American Egyptomania Search


Adamites and Preadamites: or, A Popular Discussion Concerning the Remote Representatives of the Human Species and their Relation to the Biblical Adam

Syracuse, N.Y.: John T. Roberts, 1878


Browse scholarship by topic:

Art & Architecture
History
Literature
Religion
Science

ANTIQUITY OF MAN. 41

years ago so abundant in the Fulton market, New York, has suddenly disappeared, and museums are bidding in vain for relics of the lost species. The Aurochs of Europe, abundant in Caesar's time, is now saved from extinction only by the care of the Prussian government. The big trees of California will have no successors. In short, every species of animal which cannot occupy the continent with civilized man is clearly doomed to pass away. So extinctions continue, even in recent times, to be the order of nature.

III. The magnitude of the geological changes since man's advent. When we say that man was witness of the disappearance of the continental glacier in Europe, or learn that since his advent England and Scandinavia have been joined to the continent, and the North Sea has been dry land, and the Thames a tributary of the Rhine, we seem to sink back into geological time, where anything less than a hundred thousand years for man would be a ridiculous demand. So, too, when we learn that Mongoloid man came to America over an isthmus existing where Behring's Straits now are, and floated his canoe on the waters of a great lake, which spread over the prairie-region of Illinois.

But I believe, on sober reflection, that our imaginations have been excited. The mystery and the magnitude of geological changes seem to relegate them to the remote ages of convulsion and cataclysm. Let us not be frightened. We are in the midst of great changes, and are scarcely conscious of it. We have seen worlds in flames, and have felt a cornet strike the earth. We have seen the whole coast of South America lifted up bodily ten or fifteen feet, and let down again in an hour. We have seen the Andes sink 220 feet in seventy years. We are pointed to vast hydrographical changes in China within historic times. As to the glaciers, they are still shrinking. Before our human eyes proceeds that retreat which has left its foot-prints all the way across the valley of Switzerland. We may still gaze on the ancient glaciers. We may still see them at their work. The Stone Folk are drawn down toward our own times. We look over the abyss of years and seize it in our apprehension. They saw the borders of the ice-field perhaps on the Rhine; we see them in Russia, and Siberia, and Greenland. And in our own country

6



Page 41