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Descent of Man [ 1871]

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« Reply #60 on: February 09, 2009, 01:21:52 pm »

With civilised nations, as far as an advanced standard of
morality, and an increased number of fairly good men are concerned,
natural selection apparently effects but little; though the
fundamental social instincts were originally thus gained. But I have
already said enough, whilst treating of the lower races, on the causes
which lead to the advance of morality, namely, the approbation of
our fellow-men- the strengthening of our sympathies by habit-
example and imitation- reason- experience, and even self-interest-
instruction during youth, and religious feelings.
  A most important obstacle in civilised countries to an increase in
the number of men of a superior class has been strongly insisted on by
Mr. Greg and Mr. Galton,* namely, the fact that the very poor and
reckless, who are often degraded by vice, almost invariably marry
early, whilst the careful and frugal, who are generally otherwise
virtuous, marry late in life, so that they may be able to support
themselves and their children in comfort. Those who marry early
produce within a given period not only a greater number of
generations, but, as shewn by Dr. Duncan,*(2) they produce many more
children. The children, moreover, that are borne by mothers during the
prime of life are heavier and larger, and therefore probably more
vigorous, than those born at other periods. Thus the reckless,
degraded, and often vicious members of society, tend to increase at
a quicker rate than the provident and generally virtuous members. Or
as Mr. Greg puts the case: "The careless, squalid, unaspiring Irishman
multiplies like rabbits: the frugal, foreseeing, self-respecting,
ambitious Scot, stern in his morality, spiritual in his faith,
sagacious and disciplined in his intelligence, passes his best years
in struggle and in celibacy, marries late, and leaves few behind
him. Given a land originally peopled by a thousand Saxons and a
thousand Celts- and in a dozen generations five-sixths of the
population would be Celts, but five-sixths of the property, of the
power, of the intellect, would belong to the one-sixth of Saxons
that remained. In the eternal 'struggle for existence,' it would be
the inferior and less favoured race that had prevailed- and
prevailed by virtue not of its good qualities but of its faults."

  * Fraser's Magazine, Sept., 1868, p. 353. Macmillan's Magazine,
Aug., 1865, p. 318. The Rev. F. W. Farrar (Fraser's Magazine, Aug.,
1870, p. 264) takes a different view.
  *(2) "On the Laws of the Fertility of Women," in Transactions of the
Royal Society, Edinburgh, vol. xxiv., p. 287; now published separately
under the title of Fecundity, Fertility, and Sterility, 1871. See,
also, Mr. Galton, Hereditary Genius pp. 352-357, for observations to
the above effect.

  There are, however, some checks to this downward tendency. We have
seen that the intemperate suffer from a high rate of mortality, and
the extremely profligate leave few offspring. The poorest classes
crowd into towns, and it has been proved by Dr. Stark from the
statistics of ten years in Scotland,* that at all ages the
death-rate is higher in towns than in rural districts, "and during the
first five years of life the town death-rate is almost exactly
double that of the rural districts." As these returns include both the
rich and the poor, no doubt more than twice the number of births would
be requisite to keep up the number of the very poor inhabitants in the
towns, relatively to those in the country. With women, marriage at too
early an age is highly injurious; for it has been found in France
that, "Twice as many wives under twenty die in the year, as died out
of the same number of the unmarried." The mortality, also, of husbands
under twenty is "excessively high,"*(2) but what the cause of this may
be, seems doubtful. Lastly, if the men who prudently delay marrying
until they can bring up their families in comfort, were to select,
as they often do, women in the prime of life, the rate of increase
in the better class would be only slightly lessened.

  * Tenth Annual Report of Births, Deaths, &c., in Scotland, 1867,
p. xxix.
  *(2) These quotations are taken from our highest authority on such
questions, namely, Dr. Farr, in his paper "On the Influence of
Marriage on the Mortality of the French People," read before the
Nat. Assoc. for the Promotion of Social Science, 1858.

  It was established from an enormous body of statistics, taken during
1853, that the unmarried men throughout France, between the ages of
twenty and eighty, die in a much larger proportion than the married:
for instance, out of every 1000 unmarried men, between the ages of
twenty and thirty, 11.3 annually died, whilst of the married, only 6.5
died.* A similar law was proved to hold good, during the years 1863
and 1864, with the entire population above the age of twenty in
Scotland: for instance, out of every 1000 unmarried men, between the
ages of twenty and thirty, 14.97 annually died, whilst of the
married only 7.24 died, that is less than half.*(2) Dr. Stark
remarks on this, "Bachelorhood is more destructive to life than the
most unwholesome trades, or than residence in an unwholesome house
or district where there has never been the most distant attempt at
sanitary improvement." He considers that the lessened mortality is the
direct result of "marriage, and the more regular domestic habits which
attend that state." He admits, however, that the intemperate,
profligate, and criminal classes, whose duration of life is low, do
not commonly marry; and it must likewise be admitted that men with a
weak constitution, ill health, or any great infirmity in body or mind,
will often not wish to marry, or will be rejected. Dr. Stark seems
to have come to the conclusion that marriage in itself is a main cause
of prolonged life, from finding that aged married men still have a
considerable advantage in this respect over the unmarried of the
same advanced age; but every one must have known instances of men, who
with weak health during youth did not marry, and yet have survived
to old age, though remaining weak, and therefore with a lessened
chance of life or of marrying. There is another remarkable
circumstance which seems to support Dr. Stark's conclusion, namely,
that widows and widowers in France suffer in comparison with the
married a very heavy rate of mortality; but Dr. Farr attributes this
to the poverty and evil habits consequent on the disruption of the
family, and to grief. On the whole we may conclude with Dr. Farr
that the lesser mortality of married than of unmarried men, which
seems to be a general law, "is mainly due to the constant
elimination of imperfect types, and to the skilful selection of the
finest individuals out of each successive generation"; the selection
relating only to the marriage state, and acting on all corporeal,
intellectual, and moral qualities.*(3) We may, therefore, infer that
sound and good men who out of prudence remain for a time unmarried, do
not suffer a high rate of mortality.

« Last Edit: February 09, 2009, 01:22:29 pm by Bullseye » Report Spam   Logged
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« Reply #61 on: February 09, 2009, 01:24:01 pm »

* Dr. Farr, ibid. The quotations given below are extracted from
the same striking paper.
  *(2) I have taken the mean of the quinquennial means, given in the
Tenth Annual Report of Births, Deaths, &c., in Scotland, 1867. The
quotation from Dr. Stark is copied from an article in the Daily
News, Oct. 17, 1868. which Dr. Farr considers very carefully written.
  *(3) Dr. Duncan remarks (Fecundity, Fertility, &c., 1871, p. 334) on
this subject: "At every age the healthy and beautiful go over from the
unmarried side to the married, leaving the unmarried columns crowded
with the sickly and unfortunate."

  If the various checks specified in the two last paragraphs, and
perhaps others as yet unknown, do not prevent the reckless, the
vicious and otherwise inferior members of society from increasing at a
quicker rate than the better class of men, the nation will retrograde,
as has too often occurred in the history of the world. We must
remember that progress is no invariable rule. It is very difficult
to say why one civilised nation rises, becomes more powerful, and
spreads more widely, than another; or why the same nation progresses
more quickly at one time than at another. We can only say that it
depends on an increase in the actual number of the population, on
the number of men endowed with high intellectual and moral
faculties, as well as on their standard of excellence. Corporeal
structure appears to have little influence, except so far as vigour of
body leads to vigour of mind.
  It has been urged by several writers that as high intellectual
powers are advantageous to a nation, the old Greeks, who stood some
grades higher in intellect than any race that has ever existed,*
ought, if the power of natural selection were real, to have risen
still higher in the scale, increased in number, and stocked the
whole of Europe. Here we have the tacit assumption, so often made with
respect to corporeal structures, that there is some innate tendency
towards continued development in mind and body. But development of all
kinds depends on many concurrent favourable circumstances. Natural
selection acts only tentatively. Individuals and races may have
acquired certain indisputable advantages, and yet have perished from
failing in other characters. The Greeks may have retrograded from a
want of coherence between the many small states, from the small size
of their whole country, from the practice of slavery, or from
extreme sensuality; for they did not succumb until "they were
enervated and corrupt to the very core."*(2) The western nations of
Europe, who now so immeasurably surpass their former savage
progenitors, and stand at the summit of civilisation, owe little or
none of their superiority to direct inheritance from the old Greeks,
though they owe much to the written works of that wonderful people.

  * See the ingenious and original argument on this subject by Mr.
Galton, Hereditary Genius, pp. 340-342.
  *(2) Mr. Greg, Fraser's Magazine, Sept., 1868, p. 357.

  Who can positively say why the Spanish nation, so dominant at one
time, has been distanced in the race? The awakening of the nations
of Europe from the dark ages is a still more perplexing problem. At
that early period, as Mr. Galton has remarked, almost all the men of a
gentle nature, those given to meditation or culture of the mind, had
no refuge except in the bosom of a Church which demanded celibacy;*
and this could hardly fail to have had a deteriorating influence on
each successive generation. During this same period the Holy
Inquisition selected with extreme care the freest and boldest men in
order to burn or imprison them. In Spain alone some of the best men-
those who doubted and questioned, and without doubting there can be no
progress- were eliminated during three centuries at the rate of a
thousand a year. The evil which the Catholic Church has thus
effected is incalculable, though no doubt counterbalanced to a
certain, perhaps to a large, extent in other ways; nevertheless,
Europe has progressed at an unparalleled rate.

  * Hereditary Genius, 1870, pp. 357-359. The Rev. F. W. Farrar
(Fraser's Magazine, Aug., 1870, p. 257) advances arguments on the
other side. Sir C. Lyell had already (Principles of Geology, vol. ii.,
1868, p. 489), in a striking passage, called attention to the evil
influence of the Holy Inquisition in having, through selection,
lowered the general standard of intelligence in Europe.

  The remarkable success of the English as colonists, compared to
other European nations, has been ascribed to their "daring and
persistent energy"; a result which is well illustrated by comparing
the progress of the Canadians of English and French extraction; but
who can say how the English gained their energy? There is apparently
much truth in the belief that the wonderful progress of the United
States, as well as the character of the people, are the results of
natural selection; for the more energetic, restless, and courageous
men from all parts of Europe have emigrated during the last ten or
twelve generations to that great country, and have there succeeded
best.* Looking to the distant future, I do not think that the Rev. Mr.
Zincke takes an exaggerated view when he says:*(2) "All other series
of events- as that which resulted in the culture of mind in Greece,
and that which resulted in the empire of Rome- only appear to have
purpose and value when viewed in connection with, or rather as
subsidiary to... the great stream of Anglo-Saxon emigration to the
west." Obscure as is the problem of the advance of civilisation, we
can at least see that a nation which produced during a lengthened
period the greatest number of highly intellectual, energetic, brave,
patriotic, and benevolent men, would generally prevail over less
favoured nations.

