Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/521

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ZOOLOGICAL LAWS

517

change his skin as to change radically his social and religions ideas. It has been shown by experience that Christianity can make but little headway amongst many peoples in Africa or Asia, where, on the other hand, Muhammadanism has made and is steadily making progress, acting distinctly for good, as in Africa, by putting down human sacrifice and replacing fetish worship by a lofty monotheism. This is probably due to the fact that Muhammadanism is a religion evolved amongst a Semitic people who live in latitudes bordering on the aboriginal races of Africa and Asia, and that it is far more akin in its social ideas to those of the Negro or Malay than are those of Christianity, more especially of that form of Christianity evolved during the last twelve centuries by the Teutonic peoples of upper Europe, who are of all races farthest in physical characteristics, in religious ideals and social institutions, from the dark races of Africa and Asia. This great gulf is due not merely to shallow prejudice against other people's notions; it is as deep-seated as is the physical antipathy felt by the Teuton for the Negro, which is itself due to the very different climatic conditions under which both races have been evolved. The Teuton does not freely blend with the black, and even when he does intermarry he treats his own half-bred progeny with contempt, or at most with toleration. On the other hand, some south Europeans—for example, the Portuguese—are said to have little objection to intermarrying with dark races and allowing the mixed progeny an equal social status, whilst the Arab through the ages has freely taken to wife the African, and has never hesitated to treat the hybrid offspring as equals. There is thus a wide breach between the physique and the social and religious ideas of the African and our own; but, as political and legal institutions are indissolubly bound up with social and religious, it follows inevitably that the political and legal institutions of a race cradled in northern Europe are exceedingly ill adapted for the children of the equator. Accordingly, in any wise administration of these regions it must be a primary object to study the native institutions, to modify and elevate them whenever it may be possible, but never to seek to eradicate and supplant them. Any attempt to do so will be but vain, for these institutions are as much part of the land as are its climate, its soil, its fauna and its flora. "Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret." Let us hope for a successful issue for the effort now being made by the Royal Anthropological Institute to establish an Imperial Bureau of Anthropology whose function will be not only to carry out systematically the scientific study of man, but also to aid the administrator and the legislator, the merchant and the missionary.

III. I now pass to my last and most important topic—natural laws in relation to our own social legislation. We have seen that environment is a powerful factor in the differentiation of the various races of