Chapter 7 - On the Races of Man
IT is not my intention here to describe the several so-called races of men; but I am about to enquire what is the value of the differences between them under a classificatory point of view, and how they have originated. In determining whether two or more allied forms ought to be ranked as species or varieties, naturalists are practically guided by the following considerations; namely, the amount of difference between them, and whether such differences relate to few or many points of structure, and whether they are of physiological importance; but more especially whether they are constant. Constancy of character is what is chiefly valued and sought for by naturalists. Whenever it can be shewn, or rendered probable, that the forms in question have remained distinct for a long period, this becomes an argument of much weight in favour of treating them as species. Even a slight degree of sterility between any two forms when first crossed, or in their offspring, is generally considered as a decisive test of their specific distinctness; and their continued persistence without blending within the same area, is usually accepted as sufficient evidence, either of some degree of mutual sterility, or in the case of animals of some mutual repugnance to pairing.
Independently of fusion from intercrossing, the complete absence, in a well-investigated region, of varieties linking together any two closely-allied forms, is probably the most important of all the criterions of their specific distinctness; and this is a somewhat different consideration from mere constancy of character, for two forms may be highly variable and yet not yield intermediate varieties. Geographical distribution is often brought into play unconsciously and sometimes consciously; so that forms living in two widely separated areas, in which most of the other inhabitants are specifically distinct, are themselves usually looked at as distinct; but in truth this affords no aid in distinguishing geographical races from so-called good or true species.
Now let us apply these generally-admitted principles to the races of man, viewing him in the same spirit as a naturalist would any other animal. In regard to the amount of difference between the races, we must make some allowance for our nice powers of discrimination gained by the long habit of observing ourselves. In India, as Elphinstone remarks, although a newly-arrived European cannot at first distinguish the various native races, yet they soon appear to him extremely dissimilar;* and the Hindoo cannot at first perceive any difference between the several European nations. Even the most distinct races of man are much more like each other in form than would at first be supposed; certain negro tribes must be excepted, whilst others, as Dr. Rohlfs writes to me, and as I have myself seen, have Caucasian features. This general similarity is well shewn by the French photographs in the Collection Anthropologique du Museum de Paris of the men belonging to various races, the greater number of which might pass for Europeans, as many persons to whom I have shewn them have remarked. Nevertheless, these men, if seen alive, would undoubtedly appear very distinct, so that we are clearly much influenced in our judgment by the mere colour of the skin and hair, by slight differences in the features, and by expression.
* History of India, 1841, vol. i., p. 323. Father Ripa makes exactly the same remark with respect to the Chinese.
There is, however, no doubt that the various races, when carefully compared and measured, differ much from each other,- as in the texture of the hair, the relative proportions of all parts of the body,* the capacity of the lungs, the form and capacity of the skull, and even in the convolutions of the brain.*(2) But it would be an endless task to specify the numerous points of difference. The races differ also in constitution, in acclimatisation and in liability to certain diseases. Their mental characteristies are likewise very distinct; chiefly as it would appear in their emotional, but partly in their intellectual faculties. Every one who has had the opportunity of comparison, must have been struck with the contrast between the taciturn, even morose, aborigines of S. America and the lighthearted, talkative negroes. There is a nearly similar contrast between the Malays and the Papuans,*(3) who live under the same physical conditions, and are separated from each other only by a narrow space of sea.
* A vast number of measurements of whites, blacks, and Indians, are given in the Investigations in the Military and Anthropolog. Statistics of American Soldiers by B. A. Gould, 1869, pp. 298-358; "On the capacity of the lungs," p. 471. See also the numerous and valuable tables, by Dr. Weisbach, from the observations of Dr. Scherzer and Dr. Schwarz, in the Reise der Novara: Anthropolog. Theil, 1867.
*(2) See, for instance, Mr. Marshall's account of the brain of a bushwoman, in Philosophical Transactions, 1864, p. 519.
*(3) Wallace The Malay Archipelago, vol. ii., 1869, p. 178.
We will first consider the arguments which may be advanced in favour of classing the races of man as distinct species, and then the arguments on the other side. If a naturalist, who had never before seen a Negro, Hottentot, Australian, or Mongolian, were to compare them, he would at once perceive that they differed in a multitude of characters, some of slight and some of considerable importance. On enquiry he would find that they were adapted to live under widely different climates, and that they differed somewhat in bodily constitution and mental disposition. If he were then told that hundreds of similar specimens could be brought from the same countries, he would assuredly declare that they were as good species as many to which he had been in the habit of affixing specific names. This conclusion would be greatly strengthened as soon as he had ascertained that these forms had all retained the same character for many centuries; and that negroes, apparently identical with existing negroes, had lived at least 4000 years ago.* He would also hear, on the authority of an excellent observer, Dr. Lund,*(2) that the human skulls found in the caves of Brazil entombed with many extinct mammals, belonged to the same type as that now prevailing throughout the American continent.
* With respect to the figures in the famous Egyptian caves of Abou-Simbel, M. Pouchet says (The Plurality of the Human Races, Eng. translat., 1864, p. 50), that he was far from finding recognisable representations of the dozen or more nations which some authors believe that they can recognise. Even some of the most strongly-marked races cannot be identified with that degree of unanimity which might have been expected from what has been written on the subject. Thus Messrs. Nott and Gliddon (Types of Mankind, p. 148), state that Rameses II, or the Great, has features superbly European; whereas Knox, another firm believer in the specific distinctness of the races of man (Races of Man, 1850, p. 201), speaking of young Memnon (the same as Rameses II, as I am informed by Mr. Birch), insists in the strongest manner that he is identical in character with the Jews of Antwerp. Again, when I looked at the statue of Amunoph III, I agreed with two officers of the establishment, both competent judges, that he had a strongly-marked negro type of features; but Messrs. Nott and Gliddon (ibid., p. 146, fig. 53), describe him as a hybrid, but not of "negro intermixture."
*(2) As quoted by Nott and Gliddon, Types of Mankind, 1854, p. 439. They give also corroborative evidence; but C. Vogt thinks that the subject requires further investigation.
Our naturalist would then perhaps turn to geographical distribution, and he would probably declare that those forms must be distinct species, which differ not only in appearance, but are fitted for hot, as well as damp or dry countries, and for the arctic regions. He might appeal to the fact that no species in the group next to man- namely, the Quadrumana, can resist a low temperature, or any considerable change of climate; and that the species which come nearest to man have never been reared to maturity, even under the temperate climate of Europe. He would be deeply impressed with the fact, first noticed by Agassiz,* that the different races of man are distributed over the world in the same zoological provinces, as those inhabited by undoubtedly distinct species and genera of mammals. This is manifestly the case with the Australian, Mongolian, and Negro races of man; in a less well-marked manner with the Hottentots; but plainly with the Papuans and Malays, who are separated, as Mr. Wallace has shewn, by nearly the same line which divides the great Malayan and Australian zoological provinces. The aborigines of America range throughout the continent; and this at first appears opposed to the above rule, for most of the productions of the Southern and Northern halves differ widely: yet some few living forms, as the opossum, range from the one into the other, as did formerly some of the gigantic Edentata. The Esquimaux, like other arctic animals, extend round the whole polar regions. It should be observed that the amount of difference between the mammals of the several zoological provinces does not correspond with the degree of separation between the latter; so that it can hardly be considered as an anomaly that the Negro differs more, and the American much less from the other races of man, than do the mammals of the African and American continents from the mammals of the other provinces. Man, it may be added, does not appear to have aboriginally inhabited any oceanic island; and in this respect, he resembles the other members of his class.
* "Diversity of Origin of the Human Races," in the Christian Examiner, July, 1850.
