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Title: Man And His Ancestor - A Study In Evolution
Author: Morris, Charles, 1833-1922
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcriber's note

Printer errors have been changed and are listed at the end. All other
inconsistencies are as in the original.






   New York




   _All rights reserved_

   COPYRIGHT, 1900,

   Norwood Press
   J. S. Cushing & Co.--Berwick & Smith
   Norwood Mass. U.S.A.


It would be difficult to find any intelligent person in this age of the
world who has not some theory or opinion in regard to the origin of man,
and perhaps almost as difficult to find any such person who can give a
good and sufficient reason for the faith that is in him. This is
especially the case with those who look upon man as a product of
evolution, a natural outgrowth from the world of lower life, since here
simple faith or ancient authority is not sufficient, as in the creation
hypothesis, but scientific evidence and logical argument are necessary.
It is to enable this class of readers to test the quality and
sufficiency of their belief that this book has been prepared.

The question of the evolutionary origin of man has been by no means
neglected by recent authors, yet it has been dealt with chiefly as a
side issue in works of a more extended purpose, and largely in technical
language, simple to the scientist, but difficult to the general reader.
The only work that makes this subject its leading theme, Darwin's
"Descent of Man," adds to it a still longer treatise on "Sexual
Selection," so that the subject of man's evolutionary origin cannot be
said to have been yet dealt with for itself alone. Darwin's work,
moreover, is now nearly thirty years old, and to this extent antiquated,
while at best it cannot be considered as well suited for general

These considerations have given rise to the present work, in which an
effort has been made to present the subject of man's origin in a popular
manner, to dwell on the various significant facts that have been
discovered since Darwin's time, and to offer certain lines of evidence
never before presented in this connection, and which seem to add much
strength to the general argument.

The subject is one of such widespread interest as to make it probable
that a plain and brief presentation of it will be acceptable, both to
enable those who are evolutionists in principle to learn on what grounds
their acceptance of this phase of evolution stands, and to aid those who
are at sea on the whole subject of man's origin to reach some fixed
conclusion. For these purposes this little book has been set afloat,
with the hope that it may carry some doubters to solid land and teach
some believers the fundamental elements of their faith.


   CHAPTER                                    PAGE

      I. EVOLUTION VERSUS CREATION               1

     II. VESTIGES OF MAN'S ANCESTRY              5

    III. RELICS OF ANCIENT MAN                  21

     IV. FROM QUADRUPED TO BIPED                39

      V. THE FREEDOM OF THE ARMS                54


    VII. THE ORIGIN OF LANGUAGE                100

   VIII. HOW THE CHASM WAS BRIDGED             111


      X. THE CONFLICT WITH NATURE              158

     XI. WARFARE AND CIVILIZATION              195

    XII. THE EVOLUTION OF MORALITY             206





In any consideration of the origin of man we are necessarily restricted
to two views: one, that he is the outcome of a development from the
lower animals; the other, that he came into existence through direct
creation. No third mode of origin can be conceived, and we may safely
confine ourselves to a review of these two claims. They are the
opposites of each other in every particular. The creation doctrine is as
old almost as thinking man; the evolutionary doctrine belongs in effect
to our own generation. The former is not open to evidence; the latter
depends solely upon evidence. The former is based on authority; the
latter on investigation. The doctrine of direct creation can merely be
asserted, it cannot be argued; the statement once made, there is nothing
more to be said; it is an _ipse dixit_ pure and simple. The doctrine of
evolution, on the contrary, founded as it must be on ascertained facts,
is fully open to argument, and depends for its acceptance on the
strength and validity of the evidence in its favor.

If the doctrine of the direct creation of man had been originally
presented in our own day, proof of the assertion would have been at once
demanded, and the only evidence admissible would have been that of
witnesses of the act of creation. There could, of course, have been no
human witnesses, as there would have been no preceding human beings, and
witnesses not human have, in the present day, no standing in our courts.
As the case stands, however, the doctrine arose in an age when man did
not trouble himself about evidence, but was content to accept his
opinions on authority; and this, strangely enough, is held by many to be
a strong point in its favor, it gaining, in their minds, authenticity
from antiquity. It is claimed, indeed, to be sustained by divine
authority, but this is a claim that has no warrant in the words of the
statement itself, and one to which no form of words could give warrant.
To establish it, direct and incontestable evidence from the creative
power itself would be necessary, and it need scarcely be said that no
such evidence exists. It is not easy, indeed, to conceive what form such
evidence could take. It would certainly need to be something far more
convincing than a statement in a book.

It might have been better for civilized mankind if the opening pages of
Genesis had never been written, since they have played a potent part in
checking the development of thought. As the case now stands, the
cosmological doctrines they contain can no longer claim even a shadow of
divine authority, since they have been distinctly traced back to a human
origin. It has been recently discovered that they are simply a
restatement of the Babylonian cosmology, as given in a literary
production ages older than the Bible, an epic poem of very remote date.
They are, doubtless, an outgrowth of the cosmological ideas of early
man, and those who accept them must do so on the basis of belief in
their probability; it is no longer permissible to claim for them the
warrant of divine origin.

Modern science stringently demands facts in support of any assertion,
the word "faith" having no place in its lexicon. Facts are absolutely
and necessarily wanting in support of the creation doctrine, and the
only argument its advocates can advance is one that deals in negatives,
and demands its acceptance on the ground that the opposite doctrine has
not been proved. Such an argument is valueless. Disproof of one
statement is never proof of another. Its effect is simply to leave both
unproved, and neither, therefore, in condition for acceptance. In the
present case the weight of disproof is small. The facts in support of
the evolution hypothesis are multitudinous, and many of them of great
cogency; the facts against it are few, and none of them absolute. It is
simply argued that some questions remain unsolved, and that there are
facts which seem inconsistent with the Darwinian theory of development,
and which no supplementary hypotheses have explained. But no advocates
of evolution hold that the Darwinian theory is final. Evolution is a
growing doctrine. It has been expanding ever since it was first
promulgated. Various seeming difficulties have been explained away, and
it is quite possible that all may disappear as investigation widens. No
such arguments add any weight to the opposite view, which has not and
never could have any standing in science, since it is impossible to
adduce any facts to sustain it. We shall therefore dismiss it from
further consideration, and proceed to state certain general facts in
favor of the evolutionary hypothesis of the origin of man.



When, some centuries ago, men began to find fossil remains of animals in
the rocks, a severe shock was given to the prevailing doctrine of the
recent creation of the earth. The adherents of the old theology made
strenuous efforts to explain away this unwelcome circumstance. The
shells found had been dropped by pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem;
they were mineral simulations of shells; they had been created by the
Deity and placed where found; they were anything but what they appeared
to be, the existing evidences of a long ancient period of animal life
reaching back very far beyond the assumed date of creation.

It need scarcely be said that these explanations, especially the one
that God had created fossil forms to deceive man, for some
incomprehensible purpose, could not long be maintained. Some of them
were inconsistent with the facts, others with common sense, and in due
time it was everywhere admitted that the earth is of remote duration and
has been inhabited by animals and plants for untold ages. Its structure
revealed its history; its annals were found to be written in the rocks;
its anatomy was full of the evidences of its origin.

When, not many years ago, men began to find the fossil remains of
ancient structures in the body of man himself, theology was brought face
to face with a problem as difficult to explain, from its special point
of view, as that of the fossils in the rocks. As the latter had
threatened and finally disproved the doctrine of the special creation of
the earth, so the former assailed the doctrine of the special creation
of man, and annihilated it in the minds of many eminent scientists. It
formed a prominent argument in favor of the theory of organic evolution,
and as such calls for consideration here, as a suitable groundwork for
our special theme.

The structures referred to may justly be called fossil, since they
present strong evidence of being the useless remains of structures which
played an active part in the bodies of some former animals. A
significant example of this exists in the vermiform appendix, a narrow,
blind tube descending from the cæcum of man, and detrimental instead of
useful, since it is the seat of the frequently fatal disease known as
appendicitis. This tube, usually from three to six inches long and of
the thickness of a goose quill, is occasionally absent in man,
occasionally of considerable size. It is quite large, as compared with
the other intestines, in the human embryo, but ceases to grow after a
certain stage of development. The cæcum is extremely long in some of the
lower vegetable-eating animals, and the vermiform appendix seems to be a
rudiment of the formerly extended portion of this organ. It is large in
the anthropoid apes, especially in the orang, in which it is very long
and spirally convoluted. Its survival in man as a useless and dangerous
aborted organ is a powerful argument in favor of his descent from the
lower animals.

In the brain of man and many of the lower vertebrates, hanging by two
peduncles, or strands of nerve fibre, from the thalami, or beds of the
optic nerve, is a small rounded or heart-shaped body of about the size
of a pea, known as the pineal gland. It is so destitute of any evident
function that Descartes, in lack of any more probable explanation of its
presence, ascribed to it the noble duty of serving as the seat of the
soul. Late research has been more successful in tracking this organ to
its lair. It is larger in the embryo than in the adult man, still larger
in some lower vertebrates, and in certain lizards has been found to
exist as an eye, its parts plainly distinguishable under the microscope.
It is placed in the middle of the forehead, between the other eyes, and
was no doubt an active organ of vision in some ancient batrachians.

The pineal eye, as it is now named, once useful, long useless, has
persisted as a fossil structure through a far extended line of
development. No more convincing evidence that man gained his body
through descent from the lower animals could be asked for than the
survival in the human brain of this wonderfully significant remnant of
a formerly useful organ. Like various other vestiges of ancient organs,
it is not only useless but detrimental. It occasionally enlarges and
becomes the seat of large and complicated tumors, which may cause death
by their compression of the brain.

Two other structures common to most of the vertebrate animals exist in
man, though they render him little or no service. These are the thymus
and thyroid glands, apparently vestigial structures. The thymus gland
attains a considerable development in the embryo and shrinks away to the
merest vestige in the adult. It begins to form early in the embryo life
as an epithelial ingrowth from the throat, and extends from the neck
into the chest. It continues to grow after birth, but later begins to
shrink and nearly disappears in the adult.

The thyroid gland has a somewhat similar origin, it beginning as an
ingrowth from the lower section of the pharynx and extending down to the
lower part of the neck. It subsequently loses its connection with the
pharynx, and in adult life is a bilobed structure on either side of the
windpipe. Like the thymus it is a ductless gland, abundantly supplied
with blood-vessels, and possesses a vast number of small cavities, lined
with cells and containing an insoluble jelly. So far as appears, both
these glands are useless, or nearly so, to man; or if the thyroid
performs any useful service it is a minor and obscure one. Such
functions as it may have could probably be performed by some of the
other organs, while it is positively detrimental as the seat of goitre.
This unsightly disease is due to its enlargement, either by a great
increase of its blood-vessels or a development of the capsules and
increase of their contained jelly. Dr. S. V. Clevenger considers these
organs to have had a branchial or respiratory origin, saying that there
are many reasons for believing them to be rudimentary gills. Owen says
that the thymus appears in vertebrates with the establishment of the
lung as the main or exclusive respiratory organ. It is wanting in all
fishes, also in the gill-bearing batrachians, siren and proteus. The
thyroid appears in fishes, and Gegenbaur believes that it may have been
a useful organ to the Tunicata in their former state of existence.

Dr. Clevenger, in the _American Naturalist_ for January, 1884, points
out another curious structure in man, whose significance does not seem
to have been previously observed. This is a strange and striking fact
relating to the formation of the veins. It is well known that these
organs possess valves, which permit the free upward flow of the blood
toward the heart, but resist its descent through the action of gravity,
in this way aiding its return from the extremities. The rule holds good
throughout the quadrupeds that the vertical veins possess valves, while
they are absent from the horizontal veins, in which they would be of no
utility. But the singular fact exists that in the human trunk the valves
occur in the horizontal and are absent from the vertical veins. In other
words, they exist where they are useless for their apparent purpose and
are absent where they would be useful.

The only conclusion that can reasonably be drawn from this strange fact
is that we are here dealing with a fossilized structure, a functionless
survival. It leads irresistibly to the inference that man has descended
from a quadruped ancestor, and that when his body took the upright
position the structure of the veins, not being seriously detrimental,
remained unchanged. Those which had been vertical became horizontal, and
retained their now useless valves; those which had been horizontal
became vertical, and remained destitute of valves. The veins of the arms
and legs, vertical in both forms, retained their valves.

Dr. Clevenger points out that the intercostal veins, which carry blood
almost horizontally backward to the azygos veins and which would run
vertically upward in quadrupeds, possess valves. These are not only
useless to man, but when he lies upon his back they are an actual
hindrance to the free flow of the blood. In like manner, the inferior
thyroid veins, whose blood flows into the innominate, are obstructed by
valves at the point of junction.

We quote from him as follows: "There are two pairs of valves in the
external jugular and one pair in the internal jugular, but in
recognition of their uselessness they do not prevent regurgitation of
blood nor liquids from passing upward. An apparent anomaly exists in the
absence of valves from parts where they are most needed, as in the venæ
cavæ, spinal, iliac, hæmorrhoidal, and portal. The azygos veins have
imperfect valves. Place men upon 'all fours' and the law governing the
presence and absence of valves is at once apparent, applicable, so far
as I have been able to ascertain, to all quadrupedal and quadrumanous
animals: _Dorsal veins are valved; cephalad, ventrad, and caudad veins
have no valves._"

Of the few exceptions to this rule, he considers the valves of the
jugular veins as in process of becoming obsolete, and the rudimentary
azygos valves as a recent development. Valves in the hæmorrhoidal veins
would be out of place in quadrupeds, but their absence in man is a
serious defect in his organization, since the resulting engorgement of
blood gives rise to the distressing disease known as piles. The presence
of valves would obviate this.

No one can argue that this useless and, to some extent, injurious
condition is a designed result of creation. There could not, indeed, be
stronger evidence that man has descended from a quadruped ancestor. Dr.
Clevenger points out other serious results of the upright position of
the body, from which quadrupeds are free. One of these is the liability
to inguinal hernia, or rupture, which leads to much suffering and
frequent death in man. Prolapsis uteri is another, and a third to which
he particularly alludes is difficulty in parturition.

It has been suggested above that the thyroid gland may possibly be of
some minor functional importance, and that the thymus is developed in
the embryo sufficiently to be functional. As regards the latter, no one
is likely to maintain that an act of direct creation would include the
production of an organ of some slight and obscure utility to the embryo
and useless in later life. The strong probability is that this gland
belongs in the same category with other embryonic survivals yet to be
pointed out. As regards the seeming function of the thyroid, it may be
said that the surviving relic of an ancient functional organ is quite
capable of varying in structure and taking upon itself a new function,
of minor value, which in its absence would be left undone or be
performed by some of the other organs.

A highly interesting example of this exists in the swim-bladder of the
fish, which there is good reason to believe is a survival of an ancient
structure used for quite a different purpose. It was originally
developed, in the opinion of the writer,[1] as an air-breathing organ,
in a very ancient semi-amphibious class of fishes, from which the
existing bony fishes have descended. When the latter resumed the
gill-breathing habit, this organ lost its original function, and its
subsequent history is a curious and significant one. In some modern
fishes it has quite disappeared. In others it exists as a minute and
useless remnant, no larger than a pea. In many it has been converted
into the swim-bladder, and in this form serves a useful purpose, but
varies very greatly in shape and size. Finally, in a few instances, it
retains some measure of its probably original function of air-breathing.
It is a fact of much significance, that those fishes without a
swim-bladder do not seem to be at any disadvantage from its absence, but
are able to make their way vertically through the water quite as well as
those which possess this organ. The presumption, therefore, is that it
is of little utility to the fish, and that its employment for this
purpose is a mere resultant of its survival and character. Such an organ
could never have been evolved as an aid in swimming, since its shrinkage
to a useless rudiment in some cases and its complete extinction in
others show that this function is in no sense a necessary one. It is
there and has lost its old use, and is, in some cases, adapted to
another purpose; that is all that can be said.

Man is the one hairless mammal,--or hairless except on a few parts of
his body. Yet the whole body is covered with a thin growth of hair,
useless for any purpose of protection, and only explainable as a
survival from the mammalian covering. The occasional considerable
development of the hair is an indication pointing to such an origin.
This applies not only to individuals, but to tribes or races, as in the
instances of the Ainos of Japan and some of the Pygmies of Africa. The
disappearance of the hair in man has been traced to no well established
cause. Darwin's view that it may have been a result of sexual selection
seems the most probable explanation. Certainly this is the case with the
beard, whose absence in women shows it to be of no utility, and whose
presence in man is in accord with the many structures in male animals
apparently due to this form of selection.

Darwin has pointed out and explained a very curious peculiarity of the
hair in man, which is absolutely inexplicable except on the theory of
descent. This is the fact that the hairs on man's arms are directed
toward the elbow from above and below, thus growing in opposite
directions on the upper and lower arms. The same peculiarity exists in
the larger anthropoid apes and in some of the gibbons, but is not found
in the lower mammals. In the apes it is believed to be due to the habit
of protecting the head from rain by covering it with the hands, the
hairs turning so that the rain can run downward freely in both
directions toward the bent elbow. This is so useless in man that it can
be explained only as a survival.

There are some other survivals in man of ancient structures to which a
passing allusion must suffice. In man's eye is a minute membrane, the
semilunar fold, which is absolutely useless in his economy. There is
every reason to believe that this is the rudiment of a membrane which is
fully developed in many animals, and is especially useful to birds, the
nictitating membrane, or third eyelid. Again, the muscles which move the
skin in many animals, especially in horses, have left inactive remnants
in many parts of the human body. These are normally active only in the
forehead, where they serve to lift the eyebrows, but they occasionally
become active elsewhere. Thus there are some persons who can move the
skin of the scalp. Darwin cites some who could throw heavy books from
the head in this manner. The same may be said of the rudimentary muscles
of the ear. There are persons who can move their ears in the same way as
is done by the lower animals. Again, the whole external ear may be
looked upon as a rudimentary structure, since it does not appear to aid
the hearing in man. As regards the pointed ear of man's probable
ancestor, Darwin calls attention to what seems a trace in man of the
lost tip.

Carrying this consideration farther, it may be asked, Of what use are
the five toes to man? Would not a solid foot have answered the purpose
of walking quite as well? But as survivals their presence is fully
accounted for, since they are indispensable to many of the lower
animals. Question may also be made of the utility of the large number of
bones in the wrist and heel of man. Equal flexibility of the joint could
certainly have been obtained with a smaller number of bones. It is only
when these are traced back to their probable origin in the walking
organs of the fish ancestor of the batrachians that their presence
becomes explainable. They are apparently survivals of a very ancient
structure, originated for swimming, and adapted to walking.

As regards the wrist of man, a curious prediction that a certain bone
found in some of the lower animals, the _os centrale_, would be found in
man has been made and verified, it being discovered as a very small
rudiment in the human embryo. The tail, so common a feature in the lower
animals, but absent from the higher apes and from man, has not vanished
without leaving its traces. In the human embryo it is plainly indicated;
and while it vanishes in man beyond the embryo stage, it is simply
hidden beneath the skin, where its vertebrae are still apparent, usually
three, sometimes four or five, in number. In addition to this, the
muscles which move the tail have left traces of their presence, which
not infrequently develop into true muscles.

In the human embryo, indeed, we find ourselves in the midst of highly
significant indications of man's origin. The body of man passes in its
early development through a series of stages, in each of which it
resembles the mature or the embryo state of certain animals lower in the
stage of existence. It begins its existence as a simple cell, analogous
in form to the amoeba, one of the lowest living creatures, and later
assumes the gastrula form supposed to have been that of the earliest
many-celled animals. From this state it progresses by successive stages,
each of which has some relation in form to a lower class.

The most significant of these is that in which the embryo is closely
assimilated to the fish, by the possession of gill slits. There are four
of these openings in the neck of the human foetus, and they are at times
so persistent that children have been born with them still open, so that
fluids taken in at the mouth could trickle out at the neck, the opening
being sufficient to admit a thin probe.[2] These slits are utilized in
the developing embryo, one of them being devoted to an important duty,
that of conversion into the external and middle ear. Thus the opening
for hearing is an adaptation of what was once an opening for breathing.
Occasionally an ear-like outgrowth appears on the neck, indicative of
the attempt of a second slit to develop into an ear. The purpose of the
gill slits is made more apparent by the presence in the embryo of gill
arches of the blood-vessels, like those normal to the fish. These
disappear in common with the slits.

The temporary appearance of these gill slits is the strongest evidence
that could well be demanded that the human embryo passes through the
various stages which the adult has assumed in its long development in
past time, and that one of these stages was the fish. And these form
only one of the evidences of man's origin to be found in the embryo.
Another which may be mentioned is the wool-like hair which covers the
foetus, and whose presence is incomprehensible except on the theory of
descent. Its most probable explanation is that it appears as a passing
survival of the first permanent coat of hair of the lower mammals.

In the milk teeth of man we have another useless and often annoying
survival of an ancient state of the dental organs. We cannot well
imagine that in any direct creation a set of temporary teeth would have
been provided as preliminary to a permanent set--an utterly useless
provision. But when we find that in a lower stage of animal life the old
teeth are periodically succeeded by new ones, we can understand how a
trace of this condition has persisted in the mammalia.

Other evidences of man's origin in the lower animals could be drawn from
the phenomena of atavism, or arrest of development in parts or organs of
the body. Atavism is usually confined within the line of human descent,
conditions appearing in many of us which belonged to some of our human
ancestors a few generations, occasionally many generations, in the past.
But conditions now and then appear which are abnormal to man, but which
are normal to some of the lower animals. This tendency is exhibited by
all organisms. In an occasional horse the long-lost stripes of the
zebra-like ancestor reappear. Now and then a blue pigeon, like the
ancestral form, crops up in a pure breed of domesticated birds. Even in
the details of anatomy some long-vanished character suddenly appears.

Many instances of this in man might be cited, embracing various features
of the muscular and other internal organs. The abnormality of club-foot
may be pointed to as a reversion to the shape of the foot in the
anthropoid apes. This, however, is a retention of a condition existing
in the foetus of man, the foot being drawn up and the sole turned inward
and upward. It is simply a passing testimony to the ancestral condition
of man.

Again, we have the fact that man possesses normally only twelve ribs,
one less than is found in the gorilla and the chimpanzee. This leads to
the possibility that man may have lost a rib in his development, and in
significant evidence of this is the fact that occasionally a thirteenth
rib appears in the human framework.

The functionless organs in men are, as above said, closely analogous to
the fossils in the rocks, in that both point back to a period in which
they were active, vital forms occupying a definite place in the long
line of animal life or animal structure. The argument that God directly
created the fossils is no more absurd than the one that He directly
created these useless and at times detrimental organs. It is impossible
to offer a reason for such a futile exercise of creative power, unless
that it was intended to make it falsely appear that man arose from the
world of life below him. Will any one in this age assert that God placed
useless and dangerous structures in the body of man for the incredible
purpose of deceiving him in regard to his origin? And will it be further
asserted that the Deity placed similar stumbling-blocks to the human
reason in the embryo, in order to deceive those who should extend their
researches to this low level? It would be difficult to conceive of a
more preposterous idea, yet there is no other escape from what seems a
self-evident fact, that man is a product of evolution from the lower
animals, and bears the marks of his ancestry thick upon him.


[Footnote 1: "On the Air Bladder of Fishes." Proceedings of the Academy
of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 1885.]

[Footnote 2: Sutton, "Evolution and Disease."]



If now, instead of seeking for evidences of man's ancestry within the
human body, in survivals of ancient anatomical structures, we seek for
them within the crust of the earth, we find ourselves confronted with
evidences of a great antiquity of the human race, partly in implements
of human manufacture, partly in ancient or fossilized bones of primitive
man. These indicate not only great remoteness of origin, but also a very
gradual advance from the lowest stage of inventive ability to the high
level now attained.

These relics of primitive man are divided by Dana into ten varieties,
(1) Buried human bones; (2) stone arrow and lance heads, hatchets,
pestles, etc.; (3) flint chips, left in the manufacture of implements;
(4) arrow heads and other implements made of bone and deer horn; (5)
bones, teeth, and shells bored or notched by human hands; (6) cut or
carved wood; (7) bone, horn, ivory, or stone graven with figures, or cut
into the shapes of animals; (8) marrow bones broken longitudinally to
obtain the marrow for food; (9) fragments of charcoal and other
indications of the use of fire; (10) fragments of pottery.

Relics of the kinds above cited have been found at intervals for many
years past, but their age and significance were doubted, and only within
some forty years has the great antiquity of man upon the earth been
generally acknowledged by scientists. The most important early find of
ancient implements was made by Boucher de Perthes in 1841 and
subsequently, in the high level gravels of the valley of the Somme, in
Picardy, France. In deep layers of these gravels, which were deposited
at a period when the river occupied a wider and higher channel than at
present, he found rude flint weapons and tools, bearing plain evidences
of human workmanship, and mingled with the teeth and bones of animals,
both of living and extinct species. Among the bones were those of the
mammoth and the hairy rhinoceros, species evidently contemporary with
man, though they have long since vanished from the earth. At a somewhat
earlier date, implements of men, mingled with bones of the cave-bear,
cave-lion, hyena, and other species, had been found in the caves of
France and Belgium. These were frequently buried beneath deposits of
stalagmite and other materials that must have taken a long time to

The significance of these discoveries was long in forcing itself upon
the attention of scientific men. Nearly twenty years passed before
Boucher de Perthes could get the noted geologists of France and England
to investigate the Somme gravels. When they did so they were quickly
convinced of the genuine antiquity of these relics, and announced it as
a fact beyond question that man had lived in the Somme valley and
fashioned rude implements out of flint during what was known as the
Quaternary or Drift Period of geology.

The discoveries here made set men actively at work investigating
elsewhere. Excavations were made in other high level gravels, caverns
were carefully and minutely examined, Kent's Cavern, England, was dug
out to its rock bottom, dozens of important finds resulted, and the
antiquity of man was proved to extend back from thousands to tens of
thousands, if not to hundreds of thousands, of years. And the
coexistence of man with the animals whose bones accompanied his relics
was proved by unquestionable evidence, for drawings and carved forms of
these animals were found, proving incontestably that man had gazed upon
their living forms. Thus the sketch of a mammoth, showing the long hair
which served to protect this animal from the cold, was found engraved
upon a piece of mammoth ivory, and one of a group of reindeer on a piece
of reindeer horn. There were also drawings of the cave-bear, the seal,
etc., and one very interesting group showing the aurochs, a number of
trees, and a man with a snake apparently biting his heel. The carvings
consisted of the horn handle of a dagger, cut into the shape of a
reindeer, and other forms.

That these relics belong to a far distant age is proved by the strongest
evidence. It must suffice here to give some of the more striking of
these proofs of antiquity. The flint hatchets found at St. Acheul,
France, were obtained from a gravel bed which lay below twelve feet of
sand and marl. On the surface was a layer of soil, in which were graves
of the Gallo-Roman period, showing that it had been there for at least
fifteen hundred years. The time needed for the slow accumulation of the
whole series of deposits must have been very considerable.

A much more decisive proof of antiquity is given by the position in
which this and similar gravel beds lie. They are found along the sides
of rivers at a height often of a hundred or two hundred feet above the
flood level of the streams. When they were deposited, the rivers must
have run at this elevation, so that time has since elapsed sufficient
for the streams to cut down their valleys to the present depths. The
streams may have formerly been of greater volume, and had superior
cutting powers, and they may have been aided by the ice of the Glacial
Age, yet, however we estimate, the conclusion is inevitable that the men
who dropped their implements into those gravels must have lived upon the
earth ages before the beginning of historical times.

The presence there of remains of animals which ages ago perished from
the earth is another circumstance indicative of high antiquity. These
embrace the mammoth,--the great hairy elephant of prehistoric times,--an
extinct hair-clad rhinoceros, the large and powerful cave-bear and
cave-lion, the great Irish elk, and still other animals of whose
existence we know only by their bones. Others, which existed in common
with men of later date, are the reindeer and the musk-ox, species of
which now inhabit the coldest regions of the north, and whose presence
in southern Europe at that era seems to indicate a much colder climate
than that of historic times.

The evidences of human antiquity here briefly presented are accompanied
by indications of a gradual development of the human intellect. If man
has "fallen from his high estate," he has left no traces of this high
estate on his downward path. We possess abundant indications of his
upward climb, we find none of a preceding descent. If we base our
opinions on known facts, the theory of development is the only one that
can be sustained; the doctrine of a fall is absolutely without warrant
outside the pages of Genesis.

The successive stages of man's mental development, as indicated in the
work of his hands, are well and clearly marked. At the lowest level we
find tools and weapons of the palæolithic or old stone age, made of
roughly chipped stone, rude in form, and never ground or polished. These
present some evidence of gradual improvement, but we must go to a
higher level to find implements of a decidedly higher order, the neatly
shaped and polished stone implements of the neolithic or new stone age.
With the coming of these appears a much greater diversity in tools and
weapons, and evidences of a growing skill in manufacture and a
considerably greater power of invention. Still higher lie the deposits
of the bronze age, in which metal replaces stone in human implements.
Finally appears the age of iron, that in which we still remain. We need
merely refer in passing to the lake-dwellings of Switzerland, with their
many interesting relics of man during the later stone, the bronze, and
the early iron eras; and the kitchen-middens, or refuse-heaps, of the
Danish islands and elsewhere, which extend from the old stone age far
down toward the historic period.

These are but a portion of the evidences of man's antiquity and his
gradual progress in the arts of manufacture. Others have been found in
many parts of the earth. Many of them exist in America, proving that man
resided on this continent at a very distant era. When we consider that
late discoveries in Babylonia appear to carry back the age of
civilization and historical relics to some ten thousand years, and that
semi-civilization must have extended very considerably beyond that time,
the vista of man's gradual progress seems to recede interminably and the
era of primitive man to stretch backward to an enormously remote
period. In truth, discoveries have been made which are claimed to carry
man back beyond the Quaternary and into the Tertiary Period of geology,
since cut and scratched bones have been found in Pliocene deposits,
which some geologists of experience believe to have been the work of
human hands. Still more remote are some seemingly chipped flints and
bones cut in a way that suggests human action, which have been found in
deposits of the very far-distant Miocene Age. The immense remoteness of
this epoch and the rudeness of the work have cast much doubt on the
human origin of these remains, though their authenticity as the work of
man has been accepted by several competent observers, among them the
able anthropologist, Quatrefages.

If we confine ourselves, however, to the conclusions regarding ancient
man which are generally accepted, we must say that he has not been
clearly traced back beyond the Glacial Period, though some of the relics
found in the older river gravels and in the lowest cave accumulations
may well be of pre-glacial age. Many geologists believe that he reached
Europe as early as the extinct mammals with which he was contemporaneous
there, but how far back in time this would carry his advent it is
impossible to say.

Coming now to the consideration of more immediate human relics, the
bones of man himself, it must be said that well-authenticated remains
of palæolithic or early neolithic man are not numerous. As long as man
left his bones to the unaided agencies of nature, they were little
likely to be preserved. Of the anthropoid apes of Europe, probably
numerous in individuals, a few remains of one or two species alone
survive. Of pre-glacial man none remain, but this may merely indicate
that he has shared the fate of numerous other species that died out and
left no trace. It was only when the growing cold drove man from the open
woods to seek shelter in caves that remnants of his body were likely to
be preserved, and only when a growing sense of human dignity led to the
art of sepulture that the preservation of his bones became assured.

The burial art was seemingly not practised by the hunters of the
river-drift period or by men of still earlier date. The only remains of
primitive man known are those found in caves and rock shelters. A number
of human skulls have been discovered in these situations, and in a few
instances skeletons have been exhumed. In the neolithic period interment
became more common and more carefully performed, and the progress of
this period is marked by many remains of man, which in later times were
buried in elaborately constructed stone sepulchres, sometimes massive in
materials and covered by great earth-mounds.