  * Mr. Galton, Macmillan's Magazine, August, 1865, p. 325. See
also, Nature, "On Darwinism and National Life," Dec., 1869, p. 184.
  *(2) Last Winter in the United States, 1868, p. 29.
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« Reply #62 on: February 09, 2009, 01:24:12 pm »

Natural selection follows from the struggle for existence; and
this from a rapid rate of increase. It is impossible not to regret
bitterly, but whether wisely is another question, the rate at which
man tends to increase; for this leads in barbarous tribes to
infanticide and many other evils, and in civilised nations to abject
poverty, celibacy, and to the late marriages of the prudent. But as
man suffers from the same physical evils as the lower animals, he
has no right to expect an immunity from the evils consequent on the
struggle for existence. Had he not been subjected during primeval
times to natural selection, assuredly he would never have attained
to his present rank. Since we see in many parts of the world
enormous areas of the most fertile land capable of supporting numerous
happy homes, but peopled only by a few wandering savages, it might
be argued that the struggle for existence had not been sufficiently
severe to force man upwards to his highest standard. Judging from
all that we know of man and the lower animals, there has always been
sufficient variability in their intellectual and moral faculties,
for a steady advance through natural selection. No doubt such
advance demands many favourable concurrent circumstances; but it may
well be doubted whether the most favourable would have sufficed, had
not the rate of increase been rapid, and the consequent struggle for
existence extremely severe. It even appears from what we see, for
instance, in parts of S. America, that a people which may be called
civilised, such as the Spanish settlers, is liable to become
indolent and to retrograde, when the conditions of life are very easy.
With highly civilised nations continued progress depends in a
subordinate degree on natural selection; for such nations do not
supplant and exterminate one another as do savage tribes. Nevertheless
the more intelligent members within the same community will succeed
better in the long run than the inferior, and leave a more numerous
progeny, and this is a form of natural selection. The more efficient
causes of progress seem to consist of a good education during youth
whilst the brain is impressible, and of a high standard of excellence,
inculcated by the ablest and best men, embodied in the laws, customs
and traditions of the nation, and enforced by public opinion. It
should, however, be borne in mind, that the enforcement of public
opinion depends on our appreciation of the approbation and
disapprobation of others; and this appreciation is founded on our
sympathy, which it can hardly be doubted was originally developed
through natural selection as one of the most important elements of the
social instincts.*

  * I am much indebted to Mr. John Morley for some good criticisms
on this subject: see, also Broca, "Les Selections," Revue
d'Anthropologie, 1872.

  On the evidence that all civilised nations were once barbarous.- The
present subject has been treated in so full and admirable a manner
by Sir J. Lubbock,* Mr. Tylor, Mr. M'Lennan, and others, that I need
here give only the briefest summary of their results. The arguments
recently advanced by the Duke of Argyll*(2) and formerly by Archbishop
Whately, in favour of the belief that man came into the world as a
civilised being, and that all savages have since undergone
degradation, seem to me weak in comparison with those advanced on
the other side. Many nations, no doubt, have fallen away in
civilisation, and some may have lapsed into utter barbarism, though on
this latter head I have met with no evidence. The Fuegians were
probably compelled by other conquering hordes to settle in their
inhospitable country, and they may have become in consequence somewhat
more degraded; but it would be difficult to prove that they have
fallen much below the Botocudos, who inhabit the finest parts of

  * "On the Origin of Civilisation," Proceedings of the Ethnological
Society, Nov. 26, 1867.
  *(2) Primeval Man, 1869.

  The evidence that all civilised nations are the descendants of
barbarians, consists, on the one side, of clear traces of their former
low condition in still-existing customs, beliefs, language, &c.; and
on the other side, of proofs that savages are independently able to
raise themselves a few steps in the scale of civilisation, and have
actually thus risen. The evidence on the first head is extremely
curious, but cannot be here given: I refer to such cases as that of
the art of enumeration, which, as Mr. Tylor clearly shews by reference
to the words still used in some places, originated in counting the
fingers, first of one hand and then of the other, and lastly of the
toes. We have traces of this in our own decimal system, and in the
Roman numerals, where, after the V, which is supposed to be an
abbreviated picture of a human hand, we pass on to VI, &c., when the
other hand no doubt was used. So again, "When we speak of
three-score and ten, we are counting by the vigesimal system, each
score thus ideally made, standing for 20- for 'one man' as a Mexican
or Carib would put it."* According to a large and increasing school of
philologists, every language bears the marks of its slow and gradual
evolution. So it is with the art of writing, for letters are rudiments
of pictorial representations. It is hardly possible to read Mr.
M'Lennan's work*(2) and not admit that almost all civilised nations
still retain traces of such rude habits as the forcible capture of
wives. What ancient nation, as the same author asks, can be named that
was originally monogamous? The primitive idea of justice, as shewn
by the law of battle and other customs of which vestiges still remain,
was likewise most rude. Many existing superstitions are the remnants
of former false religious beliefs. The highest form of religion- the
grand idea of God hating sin and loving righteousness- was unknown
during primeval times.

  * Royal Institution of Great Britain, March 15, 1867. Also,
Researches into the Early History of Mankind, 1865.
  *(2) Primitive Marriage, 1865. See, likewise, an excellent
article, evidently by the same author, in the North British Review,
July, 1869. Also, Mr. L. H. Morgan, "A Conjectural Solution of the
Origin of the Class, System of Relationship," in Proc. American
Acad. of Sciences, vol. vii., Feb., 1868. Prof. Schaaffhausen(Anthropolog. Review, Oct., 1869, p. 373) remarks on "the vestiges
of human sacrifices found both in Homer and the Old Testament."

  Turning to the other kind of evidence: Sir J. Lubbock has shewn that
some savages have recently improved a little in some of their
simpler arts. From the extremely curious account which he gives of the
weapons, tools, and arts, in use amongst savages in various parts of
the world, it cannot be doubted that these have nearly all been
independent discoveries, excepting perhaps the art of making fire.*
The Australian boomerang is a good instance of one such independent
discovery. The Tahitians when first visited had advanced in many
respects beyond the inhabitants of most of the other Polynesian
islands. There are no just grounds for the belief that the high
culture of the native Peruvians and Mexicans was derived from
abroad;*(2) many native plants were there cultivated, and a few native
animals domesticated. We should bear in mind that, judging from the
small influence of most missionaries, a wandering crew from some
semi-civilised land, if washed to the shores of America, would not
have produced any marked effect on the natives, unless they had
already become somewhat advanced. Looking to a very remote period in
the history of the world, we find, to use Sir J. Lubbock's
well-known terms, a paleolithic and neolithic period; and no one
will pretend that the art of grinding rough flint tools was a borrowed
one. In all parts of Europe, as far east as Greece, in Palestine,
India, Japan, New Zealand, and Africa, including Egypt, flint tools
have been discovered in abundance; and of their use the existing
inhabitants retain no tradition. There is also indirect evidence of
their former use by the Chinese and ancient Jews. Hence there can
hardly be a doubt that the inhabitants of these countries, which
include nearly the whole civilised world, were once in a barbarous
condition. To believe that man was aboriginally civilised and then
suffered utter degradation in so many regions, is to take a pitiably
low view of human nature. It is apparently a truer and more cheerful
view that progress has been much more general than retrogression; that
man has risen, though by slow and interrupted steps, from a lowly
condition to the highest standard as yet attained by him in knowledge,
morals and religion.

  * Sir J. Lubbock, Prehistoric Times, 2nd ed., 1869, chaps. xv. and
xvi. et passim. See also the excellent 9th chapter in Tylor's Early
History of Mankind, 2nd ed., 1870.
  *(2) Dr. F. Muller has made some good remarks to this effect in
the Reise der Novara: Anthropolog. Theil, Abtheil. iii., 1868, s. 127.

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« Reply #63 on: February 09, 2009, 01:24:39 pm »

Chapter VI - On the Affinities and Genealogy of Man

  EVEN if it be granted that the difference between man and his
nearest allies is as great in corporeal structure as some
naturalists maintain, and although we must grant that the difference
between them is immense in mental power, yet the facts given in the
earlier chapters appear to declare, in the plainest manner, that man
is descended from some lower form, notwithstanding that
connecting-links have not hitherto been discovered.
  Man is liable to numerous, slight, and diversified variations, which
are induced by the same general causes, are governed and transmitted
in accordance with the same general laws, as in the lower animals. Man
has multiplied so rapidly, that he has necessarily been exposed to
struggle for existence, and consequently to natural selection. He
has given rise to many races, some of which differ so much from each
other, that they have often been ranked by naturalists as distinct
species. His body is constructed on the same homological plan as
that of other mammals. He passes through the same phases of
embryological development. He retains many rudimentary and useless
structures, which no doubt were once serviceable. Characters
occasionally make their re-appearance in him, which we have reason
to believe were possessed by his early progenitors. If the origin of
man had been wholly different from that of all other animals, these
various appearances would be mere empty deceptions; but such an
admission is incredible. These appearances, on the other hand, are
intelligible, at least to a large extent, if man is the
co-descendant with other mammals of some unknown and lower form.
  Some naturalists, from being deeply impressed with the mental and
spiritual powers of man, have divided the whole organic world into
three kingdoms, the Human, the Animal, and the Vegetable, thus
giving to man a separate kingdom.* Spiritual powers cannot be compared
or classed by the naturalist: but he may endeavour to shew, as I
have done, that the mental faculties of man and the lower animals do
not differ in kind, although immensely in degree. A difference in
degree, however great, does not justify us in placing man in a
distinct kingdom, as will perhaps be best illustrated by comparing the
mental powers of two insects, namely, a coccus or scale-insect and
an ant, which undoubtedly belong to the same class. The difference
is here greater than, though of a somewhat different kind from, that
between man and the highest mammal. The female coccus, whilst young,
attaches itself by its proboscis to a plant; sucks the sap, but
never moves again; is fertilised and lays eggs; and this is its
whole history. On the other hand, to describe the habits and mental
powers of worker-ants, would require, as Pierre Huber has shewn, a
large volume; I may, however, briefly specify a few points. Ants
certainly communicate information to each other, and several unite for
the same work, or for games of play. They recognise their
fellow-ants after months of absence, and feel sympathy for each other.
They build great edifices, keep them clean, close the doors in the
evening, and post sentries. They make roads as well as tunnels under
rivers, and temporary bridges over them, by clinging together. They
collect food for the community, and when an object, too large for
entrance, is brought to the nest, they enlarge the door, and
afterwards build it up again. They store up seeds, of which they
prevent the germination, and which, if damp, are brought up to the
surface to dry. They keep aphides and other insects as milch-cows.
They go out to battle in regular bands, and freely sacrifice their
lives for the common weal. They emigrate according to a preconcerted
plan. They capture slaves. They move the eggs of their aphides, as
well as their own eggs and cocoons, into warm parts of the nest, in
order that they may be quickly hatched; and endless similar facts
could be given.*(2) On the whole, the difference in mental power
between an ant and a coccus is immense; yet no one has ever dreamed of
placing these insects in distinct classes, much less in distinct
kingdoms. No doubt the difference is bridged over by other insects;
and this is not the case with man and the higher apes. But we have
every reason to believe that the breaks in the series are simply the
results of many forms having become extinct.

  * Isidore Geoffroy St-Hilaire gives a detailed account of the
position assigned to man by various naturalists in their
classifications: Hist. Nat. Gen. tom. ii., 1859, pp. 170-189.
  *(2) Some of the most interesting facts ever published on the habits
of ants are given by Mr. Belt, in his The Naturalist in Nicaragua,
1874. See also Mr. Moggridge's admirable work, Harvesting Ants, &c.,
1873, also "L'Instinct chez les insectes," by M. George Pouchet, Revue
des Deux Mondes, Feb., 1870, p. 682.

  Professor Owen, relying chiefly on the structure of the brain, has
divided the mammalian series into four sub-classes. One of these he
devotes to man; in another he places both the marsupials and the
Monotremata; so that he makes man as distinct from all other mammals
as are these two latter groups conjoined. This view has not been
accepted, as far as I am aware, by any naturalist capable of forming
an independent judgment, and therefore need not here be further
  We can understand why a classification founded on any single
character or organ- even an organ so wonderfully complex and important
as the brain- or on the high development of the mental faculties, is
almost sure to prove unsatisfactory. This principle has indeed been
tried with hymenopterous insects; but when thus classed by their
habits or instincts, the arrangement proved thoroughly artificial.*
Classifications may, of course, be based on any character whatever, as
on size, colour, or the element inhabited; but naturalists have long
felt a profound conviction that there is a natural system. This
system, it is now generally admitted, must be, as far as possible,
genealogical in arrangement,- that is, the co-descendants of the
same form must be kept together in one group, apart from the
co-descendants of any other form; but if the parent-forms are related,
so will be their descendants, and the two groups together will form
a larger group. The amount of difference between the several groups-
that is the amount of modification which each has undergone- is
expressed by such terms as genera, families, orders, and classes. As
we have no record of the lines of descent, the pedigree can be
discovered only by observing the degrees of resemblance between the
beings which are to be classed. For this object numerous points of
resemblance are of much more importance than the amount of
similarity or dissimilarity in a few points. If two languages were
found to resemble each other in a multitude of words and points of
construction, they would be universally recognised as having sprung
from a common source, notwithstanding that they differed greatly in
some few words or points of construction. But with organic beings
the points of resemblance must not consist of adaptations to similar
habits of life: two animals may, for instance, have had their whole
frames modified for living in the water, and yet they will not be
brought any nearer to each other in the natural system. Hence we can
see how it is that resemblances in several unimportant structures,
in useless and rudimentary organs, or not now functionally active,
or in an embryological condition, are by far the most serviceable
for classification; for they can hardly be due to adaptations within a
late period; and thus they reveal the old lines of descent or of
true affinity.

  * Westwood, Modern Classification of Insects, vol. ii., 1840, p. 87.

  We can further see why a great amount of modification in some one
character ought not to lead us to separate widely any two organisms. A
part which already differs much from the same part in other allied
forms has already, according to the theory of evolution, varied
much; consequently it would (as long as the organism remained
exposed to the same exciting conditions) be liable to further
variations of the same kind; and these, if beneficial, would be
preserved, and thus be continually augmented. In many cases the
continued development of a part, for instance, of the beak of a
bird, or of the teeth of a mammal, would not aid the species in
gaining its food, or for any other object; but with man we can see
no definite limit to the continued development of the brain and mental
faculties, as far as advantage is concerned. Therefore in
determining the position of man in the natural or genealogical system,
the extreme development of his brain ought not to outweigh a multitude
of resemblances in other less important or quite unimportant points.
  The greater number of naturalists who have taken into
consideration the whole structure of man, including his mental
faculties, have followed Blumenbach and Cuvier, and have placed man in
a separate Order, under the title of the Bimana, and therefore on an
equality with the orders of the Quadrumana, Carnivora, &c. Recently
many of our best naturalists have recurred to the view first
propounded by Linnaeus, so remarkable for his sagacity, and have
placed man in the same Order with the Quadrumana, under the title of
the primates. The justice of this conclusion will be admitted: for
in the first place, we must bear in mind the comparative
insignificance for classification of the great development of the
brain in man, and that the strongly-marked differences between the
skulls of man and the Quadrumana (lately insisted upon by Bischoff,
Aeby, and others) apparently follow from their differently developed
brains. In the second place, we must remember that nearly all the
other and more important differences between man and the Quadrumana
are manifestly adaptive in their nature, and relate chiefly to the
erect position of man; such as the structure of his hand, foot, and
pelvis, the curvature of his spine, and the position of his head.
The family of seals offers a good illustration of the small importance
of adaptive characters for classification. These animals differ from
all other Carnivora in the form of their bodies and in the structure
of their limbs, far more than does man from the higher apes; yet in
most systems, from that of Cuvier to the most recent one by Mr.
Flower,* seals are ranked as a mere family in the Order of the
Carnivora. If man had not been his own classifier, he would never have
thought of founding a separate order for his own reception.

  * Proceedings Zoological Society, 1863, p. 4.

  It would be beyond my limits, and quite beyond my knowledge, even to
name the innumerable points of structure in which man agrees with
the other primates. Our great anatomist and philosopher, Prof. Huxley,
has fully discussed this subject,* and concludes that man in all parts
of his organization differs less from the higher apes, than these do
from the lower members of the same group. Consequently there "is no
justification for placing man in a distinct order."

  * Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature, 1863, p. 70, et passim

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« Reply #64 on: February 09, 2009, 01:24:54 pm »

In an early part of this work I brought forward various facts,
shewing how closely man agrees in constitution with the higher
mammals; and this agreement must depend on our close similarity in
minute structure and chemical composition. I gave, as instances, our
liability to the same diseases, and to the attacks of allied
parasites; our tastes in common for the same stimulants, and the
similar effects produced by them, as well as by various drugs, and
other such facts.
  As small unimportant points of resemblance between man and the
Quadrumana are not commonly noticed in systematic works, and as,
when numerous, they clearly reveal our relationship, I will specify
a few such points. The relative position of our features is manifestly
the same; and the various emotions are displayed by nearly similar,
movements of the muscles and skin, chiefly above the eyebrows and
round the mouth. Some few expressions are, indeed, almost the same, as
in the weeping of certain kinds of monkeys and in the laughing noise
made by others, during which the corners of the mouth are drawn
backwards, and the lower eyelids wrinkled. The external ears are
curiously alike. In man the nose is much more prominent than in most
monkeys; but we may trace the commencement of an aquiline curvature in
the nose of the Hoolock gibbon; and this in the Semnopithecus nasica
is carried to a ridiculous extreme.
  The faces of many monkeys are ornamented with beards, whiskers, or
moustaches. The hair on the head grows to a great length in some
species of Semnopithecus;* and in the bonnet monkey (Macacus radiatus)
it radiates from a point on the crown, with a parting down the middle.
It is commonly said that the forehead gives to man his noble and
intellectual appearance; but the thick hair on the head of the
bonnet monkey terminates downwards abruptly, and is succeeded by
hair so short and fine that at a little distance the forehead, with
the exception of the eyebrows, appears quite naked. It has been
erroneously asserted that eyebrows are not present in any monkey. In
the species just named the degree of nakedness of the forehead differs
in different individuals; and Eschricht states*(2) that in our
children the limit between the hairy scalp and the naked forehead is
sometimes not well defined; so that here we seem to have a trifling
case of reversion to a progenitor, in whom the forehead had not as yet
become quite naked.

  * Isidore Geoffroy St-Hilaire, Hist. Nat. Gen., tom. ii., 1859, p.
  *(2) "Uber die Richtung der Haare, &c.," Muller's Archiv fur Anat.
und Phys., 1837, s. 51.

  It is well known that the hair on our arms tends to converge from
above and below to a point at the elbow. This curious arrangement,
so unlike that in most of the lower mammals, is common to the gorilla,
chimpanzee, orang, some species of Hylobates, and even to some few
American monkeys. But in Hylobates agilis the hair on the forearm is
directed downwards or towards the wrist in the ordinary manner; and in
H. lar it is nearly erect, with only a very slight forward
inclination; so that in this latter species it is in a transitional
state. It can hardly be doubted that with most mammals the thickness
of the hair on the back and its direction, is adapted to throw off the
rain; even the transverse hairs on the fore-legs of a dog may serve
for this end when he is coiled up asleep. Mr. Wallace, who has
carefully studied the habits of the orang, remarks that the
convergence of the hair towards the elbow on the arms of the orang may
be explained as serving to throw off the rain, for this animal
during rainy weather sits with its arms bent, and with the hands
clasped round a branch or over its head. According to Livingstone, the
gorilla also "sits in pelting rain with his hands over his head."*
If the above explanation is correct, as seems probable, the
direction of the hair on our own arms offers a curious record of our
former state; for no one supposes that it is now of any use in
throwing off the rain; nor, in our present erect condition, is it
properly directed for this purpose.

  * Quoted by Reade, African Sketch Book, vol i., 1873, p. 152.

  It would, however, be rash to trust too much to the principle of
adaptation in regard to the direction of the hair in man or his
early progenitors; for it is impossible to study the figures given
by Eschricht of the arrangement of the hair on the human foetus
(this being the same as in the adult) and not agree with this
excellent observer that other and more complex causes have intervened.
The points of convergence seem to stand in some relation to those
points in the embryo which are last closed in during development.
There appears, also, to exist some relation between the arrangement of
the hair on the limbs, and the course of the medullary arteries.*

  * On the hair in Hylobates, see Natural History of Mammals, by C. L.
Martin, 1841, p. 415. Also, Isidore Geoffroy on the American monkeys
and other kinds, Hist. Nat. Gen., vol. ii., 1859, pp. 216, 243.
Eschricht, ibid., ss. 46, 55, 61. Owen, Anatomy of Vertebrates, vol.
iii., p. 619. Wallace, Contributions to the Theory of Natural
Selection, 1870, p. 344.
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« Reply #65 on: February 09, 2009, 01:25:08 pm »

It must not be supposed that the resemblances between man and
certain apes in the above and in many other points- such as in
having a naked forehead, long tresses on the head, &c.,- are all
necessarily the result of unbroken inheritance from a common
progenitor, or of subsequent reversion. Many of these resemblances are
more probably due to analogous variation, which follows, as I have
elsewhere attempted to shew,* from co-descended organisms having a
similar constitution, and having been acted on by like causes inducing
similar modifications. With respect to the similar direction of the
hair on the fore-arms of man and certain monkeys, as this character is
common to almost all the anthropomorphous apes, it may probably be
attributed to inheritance; but this is not certain, as some very
distinct American monkeys are thus characterised.

  * Origin of Species. The Variation of Animals and Plants under
Domestication, vol. ii., 1868, p. 348.

  Although, as we have now seen, man has no just right to form a
separate Order for his own reception, he may perhaps claim a
distinct sub-order or family. Prof. Huxley, in his last work,* divides
the primates into three suborders; namely, the Anthropidae with man
alone, the Simiadae including monkeys of all kinds, and the
Lemuridae with the diversified genera of lemurs. As far as differences
in certain important points of structure are concerned, man may no
doubt rightly claim the rank of a sub-order; and this rank is too low,
if we look chiefly to his mental faculties. Nevertheless, from a
genealogical point of view it appears that this rank is too high,
and that man ought to form merely a family, or possibly even only a
sub-family. If we imagine three lines of descent proceeding from a
common stock, it is quite conceivable that two of them might after the
lapse of ages be so slightly changed as still to remain as species
of the same genus, whilst the third line might become so greatly
modified as to deserve to rank as a distinct sub-family, or even
Order. But in this case it is almost certain that the third line would
still retain through inheritance numerous small points of
resemblance with the other two. Here, then, would occur the
difficulty, at present insoluble, how much weight we ought to assign
in our classifications to strongly-marked differences in some few
points,- that is, to the amount of modification undergone; and how
much to close resemblance in numerous unimportant points, as
indicating the lines of descent or genealogy. To attach much weight to
the few but strong differences is the most obvious and perhaps the
safest course, though it appears more correct to pay great attention
to the many small resemblances, as giving a truly natural

  * An Introduction to the Classification of Animals, 1869, p. 99.

  In forming a judgment on this head with reference to man, we must
glance at the classification of the Simiadae. This family is divided
by almost all naturalists into the catarhine group, or Old World
monkeys, all of which are characterised (as their name expresses) by
the peculiar structure of their nostrils, and by having four premolars
in each jaw; and into the platyrhine group or New World monkeys
(including two very distinct sub-groups), all of which are
characterised by differently constructed nostrils, and by having six
premolars in each jaw. Some other small differences might be
mentioned. Now man unquestionably belongs in his dentition, in the
structure of his nostrils, and some other respects, to the catarhine
or Old World division; nor does he resemble the platyrhines more
closely than the catarhines in any characters, excepting in a few of
not much importance and apparently of an adaptive nature. It is
therefore against all probability that some New World species should
have formerly varied and produced a man-like creature, with all the
distinctive characters proper to the Old World division; losing at the
same time all its own distinctive characters. There can, consequently,
hardly be a doubt that man is an off-shoot from the Old World simian
stem; and that under a genealogical point of view he must be classed
with the catarhine division.*

  * This is nearly the same classification as that provisionally
adopted by Mr. St. G. Mivart, Transactions, Philosophical Society,
1867, p. 300, who, after separating the Lemuridae, divides the
remainder of the Primates into the Hominidae, the Simiadae which
answer to the catarhines, the Cebidae, and the Hapalidae,- these two
latter groups answering to the platyrhines. Mr. Mivart still abides by
the same view; see Nature, 1871, p. 481.

  The anthropomorphous apes, namely the gorilla, chimpanzee, orang,
and Hylobates, are by most naturalists separated from the other Old
World monkeys, as a distinct sub-group. I am aware that Gratiolet,
relying on the structure of the brain, does not admit the existence of
this sub-group, and no doubt it is a broken one. Thus the orang, as
Mr. St. G. Mivart remarks, "is one of the most peculiar and aberrant
forms to be found in the Order."* The remaining non-anthropomorphous
Old World monkeys, are again divided by some naturalists into two or
three smaller subgroups; the genus Semnopithecus, with its peculiar
sacculated stomach, being the type of one sub-group. But it appears
from M. Gaudry's wonderful discoveries in Attica, that during the
Miocene period a form existed there, which connected Semnopithecus and
Macacus; and this probably illustrates the manner in which the other
and higher groups were once blended together.

  * Transactions, Zoolog. Soc., vol. vi., 1867, p. 214.

  If the anthropomorphous apes be admitted to form a natural
sub-group, then as man agrees with them, not only in all those
characters which he possesses in common with the whole catarhine
group, but in other peculiar characters, such as the absence of a tail
and of callosities, and in general appearance, we may infer that
some ancient member of the anthropomorphous sub-group gave birth to
man. It is not probable that, through the law of analogous
variation, a member of one of the other lower sub-groups should have
given rise to a man-like creature, resembling the higher
anthropomorphous apes in so many respects. No doubt man, in comparison
with most of his allies, has undergone an extraordinary amount of
modification, chiefly in consequence of the great development of his
brain and his erect position; nevertheless, we should bear in mind
that he "is but one of several exceptional forms of primates."*

  * Mr. St. G. Mivart, Transactions of the Philosophical Society,
1867, p. 410.
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« Reply #66 on: February 09, 2009, 01:25:22 pm »

Every naturalist, who believes in the principle of evolution, will
grant that the two main divisions of the Simiadae, namely the
catarhine and platyrhine monkeys, with their sub-groups, have all
proceeded from some one extremely ancient progenitor. The early
descendants of this progenitor, before they had diverged to any
considerable extent from each other, would still have formed a
single natural group; but some of the species or incipient genera
would have already begun to indicate by their diverging characters the
future distinctive marks of the catarhine and platyrhine divisions.
Hence the members of this supposed ancient group would not have been
so uniform in their dentition, or in the structure of their
nostrils, as are the existing catarhine monkeys in one way and the
platyrhines in another way, but would have resembled in this respect
the allied Lemuridae, which differ greatly from each other in the form
of their muzzles,* and to an extraordinary degree in their dentition.

  * Messrs. Murie and Mivart on the Lemuroidea, Transactions,
Zoological Society, vol. vii, 1869, p. 5.

  The catarhine and platyrhine monkeys agree in a multitude of
characters, as is shewn by their unquestionably belonging to one and
the same Order. The many characters which they possess in common can
hardly have been independently acquired by so many distinct species;
so that these characters must have been inherited. But a naturalist
would undoubtedly have ranked as an ape or a monkey, an ancient form
which possessed many characters common to the catarhine and platyrhine
monkeys, other characters in an intermediate condition, and some
few, perhaps, distinct from those now found in either group. And as
man from a genealogical point of view belongs to the catarhine or
Old World stock, we must conclude, however much the conclusion may
revolt our pride, that our early progenitors would have been
properly thus designated.* But we must not fall into the error of
supposing that the early progenitors of the whole simian stock,
including man, was identical with, or even closely resembled, any
existing ape or monkey.

  * Haeckel has come to this same conclusion. See "Uber die Entstehung
des Menschengeschlechts," in Virchow's Sammlung. gemein. wissen.
Vortrage, 1868, s. 61. Also his Naturliche Schopfungsgeschicte,
1868, in which he gives in detail his views on the genealogy of man.

  On the Birthplace and Antiquity of Man.- We are naturally led to
enquire, where was the birthplace of man at that stage of descent when
our progenitors diverged from the catarhine stock? The fact that
they belonged to the stock clearly shews that they inhabited the Old
World; but not Australia nor any oceanic island, as we may infer
from the laws of geographical distribution. In each great region of
the world the living mammals are closely related to the extinct
species of the same region. It is therefore probable that Africa was
formerly inhabited by extinct apes closely allied to the gorilla and
chimpanzee; and as these two species are now man's nearest allies,
it is somewhat more probable that our early progenitors lived on the
African continent than elsewhere. But it is useless to speculate on
this subject; for two or three anthropomorphous apes, one the
Dryopithecus* of Lartet, nearly as large as a man, and closely
allied to Hylobates, existed in Europe during the Miocene age; and
since so remote a period the earth has certainly undergone many
great revolutions, and there has been ample time for migration on
the largest scale.

  * Dr. C Forsyth Major, "Sur les Singes fossiles trouves en
Italie," Soc. Ital. des Sc. Nat., tom., xv., 1872.

  At the period and place, whenever and wherever it was, when man
first lost his hairy covering, he probably inhabited a hot country;
a circumstance favourable for the frugi-ferous diet on which,
judging from analogy, he subsisted. We are far from knowing how long
ago it was when man first diverged from the catarhine stock; but it
may have occurred at an epoch as remote as the Eocene period; for that
the higher apes had diverged from the lower apes as early as the Upper
Miocene period is shewn by the existence of the Dryopithecus. We are
also quite ignorant at how rapid a rate organisms, whether high or low
in the scale, may be modified under favourable circumstances; we know,
however, that some have retained the same form during an enormous
lapse of time. From what we see going on under domestication, we learn
that some of the co-descendants of the same species may be not at all,
some a little, and some greatly changed, all within the same period.
Thus it may have been with man, who has undergone a great amount of
modification in certain characters in comparison with the higher apes.
  The great break in the organic chain between man and his nearest
allies, which cannot be bridged over by any extinct or living species,
has often been advanced as a grave objection to the belief that man is
descended from some lower form; but this objection will not appear
of much weight to those who, from general reasons, believe in the
general principle of evolution. Breaks often occur in all parts of the
series, some being wide, sharp and defined, others less so in
various degrees; as between the orang and its nearest allies-
between the Tarsius and the other Lemuridae- between the elephant, and
in a more striking manner between the Ornithorhynchus or Echidna,
and all other mammals. But these breaks depend merely on the number of
related forms which have become extinct. At some future period, not
very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will
almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout
the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor
Schaaffhausen has remarked,* will no doubt be exterminated. The
break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it
will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may
hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon,
instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.

  * Anthropological Review, April, 1867, p. 236

  With respect to the absence of fossil remains, serving to connect
man with his ape-like progenitors, no one will lay much stress on this
fact who reads Sir C. Lyell's discussion,* where he shews that in
all the vertebrate classes the discovery of fossil remains has been
a very slow and fortuitous process. Nor should it be forgotten that
those regions which are the most likely to afford remains connecting
man with some extinct ape-like creature, have not as yet been searched
by geologists.

  * Elements of Geology, 1865, pp. 583-585. Antiquity of Man, 1863, p.
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« Reply #67 on: February 09, 2009, 01:25:31 pm »

  Lower Stages in the Genealogy of Man.- We have seen that man appears
to have diverged from the catarhine or Old World division of the
Simiadae, after these had diverged from the New World division. We
will now endeavour to follow the remote traces of his genealogy,
trusting principally to the mutual affinities between the various
classes and orders, with some slight reference to the periods, as
far as ascertained, of their successive appearance on the earth. The
Lemuridae stand below and near to the Simiadae, and constitute a
very distinct family of the primates, or, according to Haeckel and
others, a distinct Order. This group is diversified and broken to an
extraordinary degree, and includes many aberrant forms. It has,
therefore, probably suffered much extinction. Most of the remnants
survive on islands, such as Madagascar and the Malayan archipelago,
where they have not been exposed to so severe a competition as they
would have been on well-stocked continents. This group likewise
presents many gradations, leading, as Huxley remarks,* "insensibly
from the crown and summit of the animal creation down to creatures
from which there is but a step, as it seems, to the lowest,
smallest, and least intelligent of the placental mammalia." From these
various considerations it is probable that the Simiadae were
originally developed from the progenitors of the existing Lemuridae;
and these in their turn from forms standing very low in the
mammalian series.

  * Man's Place in Nature, p. 105.

  The marsupials stand in many important characters below the
placental mammals. They appeared at an earlier geological period,
and their range was formerly much more extensive than at present.
Hence the Placentata are generally supposed to have been derived
from the Implacentata or marsupials; not, however, from forms
closely resembling the existing marsupials, but from their early
progenitors. The Monotremata are plainly allied to the marsupials,
forming a third and still lower division in the great mammalian
series. They are represented at the present day solely by the
Ornithorhynchus and Echidna; and these two forms may be safely
considered as relics of a much larger group, representatives of
which have been preserved in Australia through some favourable
concurrence of circumstances. The Monotremata are eminently
interesting, as leading in several important points of structure
towards the class of reptiles.
  In attempting to trace the genealogy of the Mammalia, and
therefore of man, lower down in the series, we become involved in
greater and greater obscurity; but as a most capable judge, Mr.
Parker, has remarked, we have good reason to believe, that no true
bird or reptile intervenes in the direct line of descent. He who
wishes to see what ingenuity and knowledge can effect, may consult
Prof. Haeckel's works.* I will content myself with a few general
remarks. Every evolutionist will admit that the five great
vertebrate classes, namely, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians,
and fishes, are descended from some one prototype; for they have
much in common, especially during their embryonic state. As the
class of fishes is the most lowly organised, and appeared before the
others, we may conclude that all the members of the vertebrate kingdom
are derived from some fishlike animal. The belief that animals so
distinct as a monkey, an elephant, a humming-bird, a snake, a frog,
and a fish, &c., could all have sprung from the same parents, will
appear monstrous to those who have not attended to the recent progress
of natural history. For this belief implies the former existence of
links binding closely together all these forms, now so utterly unlike.

  * Elaborate tables are given in his Generelle Morphologie (B. ii.,
s. cliii. and s. 425); and with more especial reference to man in
his Naturliche Schopfungsgeschichte, 1868. Prof. Huxley, in
reviewing this latter work (The Academy, 1869, p. 42), says that he
considers the phylum or lines of descent of the Vertebrata to be
admirably discussed by Haeckel, although he differs on some points. He
expresses, also, his high estimate of the general tenor and spirit
of the whole work.

  Nevertheless, it is certain that groups of animals have existed,
or do now exist, which serve to connect several of the great
vertebrate classes more or less closely. We have seen that the
Ornithorhynchus graduates towards reptiles; and Prof. Huxley has
discovered, and is confirmed by Mr. Cope and others, that the
dinosaurians are in many important characters intermediate between
certain reptiles and certain birds- the birds referred to being the
ostrich-tribe (itself a widely-diffused remnant of a larger group) and
the Archeopteryx, that strange secondary bird, with a long lizard-like
tail. Again, according to Prof. Owen,* the ichthyosaurians- great
sea-lizards furnished with paddles- present many affinities with
fishes, or rather, according to Huxley, with amphibians; a class
which, including in its highest division frogs and toads, is plainly
allied to the ganoid fishes. These latter fishes swarmed during the
earlier geological periods, and were constructed on what is called a
generalised type, that is, they presented diversified affinities
with other groups of organisms. The Lepidosiren is also so closely
allied to amphibians and fishes, that naturalists long disputed in
which of these two classes to rank it; it, and also some few ganoid
fishes, have been preserved from utter extinction by inhabiting
rivers, which are harbours of refuge, and are related to the great
waters of the ocean in the same way that islands are to continents.

  * Palaeontology 1860, p. 199.

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« Reply #68 on: February 09, 2009, 01:25:48 pm »

Lastly, one single member of the immense and diversified class of
fishes, namely, the lancelet or amphioxus, is so different from all
other fishes, that Haeckel maintains that it ought to form a
distinct class in the vertebrate kingdom. This fish is remarkable
for its negative characters; it can hardly be said to possess a brain,
vertebral column, or heart, &c.; so that it was classed by the older
naturalists amongst the worms. Many years ago Prof. Good sir perceived
that the lancelet presented some affinities with the ascidians,
which are invertebrate, hermaphrodite, marine creatures permanently
attached to a support. They hardly appear like animals, and consist of
a simple, tough, leathery sack, with two small projecting orifices.
They belong to the Mulluscoida of Huxley- a lower division of the
great kingdom of the Mollusca; but they have recently been placed by
some naturalists amongst the Vermes or worms. Their larvae somewhat
resemble tadpoles in shape,* and have the power of swimming freely
about. Mr. Kovalevsky*(2) has lately observed that the larvae of
ascidians are related to the Vertebrata, in their manner of
development, in the relative position of the nervous system, and in
possessing a structure closely like the chorda dorsalis of
vertebrate animals; and in this he has been since confirmed by Prof.
Kupffer. M. Kovalevsky writes to me from Naples, that he has now
carried these observations yet further, and should his results be well
established, the whole will form a discovery of the very greatest
value. Thus, if we may rely on embryology, ever safest guide in
classification, it seems that we have at last gained a clue to the
source whence the Vertebrata were derived.*(3) We should then be
justified in believing that at an extremely remote period a group of
animals existed, resembling in many respects the larvae of our present
ascidians, which diverged into two great branches- the one
retrograding in development and producing the present class of
ascidians, the other rising to the crown and summit of the animal
kingdom by giving birth to the Vertebrata.

  * At the Falkland Islands I had the satisfaction of seeing, in
April, 1833, and therefore some years before any other naturalist, the
locomotive larvae of a compound ascidian, closely allied to
Synoicum, but apparently generically distinct from it. The tail was
about five times as long as the oblong head, and terminated in a
very fine filament. It was, as sketched by me under a simple
microscope, plainly divided by transverse opaque partitions, which I
presume represent the great cells figured by Kovalevsky. At an early
stage of development the tail was closely coiled round the head of the
  *(2) Memoires de l'Acad. des Sciences de St. Petersbourg, tom. x.,
No. 15, 1866.
  *(3) But I am bound to add that some competent judges dispute this
conclusion; for instance, M. Giard, in a series of papers in the
Archives de Zoologie Experimentale, for 1872. Nevertheless, this
naturalist remarks, p. 281, "L'organisation de la larve ascidienne
en dehors de toute hypothese et de toute theorie, nous montre
comment la nature peut produire la disposition fondamentale du type
vertebre (l'existence d'une corde dorsale) chez un invertebre par la
seule condition vitale de l'adaptation, et cette simple possibilite du
passage supprime l'abime entre les deux sous-regnes, encore bien qu'en
ignore par ou le passage sest fait en realite."

  We have thus far endeavoured rudely to trace the genealogy of the
Vertebrata by the aid of their mutual affinities. We will now look
to man as he exists; and we shall, I think, be able partially to
restore the structure of our early progenitors, during successive
periods, but not in due order of time. This, can be effected by
means of the rudiments which man still retains, by the characters
which occasionally make their appearance in him through reversion, and
by the aid of the principles of morphology and embryology. The variousfacts, to which I shall here allude, have been given in the previous
  The early progenitors of man must have been once covered with
hair, both sexes having beards; their ears were probably pointed,
and capable of movement; and their bodies were provided with a tail,
having the proper muscles. Their limbs and bodies were also acted on
by many muscles which now only occasionally reappear, but are normally
present in the Quadrumana. At this or some earlier period, the great
artery and nerve of the humerus ran through a supra-condyloid foramen.
The intestine gave forth a much larger diverticulum or caecum than
that now existing. The foot was then prehensile, judging from the
condition of the great toe in the foetus; and our progenitors, no
doubt, were arboreal in their habits, and frequented some warm,
forest-clad land. The males had great canine teeth, which served
them as formidable weapons. At a much earlier period the uterus was
double; the excreta were voided through a cloaca; and the eye was
protected by a third eyelid or nictitating membrane. At a still
earlier period the progenitors of man must have been aquatic in
their habits; for morphology plainly tells us that our lungs consist
of a modified swimbladder, which once served as a float. The clefts on
the neck in the embryo of man show where the branchiae once existed.
In the lunar or weekly recurrent periods of some of our functions we
apparently still retain traces of our primordial birthplace, a shore
washed by the tides. At about this same early period the true
kidneys were replaced by the corpora wolffiana. The heart existed as a
simple pulsating vessel; and the chorda dorsalis took the place of a
vertebral column. These early ancestors of man, thus seen in the dim
recesses of time, must have been as simply, or even still more
simply organised than the lancelet or amphioxus.
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« Reply #69 on: February 09, 2009, 01:26:00 pm »

There is one other point deserving a fuller notice. It has long been
known that in the vertebrate kingdom one sex bears rudiments of
various accessory parts, appertaining to the reproductive system,
which properly belong to the opposite sex; and it has now been
ascertained that at a very early embryonic period both sexes possess
true male and female glands. Hence some remote progenitor of the whole
vertebrate kingdom appears to have been hermaphrodite or androgynous.*
But here we encounter a singular difficulty. In the mammalian class
the males possess rudiments of a uterus with the adjacent passage,
in their vesiculae prostaticae; they bear also rudiments of mammae,
and some male marsupials have traces of a marsupial sack.*(2) Other
analogous facts could be added. Are we, then, to suppose that some
extremely ancient mammal continued androgynous, after it had
acquired the chief distinctions of its class, and therefore after it
had diverged from the lower classes of the vertebrate kingdom? This
seems very improbable, for we have to look to fishes, the lowest of
all the classes, to find any still existent androgynous forms.*(3)
That various accessory parts, proper to each sex, are found in a
rudimentary condition in the opposite sex, may be explained by such
organs having been gradually acquired by the one sex, and then
transmitted in a more or less imperfect state to the other. When we
treat of sexual selection, we shall meet with innumerable instances of
this form of transmission,- as in the case of the spurs, plumes, and
brilliant colours, acquired for battle or ornament by male birds,
and inherited by the females in an imperfect or rudimentary condition.

  * This is the conclusion of Prof. Gegenbaur, one of the highest
authorities in comparative anatomy: see Grundzuge der vergleich.
Anat., 1870, s. 876. The result has been arrived at chiefly from the
study of the Amphibia; but it appears from the researches of
Waldeyer (as quoted in Journal of Anat. and Phys., 1869, p. 161), that
the sexual organs of even "the higher vertebrata are, in their early
condition, hermaphrodite." Similar views have long been held by some
authors, though until recently without a firm basis.
  *(2) The male Thylacinus offers the best instance. Owen, Anatomy
of Vertebrates, vol. iii., p. 771.
  *(3) Hermaphroditism has been observed in several species of
Serranus, as well as in some other fishes, where it is either normal
and symmetrical, or abnormal and unilateral. Dr. Zouteveen has given
me references on this subject, more especially to a paper by Prof.
Halbertsma, in the Transact. of the Dutch Acad. of Sciences, vol. xvi.
Dr. Gunther doubts the fact, but it has now been recorded by too
many good observers to be any longer disputed. Dr. M. Lessona writes
to me, that he has verified the observations made by Cavolini on
Serranus. Prof. Ercolani has recently shewn (Acad. delle Scienze,
Bologna, Dec. 28, 1871) that eels are androgynous.

  The possession by male mammals of functionally imperfect mammary
organs is, in some respects, especially curious. The Monotremata
have the proper milk-secreting glands with orifices, but no nipples;
and as these animals stand at the very base of the mammalian series,
it is probable that the progenitors of the class also had
milk-secreting glands, but no nipples. This conclusion is supported by
what is known of their manner of development; for Professor Turner
informs me, on the authority of Kolliker and Langer, that in the
embryo the mammary glands can be distinctly traced before the
nipples are in the least visible; and the development of successive
parts in the individual generally represents and accords with the
development of successive beings in the same line of descent. The
marsupials differ from the Monotremata by possessing nipples; so
that probably these organs were first acquired by the marsupials,
after they had diverged from, and risen above, the Monotremata, and
were then transmitted to the placental mammals.* No one will suppose
that the marsupials still remained androgynous, after they had
approximately acquired their present structure. How then are we to
account for male mammals possessing mammae? It is possible that they
were first developed in the females and then transferred to the males,
but from what follows this is hardly probable.

  * Prof. Gegenbaur has shewn (Jenaische Zeitschrift, Bd. vii., p.
212) that two distinct types of nipples prevail throughout the several
mammalian orders, but that it is quite intelligible how both could
have been derived from the nipples of the marsupials, and the latter
from those of the Monotremata. See, also, a memoir by Dr. Max Huss, on
the mammary glands, ibid., B. viii., p. 176.

  It may be suggested, as another view, that long after the
progenitors of the whole mammalian class had ceased to be androgynous,
both sexes yielded milk, and thus nourished their young; and in the
case of the marsupials, that both sexes carried their young in
marsupial sacks. This will not appear altogether improbable, if we
reflect that the males of existing syngnathous fishes receive the eggs
of the females in their abdominal pouches, hatch them, and afterwards,
as some believe, nourish the young;* - that certain other male
fishes hatch the eggs within their mouths or branchial cavities;- that
certain male toads take the chaplets of eggs from the females, and
wind them round their own thighs, keeping them there until the
tadpoles are born;- that certain male birds undertake the whole duty
of incubation, and that male pigeons, as well as the females, feed
their nestlings with a secretion from their crops. But the above
suggestion first occurred to me from mammary glands of male mammals
being so much more perfectly developed than the rudiments of the other
accessory reproductive parts, which are found in the one sex though
proper to the other. The mammary glands and nipples, as they exist
in male mammals, can indeed hardly be called rudimentary; they are
merely not fully developed, and not functionally active. They are
sympathetically affected under the influence of certain diseases, like
the same organs in the female. They often secrete a few drops of
milk at birth and at puberty: this latter fact occurred in the curious
case before referred to, where a young man possessed two pairs of
mammee. In man and some other male mammals these organs have been
known occasionally to become so well developed during maturity as to
yield a fair supply of milk. Now if we suppose that during a former
prolonged period male mammals aided the females in nursing their
offspring,*(2) and that afterwards from some cause (as from the
production of a smaller number of young) the males ceased to give this
aid, disuse of the organs during maturity would lead to their becoming
inactive; and from two well-known principles of inheritance, this
state of inactivity would probably be transmitted to the males at
the corresponding age of maturity. But at an earlier age these
organs would be left unaffected, so that they would be almost
equally well developed in the young of both sexes.
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« Reply #70 on: February 09, 2009, 01:26:12 pm »

* Mr. Lockwood believes (as quoted in Quart. Journal of Science,
April, 1868, p. 269), from what he has observed of the development
of Hippocampus, that the walls of the abdominal pouch of the male in
some way afford nourishment. On male fishes hatching the ova in
their mouths, see a very interesting paper by Prof. Wyman, in Proc.
Boston Soc. of Nat. Hist., Sept. 15, 1857; also Prof. Turner, in
Journal of Anatomy and Physiology, Nov. 1, 1866, p. 78. Dr. Gunther
has likewise described similar cases.
  *(2) Mlle. C. Royer has suggested a similar view in her Origine de
l'homme, &c., 1870.

  Conclusion.- Von Baer has defined advancement or progress in the
organic scale better than any one else, as resting on the amount of
differentiation and specialisation of the several parts of a being,-
when arrived at maturity, as I should be inclined to add. Now as
organisms have become slowly adapted to diversified lines of life by
means of natural selection, their parts will have become more and more
differentiated and specialised for various functions from the
advantage gained by the division of physiological labour. The same
part appears often to have been modified first for one purpose, and
then long afterwards for some other and quite distinct purpose; and
thus all the parts are rendered more and more complex. But each
organism still retains the general type of structure of the progenitor
from which it was aboriginally derived. In accordance with this view
it seems, if we turn to geological evidence, that organisation on
the whole has advanced throughout the world by slow and interrupted
steps. In the great kingdom of the Vertebrata it has culminated in
man. It must not, however, be supposed that groups of organic beings
are always supplanted, and disappear as soon as they have given
birth to other and more perfect groups. The latter, though
victorious over their predecessors, may not have become better adapted
for all places in the economy of nature. Some old forms appear to have
survived from inhabiting protected sites, where they have not been
exposed to very severe competition; and these often aid us in
constructing our genealogies, by giving us a fair idea of former and
lost populations. But we must not fall into the error of looking at
the existing members of any lowly-organised group as perfect
representatives of their ancient predecessors.
  The most ancient progenitors in the kingdom of the Vertebrata, at
which we are able to obtain an obscure glance, apparently consisted of
a group of marine animals,* resembling the larvae of existing
ascidians. These animals probably gave rise to a group of fishes, as
lowly organised as the lancelet; and from these the ganoids, and other
fishes like the Lepidosiren, must have been developed. From such
fish a very small advance would carry us on to the amphibians. We have
seen that birds and reptiles were once intimately connected
together; and the Monotremata now connect mammals with reptiles in a
slight degree. But no one can at present say by what line of descent
the three higher and related classes, namely, mammals, birds, and
reptiles, were derived from the two lower vertebrate classes,
namely, amphibians and fishes. In the class of mammals the steps are
not difficult to conceive which led from the ancient Monotremata to
the ancient marsupials; and from these to the early progenitors of the
placental mammals. We may thus ascend to the Lemuridae; and the
interval is not very wide from these to the Simiadae. The Simiadae
then branched off into two great stems, the New World and Old World
monkeys; and from the latter, at a remote period, Man, the wonder
and glory of the Universe, proceeded.

  * The inhabitants of the seashore must be greatly affected by the
tides; animals living either about the mean high-water mark, or
about the mean low-water mark, pass through a complete cycle of
tidal changes in a fortnight. Consequently, their food supply will
undergo marked changes week by week. The vital functions of such
animals, living under these conditions for many generations, can
hardly fail to run their course in regular weekly periods. Now it is a
mysterious fact that in the higher and now terrestrial Vertebrata,
as well as in other classes, many normal and abnormal processes one or
more whole weeks as their periods; this would be rendered intelligible
if the Vertebrata are descended from an animal allied to the
existing tidal ascidians. Many instances of such periodic processes
might be given, as the gestation of mammals, the duration of fevers,
&c. The hatching of eggs affords also a good example, for, according
to Mr. Bartlett (Land and Water, Jan. 7, 1871), the eggs of the pigeon
are hatched in two weeks; those of the fowl in three; those of the
duck in four; those of the goose in five; and those of the ostrich
in seven weeks. As far as we can judge, a recurrent period, if
approximately of the right duration for any process or function, would
not, when once gained, be liable to change; consequently it might be
thus transmitted through almost any number of generations. But if
the function changed, the period would have to change, and would be
apt to change almost abruptly by a whole week. This conclusion, if
sound, is highly remarkable; for the period of gestation in each
mammal, and the hatching of each bird's eggs, and many other vital
processes, thus betray to us the primordial birthplace of these

  Thus we have given to man a pedigree of prodigious length, but
not, it may be said, of noble quality. The world, it has often been
remarked, appears as if it had long been preparing for the advent of
man: and this, in one sense is strictly true, for he owes his birth to
a long line of progenitors. If any single link in this chain had never
existed, man would not have been exactly what he now is. Unless we
wilfully close our eyes, we may, with our present knowledge,
approximately recognise our parentage; nor need we feel ashamed of it.
The most humble organism is something much higher than the inorganic
dust under our feet; and no one with an unbiased mind can study any
living creature, however humble, without being struck with
enthusiasm at its marvellous structure and properties.

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« Reply #71 on: February 09, 2009, 01:26:38 pm »

Chapter VII - On the Races of Man

  IT is not my intention here to describe the several so-called
races of men; but I am about to enquire what is the value of the
differences between them under a classificatory point of view, and how
they have originated. In determining whether two or more allied
forms ought to be ranked as species or varieties, naturalists are
practically guided by the following considerations; namely, the amount
of difference between them, and whether such differences relate to few
or many points of structure, and whether they are of physiological
importance; but more especially whether they are constant. Constancy
of character is what is chiefly valued and sought for by
naturalists. Whenever it can be shewn, or rendered probable, that
the forms in question have remained distinct for a long period, this
becomes an argument of much weight in favour of treating them as
species. Even a slight degree of sterility between any two forms
when first crossed, or in their offspring, is generally considered
as a decisive test of their specific distinctness; and their continued
persistence without blending within the same area, is usually accepted
as sufficient evidence, either of some degree of mutual sterility,
or in the case of animals of some mutual repugnance to pairing.
  Independently of fusion from intercrossing, the complete absence, in
a well-investigated region, of varieties linking together any two
closely-allied forms, is probably the most important of all the
criterions of their specific distinctness; and this is a somewhat
different consideration from mere constancy of character, for two
forms may be highly variable and yet not yield intermediate varieties.
Geographical distribution is often brought into play unconsciously and
sometimes consciously; so that forms living in two widely separated
areas, in which most of the other inhabitants are specifically
distinct, are themselves usually looked at as distinct; but in truth
this affords no aid in distinguishing geographical races from
so-called good or true species.
    Now let us apply these generally-admitted principles to the
races of man, viewing him in the same spirit as a naturalist would any
other animal. In regard to the amount of difference between the races,
we must make some allowance for our nice powers of discrimination
gained by the long habit of observing ourselves. In India, as
Elphinstone remarks, although a newly-arrived European cannot at first
distinguish the various native races, yet they soon appear to him
extremely dissimilar;* and the Hindoo cannot at first perceive any
difference between the several European nations. Even the most
distinct races of man are much more like each other in form than would
at first be supposed; certain negro tribes must be excepted, whilst
others, as Dr. Rohlfs writes to me, and as I have myself seen, have
Caucasian features. This general similarity is well shewn by the
French photographs in the Collection Anthropologique du Museum de
Paris of the men belonging to various races, the greater number of
which might pass for Europeans, as many persons to whom I have shewn
them have remarked. Nevertheless, these men, if seen alive, would
undoubtedly appear very distinct, so that we are clearly much
influenced in our judgment by the mere colour of the skin and hair, by
slight differences in the features, and by expression.

  * History of India, 1841, vol. i., p. 323. Father Ripa makes exactly
the same remark with respect to the Chinese.

   There is, however, no doubt that the various races, when
carefully compared and measured, differ much from each other,- as in
the texture of the hair, the relative proportions of all parts of
the body,* the capacity of the lungs, the form and capacity of the
skull, and even in the convolutions of the brain.*(2) But it would
be an endless task to specify the numerous points of difference. The
races differ also in constitution, in acclimatisation and in liability
to certain diseases. Their mental characteristies are likewise very
distinct; chiefly as it would appear in their emotional, but partly in
their intellectual faculties. Every one who has had the opportunity of
comparison, must have been struck with the contrast between the
taciturn, even morose, aborigines of S. America and the
lighthearted, talkative negroes. There is a nearly similar contrast
between the Malays and the Papuans,*(3) who live under the same
physical conditions, and are separated from each other only by a
narrow space of sea.

  * A vast number of measurements of whites, blacks, and Indians,
are given in the Investigations in the Military and Anthropolog.
Statistics of American Soldiers by B. A. Gould, 1869, pp. 298-358; "On
the capacity of the lungs," p. 471. See also the numerous and valuable
tables, by Dr. Weisbach, from the observations of Dr. Scherzer and Dr.
Schwarz, in the Reise der Novara: Anthropolog. Theil, 1867.
  *(2) See, for instance, Mr. Marshall's account of the brain of a
bushwoman, in Philosophical Transactions, 1864, p. 519.
  *(3) Wallace The Malay Archipelago, vol. ii., 1869, p. 178.

  We will first consider the arguments which may be advanced in favour
of classing the races of man as distinct species, and then the
arguments on the other side. If a naturalist, who had never before
seen a Negro, Hottentot, Australian, or Mongolian, were to compare
them, he would at once perceive that they differed in a multitude of
characters, some of slight and some of considerable importance. On
enquiry he would find that they were adapted to live under widely
different climates, and that they differed somewhat in bodily
constitution and mental disposition. If he were then told that
hundreds of similar specimens could be brought from the same
countries, he would assuredly declare that they were as good species
as many to which he had been in the habit of affixing specific
names. This conclusion would be greatly strengthened as soon as he had
ascertained that these forms had all retained the same character for
many centuries; and that negroes, apparently identical with existing
negroes, had lived at least 4000 years ago.* He would also hear, on
the authority of an excellent observer, Dr. Lund,*(2) that the human
skulls found in the caves of Brazil entombed with many extinct
mammals, belonged to the same type as that now prevailing throughout
the American continent.

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« Reply #72 on: February 09, 2009, 01:27:13 pm »

* With respect to the figures in the famous Egyptian caves of
Abou-Simbel, M. Pouchet says (The Plurality of the Human Races, Eng.
translat., 1864, p. 50), that he was far from finding recognisable
representations of the dozen or more nations which some authors
believe that they can recognise. Even some of the most strongly-marked
races cannot be identified with that degree of unanimity which might
have been expected from what has been written on the subject. Thus
Messrs. Nott and Gliddon (Types of Mankind, p. 148), state that
Rameses II, or the Great, has features superbly European; whereas
Knox, another firm believer in the specific distinctness of the
races of man (Races of Man, 1850, p. 201), speaking of young Memnon
(the same as Rameses II, as I am informed by Mr. Birch), insists in
the strongest manner that he is identical in character with the Jews
of Antwerp. Again, when I looked at the statue of Amunoph III, I
agreed with two officers of the establishment, both competent
judges, that he had a strongly-marked negro type of features; but
Messrs. Nott and Gliddon (ibid., p. 146, fig. 53), describe him as a
hybrid, but not of "negro intermixture."
  *(2) As quoted by Nott and Gliddon, Types of Mankind, 1854, p.
439. They give also corroborative evidence; but C. Vogt thinks that
the subject requires further investigation.

  Our naturalist would then perhaps turn to geographical distribution,
and he would probably declare that those forms must be distinct
species, which differ not only in appearance, but are fitted for
hot, as well as damp or dry countries, and for the arctic regions.
He might appeal to the fact that no species in the group next to
man- namely, the Quadrumana, can resist a low temperature, or any
considerable change of climate; and that the species which come
nearest to man have never been reared to maturity, even under the
temperate climate of Europe. He would be deeply impressed with the
fact, first noticed by Agassiz,* that the different races of man are
distributed over the world in the same zoological provinces, as
those inhabited by undoubtedly distinct species and genera of mammals.
This is manifestly the case with the Australian, Mongolian, and
Negro races of man; in a less well-marked manner with the
Hottentots; but plainly with the Papuans and Malays, who are
separated, as Mr. Wallace has shewn, by nearly the same line which
divides the great Malayan and Australian zoological provinces. The
aborigines of America range throughout the continent; and this at
first appears opposed to the above rule, for most of the productions
of the Southern and Northern halves differ widely: yet some few living
forms, as the opossum, range from the one into the other, as did
formerly some of the gigantic Edentata. The Esquimaux, like other
arctic animals, extend round the whole polar regions. It should be
observed that the amount of difference between the mammals of the
several zoological provinces does not correspond with the degree of
separation between the latter; so that it can hardly be considered
as an anomaly that the Negro differs more, and the American much
less from the other races of man, than do the mammals of the African
and American continents from the mammals of the other provinces.
Man, it may be added, does not appear to have aboriginally inhabited
any oceanic island; and in this respect, he resembles the other
members of his class.

  * "Diversity of Origin of the Human Races," in the Christian
Examiner, July, 1850.

  In determining whether the supposed varieties of the same kind of
domestic animal should be ranked as such, or as specifically distinct,
that is, whether any of them are descended from distinct wild species,
every naturalist would lay much stress on the fact of their external
parasites being specifically distinct. All the more stress would be
laid on this fact, as it would be an exceptional one; for I am
informed by Mr. Denny that the most different kinds of dogs, fowls,
and pigeons, in England, are infested by the same species of
Pediculi or lice. Now Mr. A. Murray has carefully examined the
Pediculi. collected in different countries from the different races of
man;* and he finds that they differ, not only in colour, but in the
structure of their claws and limbs. In every case in which many
specimens were obtained the differences were constant. The surgeon
of a whaling ship in the Pacific assured me that when the Pediculi,
with which some Sandwich Islanders on board swarmed, strayed on to the
bodies of the English sailors, they died in the course of three or
four days. These Pediculi were darker coloured, and appeared different
from those proper to the natives of Chiloe in South America, of
which he gave me specimens. These, again, appeared larger and much
softer than European lice. Mr. Murray procured four kinds from Africa,
namely, from the Negroes of the Eastern and Western coasts, from the
Hottentots and Kaffirs; two kinds from the natives of Australia; two
from North and two from South America. In these latter cases it may be
presumed that the Pediculi came from natives inhabiting different
districts. With insects slight structural differences, if constant,
are generally esteemed of specific value: and the fact of the races of
man being infested by parasites, which appear to be specifically
distinct, might fairly be urged as an argument that the races
themselves ought to be classed as distinct species.

  * Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, vol. xxii, 1861,
p. 567.
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« Reply #73 on: February 09, 2009, 01:27:26 pm »

Our supposed naturalist having proceeded thus far in his
investigation, would next enquire whether the races of men, when
crossed, were in any degree sterile. He might consult the work* of
Professor Broca, a cautious and philosophical observer, and in this he
would find good evidence that some races were quite fertile
together, but evidence of an opposite nature in regard to other races.
Thus it has been asserted that the native women of Australia and
Tasmania rarely produce children to European men; the evidence,
however, on this head has now been shewn to be almost valueless. The
half-castes are killed by the pure blacks: and an account has lately
been published of eleven half-caste youths murdered and burnt at the
same time, whose remains were found by the police.*(2) Again, it has
often been said that when mulattoes intermarry, they produce few
children; on the other hand, Dr. Bachman, of Charleston,*(3)
positively asserts that he has known mulatto families which have
intermarried for several generations, and have continued on an average
as fertile as either pure whites or pure blacks. Enquiries formerly
made by Sir C. Lyell on this subject led him, as he informs me, to the
same conclusion.*(4) In the United States the census for the year 1854
included, according to Dr. Bachman, 405,751 mulattoes; and this
number, considering all the circumstances of the case, seems small;
but it may partly be accounted for by the degraded and anomalous
position of the class, and by the profligacy of the women. A certain
amount of absorption of mulattoes into negroes must always be in
progress; and this would lead to an apparent diminution of the former.
The inferior vitality of mulattoes is spoken of in a trustworthy
work*(5) as a well-known phenomenon; and this, although a different
consideration from their lessened fertility, may perhaps be advanced
as a proof of the specific distinctness of the parent races. No
doubt both animal and vegetable hybrids, when produced from
extremely distinct species, are liable to premature death; but the
parents of mulattoes cannot be put under the category of extremely
distinct species. The common mule, so notorious for long life and
vigour, and yet so sterile, shews how little necessary connection
there is in hybrids between lessened fertility and vitality; other
analogous cases could be cited.

  * On the Phenomena of Hybridity in the Genus Homo, Eng. translat.,
  *(2) See the interesting letter by Mr. T. A. Murray, in the
Anthropological Review, April, 1868, p. liii. In this letter Count
Strzelecki's statement that Australian women who have borne children
to a white man, are afterwards sterile with their own race, is
disproved. M. A. de Quatrefages has also collected (Revue des Cours
Scientifiques, March, 1869, p. 239), much evidence that Australians
and Europeans are not sterile when crossed.
  *(3) An Examination of Prof. Agassiz's Sketch of the Nat.
Provinces of the Animal World, Charleston, 1855, p. 44.
  *(4) Dr. Rohlfs writes to me that he found the mixed races in the
Great Sahara, derived from Arabs, Berbers, and Negroes of three
tribes, extraordinarily fertile. On the other hand, Mr. Winwood
Reade informs me that the Negroes on the Gold Coast, though admiring
white men and mulattoes, have a maxim that mulattoes should not
intermarry, as the children are few and sickly. This belief, as Mr.
Reade remarks, deserves attention, as white men have visited and
resided on the Gold Coast for four hundred years, so that the
natives have had ample time to gain knowledge through experience.
  *(5) Military and Anthropological Statistics of American Soldiers,
by B. A. Gould, 1869, p. 319.

  Even if it should hereafter be proved that all the races of men were
perfectly fertile together, he who was inclined from other reasons
to rank them as distinct species, might with justice argue that
fertility and sterility are not safe criterions of specific
distinctness. We know that these qualities are easily affected by
changed conditions of life, or by close interbreeding, and that they
are governed by highly complex laws, for instance, that of the unequal
fertility of converse crosses between the same two species. With forms
which must be ranked as undoubted species, a perfect series exists
from those which are absolutely sterile when crossed, to those which
are almost or completely fertile. The degrees of sterility do not
coincide strictly with the degrees of difference between the parents
in external structures or habits of life. Man in many respects may
be compared with those animals which have long been domesticated,
and a large body of evidence can be advanced in favour of the
Pallasian doctrine,* that domestication tends to eliminate the
sterility which is so general a result of the crossing of species in a
state of nature. From these several considerations, it may be justly
urged that the perfect fertility of the intercrossed races of man,
if established, would not absolutely preclude us from ranking them
as distinct species.

  * The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, vol. ii
p. 109. I may here remind the reader that the sterility of species
when crossed is not a specially acquired quality, but, like the
incapacity of certain trees to be grafted together, is incidental on
other acquired differences. The nature these differences is unknown,
but they relate more especially to the reproductive system, and much
less so to external structure or to ordinary differences in
constitution. One important element in the sterility of crossed
species apparently lies in one or both having been long habituated
to fixed conditions; for we know that changed conditions have a
special influence on the reproductive system, and we have good
reason to believe (as before remarked) that the fluctuating conditions
of domestication tend to eliminate that sterility which is so
general with species, in a natural state, when crossed. It has
elsewhere been shewn by me (ibid., vol. ii., p. 185, and Origin of
Species, (OOS), that the sterility of crossed species has not been
acquired through natural selection: we can see that when two forms
have already been rendered very sterile, it is scarcely possible
that their sterility should be augmented by the preservation or
survival of the more and more sterile individuals; for, as the
sterility increases. fewer and fewer offspring will be produced from
which to breed, and at last only single individuals will be produced
at the rarest intervals. But there is even a higher grade of sterility
than this. Both Gartner and Kolreuter have proved that in genera of
plants, including many species, a series can be formed from species
which, when crossed, yield fewer and fewer seeds, to species which
never produce a single seed, but yet are affected by the pollen of the
other species, as shewn by the swelling of the germen. It is here
manifestly impossible to select the more sterile individuals, which
have already ceased to yield seeds; so that the acme of sterility,
when the germen alone is affected, cannot have been gained through
selection. This acme, and no doubt the other grades of sterility,
are the incidental results of certain unknown differences in the
constitution of the reproductive system of the species which are
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« Reply #74 on: February 09, 2009, 01:27:40 pm »

Independently of fertility, the characters presented by the
offspring from a cross have been thought to indicate whether or not
the parent-forms ought to be ranked as species or varieties; but after
carefully studying the evidence, I have come to the conclusion that no
general rules of this kind can be trusted. The ordinary result of a
cross is the production of a blended or intermediate form; but in
certain cases some of the offspring take closely after one
parent-form, and some after the other. This is especially apt to occur
when the parents differ in characters which first appeared as sudden
variations or monstrosities.* I refer to this point, because Dr.
Rohlfs informs me that he has frequently seen in Africa the
offspring of negroes crossed with members of other races, either
completely black or completely white, or rarely piebald. On the
other hand, it is notorious that in America mulattoes commonly present
an intermediate appearance.

  * The Variation of Animals, &c., vol. ii., p. 92.

  We have now seen that a naturalist might feel himself fully
justified in ranking the races of man as distinct species; for he
has found that they are distinguished by many differences in structure
and constitution, some being of importance. These differences have,
also, remained nearly constant for very long periods of time. Our
naturalist will have been in some degree influenced by the enormous
range of man, which is a great anomaly in the class of mammals, if
mankind be viewed as a single species. He will have been struck with
the distribution of the several so-called races, which accords with
that of other undoubtedly distinct species of mammals. Finally, he
might urge that the mutual fertility of all the races has not as yet
been fully proved, and even if proved would not be an absolute proof
of their specific identity.
  On the other side of the question, if our supposed naturalist were
to enquire whether the forms of man keep distinct like ordinary
species, when mingled together in large numbers in the same country,
he would immediately discover that this was by no means the case. In
Brazil he would behold an immense mongrel population of Negroes and
Portuguese; in Chiloe, and other parts of South America, he would
behold the whole population consisting of Indians and Spaniards
blended in various degrees.* In many parts of the same continent he
would meet with the most complex crosses between Negroes, Indians, and
Europeans; and judging from the vegetable kingdom, such triple crosses
afford the severest test of the mutual fertility of the parent
forms. In one island of the Pacific he would find a small population
of mingled Polynesian and English blood; and in the Fiji Archipelago a
population of Polynesians and Negritos crossed in all degrees. Many
analogous cases could be added; for instance, in Africa. Hence the
races of man are not sufficiently distinct to inhabit the same country
without fusion; and the absence of fusion affords the usual and best
test of specific distinctness.

  * M. de Quatrefages has given (Anthropological Review, Jan., 1869,
p. 22), an interesting account of the success and energy of the
Paulistas in Brazil, who are a much crossed race of Portuguese and
Indians, with a mixture of the blood of other races.

  Our naturalist would likewise be much disturbed as soon as he
perceived that the distinctive characters of all the races were highly
variable. This fact strikes every one on first beholding the negro
slaves in Brazil, who have been imported from all parts of Africa. The
same remark holds good with the Polynesians, and with many other
races. It may be doubted whether any character can be named which is
distinctive of a race and is constant. Savages, even within the limits
of the same tribe, are not nearly so uniform in character, as has been
often asserted. Hottentot women offer certain peculiarities, more
strongly marked than those occurring in any other race, but these
are known not to be of constant occurrence. In the several American
tribes, colour and hairiness differ considerably; as does colour to
a certain degree, and the shape of the features greatly, in the
negroes of Africa. The shape of the skull varies much in some
races;* and so it is with every other character. Now all naturalists
have learnt by dearly bought experience, how rash it is to attempt
to define species by the aid of inconstant characters.

  * For instance, with the aborigines of America and Australia,
Prof. Huxley says (Transact. Internat. Congress of Prehist. Arch.,
1868, p. 105), that the skulls of many South Germans and Swiss are "as
short and as broad as those of the Tartars," &c.

  But the most weighty of all the arguments against treating the races
of man as distinct species, is that they graduate into each other,
independently in many cases, as far as we can judge, of their having
intercrossed. Man has been studied more carefully than any other
animal, and yet there is the greatest possible diversity amongst
capable judges whether he should be classed as a single species or
race, or as two (Virey), as three (Jacquinot), as four (Kant), five
(Blumenbach), six (Buffon), seven (Hunter), eight (Agassiz), eleven
(Pickering), fifteen (Bory de St-Vincent), sixteen (Desmoulins),
twenty-two (Morton), sixty (Crawfurd), or as sixty-three, according to
Burke.* This diversity of judgment does not prove that the races ought
not to be ranked as species, but it shews that they graduate into each
other, and that it is hardly possible to discover clear distinctive
characters between them.

  * See a good discussion on this subject in Waitz, Introduction to
Anthropology, Eng. translat., 1863, pp. 198-208, 227. I have taken
some of the above statements from H. Tuttle's Origin and Antiquity
of Physical Man, Boston, 1866, p. 35.

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