In determining whether the supposed varieties of the same kind of domestic animal should be ranked as such, or as specifically distinct, that is, whether any of them are descended from distinct wild species, every naturalist would lay much stress on the fact of their external parasites being specifically distinct. All the more stress would be laid on this fact, as it would be an exceptional one; for I am informed by Mr. Denny that the most different kinds of dogs, fowls, and pigeons, in England, are infested by the same species of Pediculi or lice. Now Mr. A. Murray has carefully examined the Pediculi. collected in different countries from the different races of man;* and he finds that they differ, not only in colour, but in the structure of their claws and limbs. In every case in which many specimens were obtained the differences were constant. The surgeon of a whaling ship in the Pacific assured me that when the Pediculi, with which some Sandwich Islanders on board swarmed, strayed on to the bodies of the English sailors, they died in the course of three or four days. These Pediculi were darker coloured, and appeared different from those proper to the natives of Chiloe in South America, of which he gave me specimens. These, again, appeared larger and much softer than European lice. Mr. Murray procured four kinds from Africa, namely, from the Negroes of the Eastern and Western coasts, from the Hottentots and Kaffirs; two kinds from the natives of Australia; two from North and two from South America. In these latter cases it may be presumed that the Pediculi came from natives inhabiting different districts. With insects slight structural differences, if constant, are generally esteemed of specific value: and the fact of the races of man being infested by parasites, which appear to be specifically distinct, might fairly be urged as an argument that the races themselves ought to be classed as distinct species.
* Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, vol. xxii, 1861, p. 567.
Our supposed naturalist having proceeded thus far in his investigation, would next enquire whether the races of men, when crossed, were in any degree sterile. He might consult the work* of Professor Broca, a cautious and philosophical observer, and in this he would find good evidence that some races were quite fertile together, but evidence of an opposite nature in regard to other races. Thus it has been asserted that the native women of Australia and Tasmania rarely produce children to European men; the evidence, however, on this head has now been shewn to be almost valueless. The half-castes are killed by the pure blacks: and an account has lately been published of eleven half-caste youths murdered and burnt at the same time, whose remains were found by the police.*(2) Again, it has often been said that when mulattoes intermarry, they produce few children; on the other hand, Dr. Bachman, of Charleston,*(3) positively asserts that he has known mulatto families which have intermarried for several generations, and have continued on an average as fertile as either pure whites or pure blacks. Enquiries formerly made by Sir C. Lyell on this subject led him, as he informs me, to the same conclusion.*(4) In the United States the census for the year 1854 included, according to Dr. Bachman, 405,751 mulattoes; and this number, considering all the circumstances of the case, seems small; but it may partly be accounted for by the degraded and anomalous position of the class, and by the profligacy of the women. A certain amount of absorption of mulattoes into negroes must always be in progress; and this would lead to an apparent diminution of the former. The inferior vitality of mulattoes is spoken of in a trustworthy work*(5) as a well-known phenomenon; and this, although a different consideration from their lessened fertility, may perhaps be advanced as a proof of the specific distinctness of the parent races. No doubt both animal and vegetable hybrids, when produced from extremely distinct species, are liable to premature death; but the parents of mulattoes cannot be put under the category of extremely distinct species. The common mule, so notorious for long life and vigour, and yet so sterile, shews how little necessary connection there is in hybrids between lessened fertility and vitality; other analogous cases could be cited.
* On the Phenomena of Hybridity in the Genus Homo, Eng. translat., 1864.
*(2) See the interesting letter by Mr. T. A. Murray, in the Anthropological Review, April, 1868, p. liii. In this letter Count Strzelecki's statement that Australian women who have borne children to a white man, are afterwards sterile with their own race, is disproved. M. A. de Quatrefages has also collected (Revue des Cours Scientifiques, March, 1869, p. 239), much evidence that Australians and Europeans are not sterile when crossed.
*(3) An Examination of Prof. Agassiz's Sketch of the Nat. Provinces of the Animal World, Charleston, 1855, p. 44.
*(4) Dr. Rohlfs writes to me that he found the mixed races in the Great Sahara, derived from Arabs, Berbers, and Negroes of three tribes, extraordinarily fertile. On the other hand, Mr. Winwood Reade informs me that the Negroes on the Gold Coast, though admiring white men and mulattoes, have a maxim that mulattoes should not intermarry, as the children are few and sickly. This belief, as Mr. Reade remarks, deserves attention, as white men have visited and resided on the Gold Coast for four hundred years, so that the natives have had ample time to gain knowledge through experience.
*(5) Military and Anthropological Statistics of American Soldiers, by B. A. Gould, 1869, p. 319.
Even if it should hereafter be proved that all the races of men were perfectly fertile together, he who was inclined from other reasons to rank them as distinct species, might with justice argue that fertility and sterility are not safe criterions of specific distinctness. We know that these qualities are easily affected by changed conditions of life, or by close interbreeding, and that they are governed by highly complex laws, for instance, that of the unequal fertility of converse crosses between the same two species. With forms which must be ranked as undoubted species, a perfect series exists from those which are absolutely sterile when crossed, to those which are almost or completely fertile. The degrees of sterility do not coincide strictly with the degrees of difference between the parents in external structures or habits of life. Man in many respects may be compared with those animals which have long been domesticated, and a large body of evidence can be advanced in favour of the Pallasian doctrine,* that domestication tends to eliminate the sterility which is so general a result of the crossing of species in a state of nature. From these several considerations, it may be justly urged that the perfect fertility of the intercrossed races of man, if established, would not absolutely preclude us from ranking them as distinct species.
* The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, vol. ii p. 109. I may here remind the reader that the sterility of species when crossed is not a specially acquired quality, but, like the incapacity of certain trees to be grafted together, is incidental on other acquired differences. The nature these differences is unknown, but they relate more especially to the reproductive system, and much less so to external structure or to ordinary differences in constitution. One important element in the sterility of crossed species apparently lies in one or both having been long habituated to fixed conditions; for we know that changed conditions have a special influence on the reproductive system, and we have good reason to believe (as before remarked) that the fluctuating conditions of domestication tend to eliminate that sterility which is so general with species, in a natural state, when crossed. It has elsewhere been shewn by me (ibid., vol. ii., p. 185, and Origin of Species, (OOS), that the sterility of crossed species has not been acquired through natural selection: we can see that when two forms have already been rendered very sterile, it is scarcely possible that their sterility should be augmented by the preservation or survival of the more and more sterile individuals; for, as the sterility increases. fewer and fewer offspring will be produced from which to breed, and at last only single individuals will be produced at the rarest intervals. But there is even a higher grade of sterility than this. Both Gartner and Kolreuter have proved that in genera of plants, including many species, a series can be formed from species which, when crossed, yield fewer and fewer seeds, to species which never produce a single seed, but yet are affected by the pollen of the other species, as shewn by the swelling of the germen. It is here manifestly impossible to select the more sterile individuals, which have already ceased to yield seeds; so that the acme of sterility, when the germen alone is affected, cannot have been gained through selection. This acme, and no doubt the other grades of sterility, are the incidental results of certain unknown differences in the constitution of the reproductive system of the species which are crossed.
Independently of fertility, the characters presented by the offspring from a cross have been thought to indicate whether or not the parent-forms ought to be ranked as species or varieties; but after carefully studying the evidence, I have come to the conclusion that no general rules of this kind can be trusted. The ordinary result of a cross is the production of a blended or intermediate form; but in certain cases some of the offspring take closely after one parent-form, and some after the other. This is especially apt to occur when the parents differ in characters which first appeared as sudden variations or monstrosities.* I refer to this point, because Dr. Rohlfs informs me that he has frequently seen in Africa the offspring of negroes crossed with members of other races, either completely black or completely white, or rarely piebald. On the other hand, it is notorious that in America mulattoes commonly present an intermediate appearance.
