The Legendary Chain of Life


We now begin Chapter 4, “The Legendary Chain of Life.”  As was previously mentioned, our author will be focusing on the legends from the book of Genesis including Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, the flood, the tower of Babel.  And yes, Jesus makes a major appearance as the “second Adam.”  So remembering the final quote from Arthur Toynbee from our last post, let’s dive in…

Preston Harold issues particular ground rules and a warning before we begin our Chapter 4 endeavor, focusing on the shortcomings of our ability to marry science and legend:

In this study, the works of several people have been selected to tell something of the story of evolution because their books were written for the layman.  Today, the concept of evolution itself is virtually universally accepted, but so many individual pieces of the incomplete jigsaw puzzle are questioned that the subject is a dangerous one to write about – even the experts do not agree upon a number of particulars.  Most important, it must be pointed out that because legend is poetic, only in poetic terms can the information legend offers be posed against the disputed theories and the data scientists have to work with.  Thus, at the risk of offending the specialists, poetic license must be exercised.  The reader must be warned of this, and informed at the outset that the purpose of the following discourse is not to question the concept of evolution itself, nor to present a complete and scientifically structured theory of evolution; it is to question certain aspects of prevailing theories, and to provoke a new train of thought upon the role of legends in telling human history.


Another big order from our author!  He hopes to provoke in us a “new train of thought.” Most of us aren’t so willing to “jump ship,” I mean “jump train,” when it comes to the one we’ve been traveling on so long and grown accustomed to, warts and all.  It’s easier staying where we are comfortable.  You may respond, “Speak for yourself!” but you would be a rare individual indeed. I’d like to meet you!

So if you’re ready to “jump train” I’ll see you in the next post.  Until then, peace…