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Paradise Found, by William F. Warren, [1885], at

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Damals, von dort aus—d. h. aus diesem Bildungsherd für die Pflanzen südlicher Breiten im hohen Norden—hat eine strahlenförmige Verbreitung von Typen stattgehabt.—Professor Heer.

It is now an established conclusion that the great aggressive faunas and floras of the continents have originated in the North, some of them within the Arctic Circle.—Principal Dawson (1883).

All traditions of the primeval Paradise require us to conceive of it as possessed of a tropical flora of the most beautiful and luxuriant sort,—as adorned with "every tree that is pleasant to the sight, or good for food." Any theory, therefore, as to the site of Eden must of necessity present a locality where this condition could have been met. How is it with the hypothesis now under consideration?

To reply that a polar Eden is scientifically admissible in this respect would be to state but a small part of the truth. So much might unhesitatingly be affirmed in view of the facts presented in the last chapter. Given in any country on the face of the globe a long-continued tropical climate, and a tropical vegetation may well be expected. Anything else would be so abnormal as to require explanation.

But the study of Paleontological Botany has just conducted to a new and entirely unanticipated result. The best authorities in this science, both in Europe and America, have lately reached the conclusion that all the floral types and forms revealed in the 

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oldest fossils of the earth originated in the region of the North Pole, and thence spread first over the northern and then over the southern hemisphere, proceeding from North to South. This is a conception of the origin and development of the vegetable world which but a few years ago no scientific man had dreamed of, and which, to many intelligent readers of these pages, will be entirely new. Its profound interest, as related to the present discussion, will at once be seen.

Without attempting a chronological history of this remarkable discovery, or in any wise assuming to assign to each pioneer student his share of the credit, we may say that Professor Asa Gray, of America, Professor Oswald Heer, of Switzerland, Sir Joseph Hooker, of England, Otto Kuntze, of Germany, and Count G. de Saporta, of France, have all been more or less prominently associated with the establishment of the new doctrine. Sir Joseph Hooker's studies of the floral types of Tasmania furnished data, before lacking, for a general trans-latitudinal survey of the whole field. He was struck by the fact that in that far-off Southern world "the Scandinavian type asserts his prerogative of ubiquity." Though at that time he seems not to have divined its significance, he clearly saw the paleontological and other vestiges of the great movement by which the far North has slowly clothed the north-temperate, the equatorial, and the southern regions with verdure. In one passage he describes the impression made upon him by the facts in the following graphic language: "When I take a comprehensive view of the vegetation of the Old World, I am struck with the appearance it presents of there having been a

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continuous current of vegetation, if I may so fancifully express myself, from Scandinavia to Tasmania." 1

Light on this problem of the far South was soon to come from the far North. In 1868 Professor Oswald Heer, of Zurich, published his truly epoch-making work on the fossil flora of the Arctic regions, in which he modestly yet with much confidence advanced the idea that the Bildungsherd, or mother-region, of all the floral types of the more southern latitudes was originally in "a great continuous Miocene continent within the Arctic Circle," and that from this centre the southward spread or dispersion of these types had been in a radial or out-raying manner. 2 His demonstration of the existence in Miocene times of a warm climate and of a rich tropical vegetation in the highest attainable Arctic latitudes was complete and overwhelming. Our latest geologists are still accustomed to speak of his result as "one of the most remarkable geological discoveries of modern times." 3 His theory of a primeval circumpolar mother-region whence all floral types proceeded is also at present so little questioned that to-day among representative scholars in this field the absorbing and only question seems to be, Who first proposed and to whom belongs the chief honor of the verification of so broad and beautiful a generalization? 4

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Here, then, is a new and wonderful light just thrown upon the problem of the site of Eden. Theology in some of its representatives had anticipated the geologists in teaching that the earth's vestment of vegetation originally proceeded from one primeval centre, but it is the glory of paleontology to have located that centre and to have given us an evidence scientifically valid. Wherever man originated, the biologist and botanist now know where was the cradle of some of the world's tenants. Whatever the direction of the first human migrations, we are now clear as to the direction of that "great invasion of

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[paragraph continues] Arctic plants and animals which in the beginning of Quaternary ages came southward into Europe." 1

But it may be that the testimony of Paleontological Botany is not yet exhausted. What if it should at length appear that along with the plants prehistoric men—and civilized men at that—must have descended from the mother-region of plants to the place where history finds them? Without any reference to or apparent recognition of the great anthropological interest of such a question, at least one botanist of Germany, reasoning from botanical facts and postulates alone, has reached precisely this conclusion.

This savant is Professor Otto- Kuntze, who has made special studies of the cultivated tropical plants. What other botanists had found true of the wild flora in continents separated by wide oceans he finds true of domesticated plants. But the problem of the spread of these plants from continent to continent

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raises peculiar and most interesting questions. Taking the banana-plantain, which was cultivated in America before the arrival of Europeans in 1492, Professor Kuntze asks, "In what way was this plant, which cannot stand a voyage through the temperate zone, carried to America?" The difficulty is that the banana is seedless, and can be propagated in a new country only by carrying thither a living root and planting it in a suitable soil. Its very needlessness is evidence of the enormous length of time that it has been cared for by man. As the Professor says, "A cultivated plant which does not possess seeds must have been under culture for a very long period,—we have not in Europe a single exclusively seedless, berry-bearing cultivated plant,—and hence it is perhaps fair to infer that these plants were cultivated as early as the middle of the diluvial period." But now as to its transportation from the Old World to the New, or vice versa. "It must be remembered," he says, "that the plantain is a tree-like, herbaceous plant, possessing no easily transportable bulbs, like the potato or the dahlia, nor propagable by cuttings, like the willow or the poplar. It has only a perennial root, which, once planted, needs hardly any care." After discussing the subject in all aspects, he reaches the twofold conclusion, first, that civilized man must have brought the roots of the plant into any new regions into which it has ever come; and secondly, that its appearance in America can only be accounted for on the supposition that it was carried thither by way of the north-polar countries at a time when a tropical climate prevailed at the North Pole. 1


89:1 The Flora of Australia. London, 1859: p. 103. On the remarkable qualifications of Dr. Hooker to speak on this subject, see Sir Charles Lyell, The Antiquity of Man, pp. 417, 418.

89:2 Flora Arctica Fossilis: Die fossile Flora der Polarländer. Zurich, 1868: I. Vorwort, pp. iii., iv., and elsewhere.

89:3 Archibald Geikie, LL. D., F. R. S., Textbook of Geology. London, 1882: p. 868.

89:4 Some twenty-five years ago, in a paper on "The Botany of Japan" p. 90 (Memoirs of the American Academy of Science, 1857, vol. vi., pp. 377458), Professor Asa Gray suggested the possibility of the common origination in high northern latitudes of various related species now widely separated in different portions of the north-temperate zone. In 1872, four years after the publication of Heer's work, in treating of "The Sequoia and its History," in an address (see Journal of the Am. Ass. for the Advancement of Science, 1872), he renewed in a clearer and stronger manner his advocacy of the idea. In the same year, and also in 1876, Count Saporta, with due acknowledgment of the work of Professor Heer, gave currency to the theory in the scientific circles of France. Alluding to this, the Count has recently written, "Asa Gray was not the only botanist who had the idea of explaining the presence of disjoined species and genera dispersed across the boreal temperate zone and the two continents, by means of emigrations from the pole as the mother-region whence these vegetable races had radiated in one or several directions. This had been parallèlement conceived and developed in France upon the occasion of the remarkable works of Professor O. Heer." Am. Journal of Science, May, 1883, p. 394. The annotation appended to this by Professor Gray may be seen on the same page. For a German acknowledgment see Engler, Entwickelungsgeschichte der Pflanzenwelt, Th. i., S. 23; for an English, see Nature, London, 1881, P. 446; for an American, J. W. Dawson, "The Genesis and Migration of Plants," in The Princeton Review, 1879, p. 277. But Dr. Dawson, referring to Saporta's Ancienne Végétation Polaire, Hooker's Presidential Address of 1878, Thistleton Dyer's Lecture on Plant Distribution, and J. Starkie Gardner's Letters in Nature, 1878, well remarks that "the basis of most of these brochures is to be found in Heer's Flora Fossilis Arctica."

91:1 Geikie, Textbook of Geology, p. 874. Compare Wallace: "We have now only to notice the singular want of reciprocity in the migrations of northern and southern types of vegetation. In return for the vast number of European plants which have reached Australia, not one single Australian plant has entered any part of the north temperate zone, and the same may be said of the typical southern vegetation in general, whether developed in the Antarctic lands, New Zealand, South America, or South Africa." Island-Life. London, 1880: p. 486. In like manner Sir Joseph Hooker affirms: "Geographically speaking, there is no Antarctic flora except a few lichens and sea-weeds." Nature, 1881: p. 447. Possibly, however, the progress of research may bring to light evidences of a second and less powerful polar Bildungsherd of primitive flora forms in the Antarctic region. Some of the discoveries of F. P. Moreno look in that direction. See "Patagonia, resto de un antiguo continente hoy sumerjido." Anales de la societad cientifica Argentina. T. xiv., Entrégua III., p. 97. Also, "La faune éocène de la Patagonie australe et le grande continent antarctique." Par M. E. L. Trouessart. Revue Scientifique, Paris, xxxii., pp. 588 ss. (Nov. 10. 1883). Also Samuel Haughton in last lecture of Physical Geography. Dublin, 1880.

92:1 Pflanzen als Beweis der Einwanderung der Amerikaner aus Asien in präglazialer Zeit. Published in Ausland, 1878, pp. 197, 198.

Next: Chapter VI. The Testimony of Paleontological Zoölogy