* The Variation of Animals, &c., vol. ii., p. 92.
We have now seen that a naturalist might feel himself fully justified in ranking the races of man as distinct species; for he has found that they are distinguished by many differences in structure and constitution, some being of importance. These differences have, also, remained nearly constant for very long periods of time. Our naturalist will have been in some degree influenced by the enormous range of man, which is a great anomaly in the class of mammals, if mankind be viewed as a single species. He will have been struck with the distribution of the several so-called races, which accords with that of other undoubtedly distinct species of mammals. Finally, he might urge that the mutual fertility of all the races has not as yet been fully proved, and even if proved would not be an absolute proof of their specific identity.
On the other side of the question, if our supposed naturalist were to enquire whether the forms of man keep distinct like ordinary species, when mingled together in large numbers in the same country, he would immediately discover that this was by no means the case. In Brazil he would behold an immense mongrel population of Negroes and Portuguese; in Chiloe, and other parts of South America, he would behold the whole population consisting of Indians and Spaniards blended in various degrees.* In many parts of the same continent he would meet with the most complex crosses between Negroes, Indians, and Europeans; and judging from the vegetable kingdom, such triple crosses afford the severest test of the mutual fertility of the parent forms. In one island of the Pacific he would find a small population of mingled Polynesian and English blood; and in the Fiji Archipelago a population of Polynesians and Negritos crossed in all degrees. Many analogous cases could be added; for instance, in Africa. Hence the races of man are not sufficiently distinct to inhabit the same country without fusion; and the absence of fusion affords the usual and best test of specific distinctness.
* M. de Quatrefages has given (Anthropological Review, Jan., 1869, p. 22), an interesting account of the success and energy of the Paulistas in Brazil, who are a much crossed race of Portuguese and Indians, with a mixture of the blood of other races.
Our naturalist would likewise be much disturbed as soon as he perceived that the distinctive characters of all the races were highly variable. This fact strikes every one on first beholding the negro slaves in Brazil, who have been imported from all parts of Africa. The same remark holds good with the Polynesians, and with many other races. It may be doubted whether any character can be named which is distinctive of a race and is constant. Savages, even within the limits of the same tribe, are not nearly so uniform in character, as has been often asserted. Hottentot women offer certain peculiarities, more strongly marked than those occurring in any other race, but these are known not to be of constant occurrence. In the several American tribes, colour and hairiness differ considerably; as does colour to a certain degree, and the shape of the features greatly, in the negroes of Africa. The shape of the skull varies much in some races;* and so it is with every other character. Now all naturalists have learnt by dearly bought experience, how rash it is to attempt to define species by the aid of inconstant characters.
* For instance, with the aborigines of America and Australia, Prof. Huxley says (Transact. Internat. Congress of Prehist. Arch., 1868, p. 105), that the skulls of many South Germans and Swiss are "as short and as broad as those of the Tartars," &c.
But the most weighty of all the arguments against treating the races of man as distinct species, is that they graduate into each other, independently in many cases, as far as we can judge, of their having intercrossed. Man has been studied more carefully than any other animal, and yet there is the greatest possible diversity amongst capable judges whether he should be classed as a single species or race, or as two (Virey), as three (Jacquinot), as four (Kant), five (Blumenbach), six (Buffon), seven (Hunter), eight (Agassiz), eleven (Pickering), fifteen (Bory de St-Vincent), sixteen (Desmoulins), twenty-two (Morton), sixty (Crawfurd), or as sixty-three, according to Burke.* This diversity of judgment does not prove that the races ought not to be ranked as species, but it shews that they graduate into each other, and that it is hardly possible to discover clear distinctive characters between them.
* See a good discussion on this subject in Waitz, Introduction to Anthropology, Eng. translat., 1863, pp. 198-208, 227. I have taken some of the above statements from H. Tuttle's Origin and Antiquity of Physical Man, Boston, 1866, p. 35.
Every naturalist who has had the misfortune to undertake the description of a group of highly varying organisms, has encountered cases (I speak after experience) precisely like that of man; and if of a cautious disposition, he will end by uniting all the forms which graduate into each other, under a single species; for he will say to himself that he has no right to give names to objects which he cannot define. Cases of this kind occur in the Order which include man, namely in certain genera of monkeys; whilst in other genera, as in Cercopithecus, most of the species can be determined with certainty. In the American genus Cebus, the various forms are ranked by some naturalists as species, by others as mere geographical races. Now if numerous specimens of Cebus were collected from all parts of South America, and those forms which at present appear to be specifically distinct, were found to graduate into each other by close steps, they would usually be ranked as mere varieties or races; and this course has been followed by most naturalists with respect to the races of man. Nevertheless, it must be confessed that there are forms, at least in the vegetable kingdom,* which we cannot avoid naming as species, but which are connected together by numberless gradations, independently of intercrossing.
* Prof. Nageli has carefully described several striking cases in his Botanische Mittheilungen, B. ii., 1866, ss. 294-369. Prof. Asa Gray has made analogous remarks on some intermediate forms in the Compositae of N. America.
Some naturalists have lately employed the term "sub-species" to designate forms which possess many of the characteristics of true species, but which hardly deserve so high a rank. Now if we reflect on the weighty arguments above given, for raising the races of man to the dignity of species, and the insuperable difficulties on the other side in defining them, it seems that the term "sub-species" might here be used with propriety. But from long habit the term "race" will perhaps always be employed. The choice of terms is only so far important in that it is desirable to use, as far as possible, the same terms for the same degrees of difference. Unfortunately this can rarely be done: for the larger genera generally include closely-allied forms, which can be distinguished only with much difficulty, whilst the smaller genera within the same family include forms that are perfectly distinct; yet all must be ranked equally as species. So again, species within the same large genus by no means resemble each other to the same degree: on the contrary, some of them can generally be arranged in little groups round other species, like satellites round planets.*
* Origin of Species. (OOS)
The question whether mankind consists of one or several species has of late years been much discussed by anthropologists, who are divided into the two schools of monogenists and polygenists. Those who do not admit the principle of evolution, must look at species as separate creations, or in some manner as distinct entities; and they must decide what forms of man they will consider as species by the analogy of the method commonly pursued in ranking other organic beings as species. But it is a hopeless endeavour to decide this point, until some definition of the term "species" is generally accepted; and the definition must not include an indeterminate element such as an act of creation. We might as well attempt without any definition to decide whether a certain number of houses should be called a village, town, or city. We have a practical illustration of the difficulty in the never-ending doubts whether many closely-allied mammals, birds, insects, and plants, which represent each other respectively in North America and Europe, should be ranked as species or geographical races; and the like holds true of the productions of many islands situated at some little distance from the nearest continent.
Those naturalists, on the other hand, who admit the principle of evolution, and this is now admitted by the majority of rising men, will feel no doubt that all the races of man are descended from a single primitive stock; whether or not they may think fit to designate the races as distinct species, for the sake of expressing their amount of difference.* With our domestic animals the question whether the various races have arisen from one or more species is somewhat different. Although it may be admitted that all the races, as well as all the natural species within the same genus, have sprung from the same primitive stock, yet it is a fit subject for discussion, whether all the domestic races of the dog, for instance, have acquired their present amount of difference since some one species was first domesticated by man; or whether they owe some of their characters to inheritance from distinct species, which had already been differentiated in a state of nature. With man no such question can arise, for he cannot be said to have been domesticated at any particular period.
