This book is not the work of a dreamer. Neither has it proceeded from a love of learned paradox. Nor yet is it a cunningly devised fable aimed at particular tendencies in current science, philosophy, or religion. It is a thoroughly serious and sincere attempt to present what is to the author's mind the true and final solution of one of the greatest and most fascinating of all problems connected with the history of mankind. That this true solution has not been furnished before is not strange. The suggestion that primitive Eden was at the Arctic Pole seems at first sight the most incredible of all wild and willful paradoxes. And it is only within the lifetime of our own generation that the progress of geological discovery has relieved the hypothesis of fatal antecedent improbability. Moreover, when one considers the enormous variety and breadth of the fields from which its evidences of truth must be derived; when one remembers how recent are those comparative sciences on whose results the argument must chiefly depend; when one observes that many of the most striking of our alleged proofs, both in the physical and in the anthropological domain, are precisely the latest of the conclusions -of these most modern of all sciences,?it is easy to see that a generation ago the demonstration here attempted could not have been given. Even five years ago some of the most interesting and cogent of our arguments would as yet have been lacking. The interest which has so long invested our problem, and which has prompted so many attempts to solve it, was never greater than to-day. The lapse of centuries has rendered many another question antiquated, but not this. On the contrary, the more the modern world has advanced in new knowledge, the more exigent has grown the necessity of finding a valid solution. Men are feeling as never before that until the starting-point of human history can be determined, the historian, the archæologist, and the paleontological anthropologist are all working in the dark. It is seen that without this desideratum the ethnologist, the philologist, the mythographer, the theologian, the sociologist can none of them construct anything not liable to profound modification, if not to utter overthrow, the moment any new light shall be thrown upon the mother-region and the prehistoric movements of the human race. Every anthropological science, therefore, and every science related to anthropology, seems at the present moment to be standing in a state of dubitant expectancy, willing to work a little tentatively, but conscious of its destitution of the needful primal datum, and conscious of its consequent lack of a valid structural law.
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by William F. Warren
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by William F. Warren
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by on October 21, 2016
- Library of Alexandria, March 2015
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