Before telling about the actual reception which greeted our theory when it was first propounded we wish to lay stress upon one particular point. Before the reader can intelligently accept or reject our theory he must make up his mind whether he is going to believe anything he is told as long as it comes from a scientific source--so-called--or whether he is going to claim the privilege of using his own commonsense. In other words, he has to decide this question: "Is a thing true just because it is supposed to be scientific?"
Some people worship science and believe everything that is said in its name, and if we rub counter to science they will have nothing to do with us or our theory. One of our critics, in a letter, said: "The fabric of our modern conception of the universe has grown too slowly and painfully to be overthrown at a blow".
And a professor of geology writes that "scientific men who are competent to deal with the subject. . . . will tell you that the book is a great joke."
Here is a third expression of the same point of view; from a celebrated American astronomer: "Mr. Gardner seems to me to have no conception
whatever of the thoroughness with which scientific men work or of the requirements of proof of a theory before it may find acceptance. His theory runs counter to many of the foundations of mechanics which are as thoroughly established as anything we know, and in my judgment cannot possibly be true."
Nov those opinions certainly sound as if scientists were so thorough and careful that they never made a mistake and as if what they said had to be accepted by the layman without any attempt to criticise it. But I shall proceed to show that scientists do not live up to those pretentions at all. They are just as much in the dark, just as much at loggerheads, one with another, just as apt to err sometimes more apt--as the rest of us.
What, for instance, do they really know about the constitution of the earth? What is their latest word on the matter? Do they all agree about it, as those letters just quoted would imply that scientists agree?
Well, here, taken at random from the latest pronouncements of scientists are three views of the constitution of the earth which certainly do not agree with one another and which some people would say differed from one another, among other differences, by one being more ridiculous than another. Of course there are many other scientific theories, different again from these. They are mentioned in other parts of this book. But we select these for mention simply because they are the latest, and show
that the scientists are not getting any nearer a fundamental agreement.
Here is theory one. Professor Louis Rabourdin of France has recently said that the crust of the earth is very thin, and is especially thin at the bottom of the sea:
"Suppose," he says, in a recent despatch, "that following an extraordinary twisting movement, due to a retreat of the central mass, a large mass of the sea bottom, should give way, and, falling suddenly, should let in the mass of the ocean's waters upon the incandescent interior matter. The water would be decomposed by the heat, the hydrogen would burn, and it would burn more as it had access to more oxygen."
And the pessimistic professor goes on to picture the whole world being burned up in a flash, and appearing to other worlds in space as a momentarily blazing star.
Well, it has not happened yet, and we fear that if the professor is looking forward to such a very expensive proof of his theory as the burning up of the whole world, including all the people who would have been convinced by the phenomenon--we fear that he has a long time to wait.
But if that prospect alarms the reader he may have another theory with a little bit more hope of stability in it. For here comes an American professor, Dr. A. C. Lane of Tufts College, and says
that the earth is not a simple envelope of crust containing a fluid interior as this French scientist evidently thinks, but that it is, in constitution, very much like a butter-nut. (And yet some people call our theory ridiculous!) But professor Lane's earth at least has the advantage that a break in the shell does not cause a complete world conflagration, as the reader will see from the following words:
"The outermost layer of the earth's crust, as professor A. C. Lane, of Tufts College, says, is but a thin wrinkled shell like the outer husk of a butter-nut. The viscous layer just beneath this corresponds to the fleshy layer in the butter-nut; the earth's inner crust to the butternut's hard shell, and the gaseous center of the earth to the kernel of the butternut.
"In this butternut-like structure of the earth lies the reason why from time to time are collapses of the viscous layer of the earth, leading to elevations of portions of the outer crust. These collapses are what have produced the mountains etc."
Does the reader see the difference between the two theories? That extra crust that gives such an air of safety to Professor Lane's earth? And yet the scientists object when we appear with a theory and tell us that no new theory is wanted as they are all in agreement and making good without us.
But after all there are some things about the earth that looking at a butternut will not explain, and along comes Professor Garrett P. Serviss, and tries
his hand at a better theory still. In an article widely printed throughout the country in 1915, Professor Serviss begins his consideration of the subject by asserting that in the days of primitive man the Great Polar basin or depression was his home, and that at that time the polar regions were tropic. Of course he is led to say this on account of the finding of mammoths in Siberia--something which we have already explained. He next points out that the Antarctic continent is very high, some of the highest mountains in the world, he points out, being in the Antarctic regions. Why, he then asks, should there be this depression at the north pole and this high land at the south pole? (He forgets that phenomena of animal life, pointing, to a polar opening, having also been found at the southern extremity of the earth.)
Now the reader may gasp at what comes next, but Professor Serviss actually supposes that the whole central core or axle of the earth slipped out of position--just as a piece of loose lead might slip out of a stub of pencil--leaving a great depression at the north polar basin and sticking up from the surrounding surface of the globe at the southern extremity! One reason he gives for this strange theory is that the center of gravity is not fixed but that the earth "wobbles" in its rotation in a manner that would suggest that the center of gravity is no longer in the center of the sphere but that it is moving up and
down in the north and south axis. Of course the truth of the matter is, that these scientists study the question of gravity without knowing the exact facts and so they do not get the results they expect. And so in order to explain the lack of definite results that would fit in with their previous ideas they are forced to tell us that the central core of the earth is slipping out, by way of the south! What an idea! Here is what Serviss actually says about the matter:
"The central core of the earth is the densest part of the globe. It has been thought that it may be composed almost entirely of heavy metallic substances, mostly iron. Slight vibratory motions of this dense core would produce a corresponding shift of the center of gravity . . . . . . . .