* See Prof. Huxley to this effect in the Fortnightly Review, 1865, p. 275.
During an early stage in the divergence of the races of man from a common stock, the differences between the races and their number must have been small; consequently as far as their distinguishing characters are concerned, they then had less claim to rank as distinct species than the existing so-called races. Nevertheless, so arbitrary is the term of species, that such early races would perhaps have been ranked by some naturalists as distinct species, if their differences, although extremely slight, had been more constant than they are at present, and had not graduated into each other.
It is however possible, though far from probable, that the early progenitors of man might formerly have diverged much in character, until they became more unlike each other than any now existing races; but that subsequently, as suggested by Vogt,* they converged in character. When man selects the offspring of two distinct species for the same object, he sometimes induces a considerable amount of convergence, as far as general appearance is concerned. This is the case, as shown by von Nathusius,*(2) with the improved breeds of the pig, which are descended from two distinct species; and in a less marked manner with the improved breeds of cattle. A great anatomist, Gratiolet, maintains that the anthropomorphous apes do not form a natural sub-group; but that the orang is a highly developed gibbon or Semnopithecus, the chimpanzee a highly developed Macacus, and the gorilla a highly developed mandrill. If this conclusion, which rests almost exclusively on brain-characters, be admitted, we should have a case of convergence at least in external characters, for the anthropomorphous apes are certainly more like each other in many points, than they are to other apes. All analogical resemblances, as of a whale to a fish, may indeed be said to be cases of convergence; but this term has never been applied to superficial and adaptive resemblances. It would, however be extremely rash to attribute to convergence close similarity of character in many points of structure amongst the modified descendants of widely distinct beings. The form of a crystal is determined solely by the molecular forces, and it is not surprising that dissimilar substances should sometimes assume the same form; but with organic beings we should bear in mind that the form of each depends on an infinity of complex relations, namely on variations, due to causes far too intricate to be followed,- on the nature of the variations preserved, these depending on the physical conditions, and still more on the surrounding organisms which compete with each,- and lastly, on inheritance (in itself a fluctuating element) from innumerable progenitors, all of which have had their forms determined through equally complex relations. It appears incredible that the modified descendants of two organisms, if these differed from each other in a marked manner, should ever afterwards converge so closely as to lead to a near approach to identity throughout their whole organisation. In the case of the convergent races of pigs above referred to, evidence of their descent from two primitive stock is, according to von Nathusius, still plainly retained, in certain bones of their skulls. If the races of man had descended, as is supposed by some naturalists, from two or more species, which differed from each other as much, or nearly as much, as does the orang from the gorilla, it can hardly be doubted that marked differences in the structure of certain bones would still be discoverable in man as he now exists.
* Lectures on Man, Eng. translat., 1864, p. 468.
*(2) Die Rassen des Schweines, 1860, s. 46. Vorstudien fur Geschichte, &c., "Schweinesschadel," 1864, s. 104. With respect to cattle, see M. de Quatrefages, Unite de l'Espece Humaine, 1861, p. 119.
Although the existing races of man differ in many respects, as in colour, hair, shape of skull, proportions of the body, &c., yet if their whole structure be taken into consideration they are found to resemble each other closely in a multitude of points. Many of these are of so unimportant or of so singular a nature, that it is extremely improbable that they should have been independently acquired by aboriginally distinct species or races. The same remark holds good with equal or greater force with respect to the numerous points of mental similarity between the most distinct races of man. The American aborigines, Negroes and Europeans are as different from each other in mind as any three races that can be named; yet I was incessantly struck, whilst living with the Feugians on board the Beagle, with the many little traits of character, shewing how similar their minds were to ours; and so it was with a full-blooded negro with whom I happened once to be intimate.
He who will read Mr. Tylor's and Sir J. Lubbock's interesting works* can hardly fail to be deeply impressed with the close similarity between the men of all races in tastes, dispositions and habits. This is shown by the pleasure which they all take in dancing, rude music, acting, painting, tattooing, and otherwise decorating themselves; in their mutual comprehension of gesture-language, by the same expression in their features, and by the same inarticulate cries, when excited by the same emotions. This similarity, or rather identity, is striking, when contrasted with the different expressions and cries made by distinct species of monkeys. There is good evidence that the art of shooting with bows and arrows has not been handed down from any common progenitor of mankind, yet as Westropp and Nilsson have remarked,*(2) the stone arrow-heads, brought from the most distant parts of the world, and manufactured at the most remote periods, are almost identical; and this fact can only be accounted for by the various races having similar inventive or mental powers. The same observation has been made by archaeologists*(3) with respect to certain widely-prevalent ornaments, such as zig-zags, &c.; and with respect to various simple beliefs and customs, such as the burying of the dead under megalithic structures. I remember observing in South America,*(4) that there, as in so many other parts of the world, men have generally chosen the summits of lofty hills, to throw up piles of stones, either as a record of some remarkable event, or for burying their dead.
* Tylor's Early History of Mankind, 1865: with respect to gesture-language, see p. 54. Lubbock's Prehistoric Times, 2nd ed., 1869.
*(2) "On Analogous Forms of Implements," in Memoirs of Anthropological Society by H. M. Westropp. The Primitive Inhabitants of Scandinavia, Eng. translat., edited by Sir J. Lubbock, 1868, p. 104.
*(3) Westropp "On Cromlechs," &c., Journal of Ethnological Soc., as given in Scientific Opinion, June 2, 1869, p. 3.
*(4) Journal of Researches: Voyage of the Beagle, p. 46.
Now when naturalists observe a close agreement in numerous small details of habits, tastes, and dispositions between two or more domestic races, or between nearly-allied natural forms, they use this fact as an argument that they are descended from a common progenitor who was thus endowed; and consequently that all should be classed under the same species. The same argument may be applied with much force to the races of man.
As it is improbable that the numerous and unimportant points of resemblance between the several races of man in bodily structure and mental faculties (I do not here refer to similar customs) should all have been independently acquired, they must have been inherited from progenitors who had these same characters. We thus gain some insight into the early state of man, before he had spread step by step over the face of the earth. The spreading of man to regions widely separated by the sea, no doubt, preceded any great amount of divergence of character in the several races; for otherwise we should sometimes meet with the same race in distinct continents; and this is never the case. Sir J. Lubbock, after comparing the arts now practised by savages in all parts of the world, specifies those which man could not have known, when he first wandered from his original birthplace; for if once learnt they would never have been forgotten.* He thus shews that "the spear, which is but a development of the knife-point, and the club, which is but a long hammer, are the only things left." He admits, however, that the art of making fire probably had been already discovered, for it is common to all the races now existing, and was known to the ancient cave-inhabitants of Europe. Perhaps the art of making rude canoes or rafts was likewise known; but as man existed at a remote epoch, when the land in many places stood at a very different level to what it does now, he would have been able, without the aid of canoes, to have spread widely. Sir J. Lubbock further remarks how improbable it is that our earliest ancestors could have "counted as high as ten, considering that so many races now in existence cannot get beyond four." Nevertheless, at this early period, the intellectual and social faculties of man could hardly have been inferior in any extreme degree to those possessed at present by the lowest savages; otherwise primeval man could not have been so eminently successful in the struggle for life, as proved by his early and wide diffusion.
* Prehistoric Times, 1869, p. 574.
From the fundamental differences between certain languages, some philologists have inferred that when man first became widely diffused, he was not a speaking animal; but it may be suspected that languages, far less perfect than any now spoken, aided by gestures, might have been used, and yet have left no traces on subsequent and more highly-developed tongues. Without the use of some language, however imperfect, it appears doubtful whether man's intellect could have risen to the standard implied by his dominant position at an early period.
