Source:James E. Talmage, a geologist, spoke of the earth forming from other bodies

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James E. Talmage, a geologist, spoke of the earth forming from other bodies

A clear distinction must be made between theory and fact. The observations last referred to are in no sense representative of theory, but, on the contrary, stand as demonstrated facts. The planetesimal hypothesis suggests the formation of worlds—of this earth, at 1east—by the coming together of small but discrete particles, world-dust, if you please, but not large masses of structural character. However, the theory does not deny that during the early formative stages of the earth, ponderous masses may have thus fallen together; but neither theory nor observed facts war- rant the belief that the present structure of the outer parts of the earth is in any way due to the structure of the infalling bodies, Whether particles comparable to dust, or masses of greater size. Approximately nine-tenths of the land surface today consists of stratified or sedimentary rocks. These are composed of the debris of earlier formations, which material by erosion, transportation, and re-deposition has been laid down as orderly beds at the bottom of ocean, sea, or lake. Even the oldest eruptive and metamorphic rocks known to us appear to consist of the material of yet more ancient rocks, changed and made over in the construction of the formations as we now observe them. He would be rash in- deed, who would attempt to affirm that he had identified any rock formation as part of the so-called first or primitive crust. What- ever may have been the character of the planetesimal bodies, the existing structure of the earth’s crust is the result of causes less remote than the original accretion of these bodies,—causes of a kind yet operating,—disintegration, removal, and re-deposition in the case of these dimentaries, volcanism and metamorphism in the case of crystalline rocks.[1]


  1. James E. Talmage, Professor of Geology, University of Utah, "Prophecy as the Forerunner of Science—an Instance," Improvement Era 7 no. 7 (May 1904), 486-487.