Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/185

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
173
THE LAST STAGES IN THE GENEALOGY OF MAN.

Mr. Huxley does not express his opinion on the immediate descent of man in any of his writings that I have read. He leaves the reader to infer the consequences of the discussions into which he enters, and these lead to an origin at the expense of the anthropoids.

Prof. Gaudry is also very reserved, but lets his opinion appear, while he does not give it distinct form. In his scheme the series rises, marsupials, ungulates, lemurs, and catarrhinians forming a single group; anthropoids; and man. The anthropoid designated by him is the dryopithecus, of which he says: "The dryopithecus was a monkey of a very high character, and approached man in many particulars; it was of nearly the same size; in its dentition may be recognized characteristics of the teeth of the Australian" ("Fossiles primaires," p. 236), Further on he adds: "If, then, it should be shown that the flints of the Beauce chalk collected at Thenay by the Abbé Bourgeois have been cut, the most natural suggestion to my mind would be that they were cut by the dryopithecus" (page 241); "unfortunately, we possess of this dryopithecus only a lower jaw and a humerus."

Prof. Cope has an opinion, peculiar to him, that man is not descended from the monkeys, anthropoid or other, but directly from the lemurs. His condylarthra, the stock of nearly all the mammalian orders, give rise especially to a branch which is divided into three, one being represented chiefly by the genus Anaptomorphus, and separating in turn into two branches, one of which engenders the monkeys and anthropoids, and the other leads directly to man. His principal reasons for this view, which follow, show on how little our genealogies sometimes rest. Man has, as a general rule, four tubercles or cuspids in his upper molars. The monkeys and anthropoids have usually five tubercles. The recent lemurs, the fossil Necrolemur, and the Anaptomorphus, have generally three tubercles. Now we sometimes observe three tubercles in man. Prof. Cope has drawn up a long list of the degrees of frequency of this form among the races. The reversion is one that works toward the lemurs, and not toward the monkeys and anthropoids.

M. Vogt's present opinion is radically different; but the learned professor at Geneva having at different times had nearly opposite opinions, and having played a considerable part in the question, we shall dwell longer with him. His first view was expressed in 1862-'64, before Darwin had formally applied to man his doctrine of derivation by selection, and before M. Haeckel had in 1867-'68 for the first time fully explained his genealogical tree. His second opinion is known to me through his magnificent book on the mammalia, which appeared in France in 1883.

In his first view, the author having exhibited the resemblances