Whether primeval man, when he possessed but few arts, and those of the rudest kind, and when his power of language was extremely imperfect, would have deserved to be called man, must depend on the definition which we employ. In a series of forms graduating insensibly from some ape-like creature to man as he now exists, it would be impossible to fix on any definite point where the term "man" ought to be used. But this is a matter of very little importance. So again, it is almost a matter of indifference whether the so-called races of man are thus designated, or are ranked as species or sub-species; but the latter term appears the more appropriate. Finally, we may conclude that when the principle of evolution is generally accepted, as it surely will be before long, the dispute between the monogenists and the polygenists will die a silent and unobserved death.
One other question ought not to be passed over without notice, namely, whether, as is sometimes assumed, each sub-species or race of man has sprung from a single pair of progenitors. With our domestic animals a new race can readily be formed by carefully matching the varying offspring from a single pair, or even from a single individual possessing some new character; but most of our races have been formed, not intentionally from a selected pair, but unconsciously by the preservation of many individuals which have varied, however slightly, in some useful or desired manner. If in one country stronger and heavier horses, and in another country lighter and fleeter ones, were habitually preferred, we may feel sure that two distinct sub-breeds would be produced in the course of time, without any one pair having been separated and bred from, in either country. Many races have been thus formed, and their manner of formation is closely analogous to that of natural species. We know, also, that the horses taken to the Falkland Islands have, during successive generations, become smaller and weaker, whilst those which have run wild on the Pampas have acquired larger and coarser heads; and such changes are manifestly due, not to any one pair, but to all the individuals having been subjected to the same conditions, aided, perhaps, by the principle of reversion. The new sub-breeds in such cases are not descended from any single pair, but from many individuals which have varied in different degrees, but in the same general manner; and we may conclude that the races of man have been similarly produced, the modifications being either the direct result of exposure to different conditions, or the indirect result of some form of selection. But to this latter subject we shall presently return.
On the Extinction of the Races of Man.- The partial or complete extinction of many races and sub-races of man is historically known. Humboldt saw in South America a parrot which was the sole living creature that could speak a word of the language of a lost tribe. Ancient monuments and stone implements found in all parts of the world, about which no tradition has been preserved by the present inhabitants, indicate much extinction. Some small and broken tribes, remnants of former races, still survive in isolated and generally mountainous districts. In Europe the ancient races were all, according to Shaaffhausen,* "lower in the scale than the rudest living savages"; they must therefore have differed, to a certain extent, from any existing race. The remains described by Professor Broca from Les Eyzies, though they unfortunately appear to have belonged to a single family, indicate a race with a most singular combination of low or simious, and of high characteristics. This race is "entirely different from any other, ancient or modern, that we have heard of."*(2) It differed, therefore, from the quaternary race of the caverns of Belgium.
* Translation in Anthropological Review, Oct., 1868, p. 431.
*(2) Transactions, International Congress of Prehistoric Archaeology 1868, pp. 172-175. See also Broca (tr.) in Anthropological Review, Oct., 1868, p. 410.
Man can long resist conditions which appear extremely unfavourable for his existence.* He has long lived in the extreme regions of the North, with no wood for his canoes or implements, and with only blubber as fuel, and melted snow as drink. In the southern extremity of America the Fuegians survive without the protection of clothes, or of any building worthy to be called a hovel. In South Africa the aborigines wander over arid plains, where dangerous beasts abound. Man can withstand the deadly influence of the Terai at the foot of the Himalaya, and the pestilential shores of tropical Africa.
* Dr. Gerland, Uber das Aussterben der Naturvolker 1868, s. 82.
Extinction follows chiefly from the competition of tribe with tribe, and race with race. Various checks are always in action, serving to keep down the numbers of each savage tribe,- such as periodical famines, nomadic habits and the consequent deaths of infants, prolonged suckling, wars, accidents, sickness, licentiousness, the stealing of women, infanticide, and especially lessened fertility. If any one of these checks increases in power, even slightly, the tribe thus affected tends to decrease; and when of two adjoining tribes one becomes less numerous and less powerful than the other, the contest is soon settled by war, slaughter, cannibalism, slavery, and absorption. Even when a weaker tribe is not thus abruptly swept away, if it once begins to decrease, it generally goes on decreasing until it becomes extinct.*
* Gerland, ibid., s. 12, gives facts in support of this statement.
When civilised nations come into contact with barbarians the struggle is short, except where a deadly climate gives its aid to the native race. Of the causes which lead to the victory of civilised nations, some are plain and simple, others complex and obscure. We can see that the cultivation of the land will be fatal in many ways to savages, for they cannot, or will not, change their habits. New diseases and vices have in some cases proved highly destructive; and it appears that a new disease often causes much death, until those who are most susceptible to its destructive influence are gradually weeded out;* and so it may be with the evil effects from spirituous liquors, as well as with the unconquerably strong taste for them shewn by so many savages. It further appears, mysterious as is the fact, that the first meeting of distinct and separated people generates disease.*(2) Mr. Sproat, who in Vancouver Island closely attended to the subject of extinction, believed that changed habits of life, consequent on the advent of Europeans, induces much ill health. He lays, also, great stress on the apparently trifling cause that the natives become "bewildered and dull by the new life around them; they lose the motives for exertion, and get no new ones in their place."*(3)
* See remarks to this effect in Sir H. Holland's Medical Notes and Reflections, 1839, p. 390.
*(2) I have collected (Journal of Researches: Voyage of the Beagle, p. 435) a good many cases bearing on this subject; see also Gerland, ibid., s. 8. Poeppig speaks of the "breath of civilisation as poisonous to savages."
*(3) Sproat, Scenes and Studies of Savage Life, 1868, p. 284.
The grade of their civilisation seems to be a most important element in the success of competing nations. A few centuries ago Europe feared the inroads of Eastern barbarians; now any such fear would be ridiculous. It is a more curious fact, as Mr. Bagehot has remarked, that savages did not formerly waste away before the classical nations, as they now do before modern civilised nations; had they done so, the old moralists would have mused over the event; but there is no lament in any writer of that period over the perishing barbarians.* The most potent of all the causes of extinction, appears in many cases to be lessened fertility and ill-health, especially amongst the children, arising from changed conditions of life, notwithstanding that the new conditions may not be injurious in themselves. I am much indebted to Mr. H. H. Howorth for having called my attention to this subject, and for having given me information respecting it. I have collected the following cases.
* Bagehot, "Physics and Politics," Fortnightly Review, April 1, 1868, p. 455.
When Tasmania was first colonised the natives were roughly estimated by some at 7000 and by others at 20,000. Their number was soon greatly reduced, chiefly by fighting with the English and with each other. After the famous hunt by all the colonists, when the remaining natives delivered themselves up to the government, they consisted only of 120 individuals,* who were in 1832 transported to Flinders Island. This island, situated between Tasmania and Australia, is forty miles long, and from twelve to eighteen miles broad: it seems healthy, and the natives were well treated. Nevertheless, they suffered greatly in health. In 1834 they consisted (Bonwick, p. 250) of forty-seven adult males, forty-eight adult females, and sixteen children, or in all of 111 souls. In 1835 only one hundred were left. As they continued rapidly to decrease, and as they themselves thought that they should not perish so quickly elsewhere, they were removed in 1847 to Oyster Cove in the southern part of Tasmania. They then consisted (Dec. 20th, 1847) of fourteen men, twenty-two women and ten children.*(2) But the change of site did no good. Disease and death still pursued them, and in 1864 one man (who died in 1869), and three elderly women alone survived. The infertility of the women is even a more remarkable fact than the liability of all to ill-health and death. At the time when only nine women were left at Oyster Cove, they told Mr. Bonwick (p. 386), that only two had ever borne children: and these two had together produced only three children!
