Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/745

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NEW CHAPTERS IN THE WARFARE OF SCIENCE.

proves simply that the old stone mallet-heads have survived as implements cheap and fairly effective.

The argument from Comparative Ethnology in support of the view that the tendency of mankind is upward has received strength from many sources. Comparative Philology shows that in the less civilized, barbarous, and savage races childish forms of speech prevail;—frequent reduplications and the like, of which we have survivals in the later and even in the most highly developed languages. In various languages, too, we find relics of ancient modes of thought in the simplest words and expressions used for arithmetical calculations. Words and phrases for this purpose are frequently found to be derived from the words for hands, feet, fingers, and toes, just as clearly as in our own language some of our simplest measures of length are shown by their names to have been measures of parts of the human body, as the cubit, the foot, and the like, and therefore to date from a time when exactness was not required. To add another out of many examples, it is found to-day that various rude nations go through the simplest arithmetical processes by means of pebbles. Into our own language through the Latin has come a word showing that our distant progenitors reckoned in this way. The word calculate gives us an absolute proof of this. According to the theory of the Duke of Argyll, men ages ago used pebbles (calculi) in performing the simplest arithmetical calculations because we to-day "calculate" No reduction to absurdity could be more thorough. The simple fact must be that we "calculate" because our remote ancestry used pebbles in their arithmetic.

So, too, Comparative Literature and Folk-Lore show childish modes of viewing nature and childish ways of expressing the relations of man to nature among peoples of a low culture today, such as clearly survive from a remote ancestry; noteworthy among these are the beliefs in witches and fairies, and multitudes of popular and poetic expressions in the most civilized nations.

So, too, Comparative Ethnography, the basis of Ethnology, shows in contemporary barbarians and savages a childish love of playthings and games, of which we have many survivals.

All these facts, which were at first unobserved, or observed as a matter of no significance, have been brought into connection with a fact in Biology acknowledged alike by all important schools, by Agassiz on one hand and by Darwin on the other—namely, as stated by Agassiz, that "the young states of each species and group resemble older forms of the same group," or, as stated by Darwin, that "in two or more groups of animals, however much they may at first differ from each other in structure and habits, if they pass through closely similar embryonic stages, we may