What is meant by the Glacial Age is probably well-known to most readers,
but its close relations to ancient man render it important for those
who are not familiar with its meaning that a passing description of it
should here be given. It will suffice to say that there are found over
much of the northern portions of America and Europe accumulations of
clays, sands, and gravels, sometimes laid down in stratified beds,
sometimes rudely piled together. In these occur blocks of stone, large
and small, and other blocks, occasionally of great size, are found in
isolated localities. The solid rocks which lie beneath these heaps are
often scratched or polished, as if the material had been pushed over
them with great force.

All geologists now believe that these accumulations were made by ice, at
some remote period when a very cold climate prevailed in the northern
hemisphere, and great glaciers slowly made their way southward, grinding
and rending as they went, and burying the land under their mountain-like
heaps, which sometimes were a mile or more in depth. In North America
the glacial ice pushed southward to the 40th degree of north latitude.
In Europe it extended to the Alpine region, but failed to reach the
countries bordering on the Mediterranean.

The elaborate and minute investigation of the glacial deposits has made
it highly probable that there were two glacial eras, two periods in
which the ice pushed down far to the south, and that these were
separated by a period in which the ice retreated and an age of warmer
weather intervened. This is known as the interglacial period. So far as
can be positively ascertained, all the authentic relics of man belong to
the Glacial Age. They seem first to become numerous in the interglacial
period, and continue to increase and become diversified as we descend
lower in time. How long ago it was that the sea of ice began its
downflow over the earth it is impossible to say. Some place it back six
hundred thousand or seven hundred thousand years. Some seek to bring it
down to a quite recent date. It is still so uncertain and such a matter
of controversy that the utmost we are able definitely to say is that it
was very long ago.

While there is no positive proof that men dwelt in Europe before the
coming on of the glacial chill, we have no just reason to doubt it. That
he lived there during glacial times is unquestionable, and we may be
very well assured that a naked tropical animal, destitute of the hairy
covering of the other animals, would not have chosen that frozen period
to migrate to the north. The fact that he was there during the ice age
seems satisfactory evidence that he was there before that age, during
the mild climate of late Tertiary times, and that--for a reason which we
shall hereafter consider--he was caught there and unable to retreat, and
was forced to adapt himself to the new conditions.

During the warm preceding period he probably wandered as a hunter
through the European forests. But with the gradual coming on of a wintry
chill, as the advance of the ice began, shelter of some kind became
necessary, and he sought refuge in caves. From being a forest wanderer
he became a troglodyte. Everywhere in southwestern Europe we find traces
of this period of man's existence. There is hardly a cave or rock
shelter in that region within which he has not left his marks. He made
his way to England, which was probably then connected by land with
Europe, and dwelt long in its caverns. His period of cave residence,
indeed, appears to have been a very extended one. While it continued,
deposits many feet in depth gradually accumulated on the floors of the
caverns, slowly filling them up. And that, in some cases at least, this
cave residence ended a very long time ago, we are assured, for since
then a great thickness of stalagmite, which is deposited with extreme
slowness, has spread over the lower cave deposits and sealed them in.

It is in these caves that we find, not only the rude stone spearheads,
scrapers, hammers, etc., the bone awls, borers, and other implements of
palæolithic man, but the bones of man himself. And it is significant of
his primitive condition that these earliest relics indicate a man of a
very low grade of development, mentally far above the ape, it is true,
but mentally and physically much below modern man.

The most ape-like of those human remains is the famous Neanderthal
skull, found in 1856 in a limestone cavern of the Neanderthal Valley,
between Düsseldorf and Elberfeld, in Rhenish Prussia. The relics
discovered consist of the brain cap, two femori, two humeri, and other
fragments. The fragment of the skull attracted wide attention by its
bestial aspect, it presenting a low, narrow and receding forehead, and
an enormous thickness of the bony ridges over the eyes, like that seen
in the gorilla. This skull, which was associated with remains of the
cave-bear, hyena, and rhinoceros, is, with one exception, the most
ape-like human relic yet found. Yet its cranial capacity is far above
that of the highest apes, and is assimilated with that of Hottentot and
Polynesian skulls.

It has been maintained that this is a pathological specimen, and does
not represent normal man. But this theory has been disproved by the fact
that other skulls of similar cranial characters are now known,
indicating that the Neanderthal cranium represents a type of man, not an
abnormal individual. In the Spy Cavern, in the province of Namur,
Belgium, there were found, in 1886, two nearly perfect skeletons of a
man and a woman, both of them with very prominent eye ridges, low,
retreating foreheads, and large orbits. This was strikingly the case
with the woman. The lower jaws in both were heavy, while the woman was
almost destitute of a chin--a marked ape-like characteristic. The tibia
was shorter than in any known race and stouter than in most. Its curious
feature was the articulation with the femur, which was such that to
maintain the equilibrium the head and body must have been thrown
forward, as is the case in the anthropoid apes.

In the cave of Naulette, near Dinant, Belgium, has been found the lower
jaw of a man of decidedly ape-like aspect. Its prognathism or protrusion
is extreme, and the canine teeth were very strong, while the molars were
evidently large and increased in size backward, a non-human
characteristic. At La Denise, in the upper Loire, France, have been
found the frontal bones of a man like the Neanderthal man in type, the
forehead being depressed and retreating, and the superciliary ridges
large and thick. Several other skulls of this general type are known,
but the above will suffice as examples.

Remains of palæolithic man of considerably higher type are not wanting.
In the rock shelter of Cro-Magnon, France, were found the bones of three
men, one woman, and one child, of more advanced character. These,
however, are of late date and may have been early neolithic. At Engis,
near Liège, Belgium, a deeply buried skull, associated with many remains
of extinct animals, has been dug up, which is by no means ape-like in
character. A still superior example of palæolithic man is the skeleton
found in a cavern at Mentone, east of Nice, France, which represents a
man six feet in height, with rather large head, high forehead, and very
large facial angle (85°). The cave contained bones of extinct animals,
but no trace of the reindeer.

There is no occasion to speak here of the many remains of neolithic man
that have been exhumed. Sparse in the early part of the age of polished
stone weapons, they gradually became numerous, and merged into the human
remains of late prehistoric times. The American continent is not without
its relics of ancient man, the most famous of which is the Calaveras
skull, found in 1886 in the auriferous gravels of Calaveras County,
California, at an extraordinary depth. The miners, in excavating a
shaft, passed through several layers of lava and gravel, forming a total
thickness of seventy-nine feet of lava and a considerable thickness of
gravel, making nearly one hundred and thirty feet in all. At this depth
a skull was found imbedded in the gravel, which, if authentic, must have
been overflowed by several successive thick outpours of lava in the
ancient volcanic era of that region. As its authenticity is, however,
still a matter of controversy, nothing further need here be said about

Leaving these evidences of human antiquity, we come to the most
remarkable and significant of all the known relics of man, if indeed it
is man, for it seems to many a link between man and the ape,--not yet
human, while no longer simian. This is the fossil find made by Dr.
Eugene Dubois in 1891 on the banks of the Bengawan River, Java, and
named by him _Pithecanthropus erectus_, he maintaining that it
represents a new genus of upright animals, or even a new family. The
remains found by him consisted of the upper part of a skull, a molar
tooth, and a femur, possibly not belonging to a single individual, as
they were somewhat separated. These were exhumed from a stratum of
volcanic tufa, claimed to be of Tertiary age, but perhaps Quaternary,
and lay at a depth of some forty feet beneath the surface.

The femur very closely resembles that of a human being of average size,
and its shape, articulating surface, and other characters show clearly
that the animal stood habitually erect. The principal significance lies
in the tooth and the cranium. The former is like that of the chimpanzee
in shape, but less rugose on its grinding surface. It seems to lie
between the ape and the human type of dentition. The cranium has a low,
depressed arch, with a very narrow frontal region and highly developed
superciliary ridges. The cranial capacity was apparently about one
thousand, that of man being from thirteen hundred to fourteen hundred.
It is therefore said to be "the lowest human cranium yet described, very
nearly as much below the Neanderthal as that is below the normal

Professor O. C. Marsh, in a paper on the subject in the _American
Journal of Science_, for February, 1895, agrees with Dr. Dubois in his
view of the distinct position of this form in the animal kingdom, and
says that the discoverer "has proved the existence of a new prehistoric
anthropoid form, not human, indeed, but in size, brain power, and erect
posture much nearer man than any animal hitherto discovered, living or

We have here given a short review of a long story. The evidences of
man's former existence upon the earth are multitudinous, but any
extended consideration of them is aside from our purpose, which is
merely to show that the proofs of man's descent found in his physical
structure are strengthened by evidences which he has left strewn behind
him in his long march down the ages. Only a single conclusion can be
drawn from these vestiges of man excavated from caves and gravels,
namely, that they indicate a gradual and steady progression upward from
a very low condition, while they nowhere give evidence of the
traditional fall of man.

This is certainly the case with the relics of human workmanship. They
begin with the rudest chipped stones, and very slowly improve in form
and finish and become more varied, as we move upward in our search. The
ground and polished stones follow, and the variety of implements
considerably increases, until at length the age of metal, with its
developed industries, is reached. The only seeming evidence of superior
intellect to be found in this gradual progress is that of the drawings
and carvings left us by one group of palæolithic men. But the actual
mental development indicated by these becomes problematical when we
consider that similar drawings are made to-day by the Bushmen of South
Africa, a race of men occupying a very low mental stage. From this fact
we may fairly conclude that the possession of a simple graphic art does
not necessarily indicate any considerable intellectual advance.

If we consider the remains of man himself, the few bones which mark his
early pathway through time, a similar conclusion must be drawn.
Beginning with Pithecanthropus, which science is yet in doubt whether to
class with the apes or with men, we pass upward to the bestial
Neanderthal man and his fellows of the same low type. Of the sparse
remains of palæolithic man that exist, the most are of this degraded
type. The cranial capacity is usually not small. They had the full brain
development of man. But this simply assimilates them with the low races
of existing savages, many of whom have not developed the simple art of
chipping stone to form weapons and yet have brains of normal human

In truth, the influences under which the development of the brain took
place were not what we now call intellectual. Developing man used his
mental powers actively in his dealings with the hostile forces of
surrounding nature, and nearly all the forces of evolution were brought
to bear upon the organ of the mind, the body remaining practically
unchanged. His senses became acute, his cunning and alertness high, his
use of weapons skilful, but his field of mental exercise was still the
outer world, and the inner world of thought remained in its embryo
state. The more recent development of the mind has been in its
intellectual powers, while its physical aptitudes have somewhat
declined. This has not yielded any marked increase in the dimensions of
the brain, but it may have had a decided effect upon the proportion of
its parts, the regions of the cerebrum devoted to intellectual activity
probably increasing at the expense of the motor and sensory regions,
while the convolutions may have grown considerably more complicated.



In the question which now confronts us, that of the evolution of man
from the lower world of animals, it is necessary first to state in what
particulars he has evolved, what are the conditions which distinguish
him from the lower animals. Four marked distinctions may be named: his
erect attitude, with the freeing of the fore limbs from use as agents in
locomotion; his employment of natural objects, instead of his bodily
organs, as tools and weapons; his development of vocal language; and his
great mental superiority, with the general use of the mind in his
dealings with nature.

In none of these particulars does man stand quite alone; in all of them
an affinity with the lower animals exists. Steps of progress in these
directions have been made by many animals, though none of them have
gained any considerable advance. In man's strikingly developed social
habit and organization he has no close counterpart among the
vertebrates, but several among the insects. And it is of much interest
to find that in the highest field of man's progress, his employment of
the mind in his dealings with nature, he is chiefly emulated by such
lowly-organized creatures as the ants and the bees.

We do not need to look far among the lower animals for the species which
come nearest to man in structure and which seem to have immediately
preceded him in the line of descent. We find these forms in the monkeys
or apes, and especially in their highest representatives, the anthropoid
apes. These possess in a partial degree all the special characteristics
of man. They are social in habit; some of them are semi-erect in
posture, and their fore limbs partly freed from use in locomotion; they
possess some imperfect means of vocal communication; they employ the
mind to some extent in place of the body; in short, they seem arrested
forms on the road from brute to man, signal-posts on the highway of
evolution. In physical organization their approach to man is singularly
close. In anatomy man and the higher apes are in most respects
counterparts of each other. The principal anatomical distinction has
been considered to be in the foot, which from the opposable character of
the great toe was classed by Cuvier with the hand, the apes being named
Quadrumana, or four-handed, and man Bimana, or two-handed. Fuller
research has shown that this distinction does not exist, the foot of the
ape being found to agree far more closely with the foot than with the
hand of man. Estimated according to use, the hand is, in the whole
order, the special prehensile organ; the foot, however prehensile it
may be, is predominantly a walking organ. And the opposability of the
great toe is approached in some men, who have great mobility in this
organ, and can use it for grasping.

In regard to the brain, the organ of the mind, the difference between
the higher apes and man is almost solely one of comparative size, the
lower intelligence of the apes being indicated by the smaller size of
their brains. The largest ape brain is scarcely half the size of the
smallest human brain. But anatomically they are nearly identical. All
the structural features of the brain are common to both, and the details
are largely filled out in the anthropoid apes, the convolutions being
all present and the pattern of arrangement the same. The brain of the
orang may be said to be like that of man in all respects except size and
the greater symmetry of its convolutions, which are less complicated
with minor convolutions than in man. In truth, the difference between
the brains of man and the orang is almost insignificant as compared with
the difference between those of the orang and the lowest apes. Mr. E. W.
Taylor, who has recently made an exhaustive study of the minute anatomy
of the brain of the chimpanzee, remarks, "The similarity between the
brain of the anthropoid apes and of man is one of the most singular and
interesting facts of which we have knowledge."

In any attempt, then, to consider the origin of man from the point of
view of evolution, we are irresistibly drawn to the ape tribe as the
next lower link in the long chain of development, and are led to
consider the characteristics of the apes as the intermediate stage
between the quadruped and the biped, the bridge crossing this great gulf
in organic development. This is by no means to suggest that some one of
the existing anthropoid apes is the direct ancestor of man. Such an idea
has never been entertained by scientists. These animals cannot even
fairly be considered as brothers to man's ancestor, but must be looked
upon as more or less distant cousins, with a physical organization less
favorable to high development than that of man. Man's ancestry lies much
farther back in time, and his progenitor must have been constituted
differently from any of the existing large apes.

In the ape tribe we are able to trace nearly every step by which the
gulf between quadruped and biped has been crossed, from the quadrupedal
baboon to the nearly erect gibbon. And in seeking to follow this
development through its successive stages, the first point to be
considered is how the apes gained their special power of grasping, that
characteristic to which they undoubtedly owe the partial freedom of
their hands and their tendency to assume the erect attitude.

The most distinguishing characteristic of the apes and of the nearly
related lemurs has not hitherto been definitely pointed out. This is
that they form the only group of strictly arboreal animals. The tree is
not alone their native habitat, but they are specially adapted to it in
their organs of motion, a fact which cannot be affirmed of any other
animal group. If we consider, for instance, the squirrels, one of the
best-known groups of tree-living animals, we find them to be members of
the great order of rodents, whose native habitat is the land surface.
Though the squirrels have taken to the trees, there has been no adaptive
change in the structure of their limbs and feet. The same may be said of
almost all tree-dwellers except the lemurs and apes. The sloth, indeed,
is specially adapted in organization to an arboreal residence, but this
change is individual, not tribal, this animal being an aberrant form of
the ground-dwelling edentata. In the apes and lemurs, on the contrary,
the ground-dwellers are the aberrant forms, stray wanderers from the
host. Nearly all the species live in trees, to which they are specially
adapted by the formation of their feet. It remains to inquire how this
deviation in structure arose, what were the steps of development of the
grasping foot and hand, the special characteristic of this group.

In considering this question, the first fact to appear is that the apes
and lemurs are plantigrade animals. Their natural tendency is to walk on
the sole of the foot, a habit which few other tribes of animals
possess. Most of the larger animals walk on the knuckles or the toes,
and develop claws or hoofs, but the ancestral form of the ape, ages in
the past, was doubtless a sole-walking quadruped, its toes apparently
provided with nails instead of claws. What the story of this very
ancient quadruped was we are quite unable to say. It may, in the
exigencies of existence, have come to a parting of the ways; a section
of the group, drawn by a love of fruit, developing the climbing habit;
the remaining section continuing on the ground and following a separate
line of evolution. Perhaps only a single species took to the trees; for
it is quite possible for a single form, in a new and advantageous
habitat, to vary in time into a great number of species.

Of all this we can know nothing: but of one thing we may feel assured,
which is that the plantigrade foot is the only one that could have
developed into a grasping organ; such a development being impossible to
the digitigrade or the hoofed animals. One can readily see how the habit
of walking on the sole might tend to a spreading of the toes, in order
to obtain a wider and firmer footing. And it is equally easy to see how
a free and wide motion in the great toe would aid in this result. The
animal may have been at first light in weight and able to support itself
on its unchanged foot, but as it increased in size and weight it would
need a firmer grasp, and the final result of spreading its toes for
this purpose may well have been the opposable great toe.

It must be borne in mind, in this consideration, that the apes differ
from the other tree-dwellers in being destitute of claws. The squirrels,
the opossums, and other arboreal animals have sharp claws, by whose aid
they can easily cling to the surface of the bark-covered boughs. The
nails of the apes are incapable of affording them this service, and it
is not easy to perceive how a foot like theirs could become adapted to
locomotion in the trees otherwise than by the gaining of mobile action
and grasping power in the toes.

The existing habits of the ape tribe lead us to the conclusion that the
ancestral animal may have soon begun to seek support from upper limbs.
The plantigrade foot is one capable of readily curving into an organ of
support, and in the case of the forefoot the toes would tend to spread
and gain flexibility of motion, and the first toe to become opposable to
the others and yield a more complete grasping power. It does not seem
difficult to comprehend, from this point of view, how the feet of a
five-toed plantigrade animal may in time have developed into grasping
organs, since there would be required only an increased flexibility of
the joints, and a wider and fuller movement of the great toes. That such
a change took place in this instance the facts appear to indicate, the
most simple and probable explanation of the development of the grasping
power in the hands and feet of the ape being seemingly that given above.

The relation of the lemurs to the apes is not clearly defined. It may be
an ancestral one, or the two animals may represent distinct lines of
descent. In the latter case we would have two lines of animal evolution
in which the grasping power was gained and adaptation to arboreal life
completed. Whatever their relationship, they both possess the opposable
thumb as the hall-mark of their arboreal habitat, and whenever found
walking on the ground they may be looked upon as estrays from their
native place of residence.

Once the grasping power was gained, the first step of change from the
quadrupedal to the semi-erect attitude was completed. The process may
have begun in the effort to fit the sole of the foot to the rounded
surface of boughs; or its first stage may have been in the seizing of
overhead branches with the flexible hand; or both influences may have
acted simultaneously. We see the result only, we cannot trace the exact
process; but we have as an outcome the adoption of a method of
locomotion different from that of all other tree-dwellers, the forefoot
developing into the hand with its opposable thumb, and the hindfoot
gaining a similar grasping power in the toes.

The power of walking on a lower limb and grasping an upper one once
attained, a succeeding step in evolution quickly appeared, and one of
prime importance to our inquiry. The animal had ceased to be in a full
sense a quadruped, while not yet a biped, and a variation in the length
of its limbs was almost sure to take place. This is an ordinary result
when animals cease to walk on all fours. In the leaping kangaroo and
jerboa a shortening of the arms and lengthening of the legs appear. Here
the arms are relieved from duty and a double duty is laid on the legs,
with the consequence stated. In the ancient dinosaurian reptiles,
upright walkers, the same was the case. Those varied from quite small to
very large animals, but in all known instances the fore limbs were
greatly reduced in size. A similar condition may be seen in the birds,
the bones of whose fore-limbs have largely aborted from lack of
employment as walking organs.

In the case of the apes and lemurs, while a similar effect has taken
place, an interesting difference appears, due to the difference in
conditions. In these animals the fore limbs are not freed from duty as
organs of locomotion. In many cases, on the contrary, they have an extra
duty put upon them, with the result that they have grown longer instead
of shorter. Very likely these animals differed considerably in the past,
as they do to-day, in the degree of use of their legs and arms. Many of
them walk in the quadruped manner, either on the ground or in trees.
Others make much use of their hands and arms in grasping and swinging.
Great differences in the use of the arms and legs may have arisen in
different species. In some, the legs may have been mainly trusted to for
support, and the hands used for steadying. In others the arms may have
been the chief locomotive organs and the feet have given steadiness.
Here the legs may have grown the longer, there the arms, the limbs
developing in accordance with their degree of employment. In the lower
monkeys and the lemurs, the bones of the pelvis are altogether
quadrupedal in character. This is not the case in the higher forms, and
in the highest apes the pelvic bones approach those of man.

Highly interesting examples of these varied results may be seen in the
existing anthropoid apes. In all of them it would appear that the arm
was a prominent factor in locomotion, for in each instance it is longer
than the leg,--but it differs in proportional length in every instance.
It is shortest in the chimpanzee, somewhat longer in the gorilla, still
longer in the orang, and remarkably long in the gibbon. In all these
instances the fact that the arms exceed the legs in length indicates
that they must have played a large and important part in the work of
locomotion, and especially so in the case of the gibbon. It is well
known, in fact, that the gibbons progress very largely by the aid of
their arms, swinging from limb to limb and from tree to tree with
extraordinary strength and facility. The legs lend their aid in this,
but the arms are the principal organs of motion, and seem to have
developed in length accordingly.

As regards the other anthropoid species, Wallace's observations on the
habits of the orang are of interest. This animal usually walks on all
fours on the branches in a semi-erect crouching attitude, but our
naturalist saw one moving by the use of its arms alone. In passing from
tree to tree the arms come actively into play. The animal seizes a
handful of the overlapping boughs of the two trees and swings easily
across the intervening space. While seeming to move very deliberately,
its actual speed was found to be about six miles an hour.

The organization of man, as he now exists, shows an interesting and
important deviation from that of the manlike apes, and one which serves
as strong evidence that none of these apes occupied a place in his line
of descent. This is that he is a long-legged and short-armed animal, a
condition the reverse of that seen in the anthropoid apes. While man's
hands reach barely to the middle of the thigh, those of the chimpanzee
reach below the knee, of the gorilla to the middle of the leg, of the
orang to the ankle, and of the gibbon to the ground. All these apes have
short legs and long arms. Man, on the contrary, has long legs and short

The natural presumption from this interesting fact is that man's
ancestor, which we may provisionally call the man-ape, differed
essentially in its mode of progression from the other apes. The smaller
forms of these usually move on all fours in the trees, though the arms
are always ready for a swing or a climb. The anthropoid apes also show a
tendency to a similar mode of progression, though with a difference in
their mode of walking, which, as we shall see later on, is never that of
the quadruped. As for the man-ape, it may have originally walked in the
same manner as the related species, if we surmise that the variation in
the length of the limbs was a subsequent development. Certainly after
its limbs attained the proportions of those of man, its facility of
swinging from tree to tree must have been diminished, while it would
have found it inconvenient to move in the crouching attitude of the
orang and its fellows. Its easiest attitude must then have been the
erect one, and its motion a true biped walk, not the swinging and
jumping movement of the other anthropoids. In short, the development of
man's ancestor into a short-armed animal, however and whenever it took
place, could not but have interfered seriously with its ease of motion
in the trees. Though this change may have begun in the trees, it
probably had its full development only after the animal made the ground
its habitual place of residence.

It is of interest to find that all the existing large apes are
arboreal, the gorilla being the least so, probably on account of its
weight. Though they all descend at times to the ground, their awkward
motion on the surface shows them to be out of their element, while they
move with ease and rapidity in the trees. The organization of man
renders it questionable if his primeval ancestor was arboreal to any
similar extent. The indications would seem to be that it made the ground
its habitual place of residence at an early period in its history, and
that the result of this new habit and of its erect attitude was a change
in the relative length of its limbs.

That this animal dwelt mainly in trees in the first stage of its
existence, and possessed a powerful grasping power in its hands, we have
corroborative evidence in recent studies of child life. The human
infant, in its earliest days of life, displays a remarkable grasping
power, being able to sustain its weight with its hands for a number of
seconds, or a minute or more, at an age when its other muscles are
flabby and powerless. It appears in this to repeat a habit normal to the
ancestral infant, an instinct developed to prevent a fall from its home
among the boughs.

Yet it is doubtful if the man-ape long remained a specially arboreal
animal. The varied length of arm in the anthropoid apes was doubtless of
early origin, and in all probability man's ancestor had originally a
shorter arm than its related species. If so, this must have rendered it
less agile in trees than other forms. If we could see this ancient
creature in its arboreal home, we should probably find it more inclined
to stand erect than the other apes, walking on a lower limb, and
steadying itself by grasping an upper limb. This would be a more natural
and easy mode of progression to a short-armed animal than the crouching
attitude of the orang or the swinging motion of the gibbon, and its
effect would be to make the erect attitude to a large extent habitual
with this animal.

In short, man's ancestor may have become in considerable measure a biped
while still largely a dweller in the trees, and to that degree set its
arms free for other duties than that of locomotion. Like the other apes,
it probably often descended to the ground, where its habit of walking
erect on the boughs rendered the biped walk an easy one, or where this
habit may have been originally acquired. While this is conjectural, it
is supported by facts of organization and existing habit, and for the
reasons given it seems highly probable that the ancestor of man took to
a land residence at an early period in its history, climbing again for
food or safety, but dwelling more and more habitually on the earth's
surface. Even at this remote era it may have become essentially human in
organization, its subsequent changes being mainly in brain development,
and only to a minor extent in physical form and structure.

Fossil apes have not been found farther back than the Miocene Age of
geology. It is quite probable, however, that they may yet be found in
Eocene strata, since examples of their highest representatives, the
anthropoid or manlike apes, have been found in Miocene rocks. The fact
that these large apes are now few in number of species, is no proof that
many forms of them may not have formerly existed, and among these we may
class the ancestor of man.



Man's ancestor is by no means the only form of ape that has made the
earth's surface its place of residence. The baboon is one example of a
number of forms that dwell habitually upon the ground, though they have
not lost their agility in climbing. But these species have returned to
the quadruped habit, to which the equal length of their limbs adapts
them. All the anthropoid apes dwell to some extent upon the ground, but
these can neither be called quadrupeds nor bipeds, their usual mode of
progression being an awkward compromise between the two. The same may be
said of one of the lemurs, the propithecus, the only member of its tribe
that attempts to move in the erect attitude. It does not walk, however,
but progresses by a series of jumps, its arms being held erect, as if
for balancing.

Of the apes, though many can stand upright, the gibbon is the only one
that attempts to walk in this position. This is a true walk, though not
a very graceful one. The animal maintains a fairly upright posture, but
walks with a waddling motion, its body rocking from side to side. Its
soles are placed flat on the ground, with the great toes spread
outward. Its arms either hang loosely by its side, are crossed over its
head, or are held aloft, swaying like balancing poles and ready to seize
any overhead support. Its walk is quickly changed to a different motion
if any occasion for haste arises. At once its long arms are dropped to
the ground, the knuckles closed, and it progresses by a swinging or
leaping motion, the body remaining nearly erect, but being swung between
the arms.

None of the other anthropoid apes ever walk erect, though they assume at
times the upright posture. But though they use all their limbs as
walking organs, they show no tendency to revert to the habit of the
quadrupeds. Their motion is like that of the gibbon when in haste, a
series of jumps or swings between the supporting arms. The shortness of
their arms, however, prevents them from standing erect, like the gibbon,
in doing this; and they bend forward to a degree depending on the length
of their arms, the chimpanzee the most, the orang the least.

As a rule, the flat sole of the foot is set on the ground, with the toes
extended, as in man, but the toes are sometimes doubled under in
walking. The orang rarely touches the ground with the sole or the closed
toes, but walks on the outer edge of the foot, the feet being bent
inward as if clasping the rounded sides of a bough. The other species
have a tendency in the same direction, the legs being bowed and the
gait rolling. In using the hands in walking, the closed knuckles are
usually placed on the ground, though occasionally the open palm is
employed. The whole movement of these animals is strikingly awkward, and
goes to indicate that there can be no satisfactory compromise between
life in the tree and on the ground.

The significant fact in these attempts to walk is that none of the
anthropoid apes show any inclination to revert to the quadruped habit.
Their attitude is in all cases an approach toward the erect one, which
posture is attained by the gibbon. The arms are used not as walking but
as swinging organs. Evidently their mode of life in the trees has
overcome all tendency toward the quadruped motion in these apes and
developed a tendency toward the biped. But none of them have gained the
muscular development of the leg known as the calf, nor an adjustment of
the joints to the erect attitude, since none but the gibbon walks erect,
and it does so only at occasional intervals.

The conclusion to be derived from all this is that the man-ape was in
its early days much more truly a biped than are any of the species
named. Like them, it had no tendency to revert to the quadruped habit.
The shortness of its arms was unsuited to this, while rendering it
impossible for the animal to progress in the semi-erect, swinging
fashion of the other anthropoid apes. As a result of its bodily
formation, it may have begun to walk erect at a very remote date, with
a consequent straightening of the joints and muscular development of the
legs. When this condition was fully attained, it was practically a man
in physical conformation, though mentally still an ape, and with a long
development of the brain to pass through before it could reach the human
level of mind.

The far-reaching conclusions here reached are all based on one important
fact, the shortness of man's arms as compared with the disproportionate
length of arm in the anthropoid apes. This, for the reasons given,
rendered the adaptation of the man-ape to life in the trees inferior to
that of the long-armed apes; while, as has just been said, it unfitted
it to walk on the ground either as a quadruped or in the jumping method
of its fellow anthropoids. In short, the biped attitude was much the
best suited to its organization and the one it was most likely to
assume. This once adopted as its habitual posture, efficiency in walking
would be gained by practice.

When once this animal became a ground walker, its facility of motion in
the trees was in a measure lost. When the feet became accustomed to the
flat surface of the ground, they became less capable of grasping the
rounded surface of the bough. Fitness to the one situation entailed loss
of fitness to the other. The feet of the apes can clasp the bough
firmly, by curving around its opposite sloping sides, and to this these
animals doubtless owe their bowed legs and their disposition to walk on
the outer edge of the foot. This disposition the man-ape lost as its
foot fitted itself to the surface of the ground. It was probably
retained in a measure by the young, after it had been lost by the mature
form, and is still manifested in the position of the foot in the human

These considerations bring us to an important question: Why did the
man-ape gain a length of arm not the best suited to its arboreal
habitat? Why, in fact, do changes in physical structure ever take place?
How does an animal succeed in passing from one mode of life to another,
when during the transition period it is imperfectly adapted to either,
and therefore at a seeming disadvantage in the struggle for existence?
The study of animal development has given rise to certain difficult
problems of this character, some of which have been solved by showing
that the supposed disadvantage did not arise, or that it was balanced by
some equal advantage. In this way a considerable gap in life conditions
has perhaps occasionally been crossed. Small gaps have doubtless been
frequently passed over in the same manner.

In the case of the anthropoid apes, we perceive a considerable variation
in the length of the arms, from the very long arms of the gibbon to the
comparatively short ones of the chimpanzee. These differences are
probably the result of some difference in their life habits, and accord
with the possibility of a still shorter arm in the man-ape. There is,
however, some reason to believe, as we shall show later on, that the arm
of this animal was longer and the leg shorter than in man himself, their
comparative length perhaps not differing greatly from that of the
chimpanzee. Aside from all other considerations, the use of the legs as
the sole organs of locomotion could not well fail to produce this
result, the legs growing longer and stronger in consequence of the
increased duty laid upon them, and the arms growing shorter and weaker
through their release from duty in locomotion. The case does not differ
in character from those of the dinosauria and the kangaroos, in both of
which instances a release of the arms from duty in walking was followed
by a considerable decrease in length and strength, while the legs grew
proportionally stronger.

