states that

the sun was not created, or, in the words of the bible, did not shine upon the earth until the

fourth day. Subsequently, it seems to me that at least the first three days of creation cannot

really be considered to be ordinary days. If, as is taught by geologists, we are permitted to

understand these three days as being periods of creation, then we should not be prevented

from assuming the same of the following three days, or in other words, to assume that the six

days of the Scripture are specific, main epochs in the history of the development of the earth,

each of which containing within it several periods of creation.

Page 24
  1. God called the expanse “sky”. And there was evening, and there was morning-the

second day.

  1. And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry

ground appear”. And it was so.

  1. God called the dry ground “land”, and the gathered wasters he called “seas”. And

God saw that it was good.

  1. Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the

land that bear fruit with see in it, according to their various kinds”. And it was so.

  1. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees

bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good

  1. And there was evening, and there was morning-the third day.
  2. And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from

the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years4



  1. And let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth”. And it was
  2. God made two great lights-the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to

govern the night. He also made the stars.

  1. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth,
  2. to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw

that it was good.

  1. And there was evening, and there was morning-the fourth day.
  2. And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the

earth across the expanse of the sky”.

  1. So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with

which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to

its kind. And God saw that it was good.

  1. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in

the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth”.

  1. And there was evening, and there was morning-the fifth day.
  2. And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds:

livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to

its kind”. And it was so.

  1. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their

kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And

God saw that it was good.

  1. Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over

the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth


, and

over all the creatures that move along the ground”.

  1. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and

female he created them.

4[4] It might seem strange that plants would have been able to develop before sunlight

penetrated the atmosphere, however we must not forget that recent discoveries have shown

that the presence of sunlight is not necessary for the development of several plant varieties, in

particular ferns, which thrive in hot and humid conditions. Ferns played a highly important

role in some of the oldest periods of the earth’s development and grew to giant proportions,

not dissimilar to the size of trees today.

Page 25
  1. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth

and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every

living creature that moves on the ground”.

  1. Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth

and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

  1. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that

move on the ground-everything that has the breath of life in it-I give every green plant

for food”. And it was so.

  1. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there

was morning-the sixth day.5


Footnotes from New International Version (NIV), International Bible Society

[1] 1:2 Or possibly became

[2] 1:26 Hebrew; Syriac all the wild animals

Later on we will show that there is no plausible reason to doubt that at least 6,000

years have passed since the creation of the human race.

Another question to be answered is how many thousands of years passed before the

earth became covered in a solid crust and became habitable for man. Studying petrification

found within the earth has been the most reliable way of dealing with this question.

Consequently, it is of utmost importance to geologists to determine how much time is

required for petrification, that is, how much time it takes for mineral substances to replace

organic matter. By means of similar research and by examining how much time it took for

the Neptunian soils to settle6


, perhaps one day we will arrive at plausible conjectures

concerning the age of the earth, or rather the minimum length of time it took for creation to

occur. We know that the duration of petrification depends on the exterior and interior of the

organism destined to undergo this transformation. This explains how bones, which were

found buried in calcareous silt, were petrified within the short span of 1 year to the point

where they were identical to animal fossils contained in limestone, whereas some species of

trees can take centuries to petrify. There is a remarkable example of this in the bridge that


English version Genesis 1: New International Version (NIV), International Bible Society, 1984.

French version from the Sainte Bible, new translation by Mr. de Genoude, Paris 1845.

6[6] Mr. Forchhammer, Professor at the University of Copenhagen , has contributed

enormously to this part of geology through his research to clarify matters concerning this

subject. I am convinced that this research, which has been conducted in accordance with the

principles established by this scientist, will contribute greatly in shedding a new light on


Page 26

Emperor Trajan built on the Danube at the beginning of the war against Dacia . Seventeen

hundred years later when Emperor François I, had this bridge examined, it was shown that

the petrification of a 33 centimeter deep post had only reached 13 millimeters, such that if the

petrification continued at that rate, it would have taken thousands of years for the entire post

to be transformed into stone. Based on this finding, we can make an approximate guess as to

the amount of time it took for the famous 1 meter 30 centimeter oak trunk that was

discovered several years ago near the village of Penicuick , close to Edinburgh , to turn to

stone. This trunk is without a doubt the product of one of the more recent periods in the

development of the earth. We can therefore make a judgment on the age of the earth

according to the large number of periods throughout the earth’s history and the length of

these time periods. The tremendous amount of time taken by the Neptunian soils to settle is

no less surprising. Should we therefore accept the opinion established by numerous

geologists that the earth took several million years to develop, or would it be more accurate to

reduce this number to indicate a shorter time period? Although the former are closer to the

truth, I will not spend any more time on this problem, which due to the great difficulty in

determining the age of the Plutonian soils, will always be impossible to solve adequately.

