Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/694

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whether the ideas which Darwin has put forward in regard to the animal world are capable of being applied in the same sense and to the same extent to man. That question, I need not say, is not answered.

It is a vast and difficult question, and one for which a complete answer may possibly be looked for in the next century; but the method of inquiry is understood; and the mode in which the materials are now being accumulated bearing on that inquiry, the processes by which results are now obtained, and the observation of these phenomena, lead to the belief that the problem also, some day or other, will be solved. In what sense I cannot tell you. I have my own notion about it, but the question for the future is the attainment, by scientific processes and methods, of the solution of that question. If you ask me what has been done within the last twenty-one years toward this object, or rather toward clearing the ground in the direction of obtaining a solution, I don't know that I could lay my hand upon much of a very definite character—except as to methods of investigation—save in regard to one point. I have some reason to know that about the year 1860, at any rate, there was nothing more volcanic, more shocking, more subversive of everything right and proper, than to put forward the proposition that, as far as physical organization is concerned, there is less difference between man and the highest apes than there is between the highest apes and the lowest. Now, my memory carries me back sufficiently to remind me that, in 1860, that question was not a pleasant one to touch on.

The other day I was reading a recently-published valuable and interesting work, "L'Espèce Humaine," by a very eminent man, M. de Quatrefages. He is a gentleman who has made these questions his special study, and has written a great deal and very well about them. He has always maintained a temperate and fair position, and has been the opponent of evolutionary ideas, so that I turned with some interest to his work as giving me a record of what I could look on as the progress of opinion during the last twenty years. If he has any bias at all, it is one in the opposite direction to which my own studies would lead me. I cannot quote his words, for I have not the book with me, but the substance of them is that the proposition which I have just put before you is one the truth of which no rational person acquainted with the facts could dispute. Such is the difference which twenty years has made in that respect, and, speaking in the presence of a great number of anatomists, who are quite able to decide a question of this kind, I believe that the opinion of M. de Quatrefages on the subject is one they will all be prepared to indorse. Well, it is a comfort to have got that much out of the way. The second direction in which I think great progress has been made is with respect to the processes of anthropometry, in other words, in the modes of obtaining those data which are necessary for anthropologists to reason upon.