If any disadvantage attended the shortening of the arms of the man-ape,
to the extent that this may have taken place in the tree, it was
probably correlated with some advantage. In the various instances of
short-armed animals cited this appears to have been the case, and it was
probably so in man's ancestral form. While the hands continued useful in
grasping and enabling the animal to maintain its place on the boughs,
they may have been gradually diverted to some other service, with the
result that the animal found the tree less desirable than before as a
place of residence and sought the ground instead. This would be
particularly the case if the new duty was one best exercised upon the

Shall we offer a suggestion as to this new use? Such changes are usually
the result of some change of habit in the animal, frequently one that
has to do with its food. Change of diet or of the mode of obtaining food
is the most potent influencing cause of change of habit in animals, and
the one that first calls for consideration.

The apes are frugivorous animals, though not exclusively so. Carnivorous
tendencies are displayed by many of them. They rob birds' nests of their
eggs and young, they capture and devour snakes and other small animals.
In zoölogical gardens monkeys are often observed to catch and eat mice.
It is evident that many of them might readily become carnivorous to a
large extent under suitable conditions. The large apes are usually
frugivorous, but some of them eat animal food. This is the case with
both the chimpanzee and the gorilla. The latter, while living usually on
fruit and often making havoc in the sugar-cane plantations and
rice-fields of the natives, also eats birds and their eggs, small
mammals and reptiles, and is said to devour large animals when found
dead, though it does not attempt to kill them for food. The young
gorilla which was kept in captivity at Berlin became quite omnivorous in
its diet.

With all this readiness to eat animal food, none of the existing apes
are carnivorous to any large extent, but the fact of this inclination
makes it not improbable that some of the apes of the past may have been
much more so. It is quite within the limits of probability, for
instance, that the man-ape at an early date became omnivorous in its
diet. Its change in structure may well have been the result of a decided
change in diet, such as that from fruit to flesh food. Such a radical
change as that from vegetable to animal food would certainly demand a
more active employment of the arms as agents in capture. Fruits and nuts
wait to be pulled; animals must be caught before they can be eaten. The
former is an easy matter to an arboreal animal; the latter might prove a
difficult one, especially if large animals were to be captured.

In short, the pursuit and capture of any of the larger animals for prey
could not fail to modify to a great degree the use of the arms. Their
employment in locomotion would interfere seriously with their utility in
this direction. To succeed in capturing nimble prey by an animal with
the ape form of hands a considerable freedom of the arms would be
necessary, and the feet would have to be mainly, if not wholly, depended
upon for motion. The ape has not the sharp claws of the carnivora with
which to seize and hold its prey. It must have been obliged to use its
palms for this purpose, and this it could not well have done unless they
were free in their action.

It is conceivable, indeed, that the man-ape may have run down its prey,
or sprung upon it from covert, and seized it with the hands, but there
is good reason to believe that this was not its mode of capture. The
organization of the ape tribe gives it a characteristic action which is
not to be found in any other group of the vast animal kingdom, that of
handling and throwing missiles. In this it necessarily stands alone,
since no other animal has a grasping palm. The power is one of prime
importance, for without it we cannot perceive how man could ever have
emerged from the general animal kingdom. The use of missiles is by no
means uncommon with the monkeys. We cannot safely accept the story that
American monkeys will throw cocoanuts from tree-tops at those who hurl
stones at them from below, from the fact that the cocoanut seems too
heavy and too firmly fixed to its support for the strength of those
small species, but it is not uncommon for them to throw lighter objects.
Yet in doing this they usually seem to have no idea of aim, but toss the
missile aimlessly into the air. Of the large apes, the orang will break
off branches and fling them at its tormentors, or will throw the thick
husks of the durian fruit, but with similar lack of aim. The most
skilful in this exercise are some species of baboons, which can hurl
branches, stones, or hard clods with much dexterity.

It is of interest to find existing apes availing themselves of their
grasping power in this manner, since it leads us irresistibly to the
conclusion that the man-ape may have done the same thing. The species
which use missiles fail to take aim for two reasons, one that they
employ them only occasionally, often in imitation of human action, the
other that their arms are ill suited to this motion from their constant
employment in another duty. In the case of the man-ape we may justly
look for a more effective result, since if the arms became relieved from
duty in locomotion they were free to gain facility of action in other

If in addition to this the man-ape began to use missiles with a definite
purpose in view, that of striking down animal prey, so that the use of
such weapons became habitual instead of occasional, it would soon gain
some power of aim and a growing strength and skill in the throwing
motion. It is quite probable, also, that an early use of weapons was in
the form of clubs, which were retained in the grasp to strike down the
prey when overtaken. In this case, we may imagine our primitive biped
running swiftly after its prey, club in hand, striking at it when within
reach; or, if it should prove too swift, hurling the club or a stone
through the air with the hope of bringing it down in this manner. Such a
flinging action, if now and then successful, would be likely soon to
become habitual; while the arm would grow accustomed to this new motion,
and attain skill in taking aim. We may reasonably infer, also, that the
club would be used for defence as well as for offence, in case the
man-ape were in its turn pursued by larger animals. Instead of fleeing
to the nearest tree, it might now stand its ground and beat off its

All must admit the probability, in a large tribe of animals with
grasping power in their hands, and in the habit of using missiles
occasionally, of one or more species coming to use them habitually. All
the anthropoid apes are certainly intelligent enough to do this, if it
should prove advantageous to them. Its principal advantage, however,
would seem to be to a species that became largely carnivorous and needed
to capture running or flying prey.

The habit of using implements is one of supreme importance in animal
evolution. To it we owe man as he exists to-day. While animals confined
themselves to their natural weapons of teeth and claws, their
development must have remained a very slow one and been confined within
narrow limits. When they once began to add to their natural powers those
of surrounding nature, by the use of artificial weapons, the first step
in a new and illimitable range of evolution was taken. From that day to
this, man has been occupied in unfolding this method, and has advanced
enormously beyond his primal state. A crude and simple use of weapons
gave him, in time, supremacy over all the lower animals. An advanced use
of weapons and tools has given him, in a measure, supremacy over nature
herself, and raised him to a stage almost infinitely beyond that of the
animal which trusts solely to teeth and claws.

So far as we know, only one of the innumerable species of animals
attained this development; unless, indeed, the various races of men had
more than one ape ancestor. For the appearance of man there became
necessary, first, the development of an order of animals with power of
grasp in their hands; and, second, the development of one or more biped
species, with hands freed from duty as walking organs and capable of use
in other directions. A third necessity was very probably the exchange of
the frugivorous for the carnivorous habit, which would act as a
predisposing agency in inducing the animal to desert the tree for the
ground, and to employ weapons in the chase. The final result of all this
would be an erect, walking, and running animal, with arms and hands
quite free from their old duty, except during an occasional return to
the tree, and with the necessary straightening of joints and development
of supporting muscles.

What has been advanced above is, no doubt, largely a series of
assumptions and conjectures, few of which are sustained by known facts.
But as the matter stands, no other method of dealing with it can be
adopted, since the facts in the case have in great part vanished. What
we know positively is that man exists, and that in physical structure
he is very closely related to the anthropoid apes. What we have
excellent reason to feel assured of is that man has descended from the
lower animals, and in all probability from an ape-like ancestor. We know
that one or more species of anthropoid apes have become extinct, and can
reasonably conjecture that one ancient species became modified into the
form of man. We know that human remains have been found that, to some
small extent, fill the gap between man and the ape. Correlative evidence
exists in the variations in length of limb in the existing anthropoids,
their efforts to walk upright, their varied degree of dependence upon
the arms for locomotion, and the occasional use of missiles by these and
lower forms. To these may be added the carnivorous tastes shown by many
members of the ape family, with the indication that more decided
carnivorous habits might readily be assumed.

Taking the stand that such a partly carnivorous anthropoid ape, biped in
structure, appeared and made the ground its usual place of residence, we
find ourselves on the direct trail of man. Long ago as this may have
been, and far and difficult as was the journey to be made, the way was
thenceforth straight and well-defined. Such an animal, living largely on
animal food, and using weapons superior to its natural ones in the
capture of prey, was essentially a man, however low may still have been
its level of intelligence. Its feet were firmly fixed upon the upward
track, and only time and stress of circumstance were needed to carry it
upward to the high level of civilized man.

We may, indeed, go further than this. We are in a measure justified in
saying what this man-ape was like, this creature which had left its
early home in the trees and began to walk upright upon the earth,
pursuing the larger animals and capturing them for food. It was probably
much smaller than existing man, little if any more than four feet in
height and not more than half the weight of man. Its body was covered,
though not profusely, with hair, the hair of the head being woolly or
frizzly in texture, and the face provided with a beard. The complexion
was not jet black, like the typical negro, but of a dull brown hue, the
hair being somewhat similar in color. The arms were lank and rather
long, the back much curved, the chest flat and narrow, the abdomen
protruding, the legs rather short and bowed, the walk a waddling motion,
somewhat like that of the gibbon. It had small, deep-set eyes, greatly
protruding mouth with gaping lips, huge ears, and in general a very
ape-like aspect. Our warrant for this description of man's ancestor must
be left for a later portion of our work. We shall only say here that it
is based on known fact, not on fancy.



The full adoption of the erect attitude gave the ancestor of man an
immense motor supremacy over the lower animals, for it completely
released his fore limbs from duty as organs of support and set them free
for new and superior purposes. In all the animal kingdom below man there
exists but a single form that emulates him in this possession of a
grasping organ which takes no part in walking or in other modes of
locomotion. This is the elephant, whose nose and upper lip have
developed into an enormous and highly flexible trunk, with delicate
grasping powers. The possession of this organ may have had much to do
with the intellectual acumen of the elephant. Yet it is far inferior in
its powers to the arm and hand of man; while the form, size, and food of
the elephant stand in the way of the progress which might have been made
by an animal possessed of such an organ in connection with a better
suited bodily structure.

For a period of many millions of years the world of vertebrate life
continued quadrupedal, or where a variation from this structure took
place the fore limbs remained to a large extent organs of locomotion.
Finally a true biped appeared. For a period of equal duration the mental
progress of animals was exceedingly slow. Then, with almost startling
suddenness, a highly intellectual animal appeared. Thus the coming of
man indicated, in two directions, an extraordinary deviation from the
ordinary course of animal development. Both physically and mentally
evolution seemed to take an enormous leap, instead of proceeding by its
usual minute steps, and in the advent of man we have a phenomenon
remarkable alike in the development of the body and the mind.

So far our attention has been directed to the evolution of the human
body, now we must consider that of the human mind. In seeking through
the animal kingdom for the probable ancestor of man in his bodily
aspect, we were drawn irresistibly to the ape tribe, as the only one
that made any near approach to him in structure. In considering the case
from the point of view of mental development we find a similar
irresistible drawing toward the apes, as the most spontaneously
intelligent of the mammalia. While many of the lower animals are capable
of being taught, the ape stands nearly alone in the power of thinking
for itself, the characteristic of self-education.

Innumerable testimonials could be quoted from observers in evidence of
the superior mental powers of the apes. Hartmann says of them that
"their intelligence sets them high above other mammals," and Romanes
that they "certainly surpass all other animals in the scope of their
rational faculty." It is scarcely necessary here to give extended
examples of ape intelligence. Hundreds of instances are on record, many
of them showing remarkable powers of reasoning for one of the lower
animals. The ape, it is true, is not alone in its teachableness. Nearly
all the domestic animals can be taught, the dog and the elephant to a
considerable degree. And evidences of reasoning out some subject for
themselves now and then appear in the domesticated species; but these
are rare instances, not frequent acts as in the case of the apes.

The apes, indeed, rarely need teaching. They observe and imitate to an
extent far beyond that displayed by any others of the lower animals, and
the more remarkable from the fact that in nearly every instance the
animals concerned began life in the wild state, and had none of the
advantages of hereditary influence possessed by the domesticated dog and
horse. Among the most interesting examples of spontaneous acts of
intelligence of the ape tribe are those related by Romanes, in his
"Animal Intelligence," of the doings of a cebus monkey, which he kept
for several months under close observation in his own house. Instead of
selecting general examples of ape actions, we may cite some of the
doings of this intelligent creature.

The cebus did not wait to be shown how to do things, but was an adept in
devising ways to do them himself. He had the monkey love of mischief
well developed, and not much that was breakable came whole from his
hands. When he could not break an egg cup by dashing it to the ground,
he hammered it on the post of a brass bedstead until it was in
fragments. In breaking a stick, he would pass it down between a heavy
object and the wall, and break it by hanging on its end. In destroying
an article of dress, he would begin by carefully pulling out the
threads, and afterward tear it to pieces with his teeth. His nuts he
broke with a hammer precisely as a man would have done and without being
shown its use. Ridicule was not pleasant to him; he strongly resented
being laughed at, and would throw anything within reach at his tormentor
and with a skill and force not usual with monkeys. Taking the missile in
both hands and standing erect, he would extend his long arms behind his
back and hurl the article by bringing them forcibly forward.

If any object he wanted was too far away to reach, he would draw it
toward him with a stick. Failing in this, he was observed to throw a
shawl back over his head, and then fling it forward with all his
strength, holding it by two corners. When it fell over the object, he
brought this within reach by drawing in the shawl. In his gyrations,
the chain by which he was fastened often became twisted around some
object. He would now examine it intently, pulling it in opposite ways
with his fingers until he had discovered how the turns ran. This done,
he would carefully reverse his motions until the chain was quite

The most striking act of intelligence told of this creature was his
dealings with a hearth-brush which fell into his hands, and of which the
handle screwed into the brush. It took him no long time to find out how
to unscrew the handle. When this was achieved, he at once began to try
and screw it in again. In doing so he showed great ingenuity. At first
he put the wrong end of the handle into the hole, and turned it round
and round in the right direction for screwing. Finding this would not
work, he took it out and tried the other end, always turning in the
right direction. It was a difficult feat to perform, as he had to turn
the screw with both hands, while the flexible bristles of the brush
prevented it from remaining steady. To aid his operations he now held
the brush with one foot, while turning with both hands. It was still
difficult to make the first turn of the screw, but he worked on with
untiring perseverance until he got the thread to catch, and then screwed
it in to the end. The remarkable thing was that he never tried to turn
the handle in the wrong direction, but always screwed it from left to
right, as if he knew that he must reverse the original motion. The feat
accomplished, he repeated it, and continued to do so until he could
perform it easily. Then he threw the brush aside, apparently taking no
more interest in that over which he had worked so persistently. No man
could have devoted himself more earnestly to learn some new art, and
become more indifferent to it when once learned. These are a few only of
the many acts of intelligence observed by Mr. Romanes in the doings of
this animal. They will suffice as examples of what we mean by
spontaneous intelligence. The cebus did not need to be shown how to do
things; it worked them out for itself much as a man would have done,
performing acts of an intricacy far beyond any ever observed in other
classes of animals in captivity. It may be said further that the
displays of spontaneous intelligence shown by dogs, cats, and similar
animals have usually been intended in some way for the advantage of the
animal; few or none are on record which indicate a mere desire to know
without ulterior advantage; no persevering effort, like that with the
brush, which is purely an instance of self-instruction.

Examples of intelligence of this advanced character could be cited from
observation of monkeys of various species. The anthropoid apes have not
been brought to any large extent under observation, but are notable for
their intelligence in captivity. It is not easy to observe them in a
state of nature, and nearly all we know is that the orang makes itself
a nightly bed of branches broken off and carefully laid together, and is
said to cover itself in bed with large leaves, if the weather is wet.
The chimpanzee has a similar habit, and the gorilla is said to build
itself a nest in which the female and the young sleep, the old male
resting at the foot of the tree, on guard against their dangerous foe,
the leopard.

It is the young animals of these species which are the most social and
docile and most approach man in appearance. As they grow older, their
specific characters become more marked. Fierce and sullen as is the old
gorilla, the young of this species is playful and affectionate in
captivity and is given to mischievous tricks. The one that was kept for
a time in Berlin showed much good-nature, playfulness, and intelligence,
and some degree of monkey mischievousness. It was very cunning in
carrying out its plans, particularly in stealing sugar, of which it was
very fond.

The chief examples of anthropoid intelligence are told of the
chimpanzee, which has been most frequently kept in captivity. It is
usually lively and good-tempered and is very teachable. Some of the
stories of its intelligence may be apocryphal, as those told by Captain
Grandpré of a chimpanzee which performed all the duties of a sailor on
board ship, and of one that would heat the oven for a baker and inform
him when it was of the right temperature. But there are authenticated
stories of chimpanzee intelligence which give it a high standing in
this respect among the lower animals.

The emotional nature of the ape is also highly developed. It displays an
affection equal to that of the dog, and a sympathy surpassing that of
any other animal below man. The feeling displayed by monkeys for others
of their kind in pain is of the most affecting nature, and Brehm relates
that in the monkeys of certain species kept under confinement by him in
Africa, the grief of the females for the loss of their young was so
intense as to cause their death. More than once an ardent hunter has
seen such examples of tender solicitude among monkeys for the wounded
and of grief for the dead as to resolve never to fire at one of the race

James Forbes, in his "Oriental Memoirs," relates a striking instance of
this kind. One of a shooting party had killed a female monkey in a
banian tree, and carried it to his tent. Forty or fifty of the tribe
soon gathered around the tent, chattering furiously and threatening an
attack, from which they were only diverted by the display of the
fowling-piece, whose effects they seemed perfectly to understand. But
while the others retreated, the leader of the troop stood his ground,
continuing his threatening chatter. Finding this of no avail, he came to
the door of the tent, moaning sadly, and by his gestures seeming to beg
for the dead body. When it was given, he took it sorrowfully up in his
arms and carried it away to the waiting troop. That hunter never shot a
monkey again.

This deep feeling for the dead is probably not common among monkeys. The
gibbon, for instance, is said to take no notice of the dead. It is,
however, highly sympathetic to injured and sick companions, and this
feeling seems common to all the apes. No human being could show more
tender care of wounded or helpless companions than has often been seen
in members of this affectionate tribe of animals.

Without giving further examples of the intelligence and sympathy of the
apes, we may say that they possess in a marked degree the mental powers
to which man owes so much, viz. observation and imitation. The ape is
the most curious of the lower animals--that is, it possesses the faculty
of observation in an unusual degree. What we call curiosity in the ape
is the basic form of the characteristic which we call attention or
observation in man. Its seeming great activity in the ape is what might
naturally be expected in an observant animal when removed from its
natural habitat to a location where all around it is new and strange.
Man under like circumstances is as curious as the ape, while the latter
in its native trees probably finds little to excite its special
attention. In both man and the ape it needs novelty to excite curiosity.

Again, the ape is imitative in a high degree. This faculty also it does
not share with the lower animals, but does with man, imitation being
one of the methods by which he has attained his supremacy. Observation,
imitation, education, are the three levers in the development of the
human intellect. The first two of these the ape possesses in a marked
degree. It is susceptible also to the last, being very teachable.
Education certainly exists to some extent among the apes in their
natural habitat, perhaps to as great an extent as it did in primitive
man. In the latter case it is doubtful if there was much that could be
called designed education, the young gaining their degree of knowledge by
observing and imitating their elders. The same is certainly the case
among the apes.

We may reasonably ask what there is in the life and character of the
apes to give them this mental superiority over the remaining lower
animals. It is certainly not due to the arboreal life and powers of
grasp of these animals, for in those respects they resemble the lemurs,
which are greatly lacking in intelligence. Whether the monkeys emerged
from the lemurs or the two groups developed side by side is a question
as yet unsettled; at all events they are closely similar in conditions
of existence. Yet while the monkeys are the most intelligent and
teachable of animals, the lemurs are among the least intelligent of the
mammalia. There is here a marked distinction which is evidently not due
to difference of structure or habitat, and must have its origin in some
other characteristic, such as difference in life habits.

There is certainly nothing in the diet of the ape to develop
intelligence. The frugivorous and herbivorous animals do not need
cunning and shrewdness to anything like the extent necessary in
carnivorous animals. They do not need to pursue or lie in wait for prey;
and they escape from their enemies mainly through strength, speed,
concealment, or other physical powers or methods. Escape may
occasionally develop mental alertness, but does not usually do so.
Certainly if the alert, watchful, suspicious habits of the apes are due
to the requisite of avoiding dangerous enemies, we might naturally look
for similar habits in the lemurs, which are similarly situated. And if
we consider the wide distribution of the apes throughout the tropics of
both hemispheres, and their great diversity in species and condition, it
seems very unlikely that in all these localities their relations with
other animals would be such as to develop the mental alertness which
they so generally display. The fact appears to be that, while this may
be a cause, it is not a leading cause, of mental development in animals,
and that we must seek elsewhere for the origin of animal intelligence.

Research, indeed, leads us to examples of intelligence where we should
least expect to find it. Among the mammalia we perceive one marked
example in the beavers, the only one in the great class of the rodents,
with their nine hundred or more of species. But we must go still lower,
to the insects, for the most striking examples, finding them alone in
the ants, the bees, and the termites, among the vast multitude of insect
forms. Less marked instances appear in the elephants, in some of the
birds, and in certain other gregarious animals.

From these examples, and what is elsewhere known of animal intelligence,
one broad conclusion may be drawn, that all the strikingly intelligent
animals are strongly social in their habits, and that no decided display
of intelligence is to be found among solitary species. This conclusion
becomes almost a demonstration in the case of the ants and bees. The
ants, for instance, comprise hundreds of species, spread over most of
the world, mainly social, but occasionally solitary. The social species,
while varying greatly in habit, all display powers of intelligence, and
these so diversified as to indicate many separate lines of evolution.
The solitary ants, on the contrary, manifest no special intelligence,
and do not rise above the general insect level. The same may be said of
the bees. The hive bee, the most communal in habit, shows the highest
traits of intelligent activity. The bees which form smaller groups and
the social wasps stand at a lower level, and the solitary bees and wasps
sink to the ordinary insect plane. We arrive at like conclusions from
observation of the social termites, or white ants, some species of
which are remarkable for their intelligent coöperation and division of

Examples similar in kind may be drawn from the vertebrates. Among the
birds there are none more quick-witted than the social crows, none with
less display of intelligence than the solitary carnivorous species.
Birds are rather gregarious than social. There are few species whose
association is above that of mere aggregation in flight. Those more
distinctively social usually have special habits which indicate
intelligence--as in the often cited instances of their seemingly trying
and executing delinquents. Among the carnivorous mammals the social dog
or wolf tribe displays the intelligent habit of mutual aid. The horses,
oxen, deer, and other gregarious hoofed animals have a degree of
division of duties, but their intelligence is of a lower grade than that
of the dogs and the elephants. On the whole, it may be affirmed that the
social habit is frequently accompanied by instances of special
intelligence to which we find no counterpart among the solitary forms,
and that the highest manifestations of intelligence in the lower animals
are found in those forms which possess communal habits, as the ants,
bees, termites, and beavers.

One important characteristic of the communal animals is that they become
mentally specialized. They round up their powers, build barriers of
habit over which they cannot pass, perform the same acts with such
interminable iteration that what began as intellect sinks back into
instinct. Each individual has fixed duties and is confined within a
limited circle of acts, whose scope it cannot pass, or only to the
minutest extent.

The non-communal social animals, on the contrary, are not thus
restricted. Their intelligence is of a generalized character, and is
capable of developing in new channels. None are tied down to special
duties, each possesses the full powers of all, and they are thus more
open to a continued growth of the intellect than the communal forms. To
this class belongs the ape. Its intelligence is general, not special;
broadly capable of development, not narrowed and bound in by the
limitation of certain fixed and special duties.

The suggestions above offered point to three grades of community among
animals, which may be designated the communal, the social, and the
solitary. Among these there are, of course, many stages of transition
from one to the other. The specially communal, including the ants, bees,
termites, and beavers, are those in which there is almost a total loss
of individuality, each member working for the good of the community as a
unit, not for its personal advantage. The result consists in organized
industries, division and specialization of duties, a common home, food
stock, etc. At a lower level in animal life, that of the hydroid polyps,
communism has become so complete that the community has grown into an
actual individual, the members not being free, but acting as organs of
an aggregate mass, in which each performs some special duty for the good
of the community.

The social animals differ from the communal in that the individuality of
the members is fully preserved. There is some measure of work for the
group, some degree of mutual aid, some evidence of leadership and
subordination, but these are confined to a few exigencies of life, while
in most of the details of existence each member of the group acts for
itself. The solitary animals are those which do not form groups larger
than that of the family, and into whose life the principle of mutual
aid, outside the immediate family relations, does not enter. Each acts
for itself alone, and intercourse between the individuals of the species
is greatly restricted.

The advantages of social habits among animals are evident. There is
excellent reason to believe that all animals, and especially such
advanced forms as the vertebrates and the higher arthropods, have some
power of mental development, some facility in devising new methods of
action to meet new situations. Though their reasoning power may be
small, it is not quite lacking, and many examples of the exercise of the
faculty of thought could be cited if necessary.

What we are here concerned with, is the final result of such exercises
of individual thought powers. In the case of the solitary forms, such
new conceptions die with the individual. Though they may exert an
influence on the development of the nervous system, and aid in the
hereditary transmission of more active brain powers, they are lost as
special ideas, fail to be taken up and repeated by other members of the
species. This is not the case with the social animals. Each of these has
some faculty of observation and some tendency to imitation, and useful
steps of advance made by individuals are likely to be observed and
retained as general habits of the community. Anything of importance that
is gained may be preserved by educative influences. The facility of
mental communication between these creatures is perhaps much greater
than is generally supposed, and acts of importance which are not
directly observed might in many cases be transmitted through repetition
for the benefit of the group. We know this to be the main agency in
human progress. New ideas are of rare occurrence with man. Ideas of
permanent value do not occur to one per cent., perhaps not to one
hundredth of one per cent., of civilized mankind, yet few of such ideas
are lost, and that which has proved of advantage to an individual soon
becomes the common possession of a community.

Among the lower animals new and advantageous ideas are probably of
exceedingly rare occurrence. When they do occur, their advantage to
solitary forms is very slight, being that of minute steps of brain
development and hereditary transmission of the same. To social forms
they are doubly advantageous, since, while they tend to brain
development, they may also be preserved in their original form, and
transmitted directly to members of the group. They are still more
advantageous to the communal animals, from the closer intercourse of
these, and their constant association in acts of mutual aid. But in the
latter instance their influence is usually exerted for the benefit of
the community as a unit, while in the case of social animals it is of
advantage to the individual.

The result of such a process of evolution in the case of the communal
animals is a strict specialism. A series of acts of advantage to the
community are slowly developed, and are repeated so frequently that they
become instinctive, while a fixed circle of duties arises, through whose
links it is almost impossible to break. There is no reason to believe
that the individual initiative is wanting. The varied round of duties of
a community of ants, for instance, could only have arisen through step
after step of progress from the condition of the solitary ants. If such
steps have been made, others may be made, and are likely to be preserved
if found advantageous. The ant individual preserves its powers of
observation and thought and may initiate new processes. But most of the
ant communities are already so excellently adapted to the conditions of
their life as to leave little opportunity for improvement, so that the
adoption of new and advantageous habits are certain to be exceedingly

It is an interesting fact that communalism has been confined to animals
of comparatively low organization. The most complete examples of it
exist in the polyps and some other low forms, in which each community
has become a compound individual, the members remaining attached to the
parent stock. The next higher examples to be met are the frequently
cited ants and bees, belonging to the lowly organized class of
arthropoda, yet, through the advantage of association and mutual aid,
developing actions and habits only found elsewhere in the human race.
The only example among vertebrates is that of the beavers, members of
the low order of rodents. With these the results are less varied and
intricate than with the ants, in accordance with the much smaller size
of the community. All the higher vertebrates are either social or
solitary in habit, and among them the narrow specialism of the communal
forms does not exist. Each individual works in large measure for itself,
its mental powers remain generalized, and it is not tied down to the
performance of a series of fixed hereditary acts from which escape is
well-nigh impossible.

Of the social animals, man presents the most complete type, and the one
from which we can best deduce the conditions of the class. A human
community is made up of individuals of many degrees of intellectual
ability, the mass remaining at a low level, the few attaining a high
level. Yet those of high powers of intellect set the standard for the
whole, teach the lower either by precept or example, and aid effectively
in advancing the standard of the community. A rope or chain is said to
be as weak as its weakest part. A human community, on the contrary, may
be said to be as strong as its strongest part. The standing of the whole
is dependent upon the thoughts and acts of the few, from whom the
general mass receive new ideas and gain new habits. The existing
intellectual and industrial position of mankind is very largely a result
of ideas evolved by individuals age after age, and preserved as the
mental property of the whole. Destroy the books and works of art and
industry of any community, cut off its intellectual leaders, remove from
the general mind the results of education, and it would at once fall
back to a low level and be obliged to begin again its slow climb upward.
The intellectual standing of any civilized nation depends upon two
things: the preservation in books, in memory, and in works of art and
industry, of the ideas of ancient workers and thinkers; and the mental
activity of living thinkers and inventors, whose work takes its start
from this standpoint of stored-up thought. Rob any community of all its
basic ideas, and it would quickly retrograde to a primitive condition
of thought and organization, from which it might need many centuries to

It has been said above that man is the highest example of the social
animal. While that is the truth, it is not the whole truth. He is at the
same time the highest example of the communal animal. Mutual aid,
organization into strictly rounded communities, labor for the good of
the whole, is as declared in him as in the most developed community of
the ants, and we admire the work of the latter simply because they
repeat at a lower level the work of man. In truth, in man we have a
splendid example of the existence of the individual initiative in
connection with the communal organization. Specialism exists in a
hundred forms. Some nations have been tied down by it to conditions
almost as fixed as those of the ants. But generalism exists in as full a
measure, new ideas are constantly modifying or replacing the old, and
the communism of man is a progressive one, steadily borne upward on the
wings of new ideas. Individual thought has the fullest swing, and it is
to the system of special reward for useful thought and act that man owes
much of his great advance. On the other hand, reward without useful
service has been one of the leading agencies that have acted to check
human progress.

The lower animals do not possess the advantage of man in his power of
preserving the thoughts and products of the past as a foundation for
new steps of progress. Memory may aid them to a slight degree, but they
have no special means of recording useful ideas. This cannot fairly be
said of the communal forms, which possess the result of the labors of
former generations as useful object lessons. But in the higher animals
no means exist for the permanent preservation of ideas, and each step of
progress must be due to the direct influence of living individuals and
the indirect result of natural selection.

This is one cause of the slow mental advance of the lower animals. A
second is the deficiency in educational influences, which have had so
much to do with human progress. Education is not quite wanting in the
brute creation. There are many instances on record of instruction given
by the adults to the young. But this agency is in its embryo stage, and
its influence must be small. Again, each tribe of lower animals is apt
to fall into a fixed circle of life acts, to become so closely adapted
to some situation or condition that any change of habits would be likely
to prove detrimental. This is a state of affairs tending to produce
stagnation and vigorously to check advance. Many instances of this could
be cited from human history, while it is the common condition with the
animals below man.

To return to the apes, the considerations above taken lead to the
conclusion that it is chiefly, if not solely, to their social habits
that they owe their mental quickness. While only in minor traits
communal, they are eminently social, and have doubtless derived great
advantage from this. The lemurs, which share their habitat and resemble
them in organization, are markedly unsocial, and are as mentally dull as
the apes are mentally quick. Possibly, the thought powers of the apes
once set in train, there may have been something in the exigencies of
arboreal life that quickened their powers of observation; but we are
constrained to believe that the main influence to which they owe their
development is that of social habits, in which they stand at a high, if
not the highest, level among the distinctly social animals.