Le Deluge, Part 1, Chapter XII

Editor’s Comments on Part 1, Chapter XII

This is a key chapter because it discusses the author’s hypothesis that the earth’s axis

suddenly tilted about 4,000 years ago, thus bringing on the Biblical Noahic Flood. (A sudden,

major shift in the earth’s axis is highly improbable, but there is evidence that Earth’s magnetic

field reverses at intervals . The last such event, called the Brunhes-Matuyama reversal, is

theorized to have occurred some 780,000 years ago.

  1. Klee’s interpretation of the Noahic flood bears little resemblance to the Biblical flood. In

his view, the “flood” consisted of a vast array of upheavals involving volcanic activity and

dramatic shifts of the earth’s crust. Moreover, he describes it as having taken place over an

extended time period. It is an interesting speculation and an impressive attempt to explain a

wide range of transformations the earth went through over its long history. We must

appreciate it as a product of a time when geological science was barely in its infancy and

religious creationist dogma still ruled.

Klee recognizes that the earth must be far older than literally implied in the Bible, but he

more or less accepts the prevailing view of his time that God created humans only about

6,000 years ago. (In Part 1, Chapter VI, he hedges by saying “Later on we will show that

there is no plausible reason to doubt that at least 6,000 years have passed since the creation of

the human race.” Even Charles Darwin and the famed geologist Charles Lyell did not dare

challenge this assumption at the time Klee’s book was published. Since the “flood”

supposedly occurred after the creation of mankind, Klee attempts to squeeze much of the

earth’s geological transformation into that time frame. In those days it was risky to challenge

the prevailing views of religious fundamentalism. Charles Darwin, who was an English

contemporary of Klee waited until 1859 to publish his theory of evolution for this reason.

Page 27

In other parts of the book, Klee reinterprets and even contradicts the literal Biblical account

of history. I am inclined to believe that although religious, he did not subscribe to a literal


Although his time scale is way off, some of Klee’s speculations about shifting continents are

consistent with modern plate tectonic theory, which did not become scientifically accepted

until over a century after Klee’s book appeared. (See my footnote to this chapter) His theory

of a dramatic shift of the earth’s axis was resurrected by Velikovsky in a best selling book

“Worlds in Collision”, published in1950. Velikovsky’s claims that such a conjectured pole

shift was caused by colliding planets and comets are ridiculed by astronomers. Velikovsky

also has the rotation of the earth changing direction too. In contrast, Klee’s hypothesis was

based on sound mechanical principles of the earth’s dynamics.

In 1997 Kirschvink et al from the California Institute of Technology published evidence of

massive shifts of the earth’s crust during the Cambrian period. Kirschvink proposes, because

the earth itself turned upside down, an abnormally rapid reorganization of the earth’s crust,

tens of times faster than normal continental drift, touched off sharp climatic shifts that in turn

unleashed a torrent of evolutionary change. {As reported in Scientific American)


“When volcanic rocks cool, they preserve an imprint of the earth’s magnetic field; once

locked in, the magnetic record in the rock does not shift. The direction and inclination of the

field in the rock indicates both the latitude of the rock and its orientation relative to the North

Pole at the time it solidified.

When Kirschvink and his collaborators studied rocks from Australia , they found that the

continent rotated by 90 degrees between 534 million and 505 million years ago.

