ancient civilized nations of Asia, Africa, and Europe, of which we have any knowledge, that it has become evident, to my mind at least, that such similarities are not merely effects of hazard, but the result of intimate communications that must have existed between all of them; and that distance was no greater obstacle to their intercourse than it is to-day to that of the inhabitants of the various countries.
It has been, and still is, a favorite hypothesis, with certain students of ethnology, that the Western Continent, now known as America, received its human population, therefore its civilization, from Asia. True, there is a split in their ranks. They are not quite certain if the immigration in America came from Tartary across the Strait of Behring, or from Hindostan over the wastes of the Pacific Ocean. This, however, is of little consequence.
There are those who pretend, like Klaproth, that the cradle of humanity is to be found on the plateau of Pamir, between the high peaks of the Himalayan ranges, or like Messrs. Renan and Barthélémy Saint-Hilaire, who place it in the region of the Timæus, in the countries where the Bible says the "Garden of Eden" was situated; while others are equally certain man came from Lemuria, that submerged continent invented by P. L. Sclater, which Haeckel believes was the birthplace of the primitive ape-man, and which they say now lies under the waves of the Indian Ocean. The truth of the matter is, that these opinions are mere conjectures, simple hypotheses, and their advocates know no more when and where man first appeared on earth than the new-born babe knows of his surroundings or how he came.
The learned wranglers on this shadowy and dim point
- Haeckel, Ernst, Hist. of Creation, vol. ii., p. 326.