The thought capacities of the ape intellect are general, not special.
The mind of these animals remains free and capable of new thought in new
situations. It is fully alive to the needs and dangers of arboreal life,
and advances no farther in its native habitat because there is nothing
more of importance to be learned. But while fixed it is not stagnant.
When the ape is taken from its native woods and put among the many new
conditions arising on shipboard and in human habitations, we quickly
perceive indications of its mental alertness. Its faculties of
observation and imitation are actively exercised, and new habits and
conceptions are quickly gained. Could the apes be made to breed freely
in captivity, so that a domestic race, comparable to that of the dogs,
could be obtained, their mental powers might, perhaps, be cultivated to
an extraordinary degree, yielding instances of thought approaching that
of man. The ape is especially notable for its tendency to attempt new
acts of itself, not waiting to be taught, as in the case of other
domesticated animals. In short, it seems by all odds to be the animal
best fitted mentally to serve as the basis of a high intellectual
development, as it is the best fitted physically to change from the
attitude of the quadruped to that of the biped.

The anthropoid apes in general manifest a reversion from the social
toward the solitary state, this condition reaching its ultimate in the
orang, which is one of the most solitary of animals. The smaller forms
are the most social, the gibbons being decidedly so. There is very good
reason to believe that the man-ape was highly social, if we may judge
from what we find in all races of men, and all grades, from the savage
to the civilized. This animal was thus in a position to avail itself of
all the advantages of the social habit, and to gain the mental
development thence arising. How long ago it was when it left the trees
and made its home upon the ground, it is impossible to say. It may have
been as far back as the early Pliocene or the late Miocene Period, or
even earlier. As yet its brain was probably no more developed than in
the case of the other anthropoids, perhaps less so than in the existing
species. But in its new habitat it was exposed to a series of novel
conditions that must have exerted a healthful and stimulating influence
upon its mind.

If it had remained in the trees we should probably to-day have only a
man-ape still. Leaving their safe shelter for the ground, it became
exposed to new dangers and was forced to fit itself to fresh conditions.
Prowling carnivorous animals haunted its new place of residence, and
these it had to avoid by speed or alertness of motion, or combat them by
strength and the use of weapons. The carnivorous tastes which it had in
all probability gained, made it a creature of the chase, pursuing swift
animals, capturing them by fleetness or stratagem, or bringing them down
with the aid of clubs and missiles. Such a new series of duties and
dangers could not fail to exert a vigorous influence upon a brain
already quick of thought and susceptible to fresh impressions, and we
may well conceive that the man-ape then entered upon a new and rapid
phase of mental progress, its brain developing in powers and growing in
dimensions as it slowly became adapted to its new situation and grew
able to cope with fresh demands and critical exigencies.

There is still another influence which has had its share, perhaps a very
prominent share, in the intellectual development of animals, yet which
no writer seems to have considered from this point of view. The
probable effect of this influence needs to be taken into account, in
conclusion of this section of our subject. It is that of the comparative
agency of the senses in the development of the mind, and the effects
likely to arise from the dominance of some one of the senses.

In the lowest animals touch was the predominant, if not the only sense,
taste perhaps being associated with it. But these senses, which demand
actual contact with objects, obviously could give none but the narrowest
conception of the conditions of nature. The other senses, sight,
hearing, and smell, give intimations of the existence and conditions of
more or less distant objects, and their development greatly widened the
scope of outreach in animals and must have exerted a powerful influence
upon the growth of mental conditions.

It need scarcely be said that the sense which gives the fullest and most
extended information about existing things is necessarily the one that
acts most effectively upon the mind, and that this sense is that of
sight. Hearing and smell yield us information concerning certain local
conditions of objects, but sight extends to the limits of the universe,
while in regard to near objects it has the advantage of being
practically instantaneous in action and much fuller in the information
it conveys. Sight, therefore, is evidently the most important of the
senses, so far as the broadening of the mental powers is concerned, and
any animal in which it is predominant must possess a great advantage in
this respect over those species controlled to any great degree by one of
the lower senses.

It may be said here that sight only slowly gained dominance in animal
life. Though the eye, as an organ of vision, is found at a low level in
the animate scale, the indications are that it long played a subordinate
part, and has gained its full prominence only in man. During long ages
life was confined to the sea, hosts of beings dwelling in the
semi-obscurity of the under waters, and great numbers at too great a
depth for light to reach them. To vast multitudes of these sight was
partly or completely useless. The same may be said of hearing, the
under-water habitat being nearly or completely a soundless one. The only
one of the higher senses likely to be of general use to these oceanic
forms is that of smell, and it may be that their knowledge of distant
objects was mainly gained through sensitiveness to odors.

Of invertebrate land animals the same must be said. The land mollusks
and the great order of insects and other land arthropods only to a minor
extent dwell in the open light. Very many species haunt the
semi-obscurity of trees or groves, hide among the grasses, lurk under
bark, sticks, and stones, or dwell through most of their lives
underground. Hosts of others are nocturnal. To only a small percentage
of insects can sight be of any great utility, while hearing seems also
to be of slight importance. Smell is probably the principal sense
through which these animals gain information of distant objects.

There is existing evidence that the sense of smell in some insects is
remarkably acute. The imprisoned female of certain nocturnal species,
for instance, will attract the males from a comparatively immense
distance, under conditions in which neither sight nor hearing could have
been brought into play. The emission of odors and acute sensibility to
them is the only presumable agency at work in those instances. As
regards the most intelligent of the insects, the ants and the termites,
the former are largely subterranean, the latter not only subterranean,
but blind. In the one case, sight can play only a minor part, in the
other, it plays no part at all. Touch and smell seem to be the dominant
senses in these animals, and the degree of intelligence they display
shows of how high a development these senses are susceptible. Yet the
intelligence arising from them must necessarily be local and limited in
its application; it cannot yield the breadth of information and degree
of mental development possible under the dominance of sight.

In the vertebrates we find a fully developed and broadly capable organ
of vision, and it might be hastily assumed that in those animals sight
is the dominant sense. But there are numerous facts which lead to a
different conclusion. Many of the vertebrates are nocturnal, many dwell
in obscure situations, many in the total darkness of caverns,
underground tunnels and excavations, or the ocean's depths. To all these
sight must be of secondary importance. Hearing also can be of no
superior value, and the dominant sense must be that of smell. In the
bats there would appear to be a remarkably acute power of touch, if we
may judge from the facility with which they can avoid obstacles at full
flight after their eyes have been removed.

It might, however, be supposed that in the higher land vertebrates sight
is predominant, and that the diurnal mammals depend principally upon
their eyes for their knowledge of nature. But there are facts which
throw doubt upon this supposition. These facts are of two kinds,
external and internal. That the quadrupeds, in general, are highly
sensitive to odors is well known, and also that they trust very largely
to the sense of smell. Hunters are abundantly aware of this, and have to
be quite as careful to avoid being smelt by their game as to avoid being
seen. We have abundant evidence of the remarkable acuteness of this
sense in so high an animal as the dog, which can follow its prey for
miles by scent alone, and can distinguish the odors, not only of
different species, but of different individuals, being capable of
following the trail of one person amid the tracks of numerous others.

The internal evidence of this fact is equally significant. In the
vertebrates, in general, the olfactory lobe of the brain is largely
developed, much exceeding in size the lobe of the optic nerve. It forms
the anterior portion of the cerebrum, and in many instances constitutes
a large section of that organ, being marked off from it by only a slight
surface depression. If we can fairly judge, then, by anatomical
evidence, the sense of smell plays a very prominent part in the life of
all the lower vertebrates. If we take our domestic animals as an
example, the olfactory lobe of the horse is considerably larger than
that of man, though the brain, as a whole, is very much smaller, so
that, comparatively, this organ constitutes a much larger portion of the
total brain. The other domestic animals yield similar evidence of the
great activity of the sense of smell.

While there is no doubt that sight is an active sense in all the higher
quadrupeds, it evidently divides this activity with smell to a much
greater degree than is the case with man, in whom smell plays a minor
part, sight a major part, among the organs of sense.

This fact shows its effect in the comparative mental development of man
and the lower animals. Man, depending so largely on vision, gains the
broadest conception of the conditions of nature, with a consequent great
expansion of the intellect. The quadrupeds, depending to a considerable
degree upon smell for their conceptions of nature, are much narrower in
their range of information and lower in their mental development. As
regards the ape family, it occupies a position between man and the
quadrupeds, and its intellectual activity may well be due in great
measure to an increased trust in sight and a decreased trust in smell in
gaining its conception of nature.

The question may arise, Why, if sight has this superiority over smell,
did it not long since gain predominance, and relegate smell to a minor
position? It may be answered that the superiority of sight is not
complete. In one particular this sense is inferior to smell. The leading
agency in the development of the sense organs of animals has been the
struggle for existence, including escape from enemies, and the
perception of food-animals or material. In these processes acuteness of
smell plays a very important part. It has, moreover, the advantage of
gathering information from all directions, while sight is very limited
in its range. The eye is so subject to injury that its multiplication
over the body would be rather disadvantageous than otherwise, while,
localized as it is, a movement of the head is necessary to any breadth
of vision, and the whole body must rotate to bring the complete horizon
under observation. It seems evident, from these considerations, that
sight is much inferior to smell in the timely perception of many forms
of danger. Light comes in straight lines only, and a movement of the
body is necessary to perceive perils lying outside these lines. Odors,
on the contrary, spread in all directions, and make themselves manifest
from the rear as well as the front.

In all probability this fact has had much to do with the continued
dependence of animals on smell. In fishes and reptiles a full sweep of
vision is so slowly gained that some more active sentinel sense is
requisite to safety. In mammals the head rotates more easily, but
valuable time is lost in the rotation of the whole body. These animals,
therefore, depend on both sight and smell, in some cases equally, in
some more fully on one or the other of these senses. When we reach the
semi-upright ape, we have to do with a form capable of turning the body
and observing the whole surrounding circle of objects more quickly and
readily than any quadruped. As a result, these animals have grown to
depend more fully on vision and less on smell than the quadrupeds.
Finally, in fully erect man, the power of quick turning and alert
observation of the whole circle of the horizon reaches its ultimate, and
in man sight has become in a large degree the dominant sense, and smell
has fallen to a minor place.

With this change in the relations of the senses has come a change in the
degree of mental development. It is highly probable that the dependence
of the apes on vision instead of smell has had much to do with their
mental activity, quickness of observation, and active curiosity. In man
there can be no question that it has played a great part in the rapid
development of his intellectual powers, and in the extraordinary breadth
of his conception of nature as compared with that of the lower animals.
While hearing and smell advise us of neighboring conditions only, and
have their chief utility as aids to the preservation of existence, sight
makes us aware of the conditions of nature in remote localities,
extending far beyond the limits of the earth. While this sense plays its
part as one of the protective agencies, it is still more useful as an
agent in the acquisition of knowledge in general, and has much to do
with the development of the intellectual faculties. We may look,
therefore, upon the increasing dominance of the sense of sight as a
leading agency in the making of man as a thinking being, and may ascribe
to this in a considerable measure the thirst for information and faculty
of imitation so marked in the apes.



One of the characteristics of man, of which we spoke as among those to
which his high development is due, is that of language. There is nothing
that has had more to do with the mental progress of the human race than
facility in the communication of thought, and in this vocal language is
the principal agent and in the fullest measure is the instrument of the
mind. Human speech has, in these modern times, become remarkably
expressive, indicating all the conditions, relations, and qualities, not
only of things, but of thoughts and ideal conceptions. And the utility
of language has been enormously augmented by the development of the arts
of writing and printing. Originally thought could only be communicated
by word of mouth and transmitted by the aid of the memory. Now it can be
recorded and kept indefinitely, so that no useful thought of able
thinkers need be lost, but every valuable idea can be retained as an
educative influence through unnumbered ages.

In this instrumentality, which has been of such extraordinary value to
man, the lower animals are strikingly deficient. They are not quite
devoid of vocal language, though it is doubtful if any of the sounds
made by them have a much higher linguistic office than that of the
interjection. But emotional sounds, to which these belong, are not
destitute of value in conveying intelligence. They embrace cries of
warning, appeals to affection, demands for help, calls for food
supplies, threats, and other indications of passion, fear, or feeling.
And the significance of these vocal sounds to animals may often be
higher than we suppose. That is, they may not be limited to the vague
character of the interjection, but may occasionally convey a specific
meaning, indicative of some object or some action. In other words, they
may advance from the interjection toward the noun or the verb, and
approach in value the verbal root, a sound which embraces a complete
proposition. Thus a cry of warning may be so modulated as to indicate to
the hearer, "Beware, a lion is coming!" or to convey some other specific
warning. We know that accent or tone plays a great part in Chinese
speech, the most primitive of existing forms, a variation in tone quite
changing the meaning of words. The same may be the case with the sounds
uttered by animals to a much greater extent than we suppose.

We know this to be the case with some of the birds. The common fowl of
our poultry yards has a variety of distinct calls, each understood by
its mates, while special modulations of some call or cry are not
uncommon among birds. The mammalia are not fluent in vocal powers,
their range of tones being limited, yet they certainly convey definite
information to one another. Recent observers have come to the conclusion
that the apes do, to a certain extent, talk with one another. The
experiments to prove this have not been very satisfactory, yet they seem
to indicate that the woodland cries of the apes possess a certain range
of definite meaning.

We are utterly ignorant of what powers of speech the man-ape possessed.
It must, in its developed state as a land-dwelling, wandering, and
hunting biped, have needed a wider range of utterance than during its
arboreal residence. It was exposed to new dangers, new exigencies of
life affected it, and its old cries very probably gained new meanings,
or new cries were developed to meet new perils or conditions. In this
way a few root words may have been gained, rising above the value of the
interjection, and expressing some degree of definite meaning, though
still at the bottom of the scale of language, the first stepping stones
from the vague cry toward the significant word.

Between this stage and that of human language an immense gap supervenes,
a broad abyss which it seems at first sight impossible to bridge. As the
facts stand, however, it has been largely bridged by man himself. Side
by side with the highly intricate languages which now exist, are
various primitive forms of speech which take us far back toward the
origin of human language. So advanced a people as the Chinese speak a
language practically composed of root words, the higher forms of
expression being attained by simple devices in the combination of these
primitive word forms. The same may be said, in a measure, of ancient
Egyptian speech. We can conceive of an early state of affairs in which
these devices of word compounding were not yet employed, and in which
each word existed as a separate expression, unmodified by association
with any other word. Among the savage races of the earth very crude
forms of language often exist, the methods of associating words into
sentences being of the simplest character, though few surpass the
Chinese in simplicity of system.

But all this represents an advanced stage of language evolution, a
development of thought and its instrument which has taken thousands of
years to complete. We cannot fairly judge from it what the speech of
primitive man may have been, for in every case there has been a long
process of development; aided, no doubt, in many cases, by educative
influences acting from the more advanced upon the speech of the less
advanced races.

If we seek to analyze any of these languages, the most intricate as well
as the least advanced, we find ourselves in most instances able to
isolate the root word as the basic element of speech. From this simple
form all the more developed forms seem to have arisen. Take away their
combining devices, and the root words fall apart like so many beads of
speech, each with a defined significance of its own and fully capable of
existing by itself. The Aryan and the Chinese especially offer
themselves to this analytic method. Strip off the suffixes and affixes
from Aryan words, get down to the germinal forms from which these words
have grown, isolate these germs of speech, and we find ourselves in a
language of root forms, each of which has grown vague and wide in
significance as the modifying elements that limited its meaning have
been removed. In the Chinese the problem is a much simpler one. We need
simply to take the existing words out of their place in the sentence and
let them stand alone, and we have root words at first hand. We may go
through the whole range of human speech and, with more or less
difficulty, arrive at a similar result. In short, the evidence seems
conclusive that the language of mankind began in the use of isolated
words of vague and broad significance, and that all the subsequent
development of language consisted in the combination of these words,
with a modification and limitation of their meaning, the families of
speech differing principally in the method of combination devised.

It must, indeed, be said that in isolating the root forms of modern
languages we reach conditions still far removed from those of primitive
speech. These roots are in a measure packed with meaning. Time has added
to their significance, and they lack the simplicity they probably once
possessed. In particular, they have gained ideal senses, entered in a
measure into that broad language of the mind which has been gradually
added to the language of outer nature. The recognition of the existence
of mind and thought doubtless came somewhat late in human development.
Man long knew only his body and the world that surrounded it. Step by
step only did he discover his mind. And when it became necessary to
speak of mental conditions, no new language was invented, but old words
were broadened to cover the new conditions. The mind is analogous to the
body in its operations, ideas are analogues of things, and it was
usually necessary only to add to the physical significance of words the
corresponding ideal significance. In this way a secondary language
slowly grew up, underlying and subtending the primary language, until
the words invented to express the world of things were employed to
include as vast a world of thoughts.

In getting down, then, to the language of primitive man we are obliged
to divest the root forms of speech of all this ideal significance, and
confine them to their physical meanings. In dealing with the languages
of the least advanced existing tribes of mankind, indeed, little of this
is requisite. The language of the mind with them has not yet begun its
growth or is in its first simple stages. Only half the work of the
evolution of language is completed. There is, indeed, no tribe so
undeveloped as to use the primitive forms of speech. The most savage of
the races of mankind have made some progress in the art of combining
words, gained some ideas of syntax and grammatical forms. Yet in certain
instances the progress has been very slight, and in all we can see the
living traces of the earlier method of speech from which they emerged.

It is to the ability to think abstractly and to form words with an
abstract significance that human language owes much of its high
development. But this ability is largely confined to civilized mankind,
savages being greatly or wholly lacking in it. This deficiency is
indicated in their modes of speech. Thus a native of the Society
Islands, while able to say "dog's tail," "sheep's tail," etc., has no
separate word for tail. He cannot abstract the general term from its
immediate relations. In the same way the uncivilized Malay has twenty
different words to express striking with various objects, as with thick
or thin wood, a club, the fist, the palm, etc., but he has no word for
"striking" as an isolated thought. We find the same deficiency in the
speech of the American Indians. A Cherokee, for instance, has no word
for "washing," but can express the different kinds of washing by no less
than thirteen distinct words.

All this indicates a primitive stage in the evolution of language, one
in which every word had its immediate and local application, while in
each word a whole story was told. The power of dividing thought into its
separate elements was not yet possessed. As thought progressed men got
from the idea of "dog" to that of "dog's tail." They could not think of
the part without the whole. Then they reached a word for "dog's tail
wags." But the idea of "wags" as an abstract motion was beyond their
powers of thought. They could not think of action, but only of some
object in action. The language of the American Indians was an immediate
derivation from this mode of word formation, every proposition, however
intricate it might be, constituting a single word, whose component parts
could not be used separately. The mode of speech here indicated is one
form of development of the root. Other forms are the compounding of the
Chinese and the Mongolian and the inflection of the Aryan and the
Semitic, all pointing directly back to the root form as their unit of

The inference to be drawn from all this is that the language of
primitive man consisted of isolated words, sounds which may originally
have been mere cries or calls, but which gradually gained some
definiteness of meaning, as signifying some of the varied conditions of
the outer world. This is the conclusion to which philologists have now
very generally come. The recognition that language consists of root
words, variously modified and combined, leads back irresistibly to a
period in which those roots had not yet begun to be modified and
combined. The roots are the hard, persistent things in human speech.
Grammatical expedients are the net in which these roots have been caught
and confined. Free them from the net, and it falls to pieces, while the
roots remain intact, the solid and persistent primitive germs of speech.

Yet in isolating root language as the basis of grammatical language we
go far toward closing the gap between animal and human speech. It is
still, doubtless, of considerable width, yet the distinction is no
longer one of kind, but is simply one of degree. Primitive man had a
much greater scope of language than is possessed by any of the lower
animals, and the vocal sounds used had a clearer and more definite
significance; but their nature was the same. They doubtless began in
calls and cries like those in use by animals, and though these had
increased in number and gained more distinct meanings, the difference in
character was not great. In short, the analytic method employed by
modern philologists has gone far to remove the supposed vast distinction
between brute and human speech, and has traced back the language of man
to a stage in which it is nearly related in character to the language of
animals. The distinction has been brought down to one of degree,
scarcely one of kind. A direct and simple process of evolution was
alone needed to produce it, and through that evolution man undoubtedly
passed in his progress upward from his ancestral stage.

The language of the lower animals is a vowel form of speech. It lacks
the consonantal elements, the characteristic of articulation. In this
man seems to have at first agreed with them. The infant begins its vocal
utterances with simple cries; only at a later age does it begin to
articulate. If we may judge from the development of language in the
child, man began to speak with the use of sounds native to the vocal
organs, and progressed by a process of imitation, endeavoring to
reproduce the sounds heard around him: the voices of animals, the sounds
of nature, etc. This tendency to imitate is not peculiar to man. It
exists in many birds, and in some attains a marked development. The
mocking bird, for instance, has an extraordinary flexibility of the
vocal organs and power of imitating the voices of other birds. The
parrot and some other birds go farther in this direction, being capable
of using articulate language and clearly repeating words used by man.

None of the mammalia possess this facility. It is not found in the apes,
and probably was not possessed by the ancestor of man. But it is not
difficult to believe that in the efforts of the latter to gain a greater
variety of vocal utterance, its organs of speech became more flexible,
and in time it gained the power of articulation.

There are races of existing men whose powers of language seem still in
the transition stage between articulate and inarticulate speech. This
seems the case with the Bushmen and Hottentots of South Africa, whose
vocal utterances consist largely of a series of peculiar clicks that are
certainly not articulate speech, though on the road toward it. The
Pygmies of the Central African forests seem similarly to occupy an
intermediate position in the development of language. Those who have
endeavored to talk with them speak of their utterance as being
inarticulate in sound. It appears to be a sort of link between
articulate and inarticulate speech. In short, the great abyss which was
of old thought to lie between the languages of man and the lower animals
has largely vanished through the labors of philologists, and we can
trace stepping-stones over every portion of the wide gap. The language
of man has not alone been evidently a product of evolution, but also one
of development from the vocal utterances of the lower animals; and the
man-ape, in its slow and long progress from brute into man, seems to
have gradually developed that noble instrument of articulate speech
which has had so much to do with subsequent human progress.



In his bodily formation the man-ape differed little from man. The
differences which existed were probably of a minor character, no greater
than could readily exist within the limits of a species. If this
assertion be questioned, it seems sufficient to call attention to the
recent researches into the anatomy of the anthropoid apes, which differ
in species, if not in genera, from man, yet are closely similar to him
in all their main features of organization. Even in the brain, to whose
great development man owes his superiority, the only marked difference
is in size. Structurally, the distinctions are unimportant. If, then,
these distant relatives so closely resemble man in physical frame, his
immediate relative in the line of descent must have approached him still
more closely in organization. After this ancestor had become a true,
surface-dwelling biped, the differences in structure were probably so
slight that physically the two forms were in effect identical. The
man-ape was, as there is reason to believe, considerably smaller than
man, perhaps about equal in size and stature to the chimpanzee, but
that does not constitute a specific difference. There may have been some
differences in the skeletal and muscular structure. The vocal organs,
for instance, probably differed, the evolution of language in man being
accompanied with certain changes in the larynx. The skull was certainly
much more ape-like. Yet variations of this kind, due to differences in
mode of life, are minor in importance, and may easily come within the
limits of a species. While the great features of organization remain
intact, small changes, due to new exigencies of life, may take place
without affecting the zoölogical position of an animal. The most
striking difference between man-ape and man, that of the development of
the brain to two or three times its size and weight, is similarly
unessential in classification while the brain remains unchanged in
structure. That it has remained unchanged we may safely deduce from the
close similarity between the brain of man and those of the existing
anthropoid apes. The cause of the increase in size is so evident that it
need only be referred to. Since the era of the man-ape, almost the whole
sum of the forces of development have been centred in the mental powers
of this animal, with the result that the brain has grown in size and
functional capacity, while the remainder of the body has remained
practically unchanged.

That man as an animal has descended from the lower life realm, none who
are familiar with the facts of science now think of denying. This has
attained to the scientist, and to many non-scientists, the level of a
self-evident proposition. But that man as a thinking being has descended
from the lower animals is a different matter, concerning which opinion
is by no means in unison. Even among scientists some degree of
difference of opinion exists, and such a radical evolutionist as Alfred
Russell Wallace finds here a yawning gap in the line of descent, and is
inclined to look upon the intellect of man as a direct gift from the
realm of spirits. His explanation, it is true, is more difficult than
the problem itself. There are no facts to sustain it, and even if he
were not able to see how man's mind could be developed by natural
selection, it is a sort of _reductio ad absurdum_ to call in the angels
to bridge the chasm.

Romanes has dealt with the subject from a different and more scientific
point of view, and seems to have succeeded in showing that man's
intellect at its lowest level is not different in kind from the brute
intellect at its highest level. Controversy on this subject is too apt
to be based on the difference between the intellect of the brute and
that of enlightened man, in disregard of the great mental gap which
exists between the latter and the thought powers of the lowest savage.
In the preceding section an effort was made to show how crude and
imperfect must have been the language of primitive man. Its imperfection
was a fair gauge of that of his powers of thought. His intellect stood
at a very low level, seemingly no further above that of the highest apes
than it was below that of enlightened man.

In fact, enormous as is the interval between the mind of the brute and
that of the man of modern civilization, the whole long line of mental
development can be traced, with the exception of a comparatively small
interval. This is the gap between the intellect of the anthropoid ape
and that of primitive man, the one important last chapter in the story
of mental evolution. Supernaturalism, driven from its strongholds of the
past, has taken its last stand upon this broken link, claiming that here
the line of descent fails, and that the gap could not have been filled
without a direct inflow of intellect from the world of spirits or an
immediate act of creation from the Deity.

This view of the case is not likely to be accepted as final. Science has
bridged so many gaps in the kingdom of nature that it is not likely to
retire baffled from this one, but will continue its investigations in
place of accepting conclusions that have not the standing even of
hypothesis, since they are unsupported by a single known fact. At first
sight, indeed, the facts which bear upon this question seem stubborn
things to explain by the evolution theory. The gap in intellect between
the highest apes and the lowest man is a considerable one, which no
existing ape seems likely ever to cross. However the anthropoid apes
gained their degree of mental ability, it does not appear to be on the
increase. They are in a state of mental stagnation and may have remained
so for millions of years. Something similar, indeed, can be said of the
lowest savages. They also are mentally stagnant. The indications are
that for thousands, or tens of thousands, of years in the past their
intellectual progress has been almost nothing. Yet it is beyond
reasonable question that the advanced thinker of to-day has evolved from
an ancestor as low in the mental scale as this savage, probably much
lower; and this renders it very conceivable that a similar process of
evolution covered the interval between the ape intellect and that of
primitive man.

Somewhere, at some time in the far past, the mental stagnation of man
was broken, and the development of the mind began its long progression
toward enlightenment. This was not in the localities in which the lower
savages are now found, the equatorial forests of Africa and South
America and other realms of savage life, the change in all probability
taking place elsewhere, under new and severe exigencies of life.
Similarly we have much justification in saying that somewhere, at some
time, the mental stagnation of the ape was broken, and the long
development of the mind from ape to man began. This did not take place
in the instances of the existing anthropoids, and, as in the analogous
case of civilized man, its influencing cause must be looked for in
exigencies of existence acting upon some form different in character and
habitat from these apes.

The existing anthropoid apes may justly be compared in condition with
the existing low savages. In both cases a satisfactory adaptation to
their situation has been gained. These apes are still arboreal and
frugivorous, as their remote ancestors were. They have for ages been in
a state of close adaptation to their life conditions, and the influences
of development have been largely wanting. Such evolution as took place
must have been extremely slow. In like manner the lowest savages live in
intimate relations with the conditions surrounding them. All problems of
food-getting, habitation, climate, etc., have long since been solved,
and in the tropical forests in which so many of them dwell they are in
thorough accord with the situation. Mentally, therefore, they are
practically at a standstill and have remained so for thousands of years.
The two cases are parallel ones. We can safely say that the later
development of man took place in other situations and under other
conditions. We may fairly say the same in regard to the ape. Vigorous
influences must have been brought to bear upon the ancestor of man as
the instigating causes of its mental development into man; and similarly
vigorous influences must have been brought to bear upon primitive man to
set in train his mental development into intellectual man. And the
general character of these influences in both cases may readily be
pointed out. An extraordinary development has taken place in the human
intellect within a few thousands, or tens of thousands, of years,
yielding the difference which exists between the cultivated man of
to-day and the debased savage who probably preceded him, and whose
counterpart still exists. This has undoubtedly been due to influences of
the highest potency. If we can show that influences of equal potency
acted upon man's ancestor, we shall have done much toward indicating how
the ape brain may have grown into the brain of man.

In both cases the main agency was in all probability that of conflict.
Both ape and man, as we take it, developed through some form of warfare.
In the former case it was warfare with the animal kingdom; in the latter
it was warfare with the conditions of nature and with hostile man. Each
of these has been potent in its effects, and to each we owe the
completion of a great stage in the evolution of man.

In the tropics, the home of the anthropoid apes of to-day and, probably,
of the animal we have named the man-ape, war between man and nature
scarcely exists. Nature is not hostile to man. There is no occasion for
clothing and little for habitation. Food is abundant for the sparse
populations. Little exertion is called for to sustain life. Mental
stagnation is very likely to supervene. Yet there, as elsewhere,
conflict has had much to do with such mental progress as exists. Mastery
in warfare is due to superior mental resources, which gradually arise
from the exigencies of conflict, and manifest themselves in greater
shrewdness or cunning, superior ability in leadership, better
organization, fuller mutual aid, and the invention of more destructive
weapons and more efficient tools. War acts vigorously on men's minds,
peace acts sluggishly. In the former case man's most valued possession,
his life, is in jeopardy, and his utmost powers are exerted for its
preservation. Every resource within his power is brought to bear to save
himself from wounds or death and to destroy his enemies. If the foes are
equal physically, victory is apt to come to those which are superior
mentally, which are quicker at devising new expedients, more alert in
providing against danger, more skilful in the use of weapons, abler in
combining their forces to act in unison. In short, the whole story of
mankind tells us that mental evolution has been greatly aided by the
influences of warfare, the reaction upon the mind of the effort at
self-preservation, the destruction of those at a lower level of
intellectual alertness, the preservation of the abler and more
energetic, the effect of conflict in bringing into activity all the
resources of the intellect, and the hereditary transmission of the
powers of mind thus developed. It is, undoubtedly, to war between man
and man, and the conflict with the adverse conditions of nature in the
colder regions of the earth, that man's development from his lowest to
his highest intellectual state has been largely due. This is by no means
to say that war is still necessary for this result. Other influences are
now at work, of equal or superior potency, and while the conflict with
nature and the conditions of society is still of importance, war between
man and man is no longer necessary as a mental stimulant. The time was,
and that not very far in the past, when it was an essential element in
human development.

If we descend to the lowest existing savages, however, it is to find
this agency almost non-existent. We can perceive in them no organized
warfare and no alert conflict with nature. They are as yet at the very
beginning of this stage of evolution, and it certainly exerts little
influence upon them. Nature is not adverse, life needs little thought or
exertion, they accept the world as they find it, without question or
revolt, and their thoughts and habits are as unchangeable as the laws of
the Medes and Persians. But the fact that active warfare does not now
exist among the lowest tribes of mankind, does not argue that such a
state has never existed. In truth, we maintain that primitive man is the
outcome of an active and long-continued warfare, and that his settled
and sluggish condition to-day is the ease that follows victory. He has
conquered and is at rest after his labors.