"The depression around the North Pole, produced by the retreat of the underlying support, and the corresponding uplift about the South Pole would leave the Earth's crust at these spots practically as it is today."
The propounder of the theory admits that:
"A weakness of the theory is that it offers no explanation to account for the shifting of the earth's central mass along the line of the axis. But it may be pointed out that the same difficulty applies to the known variations in the location of the center of gravity. An attempt (which does not appear satisfactory) has been made to explain the latter as due to annual alterations in the amount of snow and ice
accumulated around the Poles. But the main cause remains hidden."
Now that sounds pretty weak. First, the theory is most far fetched, and then it assumes things about the interior of the earth that other scientists deny--as we have already seen--and then it admits that it cannot explain all the facts but gives the excuse that it is no worse than many other theories in that regard.
And yet these scientists keep a straight face before the public, never openly laugh at each other, but always laugh at an outsider who ventures to show up their inconsistencies and proposes better theories, backed up with more facts, than theirs.
We will give two more examples. The celestial body nearest the earth is the Moon, and one would think that the scientists ought to be able to agree, in the main at least, about its character and the forces which caused it to be where it is. Let us see how well and thoroughly they have solved the riddle of the moon and how closely they agree about it.
First let us call upon Messrs. Nasmyth and Carpenter whose book, "The Moon Considered as a Planet, a World, and a Satellite," is one of the standard English works on the subject. The first thing they have to tell us only concerns the moon incidentally, but it shows how scientists guess to obtain their results. Buffon, before LaPlace, wondered how the solar system was formed, and he guessed that comets used to hit the sun obliquely in passing
it, and that each comet knocked a piece off the sun which thereupon became a planet and began to revolve around the sun. He then assumed that in some cases the stroke was so oblique that not only the planet but one to two or three small pieces were knocked off which became satellites to the planet, and that is how he accounted for the origin of the moon. Pure guess work, and they are still guessing.
But how about the present state of the moon? These authors tell us that by the study of the refraction of light that is reflected from the moon's surface it has been established that there is practically no atmosphere on the moon's surface. There is some but it is so slight that its pressure would be only one-half of the pressure of the air that is left in a vessel which has been exhausted by one of our best vacuum pumps--that is to say an atmosphere two thousand times rarer than our own. And, he goes on to say, if there is no air on the moon there can be no water, for if there were the water would vaporize and give an atmosphere of water vapor.
Well, the reader may say, that sounds reasonable. So it does, but listen to this. It is an account from Boston, Mass., of the latest theories of Professor Pickering of Harvard--a world-wide authority. It says:
"According to Professor William H. Pickering of Harvard, who recently made a study of the moon from an observatory in Kingston, Jamaica, there
are evidences of the existence of a race of superior beings on the moon.
"Professor Pickering asserts a careful study reveals vegetation in spots on the moon's surface.
"This vegetation appears to spread along what looks exactly like two twin artificial canals, similar in character and appearance to those on Mars called man-made by the late Professor Percival Lowell.
"These moon canals, Professor Pickering points out, are not less artificial in appearance than those on Mars."
So, dear reader, if you are going to believe the scientists you will have to try hard to think at the same time that there is no air and no water on the moon but that there are a very superior race there who indulge in truck gardening along the banks of artificial canals. They would certainly have to be a "superior race" to do that. Perhaps if we could get a few of them down to earth they could raise watermelons on the Sahara desert. But perhaps it is only artificial flowers that they grow along the waterless canals in a land where the vegetation is never injured by storms because there is not any air to create winds.
And yet these scientists always keep their faces straight and never appear to laugh except at pre-sumptuous outsiders.
Well, perhaps our last example will cause the reader--just for the sake of turning the tables--to
laugh at the scientists. Have you ever been sun-burned, gentle reader? In all probability you have. And if so you have certainly made some remarks about the heat of the sun. You have certainly been brought up--have you not?--in the idea that the sun was about the hottest thing we know of in our universe?
Well you may be surprised to learn that as late as the nineteenth century Sir William Herschell thought that there might be people living on the sun. He thought it was a cold body--a dark orb surrounded by fire-emitting clouds. Now why, if the clouds are white hot the sun itself should be cold, is a question that Herschell being no longer among the living, cannot answer. Of course, it was the sun-spot which caused him to think that the sun was dark and cold--the black sun-spot showing through a rift in the incandescent envelope. But it does not seem to have occurred to him that there could be any other explanation and that a white hot cloud envelope would very soon heat the sun almost to its own temperature, and quickly kill off any life that there might be on its surface. Herschel's answer to this objection was a flimsy one. He said that there were two layers of cloud, "the outer," says Proctor in discussing the matter, "self-luminous and constituting the true solar photosphere, the inner reflecting the light received from the outer layer, and so shielding
the real surface of the sun from the intense light and heat which it would otherwise receive."
Proctor goes on to say (in his book, "Other Worlds than Ours") that later discoveries shake Herschel's theory very much, that while later scientists admit his theory about cloud envelopes, they do not admit that the sun is cool, but explain the dark spots by saying that it is the very height of the temperature, so much above anything we can conceive of, that causes them to be black--because those are spots which do not part with their heat at all, and so no radiation comes from them to us. At least that is the present explanation of the matter, but how long will it be before scientists give us some other explanation?
