Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/470

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it is sustained "by intelligence, and those with the best "brains win the victory. While it is doubtful whether Darwin's natural selection can, in the existing conditions of the globe, engender new species separated by physiological barriers, it is certainly very efficacious to the improvement of the types within the species, and it constitutes one of the most powerful factors of progress. In this way to mediocre types have succeeded more and more favored types, whether by the general conformity of these forms to the aim to be met, or by the development of the brain in conformity to the increasing wants of man, and to the various kinds of life which he has made for himself. Adaptation, that marvelous natural force that rules the organic world as universal attraction rules the inorganic world, has performed its part as to him as well as to all animals—to each in view of its peculiar kind of life. With man the peculiar kind of life is the intellectual life.

We may illustrate the relations of man, the anthropoids, and the monkeys by comparing the order of Primates to a tree. The lemurians are the roots, giving rise to one or several stocks. One of these is the stock of the monkeys, one of the limbs of which sends up a higher branch—that of the anthropoids. Another branch, of which the point of its origin or contact with the preceding branch escapes our search, gives the actual human branch, which rises parallel to the anthropoid branch, has no relation to it, and passes beyond it.

Has man reached his culmination? Is he at the end of his evolution, or is he a little short of it? Will he suffer the fate of the paleontological species, which, having reached the maximum height of their lives, halted and perished, or will he continue to advance? Will his senses acquire greater delicacy, his hand more readiness? Will his brain gain in volume, or in convolutions, or in the number or the quality of its cells?

We doubt, regarding the equilibrium of the head and the harmony of its parts, whether the brain will gain greatly in volume. Its anterior lobes may perhaps increase till the axis of gravity passes the middle of the base of the skull. Dolichocephaly will be replaced by a universal brachycephaly. The quality of the cells is sure to improve. On that side no limits can be discerned, and in that direction man may hope to reach the Buddhist's ideal.

When man shall have thus been exalted by his intellectual faculties, the lower types nearest to him will have disappeared, and those animals which are now most closely related to him will be no more, and the interval between him and the other types will have widened to an unfathomable gulf.

Man, with some show of reason at last, intoxicated with his power, and looking down from his giddy height, may come to