The Unknown God - by Fred J. Mayers
When we were again settled about the glowing fireplace, I felt anew the atmosphere of beauty and human dignity that Dr. Karoll and his wife had created in their home. I wondered to myself what could have possessed me to ascribe to them, or to their guests, the kind of motives that had caused me to speak as I had a little earlier. While I felt that my indignant and self-righteous attitude had made me look like a fool, their freedom from anything but loving understanding enabled them to convey to me, without the use of words, their assurance that the incident was forgotten. Dr. Hilliard spoke first confirming this.
"David, you probably know that Alex and myself have talked at some length concerning you, and so, much of your background of study and your interests are familiar to me. Your interest in the entire study of psychical research came a little in advance of the great surge of public interest. You will probably have seemed like a fool because of your intense interest in the phenomena of the UFO...the Flying Saucers. We know that you must have had many questions about the position of science concerning the UFO and psychic phenomena. You must have done some thinking that was unusual among your contemporaries. Perhaps an age old question occupied your mind," he paused, "with a new twist. Tell us about your theory for the origin of man on the earth, if you will, please."
"Have you assumed, Dr. Hilliard, that it would be reasonable for me to associate visitations from outer space with the origins of man on earth?"
"This is logical, isn't it David?"
"Yes, and you are altogether correct, Dr. Hilliard, for it was logic that led me to construct an hypothesis that would provide a more suitable explanation of man's existence in the earth than either the religious or current scientific approach. My thinking in this area began before my interest in psychical research. I had been looking for answers to the riddle of man's origin by studying the reports of archaeologists and anthropologists. The theory of evolution of species that was laid out so well by Charles Darwin contained the very reasoning which seemed to make his theory invalid with regard to the evolution of man on earth."
With my last statement, I sensed that I had stimulated a sharpened interest from everyone in the room. It gave me a distinct lift to realize that these highly educated men were listening to me so carefully. I knew that they, like Dr. Karoll with his understanding of the money system, would be fully knowledgeable upon Charles Darwin's work. His work was much alluded to when I grew up but few people had actually studied his writing to know how thoroughly he had researched his subject and how keen an intellect he exercised in developing his theories.
As I paused a moment, Professor Riley Knudsen, who had been introduced to me as an anthropologist, indicated that he would like to speak. Professor Knudsen was a huge man. He was not overweight, but he was large, weighing perhaps two hundred seventy pounds, having large bones, broad in the shoulders, a muscular torso, broad hips and powerful thighs. He stood about six feet four inches and had the same faultless bearing as the other members of the group. He had high cheek bones, deepset eyes, a nose that was prominent and straight, but close to his face. His mouth was sensitive and well formed with lips that were neither over large nor thin. His chin and jaws were strong with more than the usual distance between the mouth and the lower part of the chin. His large hands were well formed with prominent thumbs and long fingers. When he was introduced to me, I thought to myself that this man must represent some unusual mixture of blood. His face had a flatness that reminded me of the features of the Eskimo. There was a tinge of red coloring to his skin. His bony structure reminded me of the huge Swedish men, who had manned the logging camps in the early nineteen hundreds. This was a man that you would like to have at your back in any kind of a fight, I thought to myself.
"Do you mean that you feel the principle of evolution through survival of the fittest does not apply to man?" asked Dr. Knudsen.
This man had a voice that reflected his powerful appearance, yet there was a refinement about it, perhaps like the base tone of a fine stringed instrument. His diction was precise. His tone showed keen interest and the question was not asked as though it was the opener for an educational discourse by him. I eyed his powerful frame thoughtfully and then I couldn't help but smile at the question. With his physique he was pretty well equipped to insure the prolonging of his species, if brute strength and physical prowess were the criteria.
"Yes, that is what I mean, Dr. Knudsen," I said. A ripple of humor showed all around the circle with Dr. Karoll chuckling audibly. "You see," I went on, "if survival of the fittest had ruled with regard to man here on earth, the findings of our archaeologists and anthropologists would have shown a different pattern of development. As it is, we sometimes find, for example, beautifully done pictures of prehistoric animals in caves believed to have been inhabited by men of several million years ago. The equal of the mentality and physical dexterity indicated by this kind of artistic workmanship was not yet widespread even in my time. Yet these people also provide us with good indications that they were having difficulty surviving the physical hardships entailed in their primitive way of life. Such artistic skills represent very complex mental processes. In a primitive world, they have little or no survival value and could hardly have evolved through the chance sorting out of fortunate combinations of genes when brute survival is uppermost."
"There is nothing very conclusive as evidence in that statement, David," Dr. Knudsen spoke without impatience, and rather, I think, to stimulate me to clarify my reasoning.
"Well," I said, "there are many things about man's history from the records of archaeology and anthropology that support this kind of reasoning. One of our great thinkers, an anthropologist and a contemporary of Charles Darwin, said that from all the evidence of early man's natural abilities that had been unearthed, he was led to believe that the earliest of our ancestors had highly developed capacities. The evidence indicated, he said, that one of them could have written the symphonies of Beethoven if he had grown up with the cultural background of Beethoven."