For if we compare primitive man with the anthropoid apes, it is to find
one striking and important difference between them. The anthropoids are
at a level in position with their animal neighbors. Man is lord and
master of the animal kingdom, the dominant being in the world of life.
He has no rival in this lordship, but stands alone in his relation to
the animal kingdom. He is feared and avoided by the largest and
strongest beasts of field and forest. He does not fight defensively, but
offensively, and whatever his relation to his fellow-man, he admits no
equal in the world of life below him. He is the only animal that has
made a struggle for lordship. The gorilla is said to attack the lion and
drive it from its haunts. If it does so, it is not with any desire for
mastery, but simply to rid itself of a dangerous neighbor. The battle
for dominion has been confined to man, and in the winning of it no small
degree of mental development must have taken place.

The supremacy of man was not gained without a struggle, and that a
severe and protracted one. The animal kingdom did not yield readily to
man's lordship, and the war must have been long and bitter, settled as
the relations now seem. Rest has succeeded victory. The lower animals
are now submissive to man, or retire before him in dread of his strength
and resources, and the strain upon his powers has ceased. So far as
this phase of evolution is concerned the influences aiding the mental
development of man have lost their strength. The warfare is over, and
man reigns supreme over the kingdom of life.

Of all animals the man-ape was the best adapted for such a struggle. The
other anthropoid apes, while favored by the formation of their hands,
lacked that freedom of the arms to which man mainly owes his success. No
other animal has ever appeared with arms freed from duty in locomotion
and at the same time endued with the power of grasping, and these are
the features of organization to which the evolution of the human
intellect was wholly due in its first stages. The man-ape was not able
to contend successfully with the larger animals by aid of its natural
weapons. Its diminutive size, its lack of tearing claws, and its lesser
powers of speed, left it at a disadvantage, and had it attempted to
conquer by the aid of its strength and the seizing and rending powers of
teeth and nails, its victory over the larger animals would never have
been won. Even with the aid of the cunning and alertness of the apes,
their power of observation, their combination for defence and attack,
and their general mental superiority to the tenants of the animal world,
their supremacy in the event of their becoming carnivorous must have
been confined to the smaller creatures, and could not have been
established over the larger animals of their native habitat except
through the aid of other than their natural powers.

It was by the use of artificial weapons that the conquest was gained.
The tendency to use missiles as weapons of offence and defence, which is
shown by various species of monkeys, was in all probability greatly
developed by the man-ape, the only carnivorous member, if our premises
are correct, of the whole extensive family of the apes, and the only one
with the free use of its hands and arms. By the use of weapons of this
kind the powers of offence of this animal were enormously increased. As
skill was acquired in their use, and more efficient weapons were
selected or formed, the man-ape steadily advanced in controlling
influence, and the lower animal world became more and more subordinated.
No doubt the struggle was a protracted one. The previously dominant
animals did not submit without a severe and long-continued contest.
Thousands of years may have passed before the larger animals were
subdued, for it is probable that the invention of superior weapons by an
animal of low mental powers was a very slow process. Each stage of
invention gave higher success, but these stages were very deliberate

However this be, we can be assured that the superiority of the ancestral
man lay in his mental resources, and that his victory was due to the
employment of his mind rather than of his body. As a result, the
developing influence of the conflict was exerted upon his brain, the
organ of the mind, far more than upon his physical frame, and this organ
gradually increased in size, while the body as a whole remained
practically unchanged. The conflict began with the man-ape on a level in
power and dominance with animals of its own size and inferior to those
of greater size and strength. It ended with man dominant over all the
lower animals. Such a progress, if made by any animal through variation
in physical structure, must have caused radical and extraordinary
changes in size, strength, and utility of the natural organs of offence.
If made, as in the instance in question, through development of the
organ of the mind alone, it could not but have produced a great increase
in the size and power of this organ; and the dimensions of the brain in
primitive man, as compared with those of the brain in the anthropoid
apes, do not seem too great for the magnitude of the result.

The conflict ended, a new animal, man, finally and fully emerged from
the family of the apes and settled down in the restful consciousness of
victory, with a much larger brain and greatly superior mental powers
than were possessed at the beginning of the struggle, yet in physical
aspect not greatly changed from his ancestral form after it had first
fully gained the erect attitude. The powers gained enabled early man
easily to hold the position he had won, and there was no further
special strain upon his faculties until a new contest began, that
between man and nature, supplemented by a still more vital struggle,
that between man and man.

To return to the point from which we set out, it may be said that, as
the man-ape gained facility in walking in the erect attitude, and its
hands and arms became fully adapted to the use of weapons, its standing
in the animal kingdom changed essentially from that before held. Fear
and flight ended, retreat ceased, attack began, pursuit succeeded
flight, and the great battle for mastery entered upon its long course.
An element which aided materially in the victory was the social habit of
the animal in question, and the mutual aid which the members of any
group gave one another. Educative influences also naturally follow
association, every invention or improvement devised by one becomes the
property of the whole, and nothing of importance once gained is lost.

The stages of this progress were, undoubtedly, in their outer aspect,
stages of improvement in weapons. We seem to see ancestral man, in his
early career as a carnivorous animal, seizing the stones and sticks that
came readily to hand, and flinging them with some little skill at his
prey, in the same manner as we can perceive the baboon doing the same
thing. In like manner we observe him breaking off branches from the
trees and using them as clubs. One of the first steps of development
from this crude stage in the use of weapons would be the selection of
stones suited by size and shape for throwing, and the choice of clubs of
suitable length and thickness, the latter being stripped of their twigs.

For a long time fresh weapons, those immediately at hand, would be
seized and used for every new conflict; but as the idea of the
superiority of some weapons to others arose, a second stage of evolution
must have begun. The selected club, broken from the tree and prepared
for use with some care, and thus embodying a degree of choice and labor,
would be too valuable to fling idly away, and might be retained for
future use, the first personal possession of inchoate man. Similarly,
stones carefully chosen for their suitability for throwing would be
probably kept, and a small store of them collected. In short, we may
conceive of the man-ape thus gathering a magazine of weapons,--clubs and
stones,--sought or shaped during hours of leisure for use in hours of
conflict. In this way our animal ancestor doubtless slowly became a
skilful hunter, carrying his weapons with him in the chase, and using
them efficiently in the conquest of prey.

A third stage in this progress was reached when to some wise-headed old
man-ape came the idea of combining the two forms of weapon in use, of
fastening in some way the stone to the club in order that a more
effective blow might be struck. The vegetable kingdom furnishes natural
cords, flat stones with more or less cutting edges could be chosen and
bound to the end of the club, and the earliest form of the battle-axe
would be produced. With its formation the man-ape made another important
step of progress and added greatly to his powers of offence. Stage by
stage he was bringing his animal competitors under his control.

The formation of an axe or hatchet, however crude it may have been,
would naturally lead to another step in advance. With it the ancestral
man had passed beyond the possession of a weapon into the possession of
a tool. The shaping of his clubs previously had been done by a rude
tearing or hammering off of their twigs. These could now be cut off, and
in addition the club might be wrought into a better shape. Manufacture
had begun. Our ancestor stood at one end of a long line, at the other
end of which we behold the steam-engine, the electric motor, and an
interminable variety of other instruments.

Primitive manufacture was not confined to the shaping of wood. The
shaping of stone followed in due time. If a tree branch could be made
more suitable for its purpose by cutting it into shape with a rude stone
axe or hatchet, a stone of better shape might be obtained by hammering.
Doubtless the chipping effect of striking stone upon stone had been
often observed before the idea arose that this could be made useful, and
that where stones of the desired shape were not to be found, the shape
of those at hand might in this way be improved.

If we seek for some turning-point, some stage of progress, in which the
man-ape fairly emerged into man, perhaps it would be well to select that
which we have now reached, that in which the animal in question, which
had hitherto used the objects of nature in their natural form, first
gained the idea of manufacture and began to shape these objects by the
use of tools. In truth, the dividing line between man-ape and man was
imperceptibly fine. Various points of demarcation might be chosen, each
founded on some important step in evolution. But among them all that in
which the effort to convert the objects of nature into better weapons by
the use of tools is perhaps the best, as it was probably the first step
in that long process of manufacture to which man owes his wonderful

With this early effort at manufacture, man had reached a stage in which
he was first able to make a permanent record of his existence upon the
earth--aside from that of the very infrequent preservation of his bones
as fossil remains. A chipped stone is a permanent object. Even a very
rudely shaped one bears some indications of its origin upon its surface,
some marks pointing back to man in his early days. Unfortunately for
anthropologists, natural agencies sometimes produce effects resembling
those achieved by man's hands, and some degree of skill in manufacture
and well-marked design is necessary before one can be sure that a
seeming stone weapon has not been shaped by nature instead of man.
Within a recent period research for the evidence of early man in the
shape of chipped stones has been diligently made, with an abundance of
undoubted and a number of doubtful results. Some of these reach very far
back in time, and if actually the work of man he must have lived upon
the earth as a manufacturing animal for years that may be numbered by
the million. Seemingly chipped stones have been found that belong to the
remote Miocene geological age. With the latter are some scratches upon
bones that also seem the work of tools. But these Miocene relics are
questionable. They do not seem to surpass the shaping power of nature
herself. Unless some more indubitable relics are found, we must place
the advent of man as a tool-using animal at a much later date. How far
back he may have existed as a man-like biped is another question, which
we are not likely soon to solve.

It is scarcely necessary to pursue this branch of our subject farther.
We have reached one end of a line of development, the succeeding course
of which is well known. From the earliest rudely chipped stones and
flints that are certainly the work of man, we can easily trace his
progress upward through better examples of the chipped and later through
those of the polished stone implement, until the age of metal began.
And with these stones have been found many other indications of the
progressing powers of man, in the shaping of bone, the invention and use
of a considerable variety of implements and ornaments, and the earliest
efforts of art, as stated in a preceding section. There is no occasion
to go into the detail of these steps of progress. When they are reached,
this section of our work ends. We are concerned here simply with man's
ancestor and man in his earliest stage of existence, not with man in his
later course of development.



The question has often been asked, if man has descended from an ape
ancestor why is it that no traces of this ancestral form have been found
in a fossil state? If man has gone through such an extended course of
development, why has he left no remains? This question, looked upon as
unanswerable by many of those who ask it, is really of minor importance.
A half-dozen answers, each of considerable weight, could easily be made
to it. In the first place, it may be said that the absence of remains
referred to is far from a single instance, but one out of thousands. It
is generally admitted that the species of animals found fossil are very
far from representing all the species that have existed upon the earth,
and probably form but a minute percentage of them. In the second place,
the remains of man's ancestor have not been sought for in its native
locality, the tropical regions. In the third place, man belongs to the
class of animals least likely to be preserved in the fossil state, since
they dwell in the depths of forests and at a distance from the lakes and
streams in whose muddy bottoms the remains of so many animals have been
fossilized. Another answer is, that of the various species of anthropoid
apes that probably existed in the past, a few relics only of a single
species have been found. If there were this one species alone, its
number of individuals must have reached into the millions, yet of those
hosts only a few fugitive bones are known to exist. There could not well
be a more striking instance of the imperfection of the geological
record. The sparse remains of Dryopithecus, the species in question,
with some few other fossils of doubtfully anthropoid species, save us
from a total blank, and open the vista to a myriad of active arboreal
creatures which had their dwelling-place in the old-time European
forests, but have almost utterly vanished from human knowledge.

These are not the only answers that can be made to the question
propounded. Though the bones of the man-ape have not been found, relics
of several stages of developing man exist. Most significant among these,
until recently, was the celebrated Neanderthal skull, which in facial
aspect departs widely from the ordinary human and approaches the simian
type. More significant still is the Pithecanthropus cranium, indicative
of an animal that stood midway between man and ape, a creature fully
erect in posture, as its thigh bone proves, but with a brain that had
attained but the halfway stage of development. In this notable find we
seem to see man in the making, the body already fully man-like, the
brain advanced much beyond the stage of the ape intellect, but still far
below that of man. It is the remnant of a creature significantly on the
dividing line between man-ape and man.

So much for the response to the question as hitherto made. As the case
stands, we are not obliged to stop at this point. Within the latter
section of the nineteenth century discoveries have been made which fit
in admirably with our argument. Rediscoveries, perhaps, we should call
them, for they were imperfectly known in ancient times, but only
recently have they fairly come within human ken. We refer to the Pygmy
tribes of the African forests, not definitely offered hitherto as aids
to the elucidation of this problem, yet which seem to adapt themselves
closely to it, and certainly help essentially in filling the gap between
civilized man and his ape-like ancestor.

We have already said that there appear to have been two separate and
distinct stages in the evolution of man: one, that of his conflict with
the animal world, ending in his mastery of the brute creation; the
second that of his conflict with nature, ending in his mastery of the
resources of the earth. Overlapping and succeeding the second there has
been a third, that of the conflict of man with man, ending in the
survival of the fittest of the human race. In the discussion of this
problem, as hitherto made, these distinct stages of evolution, with
their intermediate resting stages, have not been recognized; argument
being based on man as a whole, and no thought directed to the
possibility that existing man may represent several separate processes
of development, with broad lapses between. The argument we propose to
offer is that man as he was at the completion of his first stage, that
of the subjugation of the animal world, and before the beginning of the
conflict with nature, still exists, the first derivation from the
man-ape, living in the location and possessing much of the appearance
and many of the habits of this ancestral form.

Late travellers in Africa have found more than trees and streams in the
forest depths. They have found there a distinct and peculiar race of
men, negro-like in many particulars, yet differing from the negroes in
others, and specially marked by their dwarfish stature, which is
indicated in the name of Pygmies, usually given them. These diminutive
beings were known as long ago as the days of Homer, and their legendary
combats with the cranes are spoken of by him in his poems. He was not
aware of what is known now, that these forest dwarfs would disdain the
cranes as antagonists, and are quite capable of overcoming the lordly
elephant. In truth, they know no equals in the forest, and, while
destitute of any knowledge of agriculture, are the most skilful,
considering the primitive character of their weapons, of the hunters of
the earth.

The forest is the home of the Pygmy, as in all probability it was of the
man-ape. He dwells in its deepest recesses, its moist and sultry depths,
and pines when removed from his native realm in the heart of the tropic
woods. In truth, he is almost as fully arboreal as was his tree-dwelling
ancestor and as are his forest relatives, the anthropoid apes of to-day;
not inhabiting the limbs of trees, indeed, but living under their shade,
and forming the true man of the woodland, the nomad hunters of the vast
equatorial forests. It must be said, however, that this is not wholly
the case. There are tribes seemingly belonging to this race in South
Africa who dwell in the open desert, but retain there, in great measure,
the habits of their forest kin.

The first of modern travellers to see the Pygmies was Du Chaillu, in his
journey through the African woodlands in 1867. He describes them as
averaging four feet seven inches in height, their complexion of a pale
yellow brown, the hair of their head short, but their bodies covered
with a thick growth of hair, as if the loss of their ancestral covering
had not been completed. The tribe seen by him was known as the Obongo,
and dwelt in Ashango Land, occupying the forest region between the
Gaboon and the Congo.

Dr. Schweinfurth, whose exploration extended from 1868 to 1870, was the
next to meet these nomads of the forests, of whom he has given an
interesting description in his "Heart of Africa." He met with them in
the country of the Manbuttoo, on the Welle River, between three degrees
and four degrees north latitude. The tribe seen by him, known as the
Akka, was made up of very diminutive individuals, none being over four
feet ten inches high, and some only four feet. Their bodies were in due
proportion to their height, so that they resembled half-grown boys in

The Akkas, as described by him, have large heads, huge ears, and very
prognathous faces. Their arms are long and lank, the chest flat and
narrow, widening below to support a huge hanging abdomen, the legs short
and bandy, and the walk a waddling motion, there being a sort of lurch
with each step. In this latter respect they recall the gibbon in its
effort to walk. The gaping aspect of the mouth has a suggestive
resemblance to that of the ape. They are also ape-like in their
incessant play of countenance, twitching of eyebrows, rapid gestures of
hands and feet, nodding and wagging of the head, and remarkable agility.
Their skin is of a dull brown color, "like partly roasted coffee," and
destitute of the covering of hair seen by Du Chaillu on the Obongos. The
hair of the head and the beard is scanty and of woolly texture.

Stanley, who frequently met those forest dwarfs in his expedition for
the relief of Emin Pacha, gives much information concerning them in his
"In Darkest Africa." He found, indeed, two types of dwarfs, one the
Wambutti, who were of attractive aspect, having large, round eyes, full
and prominent round faces with broad foreheads, jaws slightly
prognathous, hands and feet small, figures well formed though
diminutive, and complexion of a brick red hue. The other type, the Akka,
he describes as having "small, cunning, monkey eyes, close and deeply
set." One woman described by him had "protruding lips overhanging her
chin, a prominent abdomen, narrow flat chest, sloping shoulders, long
arms, feet strongly turned inward, and very short lower legs." She was
"certainly deserving of being classed as an extremely low, degraded,
almost a bestial type of a human being." The language of the Akka is of
a very undeveloped type, and seems a link between articulate and
inarticulate speech.

Stanley, in his journey down the Congo, heard many stories of the forest
dwarfs, who were described to him as a yard high, with long beards and
large heads. Other traditional accounts of them similarly speak of their
long beards, though Stanley saw none answering to this description. The
first individual seen by him in this journey was four feet six and a
half inches high, and measured thirty inches round the chest. He was of
a light chocolate color, with a thin fringe of whiskers, his legs bowed
and with thin shanks, the calf being undeveloped. His body was covered
with a thick, fur-like hair, nearly half an inch long, in this respect
agreeing with those described by Du Chaillu.

The Batwas, seen and measured by Dr. Ludwig Wolfe in the middle Congo
basin in 1886, were of an average height of four feet three inches. They
resemble the Akka in general appearance, and have longish heads, long
narrow faces, and small reddish eyes. They bounded through the tall
herbage "like grasshoppers" and were remarkably agile in climbing.

For several years past there have been rumors of a race of Pygmies in
the interior of the Cameroons, but these reports were not verified until
the year 1898, when the Bulu expedition of the German military force
succeeded, with much difficulty, in seeing several individuals of this
race, secured through the aid of a native chief. One woman was measured
and proved to be just four feet high. The color was from chocolate-brown
to copperish, except the palms, which were of a yellowish white. The
hair was deep black, thick, and frizzled; the skull broad and high; the
lips full and swollen. Like other Pygmy tribes, these are very shy,
wandering from place to place in the forest, and avoiding frequented
routes of travel. They are skilful hunters and collect much rubber,
which they dispose of to the negro tribes.

In the same year Mr. Albert B. Lloyd made a journey in Central Africa,
following Stanley's route down the Congo. He was alone, with the
exception of a few carriers, and had the good fortune of passing through
the country of the Pygmies and that of the cannibals of the Aruwimi
without conflict or injury, entering into cordial relations with both
peoples. He journeyed for three weeks in the Pygmy forest and had
excellent opportunities for examining its inhabitants.

After entering the great primeval forest Mr. Lloyd went west for five
days without the sight of a Pygmy. Suddenly he became aware of their
presence by mysterious movements among the trees, which he at first
attributed to the monkeys. Finally he came to a clearing and stopped at
an Arab village, where he met a great number of the diminutive nomads.
"They told me," says Mr. Lloyd, "that, unknown to me, they had been
watching me for five days, peering through the growth of the forest.
They appeared very much frightened, and even when speaking covered their
faces. I asked a chief to allow me to photograph the dwarfs, and he
brought a dozen together. I was able to secure a snap-shot, but did not
succeed in the time exposure, as the Pygmies would not stand still. Then
I tried to measure them, and found not one over four feet in height. All
were fully developed, the women somewhat slighter than the men. I was
amazed at their sturdiness. The men have long beards, reaching halfway
down the chest. They are very timid, and will not look a stranger in
the face, their bead-like eyes constantly shifting. They are, it struck
me, fairly intelligent. I had a long talk with a chief, who conversed
intelligently about their customs in the forest and the number of the
tribesmen. Both men and women, except for a tiny strip of bark, were
quite nude. The men were armed with poisoned arrows. The chief told me
the tribes were nomadic, and never slept two nights in the same place.
They just huddle together in hastily thrown-up huts. Memories of a white
traveller,--Mr. Stanley, of course,--who crossed the forest years ago,
still linger among them."

The discovery of these forest Pygmies has directed attention to the
Bushmen of South Africa, a desert-dwelling race, long known though
comparatively little regarded in their ethnological significance. They
are now by many regarded as an outlying branch of the forest Pygmies,
the chief difference being in the shape of the skull, which is rather
long in the Bushmen, rather short in the Pygmies. These degraded
wanderers inhabit an area extending from the inner ranges of the
mountains of Cape Colony, through the central Kalahari desert, to near
Lake Ngami, and thence northwestward to the Ovambo River. Into these,
the most barren portions of the South African deserts, they have been
driven by the encroachments of Kaffirs, Hottentots, and Europeans.

They closely resemble the Akka tribes of the north, averaging about four
and a half feet in height, and possessing deep-set, crafty eyes, small
and depressed nose, and a generally repulsive countenance. Their
complexion is of a dirty yellow. Their hair grows in small, woolly
tufts. In the vicinity of Lake Ngami, Livingstone found them to be of
larger stature and darker color, while Baines measured some in this
region who were five feet six inches in height. In disposition the
Bushmen are strikingly wild, malicious, and intractable, while their
cerebral development is classed by Humboldt as belonging to almost the
lowest class of the human species.

Close in affinity with the Bushmen, and in various respects unlike the
dark races around them, are the Hottentots, the original inhabitants of
Cape Colony, a race of herdsmen who are much superior in culture to the
degraded desert nomads. They are not dwarfish, being of medium stature,
but they resemble the Bushmen in complexion, in which and in general
cast of features they present some similarity to the Chinese. Their
hair, like that of the Bushmen, grows in tufts, with spaces between, and
they are like them in language, their method of speech consisting
largely in a series of clicking sounds. Their manner of talking has been
compared to the clucking of a hen, and by the Dutch to the "gobbling of
a turkeycock." The Hottentots present every appearance of being a
developed branch of the Pygmy family, or the result of a cross between
Bushmen and negroes.

These tribes of dwarfs, now extended throughout the equatorial forests
and over the South African deserts, were probably once far more
widespread, inhabiting much of the continent and reaching as far as
Madagascar, where a branch of them, known as Kinios or Quinias, are
thought still to exist. They extended north to the Mediterranean, and
have left their representatives in Morocco in a tribe of dwarfs, about
four feet high, who differ widely in appearance from all other people of
that country. As to their origin, there is a diversity of opinion. Some
anthropologists look upon them as a primeval race, distinct from the
negroes, who came among them later. Professor Virchow, on the contrary,
is of the opinion that their only important difference from the negroes
is that of size, and regards them as the remains of a primitive
population from whom the negroes have descended.

In a preceding section a statement was made as to what was the probable
general appearance of the man-ape. It was based upon the physical aspect
of the Pygmies, whom we hold to form the immediate derivative of man's
ape ancestor, and to have made no radical change in personal appearance,
if we may judge from the various ape-like characteristics which they
still present. Mentally they have made a very considerable advance, and
have reached the stage of men of low intellectual powers; but while
their brains have been growing their bodies have not greatly changed,
and the marks of their origin are thick upon them. There has probably
been little change in size, the diminutive stature and small bodily
dimensions being in accord with their incessant activity, while the
difficulties of traversing the thick growth of the tropical forest may
have helped to keep them small. As it is, they are of about half the
size of civilized man, the weight of a full grown adult male being
probably not over ninety pounds.

Taking the Pygmies as a whole, it may be said that, though many of the
Akkas are disproportionate in shape and tottering in gait, on the whole
these people are well made, their protuberant paunch being probably a
result of their habits of eating. Captain Guy Burrows says that a Pygmy
will eat twice as much as would suffice a full-grown man, and that one
of them will devour a whole stalk of bananas at a meal, with other food.
Some tribes are described as physically and mentally degenerate, and
prognathism is in many cases strongly declared, the lower part of the
face having an ape-like contour, and the protruding chin, that feature
peculiar to man, being very deficient. In their great abdominal
development the adult Akkas resemble the children of Arabs and negroes.
This, therefore, seems the retention of a primitive feature which has
become a passing characteristic in the more advanced types of mankind.

The Pygmies are not destitute of intelligence, and are capable of
receiving some of the elements of education. Two of them were brought to
Italy about 1875, who within two years' time learned to read and write
and to speak Italian with much fluency. They showed themselves superior
in school studies to European children of ten or twelve years of age,
and one of them became somewhat proficient in music. In their habits
they resembled children, being sensitive and impulsive, fond of play,
and very quick in their motions. Their readiness in gaining the elements
of education is in accord with experience in the case of other savages.
It is when studies requiring abstruse thought are reached that the
facility in acquisition of the savage races comes to an end.

With this consideration of the characteristics and habitat of the
Pygmies we may proceed to a review of their habits. The weapons which
they seem to have developed during their long upward progress, and to
which their supremacy over the wild beasts of the forest is probably
due, consist of two, the bow and arrow and the spear. The bow and arrow
are small and insignificant in appearance, and would be of little value
but for the poison which the Pygmies have somehow learned how to obtain,
and which makes them dreaded, not only by beasts, but by men. Wherever
found, from the deserts of the south to the forest of the Welle and
Aruwimi on the north, the poisoned arrow is a mark of affinity as
decided in its way as their physical resemblance. Its wide distribution
goes to indicate that it was the general weapon of the Pygmies ages ago,
when, presumably, they had all Africa for their own, and ruled supreme
over the animal world in that continent.

It is true, indeed, that the use of the poisoned arrow is not peculiar
to them, but is a somewhat common possession of savage tribes in all
parts of the earth. This makes it quite possible that it was not
original with the Pygmies, but was derived by them from other tribes. On
the other hand, in view of its great value in giving them supremacy over
the lower animals, it may well have been a primeval Pygmy invention, and
these tribes the original source of its existing wide distribution.

They possess more than one poison; one being a dark substance of the
color and consistence of pitch, which is supposed to be made out of a
species of arum. It is laid in the splints of their wooden arrows, or
spread thickly upon their iron arrowheads, when they possess these.
Another poison is of a pale glue color, which is supposed by Stanley to
be made of crushed red ants. When fresh these poisons are deadly,
producing excessive faintness, palpitation of the heart, nausea, and
deep pallor, soon followed by death. In Stanley's experience one man
died within a minute, from a mere pin prick in the breast. Others lived
during different intervals, extending up to one hundred hours. The
difference in virulence seems to have depended on the degree of
freshness of the venom, which apparently lost its strength as it became

The possession of a weapon so deadly as this, together with the agility
and daring and the unerring marksmanship of the forest dwarfs, seem
sufficient to give them absolute control of the animals of the African
wilds. The lion, the elephant, and the buffalo, the largest and fiercest
of the beasts of field and forest, are powerless before the virulent
venom of the arrows of the Pygmies, and doubtless for ages they have
held dominion as the fearless rulers of wood and wild. Captain Burrows
says of the skill with the bow of the Pygmy that "he will shoot three or
four arrows, one after the other, with such rapidity that the last will
have left the bow before the first has reached its goal."

The bow and spear are not their only means of obtaining food. They have
certain of the arts of the trapper, perhaps original with them, perhaps
borrowed from their larger neighbors. They sink pits in the pathways of
their game, covering them with light sticks and leaves and sprinkling
earth over the whole. They build hut-like structures, and lay nuts or
plantains beneath, for the purpose of tempting chimpanzees, baboons, or
other apes. A slight movement causes the hut to fall on the incautious
animals. Bow traps are placed along the tracks of civets, ichneumons,
and rodents, which snap and strangle them. The Pygmies do not hesitate
to attack the elephant, spearing it from beneath, and hunting it for its
ivory, which they trade with the settled tribes. In short, they are of
unsurpassed agility, and are the best of woodsmen and hunters, their
skill being taken advantage of by the settled tribes, who trade with
them vegetables, tobacco, spears, knives, and arrows for meat, honey,
the feathers of birds, the ivory of the elephant, and other forest
spoil. So destructive are they of game that they would soon denude the
surrounding forest if they stayed long in one spot, so that they are
compelled to move frequently. Schweinfurth speaks of them as cruel and
fond of tormenting animals.

They serve the settled natives in other ways, acting as scouts and
informing them of the coming of strangers while still distant. Every
forest road runs through their camps, their villages command every
crossway, and no movement can take place in the forest without their
knowledge, while they are adept in the art of concealment.

The superior woodcraft, the malicious disposition, and the poisoned
arrows and good marksmanship of these forest folks make them formidable
enemies, and the settled tribes hold them in dread and are glad to keep
on good terms with them. Yet they find them much of a nuisance, since
their dwarfish neighbors claim free access to their gardens and
plantain fields, where they help themselves to fruit in return for small
supplies of meat and furs. In short, they are human parasites on the
larger natives, who suffer from their extortions, yet fear to provoke
their enmity. Burrows says that they will never steal, but that they pay
very inadequately for the plantains they take, leaving a very small
package of meat in return for an ample supply of food.

The Pygmies build their camps two or three miles away from the negro
villages, living in groups of sixty to eighty families. A large clearing
may have eight to twelve of these Pygmy camps around it, with perhaps
two thousand inmates. Their dwellings are of the shape of an oval cut
lengthwise, and are built in a rude circle, the residence of the chief
occupying the centre. The doors are two or three feet high. On every
track leading to the camp, at about one hundred yards' distance, is a
sentry house large enough to hold two of the little folks, its doorway
looking up the track from the camp. While wandering in the forest they
build the flimsiest of leaf shelters.

The intelligence of the Pygmies is of a very low order. In the arts
which they have been developing for ages they are experts, they are
thoroughly familiar with the habits of animals, and as hunters they are
unsurpassed. But in intellect they are decidedly lacking. They are
destitute of agriculture, possess no animals except a few dogs, and
have none of the elements of culture. The Bushmen, for instance, can
count only up to two; all beyond that is "many." Yet this low tribe of
desert nomads is, as we have said, skilled in the art of drawing, its
sketches of men and animals being widely distributed through Cape

The Pygmies seem greatly lacking in the social sentiments. Burrows, in
his "Land of the Pygmies," says that they do not possess even the most
ordinary ties of family affection. Such common and natural feelings of
affinity as those between mother and son, brother and sister, etc.,
seemed to be wanting in them.

It is a fact of great interest that the Pygmy race does not seem
confined to Africa, for tribes of men resembling the Pygmies in stature
and in various other particulars are found in widely removed localities,
as in Malacca, the Andaman Islands, and the Philippine Archipelago,
while there are indications that they once spread widely over this
island region of the earth. Those of the Philippines, known as Negritos
or Aetas, have been somewhat closely observed and may be briefly

The Negritos are similar in stature to the Pygmies of Africa, the men
averaging four feet eight inches high, and they are like them in general
appearance. They are darker in complexion, some being as sable as
negroes, and all of them darker than the African Pygmies. Their features
are coarse and ill-shaped, their nose depressed, lips full, hair black
and frizzled. In body, like the Pygmies, they are thin and
spindle-legged. The calf of the leg is not developed in any of these
dwarfish people. The Negritos possess one marked and significant
characteristic,--the separation of the great toe. This, while it has not
the full power of movement shown in the apes, is much more separated
from the others than in the whites, and can be readily used in grasping.
By its aid the Negrito can not only pick up small objects, but can
descend the rigging of a ship head downward, holding on like a monkey by
his toes. It may be said that among uncivilized and barefoot people the
great toe is usually very mobile. The artisans of Bengal can weave, the
Chinese boatmen can row, with its aid, and it adds much to facility in

The Negritos wear little clothing, have no fixed abodes, and pass a
wandering life in the forests, living on game, honey, wild fruits, roots
of the arum, and other forest food. Their weapons consist of a bamboo
lance, a bow of palm wood, and a quiver of poisoned arrows. It is
certainly a striking fact that, wherever found, from South Africa to the
Far East, the Pygmy tribes possess the art of poisoning their weapons.
This art is not practised by the surrounding peoples, and is the
strongest evidence of a community of origin. It seems to point back to a
remote period when the Pygmy peoples spread far through the tropics of
the Eastern hemisphere, though in the region now under consideration
they have almost vanished through the assaults of the Malays.