Nobody knows, for what science will say next depends a great deal on the imagination of the scientist, and one can never predict the next direction of the human imagination.
But here is the point: What passes for scientific certainty is really a mass of guesses some of which have been verified by experiment but a large number of which have not been so verified and which have no real standing whatever. As soon as an outsider comes along with a new theory the scientists are so anxious to defend themselves against this "non-union" intrusion that they forget that they are only guessing half the time, and exclaim: "We have proved this, or that". Well the above quotations show that a good deal of the time they do not prove things at
all. They make a guess and then hope that some observation or experiment will be made to support it. Sometimes they guess luckily and sometimes they do not. But the talk about great accuracy and laying foundations which can never be overturned is all a bluff. The foundations of science are constantly being altered. Like the foundations of a house they settle sometimes and then something has to be done to keep the house from falling to one side.
It is reason whose foundations are never upset. And we claim that our theory is reasonable. Whether the scientists are always reasonable or not the reader probably has already determined after reading the above extracts. And now we may pass on to the main question of this chapter: "How Our theory has been received".
Whenever a new and revolutionary idea is launched upon the world it is received with ridicule, misrepresentation, distrust, and unbelief. Columbus was thought to be a fool; Galileo was persecuted, great liberators of the people have been mobbed by the people they sought to help; in short, all those who have helped to save mankind have first been vilified and sometimes killed, and then, years after, statues have been erected to their memories.
The above general law of human life is known to every reader and we need not bother him with any
further instances of it. When, therefore, we put forth the preliminary presentation of our theory in a much smaller book than the present one, with only the outstanding pieces of evidence set forth, we awaited with what calmness we might, the public response to our challenge. We knew that we had accused the whole body of astronomers, geologists, explorers and naturalists of being on the wrong track; we knew that we had thrown down a challenge to science, and we knew that the presumption of a layman in doing so would be resented by all the scientists and that the newspapers, taking their cue from these men and interviewing them, would print many an article in which endeavors would be made to pick our work to pieces.
Our theory did begin to attract attention, and the attention was of such a nature that it is reasonably certain that had the European War not turned the attention of Europe from every other subject of human interest and concentrated it upon that of slaughter--it is certain that if that had not been so our theory would by this time have been proved.
For what happened? Were we ridiculed and misrepresented and then ignored? Did we receive only adverse criticism or contemptuous silence? From one source or another we may have received ridicule. Some people have tried to misrepresent our theory. But when we look over all the response we have received
to our efforts we are simply amazed by the generally open-minded and fair way in which our theory has been received. It would seem from this reception that the time is ripe for just the discovery we have made. Even the monarchs of European countries, generally supposed to stand only for what is accepted and conservative, have expressed interest in our work and read it with open mind.
Professors in the universities of Europe, especially those where interest in Arctic studies is a feature of the intellectual life, have written us in terms of great interest. It is only in America that the university professors adopt a dogmatic attitude of denial of our theory. Of course many of our correspondents are kept from full acceptance of the theory only because they believe that the poles have actually been discovered. But when they read this enlarged work they will have that stumbling block removed, for as we have conclusively shown Peary and Cook did not reach the North Pole and the methods of observation are so unsuited to navigation in the Arctic that any position on the surface of the curve of the orifice is likely to be mistaken for a polar position.
We will now proceed to give a few out of the many replies we have had to our ideas and comment briefly upon some of them.
From His Majesty, the King of Sweden, we received the following letter:
"Secretariat du Roi.
"Stockholm, Nov. 17th, 1913.
"His Majesty, the King of Sweden, has directed me to thank you for your letter of October 20th inst. and for the book, 'A Journey to the Earth's Interior or, Have the Poles Really Been Discovered?' forwarded with the same, and which His Majesty has had much pleasure in receiving.
"Private Secretary to the King."
From the "Consolato di S. M. it Re D’Italia"--the Italian consulate in Chicago, we received the following letter:
"December 12, 1913.
"Mr. Marshall B. Gardner,
"The Ministry of the Royalty has written this office acknowledging receipt of your publication, 'A Journey to the Earth's Interior, or, Have the Poles Really Been Discovered?'
"Their majesties wish to express to you their sincerest
thanks for your homage, assuring you that the book will be read with much interest.
"Very truly yours,
"Royal Italian Consul."
From one of the foremost Swedish scholars, Professor Hj. Sjogren of the Riks Museum of Stockholm, we received the following letter:
"Stockholm, 9 Februari, 1914.
"Dewey Publishing Company,
"Aurora, Ill., U. S. A.
"I had the pleasure to receive a copy of Marshall B. Gardner's book 'A Journey to the Earth's Interior,' etc.
"I must say I was struck by the originality and audacity of the Gardner theory and will read the book with great pleasure.
"Yours very truly,
"Dr. Hj. Sjogren."
We wish particularly to point out that Professor Sjogren admits the originality of our theory as several people in our own country have apparently read our book so carelessly that they confuse our ideas with the purely speculative ones of Symmes or the mystical writings of Koresh. But such an endorsement
as this from so eminent a scholar should at least settle the question of our originality. For Professor Sjogren at least knows all the history of the different theories regarding the conformation of the earth. And while we do not expect instant conversion on the part of every scholar who reads our preliminary book, we do think it fair to point out to our less distinguished and usually less considerate critics that the tone of admiration for our work and respect for our thought which this courteous letter shows is sufficient warrant for other people at least doing us justice and not confusing us with a totally different order of people. Our theory is to be judged by scientific standards and not merely dismissed as a dream.
