Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/541

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SCIENTIFIC PHILANTHROPY.

been obliged to proceed by a kind of fallowings, by suffering a vegetation too luxuriant and too concentrated at one point to be succeeded by a provisory rest and sterility; but a superior system, which has prevailed in the cultivation of the land, will without doubt be applied some day to the cultivation of the mind: it is the system of allotments and improvements, and it should be made the basis of general education. We can, furthermore, avoid at this point, also, the excessive evils of repartition, the antinomies of intellectual luxury and intellectual want, by the diffusion of knowledge through the mass of the nation; and this is one of the essential objects and one of the beneficent results of scientific philanthropy. Without that, mankind, divided into a class of intelligent men and a class of ignorant ones, would resemble the twins of Presburg, who were united by the after part of the thorax. One of them was bright and gentle, while the other was stupid and ill-natured, and constantly struggling against her sister, notwithstanding both their bodies were united into one; and her violent conduct did harm to both.

In addition to the material and intellectual advantages we have just demonstrated, philanthropy brings precious moral advantage to the whole race. It develops, in the individuals and the people who exercise it, the qualities of heart most important for social life. Darwin and his partisans early recognized how essential to society is the development of altruistic inclinations; even justice is impossible without those inclinations, for they alone can restrain egoism. A society without pity is always careless of the right. Natural selection, which is exercised now to the advantage of the most intelligent peoples, will also in the future, we hope, be exercised to the advantage of the best and most just, when the understanding of the truth shall be complete enough to win over the will of the best. Selection always gives the day to those who adapt themselves most perfectly to the new medium; and the human medium of the future will without doubt be the reign of fraternity and justice. Those nations only will survive then which shall be best adapted to the altruistic type; that is, which shall be able to live best and to propagate themselves in a medium chiefly intellectual and moral, in which knowledge and sympathy shall have the first rank.

This adaptation of actual societies to the ideal society by the simultaneous advance of science and sympathy, will probably bring about a transformation of the type of the species, a greater development of the brain than of the other organs, a substitution of mental and moral strength for physical force. The actual brain is already an immensely enlarged vertebra; the brain of future races will perhaps be not only in volume but in organization, also and especially, as different from the brain of existing races as that is from simple vertebra?. The nervous system of civilized man is already thirty per cent greater than that of the savage. Now, cerebral development seems to have a re-