The Negritos are very alert physically, being remarkably fleet of foot,
while they can climb like monkeys. They live in groups of about fifty
families, shelter being obtained by a simple erection of sloping poles
and leaves, though in their more settled locations they built bamboo
huts like those of the Malays. They are a short-lived race, seldom
living more than forty years. Mentally, they are stupid and apparently
incapable of improvement, seeming to stand at the foot of the human
scale. Attempts to instruct them have been made, but all proved
failures. Efforts to make agriculturists of them have proved similarly
futile. They are hereditarily hunters, and hunters they are likely to

The only Eastern locality of which the Pygmy race remained in full
possession until recent times is that of the Andaman Islands. This is no
longer the case. Great Britain made a penal settlement of these islands
after the mutiny in India, and as a consequence the Mincopies, as their
native inhabitants are called, have begun to disappear. These islanders
are rather taller than the Philippine Negritos, ranging from four and a
half to five feet in height, but otherwise there is a somewhat close
resemblance between them. Their color is dark brown or black, their hair
woolly, and inclined to grow in tufts, like that of the Bushmen. The
head, though large in proportion to the body, is really very small and
of low cranial capacity. That of the men is only 1244 cubic centimetres,
as contrasted with 1554 cubic centimetres of a large number of male
Parisians measured by Broca. That of the women differs in the same
proportion. Flower says that the Mincopies rank lowest among the human
races in this respect; but it must be remembered that the brain usually
decreases in size with decrease in stature.

Small as these islanders are, however, their strength is relatively
great. They use with ease bows which the strongest English sailors
cannot string, though practice may have much to do with this facility.
And they can send arrows with a force that seems out of accord with
their size. Their agility is remarkable. Travellers speak of the speed
of the bullet in describing their running--doubtless with some
exaggeration. Their senses are strikingly acute. It is said that they
can distinguish fruits by their odor when hidden in the foliage of the
jungle, and have wonderful powers of sight and hearing. As in the case
of the Aetas, their life is short, though the age of puberty is nearly
as great as with us. Fifty is extreme old age with these people, and
twenty-two is said to be their average length of life.

Mentally, they are at a low level, the lowest, in the opinion of Owen,
among the races of mankind. In counting they have words for only one
and two, but can count up to ten by touching the nose with each of the
fingers in succession, saying each time, "this one also." Their language
is of a primitive type, and in various respects they manifest low
intelligence. Yet, as in the case of the Akkas mentioned, they can be
taught to the level of other children of twelve or fourteen years. Their
mind, in the opinion of Dr. Brander, seems rather to be asleep than
incapable. One child was taught to read and write, and to speak English
fluently, and gained some knowledge of arithmetic; and this was not an
exceptional case.

It does not seem at all remarkable, when we consider the ease with which
monkeys can be taught many arts and acts new to them, that those
dwarfish men, like other savages, greatly superior as they are in brain
power to the apes, should be capable of acquiring the minor elements of
education. It is not what they can be taught, but what they have taught
themselves, that we must consider in assigning them to their comparative
place in intellectual development. In this respect the Mincopies are on
a very low plane. They have not even acquired the art of making a fire,
though this is almost universal with mankind. All they know is how to
keep a fire alive, and in this they are very assiduous. It is probable
that they may have obtained fire at first from volcanoes on neighboring

They are lacking, like the Pygmy races in general, in the art of
chipping stone, one of the earliest arts acquired by man. Their only
means of shaping stone is to put it into the fire until it breaks or
splinters, when they can use the sharp splinters for their purposes.
They are quite destitute of the art of drawing, and have no means of
communicating their thoughts except by speech.

Yet with these deficiencies, they have made some progress in the
industrial arts. They make wooden vessels, and can produce pottery which
stands the fire and in which they cook most of their food. They make
nets of considerable size, which they use to fish with in the narrow
streams. They have arrows and harpoons, whose points are fastened to the
shaft by a long cord. The fish or land animal struck unwinds this cord
in trying to get away, and its speed being checked by the shaft which it
drags along, it is easily caught.

The Mincopies possess boats, and these seem to have been early
possessions of the Negrito populations, by whose aid they were able to
migrate from island to island. Their canoes have nautical qualities
which have astonished English sailors. At one time they were probably
bold and daring fishermen and navigators, until driven to the forests
and mountains by the invasion of the Malays.

As the Pygmies were in all probability the aborigines of Africa, so the
Negritos appear to have been the aboriginal people of the Eastern
islands, if not of India. Quatrefages, in his work "The Pygmies," finds
reason to believe that even at the present day traces of them, pure or
mixed, can be found from southeast New Guinea to the Andaman Islands,
and from the Sunda Islands to Japan. On the continent their range
extends, according to him, "from Annam and the peninsula of Malacca to
the western Ghauts, and from Cape Comorin to the Himalayas."

In one part of India the Negrito-like population are called
_Bander-lokh_ (literally "man-ape") by the neighboring tribes. The
Semangs of Malacca are jet-black in color, with thick lips, flat nose,
and protruding abdomen. In regard to the characteristic of prognathism,
it is possessed in various degrees, the most pronounced instance being
seen in the photograph of one of the Kalangs of Java, a tribe which has
recently become extinct. The face of this individual is strikingly
ape-like in profile.

Everywhere that these dwarfish people are found, whether in Africa,
India, or Malaysia, they present the appearance of being an aboriginal
race, now largely annihilated by the incursions of larger and
better-armed people, but once widespread and numerous. As to their place
of origin, whether in Africa, India, or the island region, it is useless
to speculate, as the facts on which an opinion could be based are not
known. Wherever found they are in close relation to the black races, the
negroes of Africa, the Papuans of Polynesia, and evidences of a
considerable degree of mixture of races exist. This is especially the
case in Polynesia and India, where the Negritos appear to shade off into
the full-sized blacks through an intermediate series of half-breeds.

Yet one fact of ethnological importance needs to be mentioned. The
Negritos and Pygmies are everywhere brachycephalic, or short-headed,
with the exception of the Bushmen, who are dolichocephalic, or partially
so. Negroes and Papuans are strongly dolichocephalic. In this respect
the Pygmy peoples agree more closely with the short-headed Mongolian or
yellow races than with the long-headed negro or black races, though in
general features they come near the latter.

In truth, this race of dwarfs may be the primitive stock from which the
Mongolians branched off on the one hand, and the Negroes on the other,
since they are in some measure intermediate between the two. Latham says
of the Rajmalis mountaineers, "Some say their physiognomy is Mongolian,
others that it is African." Quatrefages is strongly of the opinion that
the negro is of Indian origin, and reached Africa through migration. He
bases his opinion on the negroid characters of existing tribes in India,
Persia, and elsewhere in Asia, and on the similar characters of the
aboriginal Polynesians. As regards the Pygmies, they probably spread
over the whole of this section of the earth at a period of remote
antiquity, and very long ago developed the racial differences which
appear to exist between separate tribes. Distinctions of this kind can
be seen in the East, and a marked one is pointed out by Stanley between
the Wambutti and the Akka, as already stated.

Wherever found the Pygmies are hunters, usually making the deep forest
their home, and are masters through their agility, cunning, and deadly
weapons of the whole world of lower animals. Physically they are
probably not far removed from the man-ape, their remote ancestor, for
they retain various ape-like characters, as in aspect of face, shape of
body, occasional hairiness, diminutive size, shortness of legs,
imperfect development of the calf, occasional waddling gait in walking,
and the other particulars above pointed out. There are certainly
abundant reasons for believing them to be, as we have suggested, the
final result of the first great conflict in the evolution of man, that
with the lower animals.

This assured mastery once gained, the occasion for further development
of this people ceased while they remained in the forest habitat which
they had inherited from their ape ancestors. Here the problem of food
getting was fully solved and there was nothing to instigate any new step
in evolution. The period of conflict ended, a period of rest supervened,
and, so far as the Pygmies are concerned, this period still continues.
Though later races, their probable descendants, have left the forest
and set up new stages of development through new conflicts with adverse
conditions, the Pygmies remain in their resting state, and, if left to
themselves, might continue in this state for ages in the future as they
have done for ages in the past. As the case now stands, however,
annihilation threatens some of them, while educative and other
influences from without may bring to an end the physical and mental
isolation of the others.

In considering the Pygmies as they exist to-day, in fact, it is
impossible to say how far their habits and possessions are original with
themselves and how far they have been derived from others. There can be
no question that they have been influenced by the customs of surrounding
peoples of higher culture, and that they have received implements and
methods from without. To get down to the pure Pygmy, as an outcome of
evolution within himself, we would need to strip off all these
adventitious aids, if we could distinguish them from the conditions
native to the race, and thus behold him as he was before he fell under
the influence of men of higher grade. Were it possible to isolate him in
this way, and present his original self, we should have before us an
ethnological specimen of the highest interest and importance, as the
ultimate resultant of the first great stage in the evolution of man from
his ape ancestor.



It has been a frequently debated question whether man comprises a single
species or two or more species of animal descent. If a line be drawn
from the Gold Coast in tropical Africa to the steppes of Tartary in
central Asia, it will present two markedly distinct races of men at its
two extremities. At its southwestern end we find the most long-headed,
prognathous, frizzly-haired, dark-skinned race of mankind. At its
northeastern end is the most round-headed, orthognathous,
straight-haired, and yellow-skinned race. Midway between these appear
intermediate peoples, with heads round, oval, or oblong, hair straight
or curly, skin fair or dark, faces upright or protruding, men possibly,
to judge from their physical character, a result of the amalgamation of
these two distinct races.

These differences may be the result of original difference in species or
may be due to climatic and other influences of nature. Some writers
accept the one view, some the other, and neither is sustained by any
great weight of facts. The Pygmy race presents somewhat similar
differences. Usually round-headed, these small men are in some
instances long-headed, while such marked distinctions appear at times
that Stanley classed two neighboring tribes as separate races. Here they
present features of the Mongolian, there they are similar to the Negro.
This goes to indicate that the distinction between the Negro and the
Mongolian began far back in time, but it does not prove that it is the
result of original difference in species, or that two distinct forms of
ape separately developed into man. While this is quite possible, the
theory of a single species has been most widely accepted. The chief
writers on the subject think that the differences arose during that
undeveloped stage of mankind when resistance to the transforming
influences of nature was still weak, and when the structure of the human
frame may have yielded readily to agencies which would have little or no
effect upon it now.

Of one thing we can be sure, which is that there was a wide migration of
the apes in remote times. Leaving the tropics, many species spread to
the north, extending into Europe, which at that time seems to have been
connected by land bridges with Africa, and spreading far through Asia.
There was probably nothing at that time in atmospheric conditions to
check such a migration. The Tertiary climate of Europe is believed to
have been quite mild. And the ape family is by no means necessarily
confined to warm regions. Monkeys are found to-day at high elevations
on the mountains of India, enduring the chill of ten thousand feet of

Of the migration to Europe abundant evidence exists, fossil remains of
monkeys having been found in many localities of that continent. Among
these residents of early Europe was at least one representative of the
anthropoid apes, the fossil species known as Dryopithecus, from the
middle Miocene deposits of St. Gaudens, France. This species, apparently
most nearly allied to the chimpanzee, was taller than any existing ape.
Two or three other fossil remains, possibly of anthropoid apes of
smaller size, have been found, and Europe seems to have been well
supplied with apes of a considerable degree of development at a remote
geological period. Among those may have been the form we have designated
the man-ape, the ancestor of the human race, though no fossil relic
attributable to such a species has been recognized.

Coming down to a much lower period, we begin to find traces of man,
first in his rudely chipped and later in his polished stone weapons and
tools. And the bones of man himself appear, extending through what is
known as the Quaternary or Pleistocene period. Nearly all these remains
have been preserved by the art of burial, a fact indicating some degree
of mental progress, though their residence in caves and the rudeness of
their implements are evidence that the race was still low in culture.

An interesting fact in connection with these ancient human remains is
that most of them indicate a small race, with narrow skulls and
prognathous jaws, recalling the Pygmies in general structure. This rude
and small race continued until a late period of prehistoric time. It
extended down from the cave bear and mammoth period through the later
reindeer period, as is proved by discoveries made in the caves of the
Belgian province of Namur. And there is good reason to believe that it
continued into the age of bronze, for the small size of the handles of
bronze weapons show they must have been intended for men with small

These diminutive people seem to have been not over four feet eight
inches high. They were not alone, however. Men of normal height were in
Europe with them. The northward migration of the Pygmies seems to have
been accompanied or followed by that of a full grown people. Yet the
Pygmies have held their own in Europe as in Africa, with certain
modifications. In Sicily and Sardinia, which form part of a supposed
former land bridge between Africa and Europe, a small people about five
feet high still exist, whom Dr. Kollman looks upon as representing a
distinct race, the predecessors of the tall Europeans. In the Lapps of
northern Europe we possess another small race, possibly the lineal
descendents of the Quaternary Pygmies. Everywhere the small man has
been forced to retire into forests, deserts, and icy barrens before the
taller and stronger man. The folk-lore of Europe is full of traditions
of a race of dwarfs, and its conflict with men of larger mould, and
there are various indications that this race was once widespread.

What has been said here of the migration of man into Europe and his
development in that country is preliminary to a consideration of the
second great stage of human development, that due to the conflict with
nature. The conflict with the animal world appears to have ended in the
production of a dwarfish, forest-dwelling variety of man, in the lowest
human stage of mental evolution. The conflict with nature ended in the
development of a full-sized variety of man, dwelling largely in the open
country and much superior in intellect, as indicated by his higher
powers of thought and advanced degree of organization.

The conflict with nature took several forms, in accordance with the
conditions of the several regions inhabited by man. Its result was to
subdue nature to the use and benefit of mankind, and the methods, in the
tropical localities of original man, consisted in the reduction of
animals to the domestic state and a similar domestication of food
plants. In other words, one of its early stages was the development of
the herding habit, while a far more important one was that of the
appearance of the agricultural industries. In Europe a third and still
more vigorous influence supervened, that of the conflict with cold and
man's gradual adaptation to the conditions of a frigid climate.

If the nomad dwarfs were the aboriginal men, all later races must have
developed from them. While remaining in the forest and retaining their
primitive habits, the Pygmies presented an instance of arrested
evolution. For a new development to begin it was necessary to abandon
the old locality and with it the old habits, and this they probably
began to do at a remote period. When, indeed, the earth was their
dominion, there was no reason for their remaining restricted to a forest
residence, as they have been since the larger races took possession of
the open country. We do not need to go back far in time in the East to
find the Pygmy race in full control of the Philippine and other islands,
and probably of Malacca and parts of Hindostan. Their present
restriction and partial extermination have been due to the incursions of
the warlike Malays. The Andaman Mincopies remained undisturbed until a
recent date, and added fishing to their hunting pursuits. And the canoes
which these islanders now possess were probably the invention of their
race, and furnished the means by which the aborigines spread from island
to island of those thickly studded seas.

In Africa the only existing indication of a migration of the forest folk
into the open country is found in the Bushmen and Hottentots of the far
south. The former, confined to the desert, remain nomad hunters and
present no step of advance beyond the Akka and other equatorial tribes.
The Hottentots, on the contrary, have made an important step of
progress. While still nomads and addicted to hunting, they have
domesticated cattle and sheep and become essentially a herding people,
though mentally the lowest race of herders on the face of the earth.

With this change in habits, the Hottentots have significantly increased
in stature. While still of medium height, they are considerably larger
than their Bushmen kindred, to whom they present a close resemblance in
other respects. This increase in size is a common result of a change in
habits which insures a fuller supply of food with less strain upon the
muscular organization in obtaining it; a fact of which the lower animal
world is full of illustrations. The life of the forest and desert
hunters is one of incessant activity, and their food supply is
precarious. The Hottentots, on the contrary, take life easily and are
inclined to indolence, their herds supplying them with food in abundance
with little exertion. They retain enough of the primeval strain to be
fond of hunting, and while thus engaged display the activity of their
ancestral race, but ordinarily they pursue an idle, wandering life, and
their increase in size may well be a result of their change in habits.

The Hottentots, while still low in the human scale, are mentally a
stage in advance of the Bushmen, they having a more developed social
organization and superior powers of thought. The latter is indicated by
their myths and legends, of which they have a considerable store, though
they are in great measure destitute of religious conceptions, such
religion as they possess taking in great part the primitive form of
ancestor worship. Under the influence of Europeans they are gradually
abandoning their old habits and adopting those of civilized life, but
while improving in social and industrial conditions there is little
evidence of intellectual advance.

The development in method of food-getting displayed by the Hottentots
was really but the completion of the old battle for dominion with the
animal host. It consisted in subjecting some of the docile herbivora
more fully to human mastership. The hunter has to do with hostile
beasts, victims but not servants of man. The herder has reduced some of
these animals to servitude, and no longer has to overcome them through
the arduous labors of the chase. He is able to obtain, as we have said,
more food with less exertion, a larger population can live in a limited
district, and the beneficial effects upon the mind of a closer social
intercourse are shown.

But the most important event in this stage of evolution was the
subjection of the plant world to man. For ages of interminable length
this was not thought of. Fruits and other vegetable products formed
part of man's food; but these were the growth of wild nature, and the
plant world was left to its own will, with no effort to bring it under
human control. There is nothing to show that the idea of agriculture
ever entered the mind of a Pygmy. Of the plants surrounding him, far the
greater number were useless for food, only the few were available; but
the conception of favoring the few at the expense of the many apparently
never occurred to him. There is, indeed, some crude and simple
agriculture pursued by a few of the Negritos of Luzon, but evidently as
an imitation of the Malay agriculture or as a result of direct teaching,
certainly not as an original conception. The conflict of the Pygmies
with nature has been confined to the animal world, and reached its
highest level in the herding industries of the Hottentots.

Where and when the subjugation of the plant world began it is impossible
to say. It very probably had its origin in the fertile open lands of the
tropics. But that it originated in the central region of Africa, or that
the agriculturists of that region were of native origin, are both
subjects open to question. The forest folk may have spread into the open
country, there developed a crude agriculture, favored the growth of food
plants at the expense of useless shrubs and trees, and gradually
advanced in this new form of industry. This would be in accordance with
the opinion of Virchow, who looks upon the negro as the descendant of
the Pygmy. No great change was necessary to convert the one into the
other. The Pygmy is negro-like in cast of countenance and bodily
formation. He differs in size, in complexion, and in shape of head. But
new conditions may have given rise to these differences. The fierce suns
of the African lowlands may well have caused an increased deposit of
pigment, changing the yellowish hue of the Pygmy to the deep black of
the negro. An increase in size is a natural result when exertion
diminishes and food increases. And a tendency for the head to change
from the short to the long shape is shown in the Bushmen.

On the other hand, certain anthropologists, of whom we may name
Quatrefages, take an opposite view, and believe that the negroes
migrated from Asia or the Eastern islands to Africa, being, like the
negro-like Papuans, descendants of the sable or dark brown Negritos of
the East. In this case agriculture may have originated in Asia and have
been brought by migrants to Africa. All we know historically concerning
it is that the earliest traceable seats of agriculture appear to have
been the fertile valleys of India, Babylonia, and Egypt. But the known
culture of the earth in these regions goes back only a few thousands of
years, while for the first crude stages of agriculture we must probably
measure years by tens of thousands.

The degree of subjection of nature to man's needs, as displayed in
tropical agriculture, was comparatively small, and its effect on the
development of the human intellect, while important, was limited. It had
the highly useful result of a great increase in population, the growth
of village and town life, an advance in social relations, and the
beginning of political relations. New implements were needed, better
houses were erected, the settled condition of the people gave rise to
direct efforts at education, and added the important element of
commerce, in its earliest form, to the industries of mankind. The result
must have been a fresh start in the development of the intellect, though
one that probably soon reached its culminating point in the central

The highest results of the development of agriculture in tropical
countries, unaided by secondary influences, seem to have been those
existing in the highly fertile regions of Egypt and Babylonia at the
opening of the historical period. The density of population in those
countries, due to their prolific production of food stuffs, gave rise to
considerably developed political and social institutions, and laid the
foundations for a great subsequent advance under the influence of
warfare, invasion, and the other more potent causes of human progress.
Only for such ulterior influences the agriculturists of these countries
would perhaps to-day remain dormant in the stage of mental progress they
had attained ten thousand years ago.

In considering the existing conditions of the forest nomads and the
African agriculturists, it is not safe to credit them with the
origination of all the arts and implements they possess. The negroes,
for instance, have been for ages in more or less close association with
the Pygmies, and may have taught them many things which they would not
have attained through their own limited powers of thought. The bow and
poisoned arrow are very likely original with them. They possess this
weapon throughout the wide range from the African Hottentots to the
Philippine Negritos, while it is not a weapon of the surrounding
peoples. The spear is probably also original. The same cannot safely be
said of their traps and snares for game. These seem beyond their power
of invention, and may well have been taught them by the negro tribes.
Their habitations, aside from the mere leaf shelters, had probably a
similar origin. In Africa the huts doubtless had their model in those of
the negroes. In the Philippines they are pile-supported bamboo huts of
the pattern of those of the Malays. If, then, we take from the forest
folk the arts taught them or imitated by them, we reduce them to a very
low level of intellect and a remarkable paucity of products from their
own powers of thought.

Similar reasoning may be applied to the settled natives of Africa. For
thousands of years past they have been in contact on their northern
borders with civilized peoples, numerous immigrants have made their way
into the country, and a considerable degree of amalgamation has very
likely taken place. We cannot, therefore, safely credit them with all
the arts and implements they possess nor with all their political and
social progress. No doubt much came to them from without, much was
taught them from within, and a mixture of blood with superior races may
have aided considerably in improving their stock. We are justified,
then, in their case as in that of the Pygmies, in believing that their
stage of mental and social development is only in part original with
them, and is largely due to the influences of education and

The pure negro is not a very numerous element of the population of
Africa. He stands in a measure intermediate between the nomad Pygmies of
the forest and the desert, and the mixed races who may be called negroid
but cannot strictly be called negro. With their foreign blood, most of
these have obtained foreign arts and elements of culture, and stand at a
distinctly higher physical and mental level than the unamalgamated

For the pure or nearly pure negro we must seek the lowlands of the
Guinea coast, the seat of the most pronounced existing negro type. Other
localities are in the region of the Gaboon, along the lower Zambesi, and
in the Benue and Shari basins. Here we find the true native African, a
race strikingly uniform in aspect, and, next to the Pygmies, the lowest
in physical characteristics of mankind. The features of structure in
which the negro appears to occupy a position intermediate between the
white man and the man-ape--lower than the former and approaching the
latter--are the following: First, his abnormal length of arm, which
averages about two inches longer than that of the Caucasian, and, when
in the erect position, sometimes reaches the knee-pan, being little
shorter proportionately than that of the chimpanzee. Second, his
prognathism, or projection of the jaws--his index of facial angle being
about 70, as compared with the Caucasian 82. Third, his weight of
brain--average European 45 ounces, negro 35, highest gorilla 20. Fourth,
his short, flat, snub nose, deeply depressed at the base, wide and with
dilated nostrils at the extremity. Fifth, his thick protruding lips.
Sixth, his high and prominent cheek bones. Seventh, his great thickness
of cranium, which resists blows that would break the skull of an average
European. Eighth, the weakness of his lower limbs, the broad, flat foot
and low instep, the projecting heel and somewhat prehensile great toe.

These characteristics the negroes possess in common with the Pygmies and
the Negritos. Others of less significance could be named. One important
character is that of the cranial sutures, which close much earlier in
the negro than in higher races, thus checking the development of the
brain while the body is still growing. To this many ascribe the mental
inferiority of the negro race. A close observer records, as a result of
long observation on the plantations of the southern United States, that
"the negro children were sharp, intelligent, and full of vivacity, but
on approaching the adult period a gradual change set in. The intellect
seemed to become clouded, animation giving place to a sort of lethargy,
briskness yielding to indolence." This is very probably the case with
the Pygmies, who similarly reach a mental limit beyond which they cannot
advance; but this limit is set in the adult period. In other words, the
adult Pygmy is on the mental level of the negro child. If the African
Pygmy is as short lived as his Eastern congener, he does not survive, as
a rule, many years beyond the age of adolescence, and continues in a
stage of childhood, mentally considered, until death.

The conclusion to be derived from this interesting fact would appear to
be that the negro has made a distinct and important advance mentally
beyond the Pygmy, reaching at adolescence the limit of mental evolution
which the Pygmy reaches at death. But the negro stops here, or goes
little beyond this limit. His cranial sutures close, the growth of the
brain is arrested, and the development of his mind comes to an end. In
the white the brain continues to expand, and the closing of the sutures
takes place later in life. Probably the latter is a result of the
former, mental development having overcome the tendency of the sutures
to close in early life. It may be further said of the negro that,
mentally, he is emotional far more than intellectual, and unmoral rather
than immoral, he being apparently incapable of comprehending the moral
conceptions of advanced man.

If we seek the Malaysian and Australasian region of the Eastern seas, we
find there another branch of the negro race, similarly in contact with,
and apparently derived from, a Pygmy stock. This Papuan race of blacks
covers a wide island region, but, like the African race, has become
greatly modified by mixture with alien peoples, largely of Malay origin.
Its purest type is to be found in New Guinea, where it approaches the
negro in general character, though with distinctive features of its own.

The Papuan is of medium height; fleshy rather than muscular; color a
sooty brown; forehead high, but narrow and retreating; nose sometimes
flat and wide at nostrils, but oftener hooked with depressed point; lips
thick and projecting; high cheek bones; prognathism general; hair black
and frizzly. He is negroid in appearance, and is said to resemble the
African of the coast region opposite Aden.

We need not pursue this subject further. It will suffice to offer the
general conclusion that the negroid race, while, through its change of
habits from the hunting to the agricultural status, it has made an
advance both mentally and physically beyond the Pygmy aborigines, does
not appear to have advanced greatly in either particular, the negro
reaching a mental limit at a low level, and being arrested physically
while still possessing marked characteristics of the man-ape.

For the higher development of man, under the stress of a more energetic
conflict with the conditions of nature, we must seek the continent of
Europe, whose human inhabitants had not only to subdue the wild beasts
and teach the earth to bring forth wholesome food in place of useless
plants, but also to battle with wintry climates, and overcome the
adverse influences of cold, sterility of soil, and other hostile
conditions of the northern zones.

One of the chief problems of biology has long been that of the
production of new varieties and species of animals as an effect of
gradual variation in structure. This is believed to be ordinarily due to
changes in the conditions of nature, animals and plants which have made
accordant changes in structure being preserved, those which have not
changed in accordance with the new conditions perishing. Where the
conditions of nature remain uniform, species may persist for long ages
unchanged, though even in the latter case changes in structure are apt
to occur, since variation in species is not wholly dependent upon
external changes. To a considerable extent it is due to causes existing
within the organism itself, fortuitous variations being occasionally
preserved when not out of harmony with the state of affairs prevailing
in the external world. Or variation may occur through the establishment
of new relations between the species inhabiting some locality while
inanimate nature remains uniform, or through migration into new
inanimate or animate surroundings. Variations, in short, may arise under
the influence of any change in the general environment which renders
necessary adaptive changes in structure. But this adaptation in some
cases takes place in the mind, new actions or methods of meeting the
contingency being adopted which render physical changes unnecessary. The
problem is a highly complicated one, and no doubt many causes have to do
with the multiplicity of effects.

There have very likely been many occasions where the changes in
structure took place rapidly, in consequence of sudden variations in
natural conditions. Such rapid changes in conditions necessarily exert a
severe stress or strain on organisms, either destroying them or causing
an equally rapid adaptation, physical or mental. In such instances it is
likely that many species perish, the change demanded being too great;
others escape by migration to better fitted localities; and others, more
mobile or less affected by the change, survive through adaptive

Of such periods of strain upon organic nature we know of only one in
recent geological times, that known as the Glacial Age, the vast
variation in climate which took place when the ice of the Far North
flowed down in mighty billows over northern Europe and America, burying
everything beneath its crushing weight, and bringing many forms of life
to a sudden and untimely end. No doubt a considerable number of species
of animals and plants perished before this frightful invasion. A notable
instance among these was perhaps that of the American horse, which
disappeared at about this period. Other species survived by a retreat to
more tropical regions, to return after the invasion had spent its force.
Still others may have survived by adapting themselves to the changed
conditions, emerging as new species or well-marked varieties.

Among the beings which passed unscathed through this extraordinary
change in climate was apparently man. And it seems safe to affirm that
man's contest with the glacial conditions, whose force was exerted upon
his mind instead of on his body, was one of the most potent influences
in the evolution of the human race. Man entered the contest at a low
level of mental development; he emerged from it at a comparatively high

No one to-day questions that man was an inhabitant of Europe during the
Glacial Age. The proofs of this are too numerous and positive to be
doubted. He may have inhabited America in the same period, though of
this there still remains some doubt. Claims have been made of the
discovery of evidences of man in Europe long before the glacial epoch,
reaching as far back as the Pliocene and even the Miocene Age. But these
claims have not been established beyond question, and the earliest
generally acknowledged traces of man are confined to glacial Europe.

Yet we are forced to acknowledge that if man existed in Europe during
the prevalence of the ice age, he, or his ancestor, must have been there
before that period. It is absolutely certain that no animal accustomed
to tropical conditions would have chosen this period of extreme cold to
migrate from the warm tropics to the frozen north. The fact that man was
in Europe during glacial times is the very strongest evidence that he
reached there during the milder preceding period, when a genial and
uniform climate is believed to have prevailed throughout southern and
central Europe. If we could accept as fact the seeming very ancient
evidences of man's handiwork, we would be obliged to consider him an
inmate of Europe long ages before the glacial epoch.

If, as there is reason to believe, the man of Africa at that remote
period was the ancestor of the forest-dwelling Pygmy of to-day, lower in
mental level and more bestial in aspect than any of his descendants,
yet much advanced in mind beyond the man-ape of earlier ages, then we
may with some assurance accept this as the type of the primitive man of
Europe. He could have reached there by the land bridges which are
thought to have connected Europe and Africa at that time, one closing
the straits at Gibraltar, the other extending south from Italy by way of
Sicily. These were the routes by which the apes are supposed to have
entered Europe, and by which man may well have followed in a later age.
It is possible, indeed, that man reached the northern continent from
another locality, the habitat of the Negrito race in southeastern Asia
and the Malaysian islands. The fossil man-ape of Java, Pithecanthropus,
is a strong argument that this was the region, or one of the regions, in
which the development of man took place. However this be, we can be
assured that primitive man was far more likely to widen his field of
occupation through migration than any other animal, and may conjecture
that he spread over Europe and Asia in the mild preglacial times, and
perhaps even reached America, giving rise to the early man of that

The advent of man in Europe was not probably followed by any
considerable intellectual development. The mild and equable climate
which at that time seems to have prevailed, was not likely to make a
stringent demand on his mental resources. Food was very likely abundant
and easily obtained, animals of the chase being plentiful, and edible
roots and fruits by no means lacking. Thus he could readily obtain the
means of subsistence by aid of the arts and weapons employed by him in
the tropical forests. It is not unlikely that some changes, both
physical and mental, took place, but these were probably not great.
There may have been some change in color and form, a first step toward
the distinctions which separate the white from the black man, and a
degree of mental adaptation to certain exigencies of the new situation;
but in neither direction were the variations likely to be very decided.

