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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/317

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THE RACES OF MANKIND.

crossing of races, anthropologists have a reason to give for the endless shades of diversity among mankind, without attempting the hopeless task of classifying every little uncertain group of men into a special race. Among the natives of India, a variety of complexion and feature is found which can not be classified exactly by race. But it must be remembered that several very distinct varieties of men have contributed to the population of the country. So in Europe, taking the fair nations of the Baltic and the dark nations of the Mediterranean as two distinct races or varieties, their intercrossing may explain the infinite diversity of brown hair and intermediate complexion to be met with. If, then, it may be considered that man was already divided into a few great main races in remote antiquity, then intermarriage

PSM V19 D317 Dravidian hill man.jpg
Fig. 16.—Dravidian Hill-man (after Fryer).

through ages since will go far to account for the innumerable slighter varieties which shade into one another.

It is not enough to look at a race of men as a mere body of people happening to have a common type or likeness. For the reason of their likeness is plain, and indeed our calling them a race means that we consider them a breed whose common nature is inherited from common ancestors. Now, experience of the animal world shows that a race or breed, while capable of carrying on its likeness from generation to generation, is also capable of varying. It must be admitted that our knowledge of the manner and causes of race-variation among mankind is still very imperfect. The great races, black, brown, yellow, white, had already settled into their well-known characters before