Paleomagnetic data collected around North America appear to show a similarly abrupt

dislocation of the continents relative to the earth’s axis. The tectonic regions associated with

Australia and North America cover two thirds of the earth’s continental crust, leading the

researchers to a startling conclusion: that the entire surface of the earth rotated 90 degrees

in a geologically brief 15 million years. The earth’s crust must have been shifting at least 30

centimeters per year, or about 10 times the usual rate of continental drift.” Scientific

American, August 1997

Evidence that the earth’s crust rotated 90 degrees may be a partial confirmation of F. Klee’s

hypothesis that the earth’s axis had undergone a similar shift. But the shift of tectonic plates

turns out to be a more tenable explanation. However, the time scale is vastly greater than

anyone could have imagined in 1842. The Cambrian period began about 540 million years

ago. The Cambrian shift was far greater and more rapid than any other known, but continued,

gradual plate tectonic movements may account for other anomalies in the fossil record that

the author discusses.

Louis Agassiz (1807-1873), a Swiss contemporary of F Klee, proposed what is now called

the glacial theory. This theory was supported by his extensive studies of the Unteraar glacier

in Switzerland . Generalizing from his findings there, he argued that most of the changes in

the earth’s surface that had been explained by a Noahic flood are better explained by the

action of vast glaciers that once covered the globe and the extensive flooding that occurred

when they melted. This was a revolutionary theory when he first presented it in 1837 and it

Page 28

was many years before it gained wide scientific acceptance. The basic outlines of his glacial

theory are no longer in dispute. Agassiz was also a naturalist and he became a famous

Harvard professor. His adamant lifelong opposition to Darwin ’s theory of evolution may

now be what he is most remembered for.

Recently, oceanographers have put together evidence from analyses of Black Sea sediments

indicating that about 7500 years ago, a great deluge the equivalent of 200 Niagara Falls

suddenly filled the Black Sea to its present level. Since this catastrophic event took place

adjacent to the cradle of civilization, many believe that it may have inspired the Biblical

account of Noah and the flood. This information was not available to the author of Le

Deluge, but later in the book he discusses myths and legends of that kind from ancient

cultures. Gerald D. Klee, MD, Editor

Le Deluge, Chapter XII – part 1

Does the assumed direction of the earth’s axis before the flood offer ways of explaining

certain obscure geological phenomena? The supposed direction of the earth’s axis before the

deluge explains satisfactorily the frequency and tremendous development of tropical plants

and animals in current climates where we would least expect to find them. In fact, in my

hypothesis, the sun’s rays must have covered the majority of these areas before the deluge

therefore promoting the development of animal and vegetable life to a very high degree. The

equator traversed the current poles, passing at around 90


from the meridian of the Faroe

Islands . It was situated between Africa and Oceania , divided Asia and North America , and

passed just to the west of South America . The former icy poles occupied the middle of the

current seas. Europe, Asia, and America formed one continent near the North Pole, and it is

probable that the sea swallowed up the considerable areas of the coast, since, as previously

discussed, America was extended much further towards the west, Africa to the east, and Asia

extended itself south to join Australia (Nouvelle-Hollande) as well as several Oceanic

islands. Even so, I would not include this hypothesis, as it would not be impossible to

imagine a different direction of the earth’s axis, which would allow for the sun to shine on an

equally large area – especially if it is true that the tilt of the orbital plane on that of rotation

was as large as it currently is. By attributing to the earth’s axis the direction as mentioned

above, it will not be necessary to explain the exuberant development of the organic world by

resorting to an arbitrary assumption that a different climate existed. My proposed hypothesis

explains how tropical animals and vegetation, which always require warm climates, were

formerly able to exist in areas which are currently subject to freezing temperatures for months

on end. This includes how the elephant, the rhinoceros, the hippopotamus, the hyena, the

tiger, and other animals of the pre-diluvian world were able to exist in England , France and

Germany , etc. Furthermore, why is it that the mammoth or the pre-diluvian elephant who,

based on their structure must have lived in areas covered in rich vegetation, are mainly found

in Siberia, whereas the mastodon, which is assumed to have preferred warm, swampy areas,

could have existed in North America, since the physical composition of several areas of this

region -in particular the areas which are currently inhabited by Indians, provide all of the

conditions necessary for their existence. This also explains how Greenland could have

nourished palm trees, whereas at the same time, tropical vegetation and animals existed in

Mexico, Peru and in South and Central America; how plant fossils found in the carboniferous

soil of England, France, Belgium, Bohemia, and Canada, as well as in the neighboring areas

of Baffin Island could have belonged to the same species. Therefore, if we assume that both

Page 29

Siberia and North America were situated below the line (equator) or that they were further

apart from each other, and that later on following a displacement of the earth’s axis, these

lands were situated much closer to the North Pole, we would not be surprised to discover

rhinoceros or mammoth cadavers in the glaciers of Siberia, where they must have been buried

for thousands of years after having been seized by the flood in the regions they inhabited.

