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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/459

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455
ZOOLOGY

The explanation of natural evolution given by Darwinism and the principles of Weismann, Mendel and De Vries, still fails to solve the mystery completely, and appeal has been made to other agencies, even to teleology and to "unknown" and "unknowable" causes as well as to circumstantial factors. A combination of Lamarckian and Darwinian factors has been proposed by Lloyd Morgan, Mark Baldwin and Professor Osborn, in the theory of organic selection. The theory of orthogenesis propounded by Naegeli and Eimer, now gaining much ground, holds that evolution takes place in direct lines of progressive modification, and is not the result of apparent chance. Of these and similar theories, all we can say is that if they are true, they are not so well-substantiated as the ones we have reviewed at greater length.

The task of experimental zoology is to work more extensively and deeply upon inheritance and variation, combining the methods and results of cellular biology, biometrics and experimental breeding. We may safely predict that great advances will be made during the next few years in analyzing the method of evolution; and that a few decades hence men will look back to the present time as a period of transition like the era of re-awakened interest and renewed investigation that followed the appearance of the "Origin of Species."

 

We must now state distinctly and fairly the present views of science regarding man's place in nature. Surely human evolution is a subject that falls within the scope of zoological investigation, unless indeed it can be shown that the human species is exempt from the control of those laws of nature that hold sway over the animate world elsewhere, unless something can be found which excludes man from the animal kingdom. Notwithstanding the most prolonged search not only by zoologists but as well by those who have been unfriendly to the doctrine of descent, the study of man and of men has revealed nothing essentially unique. What is known of the anatomy, development and fossil relations of man is summarized in the statement that he belongs to the genus and species Homo sapiens, placed with the apes and some other forms in the order primates because of agreement in certain peculiar details. The primates agree with the carnivora, rodents and many other orders in the characteristics of the class mammalia, which in turn is only a branch of the limb vertebrata or chordata, which also bears the avian, reptilian, amphibian and fish branches. And all the vertebrates including man agree with the varied groups of invertebrates in their cellular constitution and in the similar protoplasmic basis of life. As in these structural respects, so in physiological activities and in environmental relations the human species proves more surely with increased knowledge to be only one of the terms in the extensive series of animals. Indeed, the scientific monism of Haeckel and Clifford