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edentata. Of its 132 mammalian species, 102 are marsupials, and the remainder consists of rodents, bats, and strange monotremes. It is true man has made his way into this fauna, and with him— for like associates with like-a carnivorous animal, the dingo or wild dog of Australia. But that they set foot in this zoological province as strangers is held by all who have profited by the historical lessons afforded by a study of the distribution of animals.
The same applies to South America, which contains a peculiar and completely distinct mammalian kingdom of which the edentata are considered the representatives. All the species, the majority of the genera, and even of the families, are different from those of the Old World. Our argument gains much weight from the observations made by Andreas Wagner, that the existing mammals of Australia and South America approximate much more nearly than do ours to the fossil forms of the tertiary period; 3 so that in both these districts the characters have changed much more slowly. South America was however an island within a recent zoological period, before the isthmus of Panama united the two continents. This district therefore, which has remained so primitive, is not a province of which the mammalia are of such a character as to point to its being a possible birthplace of the most modern of all creatures.
It is more reasonable to suppose that the cradle of the human race was in North America. The animal and vegetable world in North America is to some extent similar and is closely analogous to that of Asia and Europe. The physiognomy of nature changes completely only in Central America, nearly, if not exactly, at the southern limit of the true pines, of which, as is well known, South America is destitute.
It is however precisely in the second highest order of mammalia hat America has remained more primitive. The falsely so-called Quadrumana of America are so different from ours, that they constitute a separate family, and might in a zoological system be termed the apes of the New World, if they were geographically
2 This is admitted even by Agassiz in the Essay on Classification, p. 60. London, 1849.
3 Abhandlungen der mathem. physik. Classe der K. bayr. Akademie der Wissenschaften, vol. iv. pp. 1, 18. Munich, 1846.
Not in America.
classified. The American family differs in dentition, in the lateral position of the nostrils, in the absence of ischial callosities and cheek-pouches; nor is any tailless monkey to be found in the whole of America. It is where the highest animals appear-the chimpanzee, the gorilla, and the orang-that we must also look for man.
All these inferences are independent of the fate of the Darwinian dogma; they stand or fall with the doctrine of a single centre of creation for the species of the animal and vegetable kingdom. Even this doctrine by itself meets with stubborn opposition because it is not yet capable of explaining all the facts. Nevertheless, the greatest difficulty, namely, the occurrence of fifty northern species of plants in Terra del Fuego, has been overcome by the acuteness and learning of a German botanist. In the chapter which treats of the primitive inhabitants of America, we shall endeavour to prove their derivation from Northern Asia. We will only observe in anticipation, that the more rude, and hence the more frugal and hardy, a people is, the more readily does it change its abode, so that, in their lowest stages of development, all families of people were capable of accomplishing the migrations which we have ascribed to them. The difficulties generally exist only in the imagination of the spoilt children of civilization.
In Central Australia, where European explorers were exhausted by starvation, hordes of black men roam about, free of care; and if we are startled by the idea that, thousands of years ago, Asiatic tribes are supposed to have crossed Behring's Straits to people America, we quite forget that even at the present day, a naked nation of fishermen still exists in Terra del Fuego, where the glaciers stretch down to the sea, and even into it.
We have already demonstrated that the first appearance of man must have been on a continent; we proved from migrations which have actually taken place, that the dispersion of our race from a single starting-point over the whole world might be only a question of time; we have ascertained from the geographical distribution of animals, that neither Australia nor South America, nor even North America, was a fitting position for the cradle of humanity; con
Grisebach, Vegetation der Erde, vol. i. p. 96.
sequently, it is in the Old World that we must look for it. Then, again, we may confidently set aside the lowlands of Siberia, for at a time geologically recent it was still covered by the sea. This objection would not exist with regard to Europe; but if Europe had been the starting-point, we should assuredly have found so-called fossil men among us, just as two very highly organized tertiary apes have been discovered, one in Greece, the other in Switzerland.
If we give up Europe also, it is only in Southern Asia or in Africa that we have any prospect of finding the oldest vestiges of our race. Of these regions, British India has already undergone the most thorough geological research, and as many precursory types of the present mammals have already been found, the prospects of localizing our primordial parents in that district are diminished.