Now let us contrast the open-mindedness and scientific fairness of this Stockholm scientist with the sort of thing that we receive from our own countrymen. We shall take up in detail later an attempt by an American scientist to shatter our theory, and we shall show how easily his own arguments are shattered. But this instance is not of an attempt to out-argue us--that we would welcome, but of sheer narrow-mindedness and misrepresentation. The letter is from The Lick Observatory of the University of California:
"Mount Hamilton, Nov. 18, 1913.
"Answering your inquiry of November 11th, I beg
to say that your book, 'A Trip to the Earth's Interior' which you sent as a gift to the Lick Observatory, was duly received.
"It may be a disappointment to you to learn that we are placing your book in the class which contains pamphlets which we perennially receive on such subjects as 'The Earth is Flat,' etc. It is surprising how many of these contributions there are which ignore, with apparent deliberation, the great body of modern scientific knowledge.
"W. W. Campbell, Director."
If that is not a sheer attempt to misrepresent our theory we should like to see one. But why the Di-rector of the Lick Observatory thinks he can misrepresent the theory to the very man who is responsible for it is a matter that we cannot begin to explain. He must himself have ignored with "apparent deliberation" all of our book except the title page. In that book we did not give as great a volume of evidence as we have now collected but every bit of it was composed of "scientific knowledge." We challenge Mr. Campbell to point out anything in that book that is not based on science or that ignores scientific results. We quoted Percival Lowell. Is he not a scientist or is the director of the Lick Observatory jealous of him? Are not all the Arctic
explorers from the earliest days scientists? But why trouble further about a man so narrow-minded that he does not even read a book before condemning it? Let us pass on and leave Mr. Campbell to his library of pamphlets on "The Earth is Flat," etc.
Although he is not a scientist by profession one of the most scientifically-minded men in England is Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle. Although best known as a novelist Dr. Doyle is a trained medical man--which means that he has had years of scientific discipline. He has also studied the laws of evidence in many of his investigations into psychological subjects, and he has read widely along geological lines in his search for material for some of his romances. If anyone could detect any flaws in the evidence for our theory Dr. Conan Doyle would be the man, for his whole series of Sherlock Holmes detective stories is based upon the application of logical processes to the study of facts--and he has told us that he learned the methods from an old medical teacher. Dr. Conan Doyle was the recipient of a copy of our preliminary book, and he immediately wrote to us in highly flattering terms. The one objection he raises to our theory has already been dealt with in the course of this book, and so we need not refer to it again. But, that objection apart, does it not seem absurd for people like the Director of the Lick Observatory to dismiss our theory without reading about it when a man
of the international reputation of Dr. Conan Doyle writes as follows:
"I read your little book (and big theory) with great interest. It is so very original and actually explains so many facts, that if it were not that both poles had actually been attained, I should be a convert. But I must thank you none the less for a most interesting exposition.
Surely a letter like that will cause some of our uncritical opponents to think again. Let us merely point out that the only test of a theory such as ours is "Does it explain the facts?" and Dr. Conan Doyle answers that it does explain very many facts meaning facts which have hitherto not been explained. Now we have never heard that such theories as the one that the earth is flat explained any facts. They are simply notions. And here is a direct admission by a competent witness that actual facts are explained by our theory. Such recognition as this is all we ask. Simply a square deal and the acknowledgement of the impression that our theory makes on the reader's mind and reasoning faculties. But from people who dismiss our theory before reading it we are not particularly anxious to hear. We welcome constructive
criticism. But mere fault-finding will do no good. Our ideas must be answered by their opponents or those opponents will simply show themselves up for narrow-minded people who refuse to think outside their own ruts.
As we have indicated, the professors in those countries nearer to the Arctic regions, countries from which expeditions have set out from the earliest times, are far more hospitable to our claims than are American scientists.
Professor Joseph Barrell of Yale--who has evidently not read us--says that our preliminary book is "absurd" and in a class with "those which contend that the sun is inhabited and the moon likewise." That, of course, is an utter misrepresentation of our theory and method of proving it. Even this ultra-conservative scientist is impressed with the work, however, for he says it is "interesting as an effort of the imagination." That very sentence, however, shows that he has not understood our work, for there is no imagination in it but only reasoning. Had we simply invented a theory as Symmes did, imagination would be a good word to apply to it. But where every step is taken only on the basis of ascertained fact it is absurd to talk about imagination and to compare ours with books regarding inhabitants in the moon and sun.
Now contrast with the absolute misrepresentations of Professor Barrell, the tone of a letter which we have received from Professor Bugdanovitch, who in 1914 was professor of geology in St. Petersburg. He did not profess conversion to our theories--and this we would not expect to be universal and instantaneous, but he wrote us complimenting us not only upon the "beautiful style" of our work which he compared to the writings of Jules Verne, but upon the fact that it was written very logically. And he also admitted that we had caused him to realize the many unanswered or unsolved questions that the orthodox scientific view of the earth had left unsolved and that were made soluble on the basis of our theory.
And at this point it may be well to say also that Professor Dr. A. Schmidt, Secretary of the Hofrath, and Professor and Director of the Central Meteorological Station, Stuttgart--a world wide authority on the sciences relating to the earth--writes us that "after having read it with enthralled interest I find that in it a very weighty physical hypothesis was stated. . ." and the professor ends his letter by a wish to discuss the theory further in the future.
