Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/188

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tion of volume while the skull becomes relatively diminished, partly because the molars of the second dentition need room and push the jaw forward.

I expect to describe hereafter how the relations between the base of the skull and the base of the face along the naso-basilar plane change, on either side, with the adult as compared with the infant, the angles which craniometry marks in that part. The facial angle, which I mention because it has a certain popularity, is larger in the young ape than in the infant man. The infantile forms of the young ape which M. Vogt speaks of are partly found in the adult woman. They also characterize the male sex of certain races, like the Andamans, which have for that reason been designated as infantine.

There is one characteristic implied in Prof. Vogt's argument which seems to bear more favorably to his thesis. It is that the young ape, the orang or chimpanzee, for example, is more intelligent than the adult. This, we might say, is because it is descended from a more intelligent ancestor than recent apes. But greater intelligence is a rule with all young animals, as well, if we take the circumstances into account, as with man. The brain is at that period larger in proportion to the body; it is in some sense virgin, more impressionable; it grows excessively, and asks only to absorb, to work, to turn the blood it receives to account. What is more marvelous than the way our children learn to talk, read, and write? Would we adults be capable of the amount of rapid memorizing which the mass of words and ideas inculcated into them at that age exacts? Young Australians are equal to Europeans in the schools, and retain languages with extraordinary facility; but, as age comes on, their savage nature reappears, they take off their clothes, they join their like again, and they manifest no more intelligence than if they had never been among the whites. If at our age we appear so capacious, intellectually speaking, it is because we have been accumulating for many years, because we reason in great part by habit, automatically; because we are incessantly excited by the struggle for existence, by the society of our likes, and by the use of language, which apes do not possess. M. Vogt's last argument, that the young ape is more human than the adult ape, does not, therefore, convince me.

I have mentioned the different opinions in view, positive and negative, concerning the origin of man. Are there not other possible ones? Although I have made many objections to M. Vogt's theory, his uncertainty, so remarkable on the part of a man who is usually not afraid to speak out, has made me reflect. I have asked what could this stock be which he speaks of, common to the ape and to man, and which is not lemuroid? While he leaves his readers still in suspense, it is easy to see his tendency. This