Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/391

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THE PROBLEMS OF ANTHROPOLOGY.

resembling simian animals, are produced by atavism, has been wholly abandoned since students have reached the conviction that the skulls of microcephals have indexes of pathological formation, with deficiencies arising from degeneracy.

The human organism, especially in the embryonic stage, is distinguished by many features that have been borrowed, not from the monkey only, but also from other animals. The living elements, the cells, present us the same types in man as in the mammals; sometimes these resemblances in the embryo continue to exist, and are even developed after birth. But this persistence or hyperplasy can not be made to serve as proof of the animal origin of man. Let us take this example of a hyperplasy of this kind: there is in the higher anthropoid apes a bony ramification that connects the jugular of the temporal with the frontal bone. It is sometimes developed in man, and is wanting in some individuals among the higher monkeys. I have shown, and M. Anoutchine has confirmed it, that this ramification occurs very frequently in the Australians, and we both regard the peculiarity as of simian origin. But we can not conclude from that that the Australians are simian-like, for the same peculiarity has been remarked, in some infrequent cases, in the skulls of Europeans; while there is not an example of men having such heads having furnished any other indication of simian organization or development. The bony ramification of the temporal jugular is nothing else than a special peculiarity, sometimes individual, sometimes racial, like curly hair, for example. When we look at a negro's head we might say that it resembles a sheep or a poodle; but, so far as we know, nobody has yet expressed the opinion that negroes are descended from sheep or from dogs. Still, the negroes are like sheep and poodle dogs in the hereditary transmission of a special peculiarity in their hair. In spite of that, their heads in no way resemble those of the animals we have mentioned. Bearing in mind these observations, we have become more circumspect now in our reasonings upon individual or racial analogies between man and animals; we certainly shall not forget that the human organization is in its essentials an animal organism, and that the monstrosities which occasionally appear may be regarded as results of atavism; but we shall require more convincing arguments before we assume a near relationship of man with any definite animal.

It was generally believed a few years ago that there yet existed a few human races which still remained in the primitive inferior condition of their organization. But all these races have been objects of minute investigation, and we know that they have an organization like ours, often indeed superior to that of supposed higher races; thus, the Eskimo head and the head of the Tierra del Fue-