"Yes, David," Dr. Karoll was speaking, "it was Thomas Henry Huxley who said that. History has a way of weeding out all but those who make valid contributions when deciding whom it honors, based on the truth they added to human society. T.H. Huxley is believed to have stimulated Charles Darwin himself to assume there was a very logical reason for the absence of any evidence that man had made a gradual ascent from an inferior form to a superior form, such as he had discovered to be the case in the animal kingdom."
"The talk of a missing link in the evidence of man's evolution," proceeded Dr. Knudsen, "seems childish to us now. There was a long, long chain that was missing, instead of just a link. Irrefutable evidence was unearthed to indicate that vastly superior use of the mind was made by men some 12,000 years before the industrial revolution of the twentieth century. Anthropologists had found many inferior forms of man in various places on earth at different times, but these findings represented a falling away, reverse evolution, by small groups. The inferior men existed at much later times in history than was represented by the fossils of earliest man. In your time, it was known that a group of people with sharply defined peculiarities and inferior qualities can be created in as little as two hundred years, simply by isolation that protects them but limits their number, forcing inbreeding. This can occur when the number of persons in the group is limited to less than three hundred and no new blood is introduced. These are probably the circumstances which created the inferior Siamese man once alluded to as a missing link."
"Thank you, Dr. Knudsen," I said. "You truly express my thoughts. You can see, for example, why my logic compelled me to deny that the musical talent of the child, Mozart, composing at three and displaying amazing virtuosity at six, could be an evolutionary product of brute survival of the fittest. So-called scientists were able to rationalize away such things with talk about fortunate combinations of genes. The outcropping of towering genius was not given a suitable explanation by our anthropologists."
"The stage is pretty well set for you to present your own version of man's origin in the earth, David. I think that we have all followed your reasoning well enough." It was Professor Clarence Weidenhouse who spoke thus. He had been introduced to me as a philosopher. Dr. Karoll felt it was needful to qualify this introduction by stating that the importance and subject matter of philosophy had expanded. I would have to become more familiar with the thinking of the times before this field of study would be clear to me, he said.
Professor Weidenhouse seemed the least unusual of the group in physical appearance. He had excellent posture and a deep chest, but stood only around five feet ten inches tall, like myself, and appeared to be full blooded German. He had blond hair and large, almost baby blue eyes. They especially caught one's attention, for this was the most unique characteristic about Dr. Weidenhouse. I would have judged him to be under thirty. His movements had the grace and coordination of a panther. There was an aura of radiant physical health and strength about him, so that I guessed that he would be an outstanding athlete. I surmised that he was actively participating in some vigorous sport as well as academics. His forehead was wide and high, a bit squarish, unlined, prominent cheek bones, a chin that was strong, almost jutting. He was a fine appearing example of an intellectual Nordic with a superior racial heritage. His beautifully formed teeth were even and shining like those seen in the toothpaste advertisements I remembered. They were often displayed for he smiled easily and broadly.
"This conversation is a new experience for me," I said. "All of you follow my thoughts easily despite my limited ability to express myself. I wonder if you are not staying a jump ahead of me by reading my mind. To give you my own theory for the origin of man on earth is passe' now. Since you have anticipated that I would believe that man arrived on earth through a pioneering adventure in space travel by an advanced race from another planet, I know you have anticipated the general outline of my theory. It was original thinking on my part when it first came to me and I felt quite pleased with myself for arriving at an intellectually acceptable concept. It was compatible with the evidence that man was a creature of superior capacity for long ages before he had achieved a degree of civilization. I could understand the blossoming of art and technology overnight in such a light, whereas the theory of evolution was hopelessly inadequate to explain it."
"Why do you say that?" asked Professor Weidenhouse.
"A small group of the most educated of my contemporaries, no matter how well they understood science, would be helpless to preserve their knowledge if they were suddenly transplanted without tools to a world inhabited only by wild animals. They would hardly have the practical skills to survive, much less to develop the equipment of civilization to make paper and preserve their technical knowledge. Why, in a thousand years their offspring would probably be living like primitives and the knowledge of their origins would be lost or only faintly preserved in some kind of mythology. This theory explained man's capacity, in defiance to the law of evolution, to make starling progress in a few centuries as soon as he developed satisfactory methods to preserve records. My theory explained the incredible inventive genius displayed by Nicola Tesla with his photographic memory and ability to solve advanced mathematical equations in his mind. Unique figures like Tesla, Newton, Mozart, Lincoln, Edgar Cayce, and the founders of the world's great religions seemed to me to be a throw-back to our vastly superior ancestry rather than the product of some kind of fortunate accident in time and space. A haphazard brute `survival of the fittest' kind of evolution could not produce these superior minds by chance, in my opinion."
"Well, David," Dr. Karoll nodded his approval as he spoke, "you have done some unusual thinking. You even justified the Biblical story of the fall of man, in a certain sense. However, David, you will undoubtedly be fascinated to learn what we, today, believe about man's origins and how we arrived at our views."
Mrs. Karoll and Alice had not participated in the discussion very much but I felt that either of them had the background to have done so equally as well as the professors, particularly in dealing with my very limited capacities and knowledge. The doctor's wife suggested that it was time to have their usual family devotion together and retire for the evening.