* All the statements here given are taken from The Last of the Tasmanians, by J. Bonwick, 1870.
*(2) This is the statement of the Governor of Tasmania, Sir W. Denison, Varieties of Vice-Regal Life, 1870, vol. i., p. 67.
With respect to the cause of this extraordinary state of things, Dr. Story remarks that death followed the attempts to civilise the natives. "If left to themselves to roam as they were wont and undisturbed, they would have reared more children, and there would have been less mortality." Another careful observer of the natives, Mr. Davis, remarks, "The births have been few and the deaths numerous. This may have been in a great measure owing to their change of living and food; but more so to their banishment from the mainland of Van Diemen's Land, and consequent depression of spirits" (Bonwick, pp. 388, 390).
Similar facts have been observed in two widely different parts of Australia. The celebrated explorer, Mr. Gregory, told Mr. Bonwick, that in Queensland "the want of reproduction was being already felt with the blacks, even in the most recently settled parts, and that decay would set in." Of thirteen aborigines from Shark's Bay who visited Murchison River, twelve died of consumption within three months.*
* For these cases, see Bonwick's Daily Life of the Tasmanians, 1870, p. 90: and The Last of the Tasmanians, 1870, p. 386.
The decrease of the Maories of New Zealand has been carefully investigated by Mr. Fenton, in an admirable report, from which all the following statements, with one exception, are taken.* The decrease in number since 1830 is admitted by every one, including the natives themselves, and is still steadily progressing. Although it has hitherto been found impossible to take an actual census of the natives, their numbers were carefully estimated by residents in many districts. The result seems trustworthy, and shows that during the fourteen years, previous to 1858, the decrease was 19.42 per cent. Some of the tribes, thus carefully examined, lived above a hundred miles apart, some on the coast, some inland; and their means of subsistence and habits differed to a certain extent (p. 28). The total number in 1858 was believed to be 53,700, and in 1872, after a second interval of fourteen years, another census was taken, and the number is given as only 36,359, shewing a decrease of 32.29 per cent!*(2) Mr. Fenton, after shewing in detail the insufficiency of the various causes, usually assigned in explanation of this extraordinary decrease, such as new diseases, the profligacy of the women, drunkenness, wars, &c., concludes on weighty grounds that it depends chiefly on the unproductiveness of the women, and on the extraordinary mortality of the young children (pp. 31, 34). In proof of this he shews (p. 33) that in 1844 there was one non-adult for every 2.57 adults; whereas in 1858 there was only one non-adult for every 3.27 adults. The mortality of the adults is also great. He adduces as a further cause of the decrease the inequality of the sexes; for fewer females are born than males. To this latter point, depending perhaps on a widely distinct cause, I shall return in a future chapter. Mr. Fenton contrasts with astonishment the decrease in New Zealand with the increase in Ireland; countries not very dissimilar in climate, and where the inhabitants now follow nearly similar habits. The Maories themselves (p. 35) "attribute their decadence, in some measure, to the introduction of new food and clothing, and the attendant change of habits"; and it will be seen, when we consider the influence of changed conditions on fertility, that they are probably right. The diminution began between the years 1830 and 1840; and Mr. Fenton shews (p. 40) that about 1830, the art of manufacturing putrid corn (maize), by long steeping in water, was discovered and largely practised; and this proves that a change of habits was beginning amongst the natives, even when New Zealand was only thinly inhabited by Europeans. When I visited the Bay of Islands in 1835, the dress and food of the inhabitants had already been much modified: they raised potatoes, maize, and other agricultural produce, and exchanged them for English manufactured goods and tobacco.
* Observations on the Aboriginal Inhabitants of New Zealand, published by the Government, 1859.
*(2) New Zealand, by Alex. Kennedy, 1873, p. 47.
It is evident from many statements in the life of Bishop Patteson,* that the Melanesians of the New Hebrides and neighbouring archipelagoes, suffered to an extraordinary degree in health, and perished in large numbers, when they were removed to New Zealand, Norfolk Island, and other salubrious places, in order to be educated as missionaries.
* Life of J. C. Patteson, by C. M. Younge, 1874; see more especially vol. i., p. 530.
The decrease of the native population of the Sandwich Islands is as notorious as that of New Zealand. It has been roughly estimated by those best capable of judging, that when Cook discovered the islands in 1779, the population amounted to about 300,000. According to a loose census in 1823, the numbers then were 142,050. In 1832, and at several subsequent periods, an accurate census was officially taken, but I have been able to obtain only the following returns:
Native Population Annual rate of decrease
per cent, assuming it to
(Except during 1832 and have been uniform between
1836, when the few the successive censuses;
foreigners in the islands these censuses being taken
Year were included.) at irregular intervals.
We here see that in the interval of forty years, between 1832 and 1872, the population has decreased no less than sixty-eight per cent! This has been attributed by most writers to the profligacy of the women, to former bloody wars, and to the severe labour imposed on conquered tribes and to newly introduced diseases, which have been on several occasions extremely destructive. No doubt these and other such causes have been highly efficient, and may account for the extraordinary rate of decrease between the years 1832 and 1836; but the most potent of all the causes seems to be lessened fertility. According to Dr. Ruschenberger of the U. S. Navy, who visited these islands between 1835 and 1837, in one district of Hawaii, only twenty-five men out of 1134, and in another district only ten out of 637, had a family with as many as three children. Of eighty married women, only thirty-nine had ever borne children; and "the official report gives an average of half a child to each married couple in the whole island." This is almost exactly the same average as with the Tasmanians at Oyster Cove. Jarves, who published his History in 1843, says that "families who have three children are freed from all taxes; those having more, are rewarded by gifts of land and other encouragements." This unparalleled enactment by the government well shews how infertile the race had become. The Rev. A. Bishop stated in the Hawaiian Spectator in 1839, that a large proportion of the children die at early ages, and Bishop Staley informs me that this is still the case, just as in New Zealand. This has been attributed to the neglect of the children by the women, but it is probably in large part due to innate weakness of constitution in the children, in relation to the lessened fertility of their parents. There is, moreover, a further resemblance to the case of New Zealand, in the fact that there is a large excess of male over female births: the census of 1872 gives 31,650 males to 25,247 females of all ages, that is 125.36 males for every 100 females; whereas in all civilised countries the females exceed the males. No doubt the profligacy of the women may in part account for their small fertility; but their changed habits of life is a much more probable cause, and which will at the same time account for the increased mortality, especially of the children. The islands were visited by Cook in 1779, Vancouver in 1794, and often subsequently by whalers. In 1819 missionaries arrived, and found that idolatry had been already abolished and other changes effected by the king. After this period there was a rapid change in almost all the habits of life of the natives, and they soon became "the most civilised of the Pacific Islanders." One of my informants, Mr. Coan, who was born on the islands, remarks that the natives have undergone a greater change in their habits of life in the course of fifty years than Englishmen during a thousand years. From information received from Bishop Staley, it does not appear that the poorer classes have ever much changed their diet, although many new kinds of fruit have been introduced, and the sugar-cane is in universal use. Owing, however, to their passion for imitating Europeans, they altered their manner of dressing at an early period, and the use of alcoholic drinks became very general. Although these changes appear inconsiderable, I can well believe, from what is known with respect to animals, that they might suffice to lessen the fertility of the natives.*
* The foregoing statements are taken chiefly from the following works: Jarves' History of the Hawaiian Islands, 1843, pp. 400-407. Cheever, Life in the Sandwich Islands, 1851, p. 277. Ruschenberger is quoted by Bonwick, Last of the Tasmanians, 1870, p. 378. Bishop is quoted by Sir E. Belcher, Voyage Round the World, 1843, vol. i., p. 272. I owe the census of the several years to the kindness of Mr. Coan, at the request of Dr. Youmans of New York; and in most cases I have compared the Youmans figures with those given in several of the above-named works. I have omitted the census for 1850, as I have seen two widely different numbers given.
