observed differing in its essential characters from the general human type. Out of all the skulls found in the lake dwellings there is not one that lies outside the boundaries of our present population.? Dr. Eugene Dubois has discovered in the Post-Pliocene deposits of the island of Java the remains of a preeminently hominid anthropoid that he calls Pithecanthropus erectas. Its cranial capacity approaches the physiological minimum in man, and is double that of the gorilla. The thighbone is in form and dimensions the absolute analogue of that of man and gives evidence of having supported a habitually erect body. Dr. Dubois unhesitatingly places this extinct Javan ape as the intermediate form between man and the true anthropoid apes. Haeckel (in The Nation, Sept. 15, 1898) and Keane (in Man Past and Present, 3) , regard the Pithecanthropus as a ?missing link.? But ?Nature? regards at as the remains of a human microcephalous idiot. In addition to all this, it deserves to be noticed that man does not degenerate as we travel back in time. ?The Enghis skull, the contemporary of the mammoth and the cavebear, is as large as the average of to-day and might have belonged to a philosopher.? The monkey nearest to man in physical form is no more intelligent than the elephant or the bee.

3. There are certain facts which mere heredity cannot explain. Such for example as the origin of the working bee from the queen and the drone, neither of which produces honey. The working bee, moreover, does not transmit the honey making instinct to its posterity for it is sterile and childless. If man had descended from the conscienceless brute, we should expect him, when degraded, to revert to his primitive type. On the contrary, he does not revert to the brute, but dies out instead. The theory can give no explanation of beauty in the lowest forms of life, such as mollusks and diatoms. Darwin grants that this beauty must be of use to its possessor in order to be consistent with its origination through natural selection. But no such use has yet been shown for the creatures, which possess the beauty often live in the dark or have no eyes to see. So, too, the large brain of the savage is beyond his needs and is inconsistent with the principle of natural selection, which teaches that no organ can permanently attain a size not required by its needs and its environment. See Wallace, Natural Selection, 338-360. G. F. Wright, Man and the Glacial Epoch, 242-301 ? ?That man?s bodily organization is in some way a development front some extinct member of the animal kingdom allied to the anthropoid apes is scarcely any longer susceptible of doubt. He is certainly not descended from any existing species of anthropoid apes. When once mind became supreme, the bodily adjustment must have been rapid, if indeed it is not necessary to suppose that the bodily

<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment