Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/692

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is not the smallest doubt that his activities—not only his mere bodily functions, but his other functions—are just as much the subjects of scientific study as are those of ants or bees. What we call the phenomena of intelligence, for example (as to what else there may be in them, the anthropologist makes no assertion), are phenomena following a definite causal order just as capable of scientific examination, and of being reduced to definite law, as are all those phenomena which we call physical. And just as ants form a polity and a social state, and just as these are the proper and legitimate study of the zoölogist, so far as he deals with ants, so do men organize themselves into a social state; and, though the province of politics is of course outside that of anthropology, yet the consideration of man, so far as his instincts lead him to construct a social economy, is a legitimate and proper part of anthropology, precisely in the same way as the study of the social state of ants is a legitimate object of zoölogy. So with regard to other and more subtile phenomena. It has often been disputed whether in animals there is any trace of the religious sentiment. That is a legitimate subject of dispute and of inquiry; and, if it were possible for my friend Sir John Lubbock to point out to you that ants manifest such sentiments, he would have made a very great and interesting discovery, and no one could doubt that the ascertainment of such a fact was completely within the province of zoölogy. Anthropology has nothing to do with the truth or falsehood of religion—it holds itself absolutely and entirely aloof from such questions—but the natural history of religion, and the origin and the growth of the religions entertained by the different kinds of the human race, are within its proper and legitimate province.

I now go a step further, and pass to the distribution of man. Here, of course, the anthropologist is in his special region. He endeavors to ascertain how various modifications of the human stock are arranged upon the earth's surface. He looks back to the past, and inquires how far the remains of man can be traced. It is just as legitimate to ascertain how far the human race goes back in time as it is to ascertain how far the horse goes back in time; the kind of evidence that is good in the one case is good in the other; and the conclusions that are forced on us in the one case are forced on us in the other also. Finally, we come to the question of the causes of all these phenomena, which, if permissible in the case of other animals, is permissible in the animal man. Whatever evidence, whatever chain of reasoning justifies us in concluding that the horse, for example, has come into existence in a certain fashion in time, the same evidence and the same canons of logic justify us to precisely the same extent in drawing the same kind of conclusions with regard to man. And it is the business of the anthropologist to be as severe in his criticism of those matters in respect to the origin of man as it is the business of the paleontologist to be strict in regard to the origin of the horse; but for the scientific man there is