Lastly, Mr. Macnamara states* that the low and degraded inhabitants of the Andaman Islands, on the eastern side of the Gulf of Bengal, are "eminently susceptible to any change of climate: in fact, take them away from their island homes, and they are almost certain to die, and that independently of diet or extraneous influences." He further states that the inhabitants of the Valley of Nepal, which is extremely hot in summer, and also the various hill-tribes of India, suffer from dysentery and fever when on the plains; and they die if they attempt to pass the whole year there.
* The Indian Medical Gazette, Nov. 1, 1871, p. 240.
We thus see that many of the wilder races of man are apt to suffer much in health when subjected to changed conditions or habits of life, and not exclusively from being transported to a new climate. Mere alterations in habits, which do not appear injurious in themselves, seem to have this same effect; and in several cases the children are particularly liable to suffer. It has often been said, as Mr. Macnamara remarks, that man can resist with impunity the greatest diversities of climate and other changes; but this is true only of the civilised races. Man in his wild condition seems to be in this respect almost as susceptible as his nearest allies, the anthropoid apes, which have never yet survived long, when removed from their native country.
Lessened fertility from changed conditions, as in the case of the Tasmanians, Maories, Sandwich Islanders, and apparently the Australians, is still more interesting than their liability to ill-health and death; for even a slight degree of infertility, combined with those other causes which tend to check the increase of every population, would sooner or later lead to extinction. The diminution of fertility may be explained in some cases by the profligacy of the women (as until lately with the Tahitians), but Mr. Fenton has shewn that this explanation by no means suffices with the New Zealanders, nor does it with the Tasmanians.
In the paper above quoted, Mr. Macnamara gives reasons for believing that the inhabitants of districts subject to malaria are apt to be sterile; but this cannot apply in several of the above cases. Some writers have suggested that the aborigines of islands have suffered in fertility and health from long continued interbreeding; but in the above cases infertility has coincided too closely with the arrival of Europeans for us to admit this explanation. Nor have we at present any reason to believe that man is highly sensitive to the evil effects of inter-breeding, especially in areas so large as New Zealand, and the Sandwich archipelago with its diversified stations. On the contrary, it is known that the present inhabitants of Norfolk Island are nearly all cousins or near relations, as are the Todas in India, and the inhabitants of some of the Western Islands of Scotland; and yet they seem not to have suffered in fertility.*
* On the close relationship of the Norfolk Islanders, Sir W. Denison, Varieties of Vice-Regal Life: vol. i., 1870, p. 410. For the Todas, see Col. Marshall's work 1873, p. 110. For the Western Islands of Scotland, Dr. Mitchell, Edinburgh Medical Journal, March to June, 1865.
A much more probable view is suggested by the analogy of the lower animals. The reproductive system can be shewn to be susceptible to an extraordinary degree (though why we know not) to changed conditions of life; and this susceptibility leads both to beneficial and to evil results. A large collection of facts on this subject is given in chap. xviii. of vol. ii. of my Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, I can here give only the briefest abstract; and every one interested in the subject may consult the above work. Very slight changes increase the health, vigour, and fertility of most or all organic beings, whilst other changes are known to render a large number of animals sterile. One of the most familiar cases, is that of tamed elephants not breeding in India; though they often breed in Ava, where the females are allowed to roam about the forests to some extent, and are thus placed under more natural conditions. The case of various American monkeys, both sexes of which have been kept for many years together in their own countries, and yet have very rarely or never bred, is a more apposite instance, because of their relationship to man. It is remarkable how slight a change in the conditions often induces sterility in a wild animal when captured; and this is the more strange as all our domesticated animals have become more fertile than they were in a state of nature; and some of them can resist the most unnatural conditions with undiminished fertility.* Certain groups of animals are much more liable than others to be affected by captivity; and generally all the species of the same group are affected in the same manner. But sometimes a single species in a group is rendered sterile, whilst the others are not so; on the other hand, a single species may retain its fertility whilst most of the others fail to breed. The males and females of some species when confined, or when allowed to live almost, but not quite free, in their native country, never unite; others thus circumstanced frequently unite but never produce offspring; others again produce some offspring, but fewer than in a state of nature; and as bearing on the above cases of man, it is important to remark that the young are apt to be weak and sickly, or malformed, and to perish at an early age.
* For the evidence on this head, see Variation of Animals, &c., vol. ii., p. 111.
Seeing how general is this law of the susceptibility of the reproductive system to changed conditions of life, and that it holds good with our nearest allies, the Quadrumana, I can hardly doubt that it applies to man in his primeval state. Hence if savages of any race are induced suddenly to change their habits of life, they become more or less sterile, and their young offspring suffer in health, in the same manner and from the same cause, as do the elephant and hunting-leopard in India, many monkeys in America, and a host of animals of all kinds, on removal from their natural conditions.
We can see why it is that aborigines, who have long inhabited islands, and who must have been long exposed to nearly uniform conditions, should be specially affected by any change in their habits, as seems to be the case. Civilised races can certainly resist changes of all kinds far better than savages; and in this respect they resemble domesticated animals, for though the latter sometimes suffer in health (for instance European dogs in India), yet they are rarely rendered sterile, though a few such instances have been recorded.* The immunity of civilised races and domesticated animals is probably due to their having been subjected to a greater extent, and therefore having grown somewhat more accustomed, to diversified or varying conditions, than the majority of wild animals; and to their having formerly immigrated or been carried from country to country, and to different families or subraces having inter-crossed. It appears that a cross with civilised races at once gives to an aboriginal race an immunity from the evil consequences of changed conditions. Thus the crossed offspring from the Tahitians and English, when settled in Pitcairn Island, increased so rapidly that the island was soon overstocked; and in June 1856 they were removed to Norfolk Island. They then consisted of 60 married persons and 134 children, making a total of 194. Here they likewise increased so rapidly, that although sixteen of them returned to Pitcairn Island in 1859, they numbered in January 1868, 300 souls; the males and females being in exactly equal numbers. What a contrast does this case present with that of the Tasmanians; the Norfolk Islanders increased in only twelve and a half years from 194 to 300; whereas the Tasmanians decreased during fifteen years from 120 to 46, of which latter number only ten were children.*(2)
* Variation of Animals, &c., vol. ii., p. 16.
*(2) These details are taken from The Mutineers of the Bounty, by Lady Belcher, 1870; and from Pitcairn Island, ordered to be printed by the House of Commons, May 29, 1863. The following statements about the Sandwich Islanders are from the Honolulu Gazette, and from Mr. Coan.
So again in the interval between the census of 1866 and 1872 the natives of full blood in the Sandwich Islands decreased by 8081, whilst the half-castes, who are believed to be healthier, increased by 847; but I do not know whether the latter number includes the offspring from the half-castes, or only the half-castes of the first generation.
The cases which I have here given all relate to aborigines, who have been subjected to new conditions as the result of the immigration of civilised men. But sterility and ill-health would probably follow, if savages were compelled by any cause, such as the inroad of a conquering tribe, to desert their homes and to change their habits. It is an interesting circumstance that the chief check to wild animals becoming domesticated, which implies the power of their breeding freely when first captured, and one chief check to wild men, when brought into contact with civilisation, surviving to form a civilised race, is the same, namely, sterility from changed conditions of life.
