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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ANTHROPOLOGY A UNIVERSITY STUDY.
By JOHN S. FLAGG,

PROFESSOR OF BIOLOGY AND EMBRYOLOGY, AND LECTURER ON ANTHROPOLOGY AT THE COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS, BOSTON, MASS.

ANTHROPOLOGY, the science of man, has been in the past a term of comparatively narrow significance. Journals of anthropological societies all show a habit of thought along a few restricted lines. Under the old scholastic régime the departments of archæology and written history comprised nearly the sum total of anthropological study, all other studies appearing to be related, though but slightly, in a fixed cosmogony. Later, ethnology, as a truly scientific study, apart from history and comparative philology, has crept in as a growing realization of the interdependence of all knowledge arose.

The marvelous results of scientific investigation with which the workers of this century have blessed us, and above all the far-reaching generalizations which great but exact minds like Darwin's and Spencer's have given us, have so unified scientific thought that the student has been obliged to enlarge his use of the term anthropology to embrace the new and broader concept. He now realizes that every department of study is necessarily a department of anthropology, in that every branch of knowledge has some contribution to make toward the solution of that greatest of all problems to us. What is man—how did he originate, and how arose his characters and customs? As it was realized that man was a result of all precedent causes that had acted in his line, and as no activity, however remote, but had some effect on this line, either mediately or immediately, the concept became ever larger, until now the term anthropology really conveys the idea of a broad synthetic philosophy, built up from verified and ever-verifiable data alone—the great law of the evolution of all things and the harmonious mass of laws relating to detail, which shows the universe a logical series of causes and effects. While each separate department of science is busy adding new data to the mass of detail, correcting by careful and constant verification and a juster appreciation of values the false concept that some previous fact has given birth to, anthropology fits each new fact, so far as it bears on the problem of man, into its proper place in the whole; sees hitherto unknown relationships to facts discovered in other lines of research; traces further and further through the web of things the warp threads of unvarying law. As the master builder carries within his mind the concept of the finished building, to whose realization every workman contributes by adding each his stone, so a perfect anthropology can be real-