This was a necessary consequence of the tilting of the earth’s axis. The water, which

suddenly turned to ice, completely preserved them from contact with outside air, and

consequently, also from decomposition, which would have occurred after several days if they

had remained in water or if they had been subject to the air.


(In a footnote, F Klee discusses


There is another geological phenomenon, of much greater interest, that goes along with my

hypothesis of a tilting of the earth’s axis: I am talking about the fact that the large continents,

which were raised from the heart of the sea run from north to south and not from east to west.

Supposing that the earth’s crust made up of a rocky mass and several stacked layers was

originally spherical; supposing as well that it’s thickness was, but for a few exceptions,

uniform, and that the bulging caused by the subterranean fire was the same on all points and

that no other force of nature was involved in producing the upheaval or subsiding, it is

obvious that the earth’s crust, once covered by water, would have been equally raised

everywhere, and consequently, could hardly have been able to raise itself above sea level.

But we see that precisely the opposite occurred, since vast regions were able to emerge to

quite a considerable height.

According to which law of nature did this upheaval take place? That is the question,

which remains yet to be resolved. Not denying that particular circumstances such as the

unequal thickness of the earth’s crust or the variable action of the interior heat, could have

contributed to the raising of the continent above sea level, I think that the essential cause

could have been none other than the centrifugal force. It is obvious that this force must have

acted with the most energy near the region of the equator, and consequently, it was in this

region that the earth’s crust had the most difficulty in resisting the extensive internal force.

Therefore, it is in this area where the elevation of the soil above sea level must have attained

its maximum height, and must have continued until a balance was restored between the

various parts of the earth. However, it can be proven with certainty that several local

circumstances, notably the more or less strong resistance of the earth’s crust, must have

prevented this crust from rising evenly, so that the most prominent relieves must have been

formed in areas where the centrifugal force was acting with the most energy I suppose that it

must have occurred at the center of the immense continent, which (I assume) was made up

of the various continents as we know them presently,*(Editor’s comment, see my footnote)

and which is precisely the one where the highest mountains of Asia and of the world are

situated. Thus, this area of the earth’s surface would have been the first to drain, and the

elevation of the great continent would have been augmented towards the equator. Supposing

that the equator was at some point positioned in the direction, which I believe it to have been

allocated, we can consequently explain why the great plateau of Upper Asia is the highest

region above sea level, and subsequently, the plateaus of America, since these plateaus

correspond precisely to the region of the former equator.

Based on what I have just stated, it may be argued that the continents of Asia and North

America, especially the regions situated below the former equator or surrounding the current

North Pole, as well as the regions of central America and a part of Europe, specifically that of

the eastern plain, were much more elevated than they actually are. My response to this is that

Page 30

my theory supposes the likelihood that these regions were lowered much later on. Thus, the

soil of the northern parts of America and Asia inevitably subsided after the tilting of the axis

when these regions were displaced from the equator to the vicinity of the pole, as a result of

the centripetal force acting on the centrifugal force, which we know to be almost nil beneath

the poles. What’s more, experience has taught us that similar subsidences still occur

nowadays, since according to the observations of M. Pingel, not only Greenland, but also a

large part of North American and northern Asia are slowly subsiding. As for the continent of

Central America , there are enough reasons to show that its low elevation above sea level is a

result of the same forces which determined a partial collapse towards the North Pole and a

gradual subsidence of the surrounding regions; however, these forces, owing to local

circumstances, reacted differently in Central America . We must remember that this part of

the New-World is not only situated close to the current equator, but also to regions, which in

my opinion, were traversed by the former equator, therefore almost at the junction of both

equators. In accordance with my theory, the soil of this continent must have been very highly

elevated above sea level, especially after the tilting of the axis. Let us add that following the

tilting of the earth’s axis the earth’s crust was probably quite strained (tendu) in these areas,

as was the neighboring continent of the North Pole, and consequently was strongly subjected

to breakage and collapse.