Such, as we conceive it, was the man of early Europe, in great measure a
counterpart of the forest nomad of the tropics of Africa and the East,
the monarch of the animal kingdom, but not the lord of the earth. He may
have made some progress in the contest with inanimate nature. Vegetable
food in his new home was less abundant than in his old, and the
instigation to agricultural pursuits was stronger. And though Europe was
thickly wooded, it probably presented more open land than Africa. Both
the incitement to agriculture and the facilities for its exercise were,
in all probability, greater than in Africa, and man may have begun to
cultivate the earth here at an earlier date than in his native realm. We
are free at least to speculate that European man gained some slight
knowledge of agriculture in the pre-glacial period, but this is
doubtful, and the relics of early man yield no evidence in its favor.
Mentally it is questionable if he was advanced beyond the level of the
least developed negro tribes, and perhaps not beyond that of the forest

But at length the shadow of a mighty coming change began to fall upon
the fair face of Europe. Year by year the winters grew colder. The ice
sheet, which was in time to bury half of Europe under its chilly mantle,
had begun its slow movement toward the south. It advanced very slowly.
Centuries elapsed during its deliberate march. Had it moved with
rapidity, few animals could have survived its effects. Some of them
found time for changes in structure to fit themselves to the new
conditions. Others perished as the wintry chill increased. Constituted
for tropical warmth, they were unable to endure severe cold. The apes
and monkeys may have been among the early victims. To-day the apes of
Gibraltar are the only ones existing in a wild state in Europe, and it
is doubtful if they are of an original stock. There is good reason to
believe that escape by migration southward was cut off by the sinking of
the ancient land bridges, so that the animals north of the Mediterranean
had no choice between adaptation and annihilation.

Among the animals thus taken prisoner by the glacial chill was European
man. He could not escape, and was forced to remain, exposed to the
alternatives of perishing from cold and hunger, or fitting himself to
endure the new conditions which were coming upon his northern home,
perhaps the most adverse to animal life that had ever been known. Man
was about to be subjected to an extraordinary strain, which he could
only meet by an extraordinary adaptation.

The changes by which he met these new conditions were in a very small
degree physical; they were almost wholly mental. In all animals of the
higher orders, adaptive variations are apt to be in a measure of this
character, the body being relieved from the need of structural change
through some new activity of the mind. In man this was undoubtedly the
case in great, probably in very great, measure. There may have been an
increase in size and strength, some variations in color, in the
breathing organs, in power of resistance of the cuticle to cold, etc.,
but the principal physical change was in a growth of the brain and
expansion of the cranium, giving rise to a less bestial physiognomy and
an advanced mental power.

One physical change that would seem necessary to enable an animal to
endure severe cold, the development of a thick protective covering of
fur or hair, did not take place in man. The change was more likely in
the other direction, since the hairy cover which is possessed by many of
the forest folk has disappeared. This loss of hair by man has been
referred by Darwin to sexual selection, that powerful influence to
which animals seem to owe so many physical structures of no apparent
use, and some of them seemingly disadvantageous. In the case of man in
the circumstances now under consideration, exposed without natural
covering to the growing chill of the advancing ice sheet, the influence
of sexual selection would certainly have found a strong counteracting
force in natural selection, had not some other means of escaping the
influence of the cold been found.

As it was, the difficulty was undoubtedly overcame in great measure by
the adoption of artificial clothing. The mind came to the aid of the
body. The man who could chip a stone into the shape of an axe or spear
head, was sufficiently advanced mentally to conceive the idea of
covering his body with leaves fastened together in some way, with other
vegetable fabrics, or with the skins of slain animals. Protection from
the cold was also sought in caverns and rock shelters, and for a very
long period man remained a cave-dweller. There is hardly a cavern in
western Europe in which he has not left some trace of his residence.
Where caves were not available, rude artificial shelters were probably
built. Even the orang builds a shelter of this kind, and we can readily
conceive of man at a very early period making himself a shelter of
leaves and boughs, from which, as the cold increased, he might easily
evolve a hut composed of a wooden framework covered with skins such as
he used for clothing.

When and where the most important of discoveries, that of fire, was
made, it is impossible to say. Fire arising from natural causes, such as
conflagrations started by lightning, no doubt early taught man the
advantage of this agency as a protection from cold, but the artificial
production of fire was a process too intricate to be arrived at by
undeveloped man except as a result of accident. It has never been
achieved, as we have seen, by the Andaman Mincopies. The rudiments of
the fire-making art were possessed by primitive man. In chipping flints
into arrow or lance heads sparks must frequently have been struck from
the hard stone, and at times these may have fallen upon and kindled
inflammable material. The rubbing requisite in shaping and polishing war
clubs may have yielded a heat occasionally causing fire. In boring the
holes necessary to make the needles found among primitive implements, a
process resembling that of the fire-drill must have been employed. In
short, it is not difficult to conceive of more than one way in which the
fire-making art could have been gained by accident, though it may have
been late in coming, since some, perhaps all, of the arts described were
not attained until the Glacial Age. Once possessed, this important art
would scarcely have been suffered to disappear. With its aid man could
defy the effects of the glacial chill, so far as its direct action upon
his body was concerned; and with it he also gained a new and efficient
means of defence against carnivorous animals, which have ever since
feared fire more than weapons.

The discovery of methods of artificial fire-making was perhaps preceded
by a utilization of the flames caused by lightning and other natural
causes, the fire being conveyed by torches from hearth to hearth and
kept alive with sedulous care. Even after artificial methods of
fire-making were invented, our savage ancestors were exceedingly careful
to keep their fires alive, as the Mincopies are to-day, and this heedful
attention left its traces until very recent times. So important was the
apparatus for kindling a flame deemed that in India the fire-twirl was
made a god and became one of the chief deities of that polytheistic
land. In many other places, especially in Persia, the element of flame
was raised to the dignity of a deity and worshipped among the higher
gods. Among the semi-civilized Americans the peril of the loss of fire
gave rise to a serious religious ceremony. At certain set intervals all
the fires within the limits of a tribe or nation were extinguished, and
a period of gloom, despondency, and dread of the malignant powers
succeeded. Then the "new fire" was kindled on the temple altar, and the
flame was conveyed by swift messengers from hearth to hearth throughout
the land. This done, the period of gloom was followed by one of general
joy and festivity. The malignant deities were banished; the gods of
light and warmth were dominant again; happiness and security had
returned to man.

The beginning of the use of clothing, of artificial shelter, and of fire
formed one of the most vital periods in the history of human evolution.
Coincident with them was the production of a much greater variety of
implements than had been previously possessed, and many of these much
superior to the older and ruder forms. The struggle with the glacial
cold had roused man's mind out of its old sluggishness, and brought it
actively into operation in devising means of counteracting the perils of
his situation and fitting him to the new conditions of existence.

Among the important steps of progress was very likely a considerable
advance in the use of language, enabling the men of that period more
readily to consult with and advise one another, to give adequate warning
of danger, to aid in the chase or in industrial pursuits, to educate the
young and impart new ideas or teach new discoveries to the old. The
mental powers of the best-trained individuals then as now served the
whole community, and nothing of value that was once gained was likely to
be lost. Discovery and invention at that early period probably went on
with interminable slowness as compared with the progress in later ages,
yet even then new ideas, one by one, came into men's minds, and step by
step the methods of life were improved.

One important effect of the glacial chill needs to be adverted to. The
severity of the weather was not the only thing to be provided against.
The discovery of fire and the invention of clothing and habitation were
not enough to insure man's preservation. For the severe cold must have
greatly changed the conditions of the food supply, and the man of the
period found it a difficult matter to obtain the first necessaries of
life. The easy-going man of the earlier age, living amid an abundance of
fruits and vegetables and surrounded by numbers of game animals, or
dwelling beside streams which were filled with easily taken fish,
probably found the question of subsistence one of minor importance. The
coming on of the Glacial Age made this question one of major importance.
The supply of fruits and vegetable substances was greatly decreased by
the biting chill, and the number of food animals was correspondingly
reduced; while through much of the year the effects of frost drove the
fish from the streams, and cut off effectually this source of food. Man
was brought into a situation in which only the most active exertion of
his powers of thought could preserve him from annihilation.

He now found the exercise of the art of hunting more difficult than ever
before, one that needed a new development of courage, cunning,
alertness, and endurance, the scarcity of animals obliging him to make
long journeys and attack the strongest creatures. Whether or not he
possessed the poisoned arrow, which the Pygmies now find so effective,
cannot be said, but in all probability he was forced to invent new and
more destructive weapons, a necessity that gave fresh exercise to his
powers of invention. So far as our actual knowledge goes, the art of
chipping stones into weapons and implements was not possessed before
this period, and it may have been a result of the severe exigencies of
the situation and the mental stimulation thence resulting. This art is
not possessed by any of the Pygmies, the nearest approach to it being
the splitting of stone by fire and using the splinters as weapons. Very
likely preglacial man was similarly destitute of this art.

Under the severe strain of the glacial conditions the weak and incapable
doubtless succumbed to the cold and deficiency of food; the strong and
capable survived, gained superior powers, devised new weapons and
implements, and became adapted to a new and decidedly adverse situation.
From long depending, in considerable measure, on his physical powers,
man came to trust more fully than before in his mental faculties, the
result being a much greater variation in the size and activity of his
brain than in other portions of his physical structure. While it had
become more difficult to find and capture food animals, he was at the
same time in greater danger from carnivorous beasts, which were forced
by partial starvation to overcome their dread of man. He was thus
obliged to become as alert and ready in defence as he was in attack, to
associate himself more fully with his fellows in his hunting excursions
and his other labors, and to adapt the forms and forces of nature still
more to his needs, his career as a tool-making animal being greatly
stimulated by the necessities of his situation.

It is conceivable that the art of agriculture may have been one of the
outcomes of the situation in which man now found himself. The decrease
in the food supply must have put all his powers of invention to the
test, and the probable diminution in number and productiveness of food
plants may have served as an instigation to the cultivation of useful
plants, and the preservation of their products, where possible, for
winter supply. It is not unlikely that in this way and under this
stimulation agriculture began, and that it made its way subsequently
from this locality to more southern regions. In this, however, we cannot
go beyond conjecture.

It seems useless to pursue this topic further, since the absence of
facts forces us to confine ourselves largely to suggestions and
probabilities. We have arrived at two definite hypotheses: first, that
the original stage of man's progress upward from the apes was completed
when he gained dominion over the animal kingdom and attained the
condition of the forest pygmies; second, that an advanced stage was
reached when he achieved the conquest of nature, so far as overcoming
the exceedingly adverse conditions of the Glacial Age was concerned. At
the close of this period of frigid cold man emerged as a higher being
than the forest nomad or the agricultural people of the tropics,
possessed of much superior arts and implements and with largely enhanced
mental powers. The long and bitter struggle for existence through which
he had passed had lifted him to a much higher level in the upward
progress of life.

He was a savage still, and at the close of the struggle he settled down
into a second stage of stagnation. The conflict was at an end, he was
the victor in the fight, he could rest upon his laurels and take life
easy. In addition to his mechanical gains, man had advanced much in
social and political relations, and continued to advance until his
primitive form of organization was perfected. At the end of it all we
find him existing under two conditions, depending upon differences in
the character of the country in which he lived.

In the steppes and deserts of Asia and the deserts of Africa he was a
nomad herdsman, his life being spent in the care of his flocks and
herds, his political organization the patriarchal, his possessions few,
his needs small, his mind at rest, his progress largely at an end. Thus
he still lives, and this organization and mode of life still persist,
little affected by the long centuries that have passed and not greatly
modified by the many wars in which he has been engaged. Mentally, the
man of the steppe and the desert is to-day little advanced beyond his
predecessors of thousands of years ago.

In the more fertile regions of the earth man had become an
agriculturist, each clan holding its section of the earth as common
property. A different though primitive form of political organization
arose here, that of the village community, in which there was no
distinction of rich and poor, all men were equal in rights and
privileges, all were content with their situation, and the mental
condition was largely that of stagnation. This political condition we
find to have been widespread over the earth, alike in the eastern and
western hemispheres, as the one into which all developing agricultural
communities emerged, and in which they persisted unchanged until forced
to adopt new relations through a new influence still to be described. As
the patriarchal clan is persistent on the Asiatic steppes and deserts,
so is the village community on the Russian plains and among the Aryans
of Hindostan. It has been generally overcome in other localities, but it
was broadly extended until within comparatively recent times, and traces
of it may still be found in many parts of the earth.

The political organization of these primitive communities of herders and
farmers was of the simplest. Over the herding clan a patriarchal chief
presided, his authority based on his position as representative of the
ancestor of the community. The head man of the agricultural clan was
elected by the free choice of his fellows, his equals in rank and
station. But the supposed most direct descendant from the clan ancestor
was apt to be chosen. In both cases the political organization was of
the family type, being but an extension of family government, and the
widely prevailing system of ancestor worship had much to do with the
reverence in which the chief was held and the authority which he

The development of this phase of human progress did not stop here.
Kingdoms and empires arose as direct resultants of this condition of
affairs. In some localities, such as Egypt and Babylonia, the great
fertility of the soil in the time gave rise to a dense population,
largely gathered in towns and villages, where industries other than
agriculture developed and closer social relations existed. The simple
organization of the village or the clan was not sufficient for such a
population, and a more intricate governmental system arose; but it seems
to have been simply an extension of the older system of chieftainship,
based on the family or paternal relation, and on the growth of religious
influence and priestly control. It seems, in fact, to have been through
the influence of religious ideas that men first rose to power and became
supreme over their fellows.

We have no concern here with the development of religious systems,
other than to say that in the primitive agricultural community a
succession of ideas of man's relation to the unseen arose, yielding, in
addition to the widespread ancestor worship, a system of shamanism, or
belief in the presence and power of malignant spirits, and one of
fetichism, which developed into mythology, or worship of the great
powers of nature. What we are concerned in is the fact that from these
religious conceptions a priesthood everywhere arose, beginning in the
simple conjurer or the healer by spells and incantations, and developing
into a priestly establishment whose leading members had a vigorous
control over the people through their beliefs, fears, and superstitions.

This priestly system was the basis of the first imperial organization.
Kingly authority was not gained at first through power over men's
bodies, but through influence over their minds. There is much reason to
believe that the chief of the clan or tribe, who led in its public
worship and was looked upon as the representative of its divine
ancestor, retained the influence thence arising as the tribe developed
into the nation, adding the power and position of the high priest to
that of the tribal chief.

There is abundant evidence that in this simple and direct manner the
imperial organization everywhere grew out of the primitive village and
patriarchal systems. In the early days of Egypt, before its era of
conquest began, the Pharaoh was the high priest of the nation, weak in
temporal, strong in spiritual power; and the political organization in
general probably grew out of the sacerdotal establishment. Very likely
the Babylonian kingdom was organized in the same manner, though wars and
changes of dynasty have obscured its early state. In China the patriarch
of a nomad horde became emperor of a nation retaining ancestor worship
as its chief religious system. He held, and still holds, the position of
father of his people, the representative of the original ancestor, and
high priest of the nation.

In India the priestly establishment was differently organized. It was a
democracy instead of an aristocracy. There was no high priest to seize
the reins of government. As a result, no empire arose in India. A simple
outgrowth of the tribal system developed, each tribe under its chief,
while the priesthood as a whole remained the real rulers of the people.

If we come to America, we discover a similar condition of affairs, the
head of the religious establishment becoming everywhere the head of the
nation. This was the case in Mexico, where the Montezuma was high
priest, and derived his power largely from this position. It was the
case in Peru, where the Inca was the direct representative on earth of
the solar deity. It was the case with the agricultural communities of
the southern United States, whose Mico was at once high priest and
autocrat. It was doubtless the case with the Mound Builders, of whom
these communities were probably the descendants.

Such seems to have been the final outcome of the contest with nature,
where permitted to develop in its natural and unobstructed way. A series
of empires of a simple type of organization arose, their rulers uniting
temporal and spiritual power, and becoming autocrats in a double sense,
supreme lords of body and soul. It was in its nature a persistent type.
Once reached, it tended to continue indefinitely, stagnation following
the era of growth. But war and invasion have broken it up everywhere
except in China, a country largely defended by nature against invasion
and inhabited by an innately peaceful people. As the forest Pygmy group
represents to-day the completion of the first stage of human evolution,
so the patriarchal empire of China represents that of the second.
Stagnation there long since succeeded development. For several thousand
years China has almost stood still. It comes down to us as the
fossilized representative of an antique system, physically active but
mentally inert, its organization rigidly fixed, and not to be disturbed
unless the empire itself is rent to pieces.



Long before the second phase of the evolution of man had been completed
the third phase had begun, that of the conflict of man with man. The
animal kingdom once subdued, and nature made man's friend and servant,
the human race increased and multiplied until the borders of communities
met and hostile relations arose between them. A fight for place began, a
struggle for dominion, a fierce and incessant contest for supremacy, and
for ages men locked arms in a terrible and merciless strife, in which
the weak and incompetent steadily went to the wall, the strong, daring,
and aggressive rose to power and control.

It was the final act in the great drama of "natural selection," which
had been played upon the stage of the earth since the first appearance
of living forms; the last and most ruthless of them all, for the
instigating cause was no longer merely the pressure for a share of the
food supply, but to this was added the lust for power and place, the
hunger for wealth and dominion, the insatiable appetite for autocratic
control. Millions upon millions of men were swept away by the sword,
and by its attendant demons, famine and pestilence; and still the
stronger and abler climbed to the top, the weaker and inferior
succumbed; and the intellectual evolution of man went on with enhanced
rapidity as the harvest of the sword was gathered in, and the merciless
reapers of men swept in successive columns over the earth, each a stage
higher in mental ability than the preceding.

This phase of human evolution is that of the era of human history.
Before its advent man had no history. It would be as useful to attempt
to give the history of the gorilla as of man in the early stages of his
progress. History is the record of individuality, and in primitive times
equality and communism prevailed, and the individual had not yet
separated himself from the mass. Man had settled into the dull inertness
of a stagnant pool, and the fierce winds of war were needed to break up
his mental slothfulness and stir thought into healthful activity. There
must be leaders before there can be history; the annals of mankind begin
in hero worship; the relations of superior and inferior need to be
established; and individual action and supremacy are the foundations
upon which all history is built. Only by stirring up the deep pool of
human life into seething turmoil and unrest could the tendency to
stagnation be overcome, the best and most aspiring rising to the top,
the dull and heavy sinking to the bottom, and the element of thought
permeating the whole with its vitalizing spirit.

When this phase of evolution is reached, we cease for the first time to
deal with species and genera in the mass and begin to deal with
individuals, who now emerge from the general group and stand above and
apart like great signal posts on the highway of progress. These heroes
are not alone those of the sword. They are the leaders in art, in
literature, in science, in thought, in every domain; the men who stand,
above, supreme and shining, and toward whose elevation the whole mass
below surges slowly but strenuously upward. The third phase of human
evolution, therefore, is that of the emergence of the individual as the
leader, lawgiver, teacher of mankind, each leader forming a goal for the
emulation of all below. And this condition is the legitimate outcome of
war, which, terrible as it always has been, was the only agency that
could rapidly break up the stagnancy of early communism and send man
upward in a swirl toward the heights of civilization.

To give the history of this phase of evolution would be to give the
history of mankind, and would be aside from the purpose of this work.
All that need be attempted, in support of our argument, is to present
some general deductions from human history, indicating the leading
features of the service man has received from war.

Conflict between man and man was at first vague and inconsequential. It
was only after settled and organized communities, based originally on
the family relation, and held together by the possession of property in
common, had been formed, that war became more effective in its results.
The chief of these results, in the early days, were two: the breaking up
of the old equality of power and possession, and the development of
larger and more powerful communities. The head man of the village
community, or the herding clan, possessed some delegated authority but
no political supremacy over his fellows. Equality existed alike in
theory and in fact. Battle between neighboring clans was the first step
toward breaking this up. The conquered clan became subordinated to the
victorious one, and the chief of the victors, as the representative of
his clan, exercised an authority over the subject community which he did
not possess at home. The degree of subordination differed from the mild
form of tribute-paying to that of personal slavery. But in either case
we see the old condition of equality vanishing, and that of class
distinctions and the relation of superior and inferior arising, while
the power of the chief advances from a delegated authority to an
established supremacy.

The second outcome of this early phase of war was an increase in the
size of political groups. The conquered were forced to aid the
conquerors in war as in peace; clans combined to resist aggression;
minor communities grew into organized tribes; tribes developed into
nations as a result of warlike operations. This growth in political
organization was a necessary and inevitable result of continued warfare.
The aggressors gathered all the strength possible. The assailed peoples
did the same. Temporary alliances grew into permanent ones. Larger
armies were formed, larger communities were organized, national
development advanced at a rate tenfold, probably a hundredfold, more
rapidly than it would have done had peaceful conditions persisted.

Side by side with tribal and national consolidation went on the growth
in leadership. The head man became a war chief, the war chief a king.
Success made him a hero to his people. He grew to be the lord of
conquered tribes; into his hands fell the bulk of the spoils; the
relation of equality of possessions vanished as the plunder taken by the
army was distributed unequally among the victors. Below the principal
leader came his ablest followers, each claiming and receiving a
proportionate share in the new division of power and wealth. In short,
when the era of war had become fully inaugurated, the old social and
political relations of mankind were broken up with great rapidity;
equality of power was replaced by inequality, which steadily grew more
and more declared; equality of wealth in like manner vanished; in all
directions the individual emerged from the mass, class distinctions
became intricate, and the relations of rich and poor, of king, noble,
citizen, and slave, completely replaced the old communal organization of

War was the great agent in this evolution. It might have emerged slowly
in peace; it came with almost startling rapidity in war, and reached a
degree of power on the one hand and subordination on the other that
could scarcely ever have appeared had conditions of peace prevailed.
With this growth of great nations came a rapid development in political
science, in legal institutions, in social relations. An enormous advance
was made, in a limited period, in the civilization of mankind; as a
result, not of the devastation and slaughter of war, but of its
influence upon human organization.

It was the principle of reward for ability to which the leaders of men
owed their supremacy. When nations were organized this same principle
took another and very useful form. The distribution of wealth had become
strikingly unequal. There were endless grades of distinction between the
supremely wealthy and the absolutely poor. The wealthy were ready to
lavish their money in return for articles of pleasure and luxury. The
poor, in their thirst for a share of wealth, were strongly stimulated to
inventive activity in producing new and desirable wares. Inequality
became the mainspring of business activity; thought and inventive
ingenuity were strongly exercised; a rapid progress went on in the
production of new devices, new methods, and new articles of necessity
and luxury; manufacture flourished, commerce increased, civilization
appeared, the whole as a legitimate outcome of the conditions brought
about by war.

This phase of human evolution, as may be seen, was radically different
from that already considered, arising from the development of sacerdotal
influence and priestly power. They worked together, no doubt. The
establishment of the great primitive empires, as a peaceful process, was
greatly complicated by war, which tended steadily to increase the
temporal power of the ruler and enable him in time to control by the
sword alone. But it is interesting to find that long after the old
system was practically overthrown its shadow still lay upon the nations.
The powerful war monarchs of Assyria led their armies to conquest in the
name of the national deity, whose vicegerents they claimed to be. The
autocratic emperors of Rome went so far as to claim in some cases to be
gods themselves. Even in modern Russia some of this dignity pertains to
the emperor, as the supreme head of the national church. Old ideas are
proverbially hard to kill.

But the mission of the priesthood by no means stopped here. The priests
rose to influence as the teachers as well as the leaders of the people.
The members of this class, set aside from manual occupations, and
devoted to thought upon the relations of man to the divine, played an
important part in the development of the human mind. As a result of
their speculative activity of thought the old religious systems sank
into the background; the simple worship of primitive times was
overshadowed by intricate mythological systems, splendid in worship and
creed; cosmogonies and philosophies were devised; and human thought,
once fairly set loose in this field, went on with great energy and
imaginative fervor.

Literature arose as a result of this activity of thought. It took at
first the form of hymns, speculative essays, magical formulas, dogmas,
ordinances of worship, etc. By degrees it grew more secular in form,
until in the end secular literature arose. This was greatly stimulated
by the conditions of inequality arising from war. In the same manner as
the reward for merit in invention stimulated men to activity in the
mechanical arts, so the hope of reward for literary production stirred
up men to the composing of poems, histories, and other works of thought.
In both directions, physical and mental, men were stimulated to the most
active exertions by the conditions of inequality in wealth and power,
and the consequent desire to obtain a share of the money lavished by the
rich and the authority similarly lavished by the powerful.

The broad general view here taken must suffice for our consideration of
this phase of human evolution. It brings the story of the development of
man closely up to the present stage of political and social
organizations and relations. It may be said, in conclusion of this
section of our work, that the powerful agency of war, so active and
important in the past, has in great part lost its utility in the
present, and bids fair to be brought to an end before the world is much
older. It is no longer needed, nearly or quite all that it is capable of
doing for mankind being accomplished, while the equally powerful
agencies of commerce, travel, leagues of nations, and other conditions
of modern origin have taken its place.

War, while yielding many useful results, has given rise to others whose
utility is questionable, and whose ill-effects it will take much time
and effort to set aside. The inequality of power to which war gave rise
continues in many parts of the world, and the inequality of wealth shows
signs of increase instead of diminution. Once useful, they have
developed to an injurious extent. The result is a state of unrest,
discontent, and more or less active opposition, which constitutes a
condition of permanent conflict, a deep dissatisfaction with existing
institutions abnormal to a justly organized society. War has become in
great measure useless; but the scaffolding from which it built up the
edifice of civilization remains, and stands as a tottering ruin
threatening to engulf mankind in its fall.

Ever since the triumph of autocracy in the Roman empire, the masses of
mankind have steadily protested against an inequality that is alien to
the natural rights of man. For century after century the struggle
against undue exercise of power has gone on, and the hereditary lords of
mankind have lost, stage by stage, their usurped power, until in the
modern republic they have been replaced by the servants and chosen
agents of the people. But the autocracy of wealth still holds its own,
and is growing more and more formidable, and against this the wave of
opposition is now rising. Everywhere man is earnestly and sternly
demanding an equitable distribution of the productions of nature and
art. What the outcome of this demand will be it is impossible to say. It
must inevitably lead to some readjustment of the wealth of mankind; but
only the slow process of social evolution can decide what this shall be.

We have endeavored in this brief treatise to trace the development of
man from his primeval state as a tree-dwelling animal in the depths of
the tropic woods, through the phases of his later condition as an erect
surface dweller, his conflict with and dominion over the animal kingdom,
his subsequent contest with the adverse powers of nature, and his final
warfare with his fellows and emergence into civilization. Each of these
contests has left its results; the first in the forest nomads of the
eastern tropics, the second in the patriarchal herding tribes of the
steppes and deserts, the village communities of Russia and the paternal
empire of China, the third in the enlightened nations of Europe and

For how long a period this mighty drama of evolution has continued it is
impossible to say. Its first phase must have been of interminable
slowness; its second, while more rapid, still very deliberate; its third
of much greater rapidity, yet extending over several thousands of years.
Millions of years have probably passed away since it began, yet the
period involved is none too long for the magnitude of the results, whose
greatness can be seen if we contrast man's mental development with that
of the lower animals during this period. Physically, the development of
man has been inconsiderable--much less apparently than that of many
other animals. Mentally, it has been enormous. The whole of nature's
influences, in new and often adverse situations, have been brought to
bear upon man's mind, and as the result we have civilized man as
contrasted with the anthropoid ape. And the end is not yet. The era of
war in man's development is near its close, and a new era of peace,
under conditions of advanced mental and physical activity, seems about
to begin. Its outcome no man can predict, but it may far surpass in
beneficial results all that has gone before, and carry man upward to an
extraordinarily elevated mental plane.



The evolution of man from his animal ancestry has been a composite
phenomenon, one by no means confined to the physical and intellectual
conditions which we have so far considered, but embracing also features
of moral and spiritual progress. The origin and growth of these need
also to be reviewed, if we would present a fully rounded sketch of human
evolution. So far as his physical form is concerned, man became
practically completed ages ago, as the supreme effort of nature in the
moulding and vitalizing of matter. When the arena of the struggle for
existence became transferred from the body to the mind, variation in the
body, once so active, rapidly declined; and with the full employment of
the intellect in the conflict with nature, physical evolution ceased,
except in minor particulars, and the organic structure of man became
practically fixed. The human animal, therefore, as a physical species,
has reached a stage of permanence. And this may be regarded as the
supreme result of material evolution in animals; or at least it may be
affirmed that, while man continues to exist, no member of the lower
animal tribes can possibly develop to become his rival.

But though man is not markedly distinct as a physical species from his
anthropoid ancestor, the process of evolution has not ceased, but has
gone on in him rapidly and immensely. The strain has simply been
transferred from the body to the mind, and to the extent that the mental
characteristics are more flexible and yield more readily to formative
influences, the mind has surpassed the body in rapidity of evolutionary
variation. Within a period during which the lower animals have remained
almost unchanged, man has varied enormously in mental conditions, and
to-day may be looked upon, not merely as a distinct species, but
practically as a new order, or class, of animals, as far removed
intellectually from the mammals below him as they are from the insects
or mollusks.

If now we turn from the physical and intellectual to the ethical stage
of development, it will be to perceive as marked and decided a process
of evolution. The change has, perhaps, been even greater, since in the
lower animals the moral faculties are more rudimentary than the
intellectual. But, on the other hand, the moral development in man has
been much inferior to the intellectual. Therefore, though the foundation
was lower, the edifice has not reached nearly so great a height, and man
to-day stands in moral elevation considerably below his intellectual

It was formerly the custom to look upon man as the only intellectual and
moral animal, the forms below him being credited solely with hereditary
instincts. This belief is no longer entertained by those familiar with
the results of modern research. Evidences of unquestionable powers of
thought have been traced in the lower animals, imagination and reason
being alike indicated. The elephant, for instance, is evidently a
thinking animal, and is capable of overcoming difficulties and adapting
itself to new situations, using methods not unlike those which man
himself might display under similar circumstances. Its gratitude for
favors and remembrance of and revenge for injuries are evidences of its
possession of the moral attributes. The recorded instances of displays
of reason in the dog, man's constant companion, are innumerable.
Intellectual attributes are still more pronounced in the ape tribe, as
indicated in a preceding chapter, where it was argued that man began his
development in intellect at a somewhat advanced stage.

The same cannot be said in regard to his moral evolution. In this
respect the level from which man emerged was a much lower one. If his
moral growth may be symbolized as a great tree, it is one not very
deeply rooted in the world below him. Yet it doubtless has grown out of
the soil of animal life, and its finer tendrils and fibres may be traced
to a considerable depth in this fertile soil.

Before proceeding with this subject, it is important to devote some
attention to the characteristics of the moral attributes, concerning
which there is much diversity of opinion. There has been abundance of
theorizing upon the principles of ethics, thinkers dividing themselves
into two widely separated groups. In the one school, the intuitive, the
principles of morality are looked upon as inherent in the soul of man,
unfolding as the plant unfolds from its seed. In the other school, the
inductive, morality is claimed to be founded upon selfishness, the
moving principle of human actions being the desire to avoid pain and
attain pleasure. Each school makes a strong argument, which goes far to
indicate that each is based upon a truth, and therefore that neither has
the whole truth.

The fault would appear to lie in the attempt to make morality a unit. In
our view this unity does not exist. While both schools may be partly
right, neither would seem to be wholly right, and they appear to be
pulling at the two ends of a single chain. Ethics, in short, may be
regarded as composed of unlike halves, which unite centrally to form a
whole. It may aid to reconcile the conflicting systems of theorists if
it be held that the inductive half of ethics is the product of the
reasoning powers and outer experience, the intuitive half the product of
feeling and inner development; while both meet and harmonize in life as
reason and feeling harmonize in the mind.