But we may be pardoned for stressing what he has said on his first reading of the preliminary book; that our hypothesis is weighty and is a physical one--that is to say is a scientific one based on observation,
and not a mere speculation. It is this fact, that ours is a physical or scientific hypothesis, that we have such a hard time to make the American professors see. Just because they have heard of cranks who have thought the earth was flat they assume that any theory coming from a layman, no matter how well supported, is in the same class. We should think that Professor Barrell of Yale, if he ever reads this letter from Professor Schmidt, would blush at his own absence of tolerance and courtesy.
But one of the most startling communications we received was from Professor J. Bohm of Berlin, and it indicated that the author meant to put our theory to the actual test of exploration. But he wrote to us on the subject just before the Great War broke out, and naturally that put a stop to all European activity along exploring lines.
Professor Bohm thanks us for the copy of our preliminary book, tells us that our theory is clearly and logically presented, that the illustrations aid in making clear just what the constitution of the earth is. And he would like to point out, he goes on to tell us, that there is a splendid chance to prove our theory through an Antarctic expedition which is shortly to set out from Austria under the leadership of Herr Dr. Felix Konig. He informs us that Dr. Konig lives in Vienna and urges us to get into immediate touch with him.
But before we could take advantage of this the World War had started. We made no effort to communicate with Dr. Konig because we knew that it would be quite useless. It is certain that no Austrian exploring expeditions will sail anywhere for a long time to come. But our readers will certainly agree that the fact that a well known scientist should be enough interested in our theory to suggest such proof of it is an important point. It shows how seriously our theory is taken by the scientists of Europe. We hope that the scientists of our own country will soon learn to give it as serious attention.
It is interesting to note that the practical men, that is, the men who use science as well as merely know it--engineers rather than professors, are more apt to take kindly to our theory than the men who are not practical. For instance, Mr. H. M. Chance, the consulting engineer of Philadelphia, Pa., says:
"Mr. Gardner is, in my opinion, justly entitled to much credit for having conceived and elaborated such a theory. . ." although the writer admits that he does not feel "competent to express an opinion on many of the features of the theory he elaborates"--a modesty which is entirely wanting in nearly all the American university professors who seem to know so much that they can dismiss our theory in a few dozen words.
As a matter of fact there is a very good reason for this attitude on their part. One of the representative scientists tried the other way--to refute our theory in detail. He was the only one of the whole professional fraternity who came out in print and tried to demolish our theory. He had all the facts of science to draw upon. He had access to all the scientific works in our university libraries, and he was an expert in geographical and similar questions. His defeat was so final that no other scientist has come out into the open and criticised our preliminary book. It was Dr. L. Dominian of Pittsburgh, of the staff of the National Geographical Society, who answered us on behalf of orthodox science, and we shall give his attack in full and our reply to it in a chapter to themselves--which will follow immediately after this one.
But in the present chapter we wish to show the general tone of the reception which was accorded our theory not only by the people already mentioned but by private individuals and by the press.
Correspondence from private individuals reveals a general tendency to accept our theory except for the one point that these individuals make about the poles actually having been discovered. In the present work we take up that point at length, and we meet fully that objection.
Other individuals write us for further information on points that we could not possibly know anything about. In fact, to read some of these letters one might imagine that our correspondents thought that we had actually been in the interior in person and had had the latest scientific instruments with us. For instance, one man wants to know how the inner sun keeps up its heat, and what its temperature is. To take the latter point first, all we can say is that its temperature is such that the interior as a whole, is, on its surface, of a warmth sufficient to support tropical vegetation. We know that, not because we have been able to measure the heating power of the central sun, but simply because we know that the vegetation exists; we have seen it, as the pages preceding bear witness; we have seen where it comes from, and we know what are the approximate conditions under which it will grow. That being the fact the question of how hot the interior sun is and that of how it maintains its heat can well be allowed to rest until direct observations are made. But, says the reader, may the central sun not cool to the temperature of the surface of the earth and so fail to warm the interior any more? The answer is that such is not necessarily the case. At one time scientists thought that all suns would eventually cool off and so all planets some day fail to receive their quota of light and heat. But it is now thought that suns are kept alive--so to speak--by their supply
of radio-active elements which decompose and give out energy all the time and so keep up the temperature of the suns. And this may well be the case with the central sun. But the reader must remember that we are not trying to dogmatize about the matter. In the past pages we have told not what the central sun is like in all its details, but simply what it does. It warms the interior of the earth and we have abundant proof of its action. That is all that can be required of us at this stage in our study of the matter. When we actually penetrate to the interior there will be another tale to tell.
On the other hand we have a letter from Mrs. Maude L. Howard, of Chicago, which voices another interesting reaction to our theory. Mrs. Howard says she felt, when she read our preliminary statement, as if something had been said which explained and cleared up matters and appealed to independent thinkers. She was so interested in our view that she wrote encouraging us to push our investigations further, and gave us her own views on the possibility of the interior being inhabited by a race of people, perhaps further advanced in evolution than we should expect. That, of course, is a matter of speculation, but it is such suggestions as this, coming from people who do their own thinking, that will gradually raise general discussion of our theory and get the public at large interested.
And whether people agree with us in every detail or differ from us, we are equally glad to hear from them. We want the common sense of mankind to join us in this matter and to aid in solving the many questions that can only be solved when adequate expeditions go into the interior. And the more discussion there is about our theory the sooner that will be.
Dr. L. Secord, a prominent Canadian physician, writes us that he read our book with interest, and speaks not only of the ingenuity of our theory but of the necessity for receiving it with an open mind. "It does not do for us," he says, "to set aside a proposition without giving it due weight and consideration" in these days when so many wonderful discoveries are being made every day. He adds:
"There is many a world within a world even within our own bodies, the truths of which science is gradually unfolding."
Of course we have also received some letters which show a very great lack of intelligence. One was from the librarian of a Massachusetts library who had bought a copy of our preliminary work and wrote in to the publisher that the book was not what it pre-tended to be. He went on to explain at great length that our theory was simply a restatement of Symmes' Theory of Concentric Spheres, as if we had never
heard of that theory before he explained it to us. Of course we knew all about Symmes Theory and of course it is nothing like our theory either in its formulation or in its method of proof. But that point we have discussed elsewhere in this book and so we need not repeat ourselves here. But we hope that our readers will keep the distinction clear between our scientifically proven theory and Symmes' purely speculative and imaginary account.
An open-minded scholar who has received our theory without prejudice is Professor J. W. Searson, of the Kansas State Agricultural College. Perhaps the most valuable point in Professor Searson's letter is that he deals with the question of originality. We take especial pleasure in quoting this letter, so that an independent witness may vouch for the fact that our theory is an original one, standing on its own feet and honestly built up on the facts--not a copy of anyone else's theory. Here, then, is Professor Searson's letter:
Kansas State Agricultural College,
Manhattan, Kansas, March 22, 1917.
Dear Mr. Gardner: Permit me to express to you my sincere appreciation of your kindness in presenting me a copy of "A Journey to the Earth's Interior." I have read the book with keenest interest and confess that it is the most unique discussion of the composition and shape of the earth that I have ever seen. I used to be greatly interested in the theories of Ferguson
and many similar discussions. I have found your book intensely interesting, cleverly written, and absolutely original from beginning to end. I have worked so long in another field that your entire discussion is absolutely new to me. I appreciate it, however, and am very grateful to you for giving me this opportunity to read so unique a discussion.
Very gratefully yours,
J. W. SEARSON.
Many of our correspondents have endorsed our theory to some extent but have met certain difficulties in thinking the matter out and have written to us for further particulars. Among these, for example is R. M. Keminski of Chicago, who, after seeing the preliminary book about our theory, wrote in a number of questions which showed intelligent thought in regard to the matter. Our correspondent will find that all those questions have been covered in the present work and convincing answers given to them.
When the preliminary account of our theory was published it attracted a great deal of attention in the press, although all of the attention was not of the most intelligent kind. We were gratified to find that the foremost American scientific journal, The Scientific American, treated us with a great deal of respect, although its editors did not take upon themselves the
responsibility of committing their paper to the new theory. The reviewer of our book in the columns of that journal gave a very fair summary of our theory, and of its presentation he had this to say:
"The sheer ingenuity of his arguments makes the little book worthy of the Jules Verenean reader." And he praised us for the "wealth of details" with which we worked out our ideas.
Another very appreciative review from the scientific standpoint was printed by the Buffalo Medical Journal, one of the oldest and best known medical periodicals in the country. The reviewer says, among other things:
"Mr. Gardner's hypothesis is so alluring in many ways, practical as well as theoretic, that we are inclined to express the hope that the discoveries of the poles will prove incorrect,"
Now that is precisely what we show in this book--that Peary and Cook have both been absolutely proved incorrect on their own showings. And we shall await with interest what the Buffalo Medical Journal has to say when its reviewer reads our proof in the present volume.
Among the less intelligent reviewers was a writer on the Chicago Daily News who gave a summary of our views and then suggested that any explorers of the interior would need to take plenty of heavy clothes, as "the weather is a bit chilly in the polar
regions at certain seasons of the year." Evidently he did not read our book with much care. For we have shown that the worst weather in the Arctics is that experienced some distance south. When the explorer reaches the regions of the polar orifice he finds that the weather becomes warmer. Once one was in the interior one would wear just the clothes that one wears in the tropics.
But this reviewer makes up for the inadequacy of that remark, however, by adding:
"Seriously, Mr. Gardner's theory offers some explanations of certain phenomena, as the Aurora Borealis, the Aurora Australis, the magnetic poles, the dip of the needle, etc., that are as plausible and satisfactory as those that are offered by sober science."
But if that is so, O scribe of the Daily News, why is our theory not just as "sober" as the science whose equal you admit that it is when it really comes to explaining things?
The San Antonio Express, like the Scientific American compares our book to the writings of Jules Verne for interest. The reviewer in that paper does us the justice to say that a reading of our book will convince the reader that:
"Schoolday teachings of the earth's being a body with a crust for the surface and a molten mass for the interior, were wrong."
And the writer goes on to summarize our theory, although he misunderstands one point. He seems to think that we have not explained how the polar apertures were formed and he speaks of the possibility that the Northern and Southern Oceans might disappear in whirlpools through the respective apertures. If he understood the enormous size of these apertures and the fact that the curvature of their lips was so gradual that one sails over it without noticing anything out of the ordinary, he would never think of the oceans' disappearing.
But since these and other critics and writers of letters are so apt to compare us with Jules Verne let us ask what such a comparison means. Jules Verne was the greatest scientific romance writer who has ever Jived. He predicted the aeroplane; he wrote about things which at the time were believed impossible but which have since come to pass. He described submarines which were capable of crossing the Atlantic at a time when there were no practicable submarines working at all. And since then they have crossed the Atlantic. Now how did he do that? In the first place he had a wonderfully fertile and strong imagination. Through its fertility he planned out wondrous conceptions, and through its strength he super-imposed logical progression upon those conceptions, so that when once you took the first step with him, everything else followed in logical order, and the
reader was kept interested by the logic. As long as he was immersed in the tale it sounded probable and he did not have any feeling of disbelief. A weaker man might have dreamed some of the dreams of Jules Verne but he would not have been able to sustain the logic of the unfolding.
Now then, let the reader ask himself: "Why our book caused nearly everyone who has expressed an opinion on it to compare it to the works of Jules Verne?"
There are only two answers. Either the author of this book is a great imaginative writer like Jules Verne or, if he is not, the power of his book must lie in the fact that he is telling the truth.
Now we make no claim to be of great imaginative and literary power. If we were we would doubtless be writing all sorts of romances just as Jules Verne did. Why then does our book cause people to compare us to Verne? It is simply because truth is always stranger than fiction, when you really study it. And we have told the truth in this book, the truth revealed by actual observation. Either the facts supplied the interest in our book or else an imagination like unto Jules Verne's did it. We deny having any such imagination. Let the reader think over all he has read. Was it not all composed of facts? Did we not just link up one fact with another? Did we supply any "imagination" or invention? Did we say anything that was not backed up with evidence?
And yet the total result is a book that reminds people of the work of Jules Verne because it is so interesting. Could anyone who was not a trained writer of romance compete with Jules Verne in his own field? Of course not. The fact that our book can compete with Verne is simply because it called on facts to make its interest. It is the truth that we found by thinking and comparing the facts which explorers discovered that makes our book interesting. We do not wish to be given credit for any other faculty except the plain, old-fashioned faculty of logic. We are willing to leave imagination and invention to the novelists and romance writers. All we ask the reader to decide is "Are we logical?" Do we present facts to support our conclusions? If we do, if the conclusions do not outrun the facts, if we have said anything that does not have a solid fact behind it, then our theory should be put to the test of actual exploration.
But one thing is certain. If the actual facts in the case did not all point to the one thing, we could certainly not have made up a lot of reasons for our saying what we do. And as we did not make up the reasons but found them, all we ask for is credit for logic and intelligence, not for imagination. We are not competing with Jules Verne but with the scientists.
And the reader who wishes to see how the scientists compete with us need only read the next chapter.
We would like to call special attention to the open-minded manner in which one American thinker has received our theory. As he is the leader of a religious denomination, and as such men are usually supposed to be more interested in the progress of their own work--and quite naturally--than in the advance of other people's ideas, it is with peculiar gratification that we record the open-mindedness and fairness with which Mr. Thomas Shelton of Denver, Colorado, has endorsed our effort to bring about a more reasonable view of the earth's formation. Mr. Shelton is the editor of Christian, a monthly magazine which is in the order of an advanced branch of religion, and he devoted two long leading articles to our theory when it was first brought to his attention.
In the first of them he says in part:
"Here comes another scientist saying that the earth is hollow."
He says "another" because, as he explains later, a Dr. Teed once taught that the earth was a hollow sphere and that we live in its interior. But Teed's theory, of course, is nothing like ours, and does not have the same sort of a basis. It is more a religious cult than a scientific theory, and we hope that we shall never be confused with Teed.
Mr. Shelton goes on:
"It sounds sensible to me. This scientist, Marshall B. Gardner, Aurora, Illinois, making the earth an
almost living creature, breathing the breath of life in its interior, like all other living beings, and a sun at its heart always and forever shining with vibrations like radium.
"Why haven't we found the North and South Poles while searching for the poles? Because they are protected by ice caps which explorers have never been able to cross. If Peary had gone a little farther he would have been going South and would have gone through the earth and come out at the South pole or hole. If Scott could have gone on he would have come out at the North pole or hole.
"These holes or openings are fourteen hundred miles across; so these explorers could have gradually entered the openings and have gone through the earth without ever knowing that they had left the outside of the earth. The central sun of the earth is so situated that when approached it would have looked like a rising sun; and when left behind, like a setting sun; and yet it never rises or sets, but remains forever fixed in the center of the earth, surrounded by a corona of ample depth.
"Of course there is no night in the center of the earth and the temperature is kept in an equable condition. The great ice-caps at the North and South openings keep the air purified as it flows through the interior of the earth. The central sun is light and life, and the anchor of the planet. Keeping it forever in its orbit as it sails around the great central
sun on the outside. Nature is uniform in all of her laws, creates everything for the use and joy of living. The universe is alive and a light as a unit of units. . .
"The Bible and the ancients made the underworld hell. Maybe they had the whole thing reversed. . ."
Mr. Shelton then goes on to develop the suggestion that there may be a race of superior people in the underworld, and he also goes so far as to say that the people on the outside of the earth have some characteristics of a race .of outcasts. But we do not wish to appear as claiming to know more than we do know, and we hope no reader who may have first heard about us through Mr. Shelton's kindly notice will fail to discriminate between what we really do claim and any further suggestions which Mr. Shelton may make on his own responsibility.
Of course there is some evidence--see our chapter on finding men in the Antarctic and also our chapter on the Eskimo traditions of ancestors in the far away north--that there are men in the interior. And it may be that owing to the equable and warm climate and the abundance of food, that they are a superior race. But on the other hand they may simply be a different race with altogether different ways and living and thinking and so not to be compared to us. So we must leave the question open, especially as it will not have to be left open for long. Exploration will soon settle the matter one way or another.
