Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 60.djvu/461

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THE HUMAN SPECIES.

the standpoint of heredity, therefore, the White people constitute a derived race, combining Negro and Mongolic affinities. For the rest, however, they are the products of their peculiar surroundings.

Unlike the other two regions, the peninsular portion of the old world contains an almost infinite variety of environments. With its apex in the subtropics, this triangular territory stretches out towards the northwest across the warm temperate, temperate and cold temperate zones, and consequently offers a series of climate transitions without striking contrasts. Topographically also the Indo-Mediterranean-European region is diversified throughout with deforested and forested river valleys, indented sea-shores, deserts, plains and steppes, alps and mountains, woodlands and dales, heaths and downs—in fact, with pretty nearly all the varied features the surface of the earth affords. On account of this diversity of environmental conditions, it is difficult to characterize the Indo-Mediterranean-European region as a whole. Negatively, at least, it may be distinguished from the equatorial belt by its temperature, and from the Asiatic area by its topography. Considered positively, its oceanic climate and its peninsular structure constitute its most striking characteristics. It should furthermore be noticed that the region is subdivided into three interconnected sections: The Indian section, which proceeds by insensible steps out of the eastern-equatorial region; the European section, which opens out of the Asiatic area; and the Mediterranean section, lying between, which combines the characteristics of the other two sections, and still possesses certain peculiarities of its own.

With this lack of environmental uniformity goes a corresponding diversity of ethnic types. The influx of original races from either side, migrations to and fro through the length and breadth of the land, adaptation to special surroundings, and the mingling of the blood of different peoples, have all contributed to the existing complexity. Stock has been added to stock in this way, and ancestral lines have become so confused that the ethnic diversity among the inhabitants of the Indo-Mediterranean-European region is as great as its environmental variety. Thus though it is easy enough to distinguish the white man from his human fellows, it is difficult to describe a typical Caucasian. In fact, only one physical characteristic runs through the whole race, namely, the hair, which is predominantly wavy and always oval in cross section. Generally speaking the Caucasian's features are also more regular than those of other people and his eyes are usually set straight. For the rest, amid the existing diversity, the most that can be done in the way of classification is to establish three types of white men, corresponding roughly to the three sections into which their territory is divided. In the center, there is the olive-skinned, brunette, Mediterranean type, which was originally recruited from the