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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/186

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

between the anthropomorphous apes and man, and defined the point from which the descent probably began, adds that it does not result that this descent follows a single way. There are secondary types among the human races, as there are among the monkeys. By prolonging the parallel series of Gratiolet we get the multiple stocks of man. "All the facts together, instead of indicating to us a common stock, a single intermediate form between the monkey and man, point to numerous parallel series which, more or less circumscribed, must have developed themselves from as many parallel series of apes" (p. 626).

The second opinion appears less clearly defined than the first. On the one side M. Vogt maintains his former ideas of polygenistic simian descent, and on the other he reverses them by formally denying that man is descended from the monkey. The monkeys, he assumes, have always, as they were in the Miocene and Pliocene epochs, been cantoned in tropical climates. Essentially tree-dwellers, they leap from branch to branch, and are hardly ever displaced—not even those ground-living monkeys that climb among the rocks. The separation between the monkeys of the Old and of the New Continents has always been complete, there having been no communication between the two hemispheres since the Eocene, or at least since the Miocene. Monkeys not going into cold countries, they were effectually prevented from approaching Bering Strait. They have, then, been but little modified, especially in the Old Continent, where they are more exclusively tree-dwelling. Higher types, like the laopithecus of America and the dryopithecus of Europe, are met among them after the Miocene, but they have undergone no further evolution since. The fact of M. Gaudry's mesopithecus is the only one that can be cited as in favor of any evolution.

But M. Vogt speaks here of a tendency toward a superior organization like that of man, of an approach by different ways, the gorilla resembling man more in its limbs, the orang in its brain, and the chimpanzee in its skull and teeth. "No fact," he says, "permits us to assume a single only line of evolution toward the human organization." Passing, then, more particularly to fossil species, M. Vogt insists upon his proposition that "there has been no evolution of the simian type through the geological ages," and that "we can not point to any advance of this type since the Upper Miocene."

I see nothing leading to this conclusion. As I have just shown, there are as many probabilities of an evolution among the apes as in any other zoölogical group. No series of species, it is true, leads positively from any ape to any man. But, in paleontology, what are exhibited to us as series of species are usually only series of characteristics. Comparative anthropology shows us a