It is interesting to find that it is the intuitive, not the inductive,
element of the moral attributes that we find principally developed in
the lower animals. This is the outgrowth of instinct, not of thought;
the development of that principle of attraction which manifests itself
in all nature, and which, when associated with consciousness, becomes
what we know as love, affection, or sympathy. It is a powerful and
pervading force in all matter, intelligent and unintelligent, and in
conscious beings falls naturally among the emotions. Like all the
passions, it is instinctive in origin, though it may come under the
control of the intellect as the mind develops. In the lower animal world
it is manifested as a vigorous attraction, the sexual. In the higher
animals this attraction expands and grows complex. The attraction
between the sexes becomes love, and in its full unfoldment may join two
individuals together for life and influence most of their actions. To
the attraction between the sexes should be added that between parents
and children, the parental and filial, and that between associates, the
tribal or social, the latter, though weaker, of the same character.

With these bonds reason has nothing to do. It does not form them and
would seek in vain to sever them. They belong to a part of the mental
constitution which lies outside the kingdom of thought, and they,
therefore, often act counter to the selfish consideration of personal
safety. The love bond, indeed, in its full strength, seems to
constitute a partial loss of individuality. Mates will suffer pain and
endure physical injury for each other or for their offspring to as great
an extent as if these constituted a part of themselves, and as if their
actions were performed in self-defence.

With this brief review of the philosophy of the ethical sentiments, we
may proceed to a consideration of the facts. While the rudimentary form
of the sentiment in question is manifest far down in the descending
grades of animal life, it expands into what we may fairly term love or
affection only in the higher forms. Romanes, in his "Animal
Intelligence," remarks: "As regards emotions, it is among birds that we
first meet with a conspicuous advance in the tenderer feelings of
affection and sympathy. Those relating to the sexes and the care of
progeny are in this class proverbial for their intensity, offering, in
fact, a favorite type for the poet and moralist. The pining of the
'love-bird' for its absent mate, and the keen distress of a hen on
losing her chickens, furnish abundant evidence of vivid feelings of the
kind in question. Even the stupid-looking ostrich has heart enough to
die for love, as was the case with a male in the Rotund of the Jardin
des Plantes, who, having lost his mate, pined rapidly away."

Among social and communal animals the sentiment of sympathy widens to
embrace all the members of the tribe, a characteristic which is very
strongly manifested in so low an organism as the ant. As an example of
this feeling among birds, Romanes quotes an interesting illustration
from Edward, the naturalist. The latter had shot and wounded a tern, but
before he could reach it, the helpless bird was carried off by its
companions. Two of these took hold of it by the wings and flew with it
several yards over the water. They then relinquished their burden to two
others, and the process continued in this way until they at length
reached a rock at some distance. When the hunter, eager for his prize,
pursued them, the sympathetic birds again took up their wounded
companion and flew off with it again over the water.

Abundant instances of this sentiment of social affection could be quoted
from the mammalia. It is by no means confined to members of a species,
but may extend to very unlike species. No one needs to be told of the
warm affection so often shown by the dog for its master, a love which
will lead it to dare wounds or death in his service, or in the
protection of his property. This altruistic sentiment strongly exists in
the monkeys. Examples of the ardent feeling of these animals for their
fellows have been given in a preceding chapter, and many more might be
quoted, if necessary. It must suffice here to quote a single further
instance cited by Romanes, and relating to a small monkey which was
taken ill on shipboard, where there were several others of different

"It had always been a favorite with the other monkeys, who seemed to
regard it as the last born and the pet of the family; and they granted
it many indulgences which they seldom conceded to one another. It was
very tractable and gentle in its temper, and never took advantage of the
partiality shown to it. From the moment it was taken ill, their
attention and care of it redoubled; and it was truly affecting and
interesting to see with what anxiety and tenderness they tended and
nursed the little creature. A struggle often ensued between them for
priority in these offices of affection; and some would steal one thing
and some another, which they would carry to it untasted, however
tempting it might be to their own palates. They would take it up gently
in their forepaws, hug it to their breasts, and cry over it as a fond
mother would over her suffering child."

With the human race the love sentiment does not usually display the
singleness of energy shown among the lower animals. It is affected and
often checked in its development by an intricate series of influences,
which act on savage and civilized man alike. The family formed the
primitive human group, its linking elements being the sexual attraction
between man and woman and the fervent affection between parents and
children. These feelings, while strong in certain directions, were crude
and uneven. In savage tribes to-day the wife is an ill-treated drudge.
Yet the husband will protect his wife and children from danger at risk
of his life. The maternal instinct seems still stronger. The mother
often acts as if the child were an actual part of herself. Danger or
injury to it produces in her a mental agony, the close equivalent of its
fear or pain, and she will endure suffering and peril in its protection
with an impulse beyond the control of reason.

This sentiment, in a weakened form, extended from the family to the
group; and the success of man in gaining the mastery over the other
animals was doubtless greatly aided by the strong bond of social
affinity existing between the members of a group. They worked together
in a fuller sense than any other animals except the ants and bees.

From the original social group another and closer community seems
gradually to have developed, the group of kindred. This was a natural
outgrowth from the family, whose bond of affection was extended to
include more distant relatives, until there emerged the organized group
of kindred known as the "Village Community," which seems everywhere to
have preceded civilization. This bond of kindred gradually extended,
combining men into larger and larger groups, until the clan, the horde,
and the tribe emerged, their members all linked together by the reality
or the fiction of common descent. Such was the form of organization that
existed in Greece and Rome in their early days, and made its influence
felt far down into their later history. It existed indeed, at some
period, over almost all the earth.

As the group widened, the bond of sympathy weakened. Love in the family
found its counterpart in fellow-feeling in the tribe, in patriotism in
the nation. It is undoubtedly true that desire for personal protection
is one of the strong influences which bind men into societies. The hope
of advantage in other directions and the pleasure of social intercourse
are other combining forces. Yet below these rational elements has always
abided the emotional element, the sympathetic attraction which binds
kindred closely together, and which exerts some degree of influence on
all members of the same group or nation.

The development of the ethical principle in mankind is largely due to
the extension of the sentiment of social sympathy. For ages it was
confined to the immediate group. Such was the case even in civilized
Greece, intellectually one of the most advanced of peoples, but morally
very contracted. The Greeks were long divided into minor groups, with
the warmest sentiment of patriotism uniting the members of each
community, while their common origin bound all the Hellenes together.
But this feeling failed to cross the borders of the narrow peninsula of
Greece, all peoples beyond these borders being viewed as barbarians, in
whose pleasures and pains no interest was felt, and whose misfortunes
produced no stir of sympathy in the Grecian heart. Even Aristotle taught
that Greeks owed no more duties to barbarians than to wild beasts, and a
philosopher who declared that his affection extended to the whole people
of Greece was thought to be remarkably sympathetic.

The Romans were equally narrow in their early days, and not until the
empire extended to the outer borders of the civilized world did this
narrowness give way to a more expanded sympathy. The brotherhood of
mankind, indeed, was taught by Socrates, Cicero, and others of the
ancient moral philosophers, yet these seeds of philosophy fell in very
sterile soil and took root with discouraging slowness. Philosophers
elsewhere taught the dogma of universal love,--Confucius among the
Chinese, Gautama among the Hindoos,--but their teachings have borne
little fruit in the great, stagnant peoples of Asia, in whom the
narrowness of semicivilization prevails.

The teachings of Christ, whose code of morality was the intuitive one,
"Love one another," have been far more effective. Christianity became
the religion of Europe, since then the most progressive part of the
world, and with every step of progress in civilization the Christ
doctrine of charity and sympathy reached a higher and broader stage.
To-day it has attained, in Europe and America, a wide degree of
development, and the vast extension of human intercourse through the
mediums of travel, commerce, and telegraphic communication is, for the
first time in human history, beginning to lift the doctrine of the
universal brotherhood of man from the plane of a philosophic dogma
toward that of an established fact. The range of sympathy is narrow yet,
selfishness predominates, the truly altruistic are the few, the feebly
sympathetic and coldly selfish are the many; yet it must be admitted
that there has been a great development of altruism during the
nineteenth century, and the promise of the coming of Christ's kingdom on
the earth is greater to-day than at any former period in the history of

The love principle is the innate moral element of the universe. Its
rudimentary form is the attraction between atoms, which expands into the
attraction between spheres. We see a development of it in the magnetic
and electric attractions, and a higher one in the sexual attraction that
exists in the lowest organisms. Its expansion continues until it reaches
the high level of human love and social sympathy. But throughout its
whole development consciousness takes no part in its origin. While
conscious of its existence, we do not consciously call it into
existence. Men and women "fall in love"; they do not reason themselves
into affection. Those we love become in a measure a part of ourselves,
we feel their sufferings and endure their afflictions, not through the
nerves of the body, but through the finer ones of the mind,--a plexus
of spiritual nerves which stretch unseen from soul to soul. So strong is
this sympathetic affinity that Comte was induced to look upon mankind as
an organism, and it gave rise in the mind of Leslie Stephens to the
conception of a common "social tissue."

Love and law rule the universe. It is this second moral element, that of
law, which we have next to consider. Inductive morality had its origin
in experience; it assumed the form of social restriction, then of fixed
law and precept, and culminated in the sense of duty--a conscientious
avoidance of that which was thought to be wrong, and an earnest desire
to do what was looked upon as right.

The history of this phase of morality differs essentially from that of
the phase we have just considered. The sense of duty, the conscientious
sentiment, so highly developed in man, seems largely non-existent in the
lower animals, so far as observation has taught us. Yet it is not quite
wanting, its rudiment is there, and this rudiment is capable of
development. It may be, indeed, that a highly developed sense of duty
exists in the ants and bees, to judge from their diligent labors for the
benefit of the community. But the clearest examples of conscientious
performance of duty are those seen in the case of the dog, in which
animal intimate association with man has developed something strongly
approaching a conscience. A dog needs only to be well treated to
display a sense of dignity and a self-respect analogous to these
feelings in man. A sensitive resentment against injustice in high-caste
and carefully nurtured dogs has often been observed; while shame for an
act which the animal knows to be forbidden has been seen in a hundred
instances. The sense of duty is occasionally very strongly developed.
Many striking examples of this are on record. A dog will often defend
his master's property with the greatest devotion, letting no temptation
draw him away from the path of duty.

An instance has been related to the writer in which an extraordinary
display of this feeling was made. A gentleman, on coming home at night,
found he had forgotten his key, and attempted to enter the house by the
window of a room in which his dog was on duty as a night-watch. To his
surprise and annoyance the animal would not permit him to enter, and
attacked him every time he tried to climb in. The animal knew him well,
responded to his attempts to fondle it, but the moment he made an
attempt to enter the window it became hostile and seemed ready to spring
upon him. In its small brain was the feeling that no one, master or
stranger, had the right to enter that house at night by the window, and
it was there to perform its duty without regard to persons. In the end,
the gentleman was obliged to leave and seek shelter elsewhere.

The development of the sense of duty and the growth of moral
restriction in primitive man were probably very slow, much more so than
the evolution of intelligence. The social habit of man doubtless
rendered necessary, at an early period, some restraints on the actions
of individuals, and these in time gained the strength of unwritten law;
but many of them were scarcely what we should call moral obligations.
Many such restrictions exist among savage tribes to-day, and to these we
must turn for examples of their character. We, for instance, look upon
theft and lying as immoral practices, but such is not the case with
savages generally, most of whom will steal if the opportunity offers,
while they will lie in so transparent and useless a manner as to
indicate that they see nothing wrong in this practice. And yet the
aborigines of India, many of whom are very immoral according to our
standard, are often strongly averse to untruthfulness. "A true Gond,"
says Mr. Grant, "will commit a murder, but he will not tell a lie." It
is well known that truthfulness was one of the chief virtues of the
ancient Persians, a virtue that was accompanied by much which we would
call immoral. The Hindoo devotee is exceedingly tender of the lives of
animals, while he is often callous to human suffering. Disregard of
human suffering, indeed, showed itself strongly through all the past
ages, men being slaughtered with as little compunction as if they were
so many wild beasts, while frightful tortures were inflicted with an
extraordinary absence of humane feeling. And these excesses were
committed by persons who in the ordinary affairs of life were frequently
tender in feeling and conscientious in action.

In truth, moral development from this point of view has always shown a
one-sidedness that goes far to discredit the doctrine of intuitive
conceptions of right and wrong. The indications are strong that rules of
conduct are not inherent in the human mind, that men become moral to the
extent that they are taught the principles of justice, and grow
one-sided in their ideas of virtue through incompleteness in their moral
education. What we call sinfulness is largely a matter of custom and
convention. Men cannot properly be said to sin when their actions are
checked by no conscientious scruples, and what one people would consider
atrocious instances of wrong-doing, might be looked upon as innocent and
even estimable by a people with a different moral standard. Religion has
much to do with this. The human sacrifices and cannibal feasts of the
Aztec Indians, for instance, were regarded by them as good deeds,
obligations which they owed to their gods. Yet this people had attained
to some of the refined practices and moral ideas of civilization.

The leading principles of correct human conduct are few and simple. They
were arrived at early in the history of human thought, and little has
since been added to them. They arose as results of human experience, as
necessary principles of restraint in developing communities, and were
nearly all extant in prehistoric times as the unwritten laws of social
organization. What creed-makers did was to put these ancient axioms of
morality on record, and offer them to the world as codes of religious
observance. They could not have been of primitive origin, since the most
of them do not exist among the savage tribes still with us. There is
nothing, indeed, to show that any idea of sinfulness exists in the minds
of the lowest savages, the rules of conduct which they possess being
such regulations as are necessary to the existence of the most
undeveloped community.

Of the various codes of morals, much the best known to us is that given
to the Israelites by Moses, the famous "Ten Commandments." The most of
these--as of all such codes--were evidently legal in origin, rules
necessary for the existence of a civilized society, restrictions
controlling the conduct of men toward one another. It was the
creed-makers who first gave such legal restrictions the strength of
moral obligations, and announced that their infraction would be punished
by divine agencies, even if they should escape human retribution.

Many hurtful acts, indeed, came to be viewed as crimes alike against God
and man, and punishable in the interests of both. Political and moral
obligations thus shaded together; some of the evils of the world being
punished by human agencies alone, some by divine, some by both. It must
be said, however, that throughout the whole progress of human
civilization the influence of moral obligations has been rising, while
the necessity for political laws has declined in like proportion. In
ancient times the penalties for crimes against the community were
terribly severe, while religion threatened those who offended the divine
powers with frightful future punishments. The necessity for such severe
restrictions has long been decreasing, and the more vividly it is felt
that immoral deeds or debased thoughts and purposes will be visited by a
spiritual retribution, the less necessity is there for laws and
penalties. Thus the limitation of human actions by government is growing
less necessary than of old, in conformity with the growing sense of
spiritual degradation in evil and of spiritual elevation in good deeds.
Mild laws have succeeded the severe edicts of the past, and with a
considerable section of the community restrictive laws have become
useless, conscience taking the place of law. In such men the impulse to
evil deeds dies unfulfilled, and the penalty for wrong-doing within
themselves may be more severe than that which the community would
inflict. In the souls of such men sits a spiritual tribunal by which
evil thoughts are tried and punished before they can develop into evil

This consideration of the development of the moral principles and dogmas
has been necessarily brief. In what direction it is leading must be
evident to all, and we can with assurance look forward to a condition of
human society in which conscience will have become a stronger element of
the intellect than now, the sense of moral obligation a more prevailing
sentiment, and legal restriction a less necessary governmental

Of all the isms of the day altruism is far the noblest and most
promising. In this opponent of selfism, this regard for the rights and
happiness of others equally with our own, we find the link which binds
together the two halves of the moral principle. The love sentiment on
the one hand, the sense of duty on the other, meet and combine in the
zeal of altruism, for which a truly developed conscience is merely
another term. Those who have the good of others strongly at heart, who
are truly Christian in a practical realization of the brotherhood of
mankind, can safely be set free from all the reins of law, and trusted
to do the right thing from innate feeling instead of outside compulsion.
And, trusting in the future full development of the altruistic
sentiment, we can hopefully look forward to a time in which the moral
law will exist alone, conscience become the controlling force in human
actions, and government let fall the whip which it has so long held in
threat over the shrinking back of man.



The purpose of this work has been to trace the evolutionary origin of
man, in his ascent from the lower animal world to his full stature as
the physical and intellectual monarch of the kingdom of life. But to
round up the story of human evolution it seemed necessary to consider
man from the moral standpoint, and it now appears equally desirable to
review his relations to the spiritual element of the universe. Having
dealt with the development of man as a mortal being, we have now to
regard him as a possibly immortal being.

This outlook into the supreme domain of nature lifts us, for the first
time in our work, definitely above the lower world of life. There is
nothing to show that the animals below man have any conception of the
spiritual. It is true that there are various statements on record which
seem to indicate in some animals, the horse and the dog, for instance, a
dread of unseen powers, a recognition of some element in nature which is
invisible to the eyes of man. But what these facts indicate, what
influences affect the rudimentary intellect of these animals in such
instances, no one is able to say. Though some vague recognition of
powers or existences beyond the visible may arise in their narrow minds,
it does not probably pass beyond the level of instinct, and doubtless
lies almost infinitely below man's conception of the spiritual. In this
stage of intellectual development, then, we have to do with a condition
which seems to belong solely to man, or has but a germinal existence in
the lower organic kingdom.

In fact, primitive man may well have been as devoid of the conception of
a realm of spirit as was his anthropoid ancestor. The lowest savages of
to-day are almost, if not quite, lacking in such a conception, and are
destitute of anything that can fairly be called religion. Where apparent
religious ideas exist among them we cannot be sure to what extent they
have been infused by civilized visitors, or how far ardent missionaries,
in their anxiety to discover some trace of religion in savages, have
themselves inadvertently suggested the beliefs which they triumphantly
record. The Pygmies of Africa, the Negritos of Oceanica, and various
debased tribes elsewhere, may possibly be quite destitute of native
religious conceptions, at least of a higher grade than those which move
the horse and dog to a dread of the unseen. It should be borne in mind
that these tribes have for thousands of years been in some degree of
contact with more developed races and subject to educative influences,
and the crude religious conceptions which some travellers attribute to
them may well have been derived, not original.

Investigation in this field certainly gives us abundant warrant to
believe that primitive man, on whose mind no influences of education
could act, was destitute of religion, and that man's conception of the
unseen arose gradually, as one important phase of the development of his
intellect. Any attempt to trace the stages of this religious development
is far beyond our purpose, even if we were capable of doing it. It must
suffice to say that man everywhere, when he emerges into history as a
semicivilized being, is abundantly supplied with mythological and other
religious conceptions which indicate a long preceding evolution in this
field of thought.

For extended ages the realm of the unseen has been acting upon the mind
of man; filling him with dread of malevolent and reverence for
beneficent powers, inspiring him to acts of worship, peopling his
imagined heavens with imagined deities, and giving rise to an
extraordinary variety of deific tales and mythological ideas. The
literature of this subject would fill a library in itself, and is almost
abundant enough to supply one with reading for a lifetime. Yet it is
largely, if not wholly, ideal; it is in great part based on false
conceptions and misdirected imaginings; it rarely adduces evidence, and
such evidence as is offered is always questionable; in short, scientific
investigation and the critical pursuit of facts have taken no part in
the development of religious systems, and a deep cloud of doubt envelops
them all.

It is by no means our purpose to seek to throw discredit on any of the
great religions of the world. To say that they have been products of
evolution is not to invalidate them. Much that is true and solid has
arisen through evolution. To say that they lack scientific evidence is
not to question their validity. Many of the subjects with which they
deal lie beyond the reach of scientific evidence. Science has hitherto
dealt strictly with the physical; it has made almost no effort to test
the claims of the spiritual. In fact, the highest of these claims, that
of the existence of a deity, must lie forever beyond its reach. God may
exist, and science grope for Him through eternity in vain. Finite facts
can never gauge the infinite. Proofs and disproofs alike have been
offered of the existence of an infinite deity, but the problem remains
unsolved. None of these proofs or disproofs are positive; they all
depend on ideal conceptions, and ideas are always open to question;
positive facts on either side of the argument are, and are always likely
to be, wanting, and the belief in God must be based on other than
scientific grounds.

But when we come down to the lower levels of the domain of the spiritual
we find ourselves on firmer ground. Here we are dealing with the finite,
not with the infinite, and nothing that is finite can lie beyond the
boundaries of investigation, however long it may take to reach it. The
question of the existence of spirits, for instance,--that much mooted
problem of the immortality, or at least of the future existence, of man,
which forms so prominent an element in modern religion,--dwells within
the possible reach of science, and the attempt to deal with it by
scientific evidence may reasonably be made. When we pass beyond the
realm of the senses we find ourselves in a kingdom peopled by stupendous
forms and forces,--space, time, matter, energy, and perhaps infinite
consciousness,--all in their ultimate conditions too vast for the finite
mind to grasp, all presenting problems open to speculation, but beyond
the reach of demonstration. But below these lie finite possibilities
which the human mind may now be, or may become, capable of
comprehending, and prominent among these lies the problem just
mentioned, that of the existence of a spiritual substratum in man, a
soul which is capable of surviving the death of the body. This is a
subject with which all of us are deeply and intimately concerned, and it
may be well to close this volume with a brief glance at its status as a
scientific question.

The belief in the immortality of man is comparatively modern in origin.
There is no satisfactory evidence that any such belief existed among the
old Jews, or that it arose in Palestine before the time of Christ. It
arose at an earlier period in India and Persia, but everywhere it was
late in its appearance as a well-defined doctrine. Yet, while positive
evidence is wanting, there can be little doubt that crude and vaguely
formulated ideas of the existence of man after death have been very long
entertained. The traditions of all peoples that have a faith above that
of fetichism contain stories of the apparition of spirits of human
origin, and when we reach civilized peoples and more advanced religions
we find these in abundance. The annals of Christendom are full of them.
They are equally abundant in the centres of other developed forms of
faith. If we could accept these legends of the emergence of spirits
through the thin veil that separates time from eternity as established
facts, the problem would no longer need solution. As it stands, however,
the great mass of such narratives are utterly lacking in evidence of a
character which science can admit. They are bare, unsustained
statements, thousands of which would be far outweighed by a single one
fortified by demonstrated facts. Occasionally, indeed, the story of an
apparition has been closely investigated, and there are a few cases of
this kind handed down from the past which seem reasonably well
established. But any statement coming from prescientific days is open to
doubt; methods of investigation then were not what they are now; the
dogma of the existence of spirit is too important a one to be accepted
on any but incontrovertible evidence, and the vast sum of statements of
apparitions which have come to us from the past, or from the
non-scientific peoples of the present, must be dismissed with the one
verdict, not proven.

There is one important fact, however, connected with the question of
spiritual appearances, which is worthy of some consideration. It is a
fixed rule in the history of opinions that beliefs founded on
imagination or misconception have declined with the advance of
enlightenment, and many conceptions, once strongly entertained, have
faded and vanished in the light of new thought, or where retained have
been so only by the ignorant and unreasoning. It is of interest to find
that this has not been the case with the belief in spiritual
manifestations. This has held its own to the present time, and, while it
is largely sustained by the unintelligent and credulous, it can claim a
considerable body of intelligent adherents to-day, even in the most
enlightened nations. This belief, known as spiritism, with the
manifestations upon which it is founded, lies open, therefore, to modern
scientific investigation; and this has been, to some extent, applied to
it, with, in various instances, rather startling results.

It is certainly of significance to find that a number of prominent
scientists, thoroughly skilled in the arts of investigation, have
attacked this problem with the purpose of annihilating it, and have
ended in becoming convinced of the truth of spiritism. It may suffice
to mention two of the most striking instances of this. In the early days
of the spiritist propaganda, Robert Hare, a famous chemist of
Philadelphia, entered upon an investigation of the so-called spiritual
phenomena with the declared purpose of proving them to be fraudulent.
His observations were long continued, his tests varied and delicate, and
he ended by himself ardently adopting the belief he had set out to
abolish. Somewhat later William Crookes of London, an equally famous
chemist and physicist, entered upon a similar investigation, and with
like results. The tests applied by these men were strictly scientific,
and of the exhaustive character suggested by their long experience in
chemical investigation; and their conversion to the tenets of spiritism,
as a result of their experiments, was a marked triumph to the advocates
of the doctrine. Various others of admitted high intelligence, who made
a similar investigation and were similarly converted, might be named.
Two of the best known of these were Judge Edmonds, of the circuit court
of New York, and Alfred Russel Wallace of England, who shared with
Darwin the honor of originating the theory of natural selection.

While these, and others of scientific education, were converted to
spiritism, many investigators came to an opposite conclusion, while a
similar negative result was reached in the investigations of several
committees of scientists. The latest and most persistent attempt to
search into the reality of phenomena of this character has been that
made by the London Society for Psychical Research, whose investigations
have extended over years and have yielded numerous striking and
suggestive results. The most important conclusion at which the members
of this society have so far arrived is the hypothesis of Telepathy, or
the seeming power of one mind to influence the thoughts of another,
occasionally over long distances, in a method that appears analogous to
that of wireless telegraphy. The evidences in favor of this doctrine are
so numerous that it has been somewhat widely accepted, and the title
applied to it has come into general use. It indicates, if true,
remarkable powers in the mind of man, capabilities that seem far to
transcend those of the ordinary intellectual activities.

This is one side of the case. The other side now calls for presentation.
This is that the great body of scientists utterly reject the theory of
spiritism, and look upon its manifestations as due to fraud,
misconception, credulity, or some other of the weaknesses to which human
nature is liable. As regards the opinions arrived at by the prominent
scientists mentioned, these men are looked upon by their fellows of the
great scientific body as mentally warped, or as having allowed
themselves to be victimized by impostors. The fact that Professor
Crookes has continued one of the most acute and deep searching of
investigators into the phenomena of physics, and that his results in
this direction are accepted without question, and that Professor Wallace
is acknowledged to be one of the leading thinkers of the day, has not
sufficed to clear them of the doubt which rests upon their sanity or
their critical judgment in this particular, and the very attempt of any
one to investigate the so-called spiritual manifestations is widely
looked upon as an evidence of credulity or some greater mental weakness.

This result may seem singular, yet it is not without abundant warrant.
It must be borne in mind that the phenomena in question differ
essentially in character from those with which science is usually
concerned. The field of scientific investigation is distinctly the
material; the facts with which it deals are those apparent to the
senses, or which can be tested by material instruments; its discoveries
are generally susceptible of but one interpretation; its methods are
capable of being indefinitely repeated, and its results, if justly
interpreted, are unvarying in character. None of these postulates fully
applies to the spiritistic investigation. Here the conditions differ,
the results vary, the methods can rarely be exactly repeated, conscious
beings, instead of unconscious instruments, are the agents employed, and
the secret thoughts and purposes of such agents are very likely to
vitiate the result, and open a field of doubt which does not exist in
the investigation of the inorganic world.

This is one of the causes of the doubt of scientists. It is not the only
or the chief cause. The latter is the fact that the claims of spiritism
lift man into an entirely new domain of the universe, remove him from
the great field of the material with which he is physically affiliated
and to which his senses are closely adapted, and place him in a region
beyond the scope of the senses, a vast kingdom which is held to underlie
or subtend the physical, and which the ordinary outlook of the scientist
fails to perceive. It requires no strain of the imagination to admit the
existence of a new constituent of the atmosphere. It requires a great
strain to admit the existence of a new constituent of the universe, a
vast spiritual substratum to the domain of matter. Religion, with its
ideal tests, has long maintained this to be a fact. Science, with its
rigid material tests, sternly questions it, and demands that the
existence of an inhabited spiritual realm shall be incontestably proved
by scientific evidence before it can be accepted.

This demand is a reasonable one. The world is growing rapidly more
scientific, and the old method of arriving at conclusions is daily
losing strength. Beliefs based on ideal or imaginative postulates, once
strong, are now weak. Faith founded on ancient authority is active
still, but promises to become obsolete. The way of science is growing
to be the way of the world, and in the time to come intelligent men will
doubtless demand incontestable evidence of any fact which they are asked
to accept.

As regards the phenomena in question, however, it cannot be said that
they have been fairly or fully investigated by scientists. They have
been set down as the work of charlatans, and their apparent results
ascribed to fraud, collusion, credulity, and mental obliquity in
general. The fact, that of the scientists who have exhaustively
investigated the spiritistic phenomena, a considerable number have
accepted them as valid, has had no effect upon scientists as a body,
who, in this particular, occupy the position which they accuse
non-scientists of maintaining, that of forming opinions without
investigating phenomena.

This attitude of the scientific world toward these problematical
occurrences is quite comprehensible. Throughout the nineteenth century
the attention of scientists has been almost wholly directed toward the
investigation of the forms and forces of matter, the phenomena and
principles of the visible universe. In this they entered, at the opening
of the century, upon an almost virgin field, which they have wrought
with great diligence and with remarkable results. It is very possible,
however, that in the twentieth century no such undivided allegiance will
be given to the phenomena of matter, but that the attention of
scientists will be largely diverted from the physical to the psychical
field of investigation, which may prove to be a far broader and more
intricate domain than we now have any conception of.

Psychical phenomena have attracted some attention during the recent
century. One by one the problems of hypnotism, unconscious cerebration,
double consciousness, telepathy, spiritism, and the like, all at first
set down as unworthy of consideration, have forced themselves upon the
attention of observers, and each of them has been found to present
conditions amply worthy of investigation. This work has hitherto been
performed by occasional individuals, but the number of workers in
experimental psychics is steadily increasing, and their domain of
research broadening, and we may reasonably look forward to results
approaching, perhaps exceeding, in interest those reached in material

There is a whole world before us, that of the mind and its phenomena,
fully equal in interest and importance to the world of matter, and
presenting as numerous and difficult problems. Hitherto it has largely
been dealt with from the ideal or metaphysical standpoint; only recently
has it been subjected to physical analysis, and already with striking
results. During the century before us it is likely to attract a wide and
active circle of investigators, with what results it is impossible to
predict. This is the only way in which the problem of the existence or
non-existence of a spiritual life can be solved to the satisfaction of
those of a scientific turn of mind, and this solution must be left to
the future to attain.

In the present work we are concerned with man's past rather than his
future. It is what man has come from, not what he is going to, that
forms the subject of our inquiries. We have been led into these remarks
simply as an outcome of a brief consideration of man's relations to the
spiritual element of the universe, and may close our work with the
suggestion that the problem of human evolution may be immensely greater
than that involved in the study of the ancestry of man.

THE DAWN OF REASON Or, Mental Traits in the Lower Animals


_Author of "The Psychical Correlation of Religious Emotion and Sexual
Desire" etc._

16mo. Cloth. $1.25

       *       *       *       *       *

Review of Reviews.

"This book presents evidences of mental action of the lower animals in a
clear, simple, and brief form. The author has avoided technicalities,
and has also resisted the temptation of the psychologist to indulge in
metaphysics. Dr. Weir has relied for evidence on the results of his own
independent study of biology at first hand, disregarding the second-hand
data used by many of the authors once regarded as standard authorities
in this department of research."

The Nation:

"The title raised in our mind some vague fears that we might find
physiology and psychology mixed up inexpertly with metaphysics; but we
see in the writer a close observer, who takes his stand on firm ground,
and goes into the objective world of animals for his facts."

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note

The following changes have been made to the text:

Page 133: "these forests dwarfs" changed to "these forest dwarfs".

Page 146: "adepts in the art of concealment" changed to "adept in the
art of concealment".

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