Nevertheless, since the continent of Central America was not very wide and as a

consequence the tension of the earth’s crust would have been less than at the North Pole, it is

possible that the earth’s crust was only split during subsidence. One circumstance in support

of this assumption is the existence of an enormous fissure, which according to M. Alexandre

de Humboldt, crosses the continent of America from east to west, from the coast of the

Atlantic to the Pacific. Several volcanoes are situated along this fissure, which is extended

between the 18


and 19


along a length of 150 leagues. They are the volcanoes of Tuatla,

Orizaba , Puebla , Nevada di Toluca, Tancitaro, and Colima, which partially rise to a height

of 5197 meters. Extended from the west side at a distance of more that 50 leagues, this

fissure crosses the volcanic islands of Revillagigedos, as well as the Sandwich archipelago

with the Moana-Roa, which is much further away in the south sea and which rises to a height

of 4872 meters. Such a remarkable coincidence could not be due to chance: the cause for this

must be located somewhere in a law of physics. As for the great eastern plain in Europe ,

which was indisputably covered with water, I assume that, contrary to general opinion, it is

was the consequence of a sudden subsidence, resulting in a violent flood. I will develop my

ideas as to why I am of this opinion later on.

It could be argued that my theory is not in keeping with research that has been carried out on

the level of the five parts of the world; that it is the plateau of Asia and several regions of

southern America, and not the regions, which are situated below the (current) equator, that

make up the highest points of the earth. However, one must not lose sight of the fact that the

earth’s crust must have naturally grown proportionally to the progressive cooling of the

interior of the earth and the Neptunian deposits. Consequently, we could admit that even

before the last tilting of the axis, the earth’s crust had a certain consistency, such that these

plateaus, which are covered in numerous mountain ranges were able to resist subsidence,

even though the crust was breaking up in other places due to the tilting of the axis, and that

new mountain ranges were formed and changed the levels of the various regions. Add to this,

the fact that the weight of the water mass, which initially would have taken a spherical form,

must have inevitably prevented that the bottom of the sea below the equator from rising to the

height which the great laws of nature seem to claim.

Page 31

We could moreover, argue that the various movements, which are evident nowadays, do not

have anything to do with the influence that I attribute to the centrifugal force. I agree that the

cause of these present movements is not solely a result of the centrifugal force, but rather of

another force: the extensive force of the internal heat. Be that as it may, several geological

facts indicate that the centrifugal force still exerts considerable influence on the land by

raising it. On the other hand, the fact that the earth’s crust has maintained its current shape

for several thousands of years is proof that it is consolidated, and consequently, that the

actual effects of the centrifugal force cannot be compared to those that were produced when

the crust was still thin enough to be subjected to abrupt and frequent changes. Today, it

appears that the upheaval and partial subsidence of the earth’s surface were a result of the

internal heat. Although the effect of this factor differs according to the local circumstances,

we must nevertheless assume that in general, it tended to inflate the earth’s crust, much like a

balloon inflates when filled with gas. But, if it is true that the extensive force tends to make

the unevenness of the earth’s crust disappear, it follows that there will be parts that are closer

to the center of the earth that will preferentially be subject to the influence of the extensive

force; it will act with the most energy on the less elevated parts of the earth’s crust and

mainly on those below sea level. Consequently, it will be these sections of the earth that with

time will be the most vulnerable to earthquakes. This hypothesis may seem a bit hasty at

first, especially since until this point, we have claimed the opposite to be true:

*Editor’s note: F. Klee’s remarkable statement is consistent with tectonic plate theory and

the supercontinent Pangaea. He published this in 1842, long before Wegener proposed

the Continental drift theory in 1912 and more than a century before the theory was

accepted in the second half of the 20th century. As far as I can judge, this idea could have

been intuitive as Klee looked at the jigsaw of continental shapes. Or perhaps he was

thinking of Greek mythology, where the name and the concept of Pangaea are found. He

cites no “modern” source, nor can I find any modern reference to Pangaea before


G D Klee, MD, Editor