It is possible, however, that the first appearance of man may have taken place neither in Southern Asia nor in Africa, but in the Indian Ocean itself. There at one time existed a great continent to which belonged Madagascar and perhaps portions of Eastern Africa, the Maledives and Lacadives, and also the island of Ceylon, which was never attached to India, perhaps even the island of Celebes in the far East, which possesses a perplexing fauna with semi-African features. This continent, which would correspond with the Indian Ethiopia of Claudius Ptolemæus, has been named Lemuria by the English zoologist, Sclater, because it would include the entire range of the lemurs. Such a continent is required by anthropology, for we can then conceive that the inferior populations of Australia and India, the Papuans of the East Indian islands, and lastly, the negroes, would thus be enabled to reach their present abode by dry land. Such a region would be also climatically suitable, for it lies in the zone in which we now find the anthropomorphous apes.
The selection of this locality is, moreover, far more orthodox than it might at the first glance appear, for we here find ourselves in the neighbourhood of the four enigmatic rivers of the scriptural Eden-in the vicinity of the Nile, the Euphrates, the Tigris, and the Indus. By the gradual submergence of Lemuria, the expulsion from Paradise would also be inexorably accomplished.
To this may be added that ecclesiastical writers, such as Lactantius,5 the Venerable Bede, Hrabanus Maurus,7 Kosmos Indicopleustes,8 and also the anonymous geographer of Ravenna, placed the scriptural Paradise in South-eastern Asia, and some explicitly on a detached continent, and that the ingenious maps of the Middle Ages exhibit the first parental pair on a land surrounded by sea, lying beyond India. This explains how Columbus after the discovery of South America, taking it for an insular continent lying south-east of the mouth of the Ganges, wrote home to Spain, "There are here great indications suggesting the proximity of the earthly Paradise, for not only does it correspond in mathematical position with the opinions of the holy and learned theologians, but all other signs concur to make it probable." ” IO
5 Div. Instit. ii. 13.
* De Universo, xii. 3.
Geogr. lib. i. cap. 6.
This suggestion is, however, a mere hypothesis which need not disquiet those who like to imagine Paradise in the land of the lotus blossom, or who turn to the papyrus-fringed shores of the newly discovered lakes of the Upper Nile, or perchance prefer to believe it still nearer to the eastern lands of the scriptures. The value of the hypothesis is, that it challenges a geological investigation of Madagascar, Ceylon, and the island of Rodrigue, as well as deep-sea soundings in the Indian Ocean, to ascertain whether vestiges exist of the higher points of the vanished Lemuria. All that we require is the vindication of a single starting-point for all human races, in opposition to the anthropological school of the Americans which has recently constituted above a hundred human species, not races, of men; as many species, that is, as it is possible to find natural types, and these it is imagined were at once sown broadcast by the Creator, in numbers as vast as swarms of bees, in the localities which they now inhabit. An hypothesis such as this does not explain why the islands were left fallow at this general seed-time, nor why the several quarters of the world admit of being characterized as provinces by means of their fauna and flora. Any explanation of the present by the past
• De Mundi constit. p. 326.
8 Ed. Montfaucon, tom. ii. p. 188.
10 Navarrete, Coleccion de los viages y descubrimientos, vol. i. p. 259. Madrid, 1825.
is thus abandoned, although it lies deeply rooted in human nature not to rest satisfied with observed facts until they have been reconciled with some law of necessity.
IV. THE ANTIQUITY OF THE HUMAN RACE.
THOSE who pronounce in favour of the development of the different races from a single human species which, making its first appearance within a limited region, gradually spread over the whole earth, must admit that events such as these demand periods of vast duration, and on them falls the burden of proof that vestiges of our species may actually be traced up to remote prehistoric times. These objections would be removed by the discovery made by the Abbé Bourgeois, who extracted stone knives and axes from strata of unquestionably miocene date, in the neighbourhood of Tenay (Loir et Cher), which would testify that France was inhabited as early as the middle of the tertiary period. But at the Archæological Congress at Brussels, in 1872, the best judges of such articles decided against the artificial origin of these so-called human relics of the miocene period. On the other hand, the highest probability of a human origin must be attributed to the flint implements which were first discovered by Boucher de la Perthes, in 1847, at Menchecourt, in the valley of the Somme, between Abbeville and Amiens, intermingled in the chalky clay with remains of the mammoth, the woolly rhinoceros, an extinct species of horse, the European hippopotamus, and other animals of the diluvial period; a discovery which has attracted to the site the best geologists of the present time. Human remains have as yet been sought in vain, for the jawbone discovered near Moulin Quignon, is supposed to have been inserted for purposes of fraud. The absence of remains of human bones must not however excite too much distrust, for after the draining of the lake of Haarlem, which was once a gulf, scanty fragments of ships but no human bones were found, although vessels had been wrecked and naval engagements fought on it. According to Prestwich's ingenious conjecture, it is conceivable that in the glacial period, at the end of the tertiary age, the