Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/467

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449
MAN IN NATURE.

straightening of the trunk in arboreal life—a straightening which in no way implies a vertical position of the lower limbs—there is nothing left particularly to the credit of the anthropoids. The other distinctive characteristics of man and the anthropoids are secondary, but lead to the same conclusions. Hence the two groups should be separated in classification, and the anthropoids continue monkeys.

Employing Dalley's formula, we should say, but in an inverse sense, that the anthropoids differ from monkeys infinitely less than they differ from men. We need not even specify from what monkeys, whether pithecans or cebeans, for it is sometimes members of one, sometimes members of the other family, that are more removed from man. In the general shape of the skull, in a certain adaptation to the erect attitude of the head, in the development of the hemispheres above the cerebellum, and in still other characters, some of the cebeans are further advanced than the pithecans and the anthropoids. In short, taking the interval between the cebeans (arctopithecans excepted) and the pithecans as one, that between the pithecans and the anthropoids would be one, and that between the anthropoids alone or the cebeans, pithecans, and anthropoids together and man would be three.

Reasoning according to the monophyletic hypothesis, we suppose that man is derived from a single stock. But the possibility is suggested of his having had a multiple origin from different stocks, and possibly at different epochs. To determine this point, we must learn what the comparative study of races teaches us concerning the unity of the human species in the present and the past, from the lessons afforded by the actual remains of the races that have been produced by incessant minglings and changes during a succession of ages that defy all chronology.

We have shown that there are, properly speaking, no races within mankind such as we find among animals—that is, constant varieties, perpetuating their likes in a certain manner. There are only historical or philological elements of peoples to which we attribute, whether rightly or wrongly, a certain number of common physical characteristics. In any other sense the races of anthropology are simply products of our minds, suppositions of substantial affiliations of unmixed blood, working hypotheses. There are no persons corresponding with the types we assume.

These types themselves are not tangible realities, but groupings of characteristics which we suppose to have been continuing for an indefinite time through the events of history and prehistory which, without destroying the characteristics, have not ceased to scatter them and to arrange them anew in different combinations. As Lamarck has said, types are products of art; we pick them out as we can in existing populations. From particu-

vol. xxii.—30