Mr. Shelton then goes on to say that the author is
one of the three men whose works have helped him most in his own thought during the year in which he writes, and he ends his article with these pregnant words:
"If you laugh at Gardner, don't laugh too loud, for since writing the above, Russian ships report the discovery of a new continent, and, beloved, there are other continents undiscovered. Some of these may be inside the earth. Sit tight, but don't be too cocksure that you are right."
In a later issue Mr. Shelton tells of the great interest his first article aroused--of people writing in to him about it--and says again that the author of this book has given "a new thought, and it is good to think new thoughts about new things."
He adds that we have written scientifically:
"Gardner declares that all worlds are the same hollow spheres with a sun on the inside of each world. He speaks in scientific terms and gives his arguments as a scientist, and not as a mere speculation."
On another page of this same number of Christian a correspondent writes to the editor saying that the clipping from which Mr. Shelton first heard of our theory was sent by him, being clipped from the San Francisco Chronicle, and he adds that he agrees with the theory.
Some weeks after that correspondence in the columns of Mr. Shelton's paper, we received a letter from an old lady, for many years known throughout
the northwest as a student and advance thinker, telling us that she had read of our theory as outlined by Dr. Shelton and that she would be glad to examine our views. We sent her a copy of the first outline which we had prepared of our work, and asked her to criticise it frankly.
In her reply, this lady, Mrs. Sarah Gifford of Ferry County, Washington, says that it is quite evident that our theory is not merely a variation of some other idea such as the Koreshan cosmogony by Dr. Teed, and continues: "The Gardner theory is not something to be laughed at it is a theory presented on scientific principles."
And she ends her letter by stating her belief that. the theory may very shortly be "proven to the world as a fact."
Will other readers of our theory do as so many of these friends have done--send accounts of it to editors of the papers which they read, and which they know are likely to give us a fair hearing? In that way the news of our theory will be disseminated much more quickly than if the reader simply says to himself that he agrees with us and then settles back to watch our progress in converting the rest of the world. If every reader did that our progress would be slow indeed. But let every reader remember that this book propounds a practical question as well as a theoretical one. If we had written a book which applied only to the planet Mars, it would be all right
to read it and simply add the new knowledge to one's memory and then let the matter drop. Only the professional astronomers would really be enough interested in the matter to discuss it at length and too incorporate it in their teaching. But the reader should remember that this book concerns his own life because it tells of a land, a whole new world, which his own country may explore, and which may render vast supplies of all natural products to the people who explore it. It is for this reason that we ask the active support of every reader, that no time may be lost in disseminating our information and discussing it. It will be the big subject of discussion when plans really get started for exploring parties, and every reader who wishes to be abreast of the times, who likes to be "in on" whatever is uppermost in contemporary interest, will do what this reader of Mr. Shelton's magazine did--write to his favorite paper about our theory. And will not every reader not only do that but think about it and communicate to us any ideas which he may have on the subject? If there is some fact that is not made clear, or if you see a further argument either for or against our theory, let us know. We already have letters from the foremost scientists of Europe and some in America, and we have letters from people who are not scientists but who know how to bring their common sense to bear on a problem. Let us add you to the list. We have letters and cards from every quarter of the globe,
hundreds of them, in fact, coming even from far-off China and Japan.
One of the most sympathetic accounts of our theory when it was first propounded appeared in the Chicago Sunday Tribune of August 3, 1913. That paper devoted a whole page with illustrations to our first announcement of the idea that the earth is not what scientists have always taught, and we reproduce herewith a few of their remarks on the subject:
"Can it be possible that down in the middle of this earth there is another earth? That a few hundred miles or so away, separated from us by ground and rock and vapor and such things, there is a great country inhabited by a great race?
"Scientists innumerable have discovered life, vegetable and animal upon other planets. Long ago the seers and wise men peopled the heavens. Exploration has stretched out toward the truth in all directions save this one. It remains for an Illinoisan to lead us--in theory--in that direction, down, down into the earth's uttermost recesses and the wonders thereof.
"Marshall B. Gardner of Aurora, the scientist in question, does not say in so many words that people live in the middle of the world. But he makes a circumstantial case to that effect. It is his belief that there is a big sun in the earth's interior, that there
are immense holes where the poles are supposed to be, and that the phenomena of the aurora borealis and the aurora australis are the result of the interior sun shining out through the polar holes.
"The Aurora man who has spent twenty years in studying out his theory, asserts that the earth's interior, instead of being a molten mass of lava, as has been claimed by scientists for ages, is hollow and contains a central nucleus or material sun of about 600 miles in diameter. He says this sun is surrounded by a corona of ample depth which is enclosed within an envelope of atmosphere; that this atmosphere is surrounded by a vacuum, and that between this vacuum and the interior surface of the earth's crust there is another envelope of atmosphere the thickness or depth of which is approximately 200 miles, thus making the diameter of the earth between its two interior surfaces a distance of 6,400 miles.
"By adding to this amount 1,600 miles, or twice the thickness of the earth's crust, the diameter of the earth as measured from its exterior surfaces would be 8,000 miles.
"The author of this remarkable theory declares that instead of a north and south pole there is at each of these imaginary points an entrance to the earth's interior 1,400 miles in diameter, or a space sufficiently large when combined to provide an area ample for keeping the interior temperature of the earth in an
equable condition. He says that all other planetary bodies are substantially of the same general form as is the earth."