Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/504

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

By Professor WILLIAM RIDGEWAY, M.A., F.B.A., Lit.D., LL.D.

THIRTY years ago in this very city I heard for the first time a presidential address at the British Association, and I was singularly fortunate in entering on my novitiate. I had the privilege of hearing Professor Huxley deliver his presidential address to the embryo of that section over which I, a very unworthy successor, have this day the honor to preside. On that occasion Huxley dealt almost exclusively with the physical evolution of man, and the Neanderthal skull played an important part in his discourse. The anthropologists of that day and since have severely criticized, and rightly so, the old teleological doctrine that everything except man himself had been created for man's use, and they emphatically enunciated the doctrine that man himself has been evolved under the same laws as every other animal. Yet the anthropologists themselves have not always carried out in practise their own principles to their logical conclusions. Today I shall attempt to show that the chief errors which impede the scientific study of man, which lead to the maladministration of alien races, and which beget blunders of the gravest issue in our own social legislation, are due in the main to man's pride in shutting his eyes to the fact that he is controlled by the same laws as the rest of the animal kingdom.

I. Let us first consider some of the chief problems which at present are being debated by the physical anthropologists. Foremost in importance of these is the stratification of populations in Europe. It has generally been held as an article of faith that Europe was first peopled by a non-Aryan race. Of course it is impossible for us to say what were the physical characteristics of paleolithic man, but when we come to neolithic man the problem becomes less hopeless. It has been generally held that the first neolithic men in Europe, whether they were descended or not from their paleolithic predecessors, had long skulls, but were not Aryan; that later on a migration of short-skulled people from Asia passed along central Europe and into France, becoming what is commonly termed the Alpine, by some the Ligurian, by others the Celtic race; that later these two primitive non-Aryan races were overrun by the Aryans, who, when these theories were first started, were universally considered to have come from the Hindu Kush, but

  1. Address of the president of the Anthropological Section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Dublin, 1908.