Lubbock seems to admit that cannibalism was not primeval; yet he shows a general tendency to take every brutal custom as a sample of man?s first state. And this, in state of the fact that many such customs have been the result of corruption. Bride catching, for example, could not possibly have been primeval, in the strict sense of that term. Tyler, Primitive Culture, 1:48, presents a far more moderate view. He favors a theory of development, but with degeneration ?as a secondary action largely and deeply affecting the development of civilization.? So the Duke of Argyll, Unity of Nature: Civilization and savagery are both the results of evolutionary development but the one is a development in the upward, the latter in the downward direction. For this reason, neither civilization nor savagery can rationally be looked upon as the primitive condition of man.? Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, 1:467 ? ?As plausible an argument might be constructed out of the deterioration and degradation of some of the human family to prove that man may have evolved downward into an anthropoid ape, as that which has been constructed to prove that he lens been evolved upward from one.?
Modern nations fall far short of the old Greek perception and expression of beauty. Modern Egyptians, Bushmen, Australians, are unquestionably degenerate races. See Lankester, Degeneration. The same is true of Italians and Spaniards, as well as of Turks. Abyssinians are now polygamists, though their ancestors were Christians and monogamists. The physical degeneration of portions of the population of Ireland is well known. See Mivart, Lessons from Nature, 146-160, who applies to the savage theory the tests of language, morals, and religion. He quotes Herbert Spencer as saying: ?Probably most of them [savages], if not all of them, had ancestors in higher states and among their beliefs remain some which were evolved during those higher states. It is quite possible, and I believe highly probable, that retrogression has been as frequent as progression.? Spencer, however, denies that savagery is always caused by lapse from civilization.
Bibliotheca Sacra, 6:715; 29:282 ? ?Man as a moral being does not tend to rise but to fall, and that with a geometric progress, except he be elevated and sustained by some force from without and above himself. While man once civilized may advance, yet moral ideas are apparently never developed from within.? Had savagery been man?s primitive condition, he never could have emerged. See Whately, Origin of Civilization, who maintains that man needed not only a divine Creator but also a divine Instructor. Seelye, Introduction To A Century of Dishonor, 3 ? ?The first missionaries to the Indians in Canada took with them skilled laborers to teach the savages how to till their fields, to provide them with
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