Finally, although the gradual decrease and ultimate extinction of the races of man is a highly complex problem, depending on many causes which differ in different places and at different times; it is the same problem as that presented by the extinction of one of the higher animals- of the fossil horse, for instance, which disappeared from South America, soon afterwards to be replaced, within the same districts, by countless troups of the Spanish horse. The New Zealander seems conscious of this parallelism, for he compares his future fate with that of the native rat now almost exterminated by the European rat. Though the difficulty is great to our imagination, and really great, if we wish to ascertain the precise causes and their manner of action, it ought not to be so to our reason, as long as we keep steadily in mind that the increase of each species and each race is constantly checked in various ways; so that if any new check, even a slight one, be superadded, the race will surely decrease in number; and decreasing numbers will sooner or later lead to extinction; the end, in most cases, being promptly determined by the inroads of conquering tribes.
On the Formation of the Races of Man.- In some cases the crossing of distinct races has led to the formation of a new race. The singular fact that the Europeans and Hindoos, who belong to the same Aryan stock, and speak a language fundamentally the same, differ widely in appearance, whilst Europeans differ but little from Jews, who belong to the Semitic stock, and speak quite another language, has been accounted for by Broca,* through certain Aryan branches having been largely crossed by indigenous tribes during their wide diffusion. When two races in close contact cross, the first result is a heterogeneous mixture: thus Mr. Hunter, in describing the Santali or hill-tribes of India, says that hundreds of imperceptible gradations may be traced "from the black, squat tribes of the mountains to the tall olive-coloured Brahman, with his intellectual brow, calm eyes, and high but narrow head"; so that it is necessary in courts of justice to ask the witnesses whether they are Santalis or Hindoos.*(2) Whether a heterogeneous people, such as the inhabitants of some of the Polynesian islands, formed by the crossing of two distinct races, with few or no pure members left, would ever become homogeneous, is not known from direct evidence. But as with our domesticated animals, a cross-breed can certainly be fixed and made uniform by careful selection*(3) in the course of a few generations, we may infer that the free inter-crossing of a heterogeneous mixture during a long descent would supply the place of selection, and overcome any tendency to reversion; so that the crossed race would ultimately become homogeneous, though it might not partake in an equal degree of the characters of the two parent-races.
* "On Anthropology," translation, Anthropological Review, Jan., 1868, p. 38.
*(2) The Animals of Rural Bengal, 1868, p. 134.
*(3) The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication vol. ii., p. 95.
Of all the differences between the races of man, the colour of the skin is the most conspicuous and one of the best marked. It was formerly thought that differences of this kind could be accounted for by long exposure to different climates; but Pallas first shewed that this is not tenable, and he has since been followed by almost all anthropologists.* This view has been rejected chiefly because the distribution of the variously coloured races, most of whom have long inhabited their present homes, does not coincide with corresponding differences of climate. Some little weight may be given to such cases as that of the Dutch families, who, as we hear on excellent authority,*(2) have not undergone the least change of colour after residing for three centuries in South Africa. An argument on the same side may likewise be drawn from the uniform appearance in various parts of the world of gipsies and Jews, though the uniformity of the latter has been somewhat exaggerated.*(3) A very damp or a very dry atmosphere has been supposed to be more influential in modifying the colour of the skin than mere heat; but as D'Orbigny in South America, and Livingstone in Africa, arrived at diametrically opposite conclusions with respect to dampness and dryness, any conclusion on this head must be considered as very doubtful.*(4)
* Pallas, Act. Acad. St. Petersburg, 1780, part ii., p. 69. He was followed by Rudolphi, in his Beitrage zur Anthropologie, 1812. An excellent summary of the evidence is given by Godron, De l'Espece, 1859, vol. ii., p. 246, &c.
*(2) Sir Andrew Smith, as quoted by Knox, Races of Man, 1850, p. 473.
*(3) See De Quatrefages on this head, Revue des Cours Scientifiques, Oct. 17, 1868, p. 731.
*(4) Livingstone's Travels and Researches in S. Africa, 1857, pp. 338, 339. D'Orbigny, as quoted by Godron, De l'Espece, vol. ii., p. 266.
Various facts, which I have given elsewhere, prove that the colour of the skin and hair is sometimes correlated in a surprising manner with a complete immunity from the action of certain vegetable poisons, and from the attacks of certain parasites. Hence it occurred to me, that negroes and other dark races might have acquired their dark tints by the darker individuals escaping from the deadly influence of the miasma of their native countries, during a long series of generations.
I afterwards found that this same idea had long ago occurred to Dr. Wells.* It has long been known that negroes, and even mulattoes are almost completely exempt from the yellow fever, so destructive in tropical America.*(2) They likewise escape to a large extent the fatal intermittent fevers, that prevail along at least 2600 miles of the shores of Africa, and which annually cause one-fifth of the white settlers to die, and another fifth to return home invalided.*(3) This immunity in the negro seems to be partly inherent, depending on some unknown peculiarity of constitution, and partly the result of acclimatisation. Pouchet*(4) states that the negro regiments recruited near the Soudan, and borrowed from the Viceroy of Egypt for the Mexican war, escaped the yellow fever almost equally with the negroes originally brought from various parts of Africa and accustomed to the climate of the West Indies. That acclimatisation plays a part, is shewn by the many cases in which negroes have become somewhat liable to tropical fevers, after having resided for some time in a colder climate.*(5) The nature of the climate under which the white races have long resided likewise has some influence on them; for during the fearful epidemic of yellow fever in Demerara during 1837, Dr. Blair found that the death-rate of the immigrants was proportional to the latitude of the country whence they had come. With the negro the immunity, as far as it is the result of acclimatisation, implies exposure during a prodigious length of time; for the aborigines of tropical America who have resided there from time immemorial, are not exempt from yellow fever; and the Rev. H. B. Tristram states, that there are districts in nothern Africa which the native inhabitants are compelled annually to leave, though the negroes can remain with safety.
* See a paper read before the Royal Soc. in 1813, and published in his Essays in 1818. I have given an account of Dr. Wells' views in the "Historical Sketch" (p. 2) to my Origin of Species. Various cases of colour correlated with constitutional peculiarities are given in my Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, vol. ii., pp. 227, 335.
*(2) See, for instance, Nott and Gliddon, Types of Mankind, p. 68.
*(3) Major Tulloch in a paper read before the Statistical Society, April 20, 1840, and given in the Athenaeum, 1840, p. 353.
*(4) The Plurality of the Human Race (translat.), 1864, p. 60.
*(5) Quartrefages, Unite de l'Espece Humaine, 1861, p. 205. Wartz, Introduction to Anthropology, translat., vol. i., 1863, p. 124. Livingstone gives analogous cases in his Travels.
That the immunity of the negro is in any degree correlated with the colour of his skin is a mere conjecture: it may be correlated with some difference in his blood, nervous system, or other tissues. Nevertheless, from the facts above alluded to, and from some connection apparently existing between complexion and a tendency to consumption, the conjecture seemed to me not improbable. Consequently I endeavoured, with but little success,* to ascertain how far it holds good. The late Dr. Daniell, who had long lived on the west coast of Africa, told me that he did not believe in any such relation. He was himself unusually fair, and had withstood the climate in a wonderful manner. When he first arrived as a boy on the coast, an old and experienced negro chief predicted from his appearance that this would prove the case. Dr. Nicholson, of Antigua, after having attended to this subject, writes to me that dark-coloured Europeans escape the yellow fever more than those that are light-coloured. Mr. J. M. Harris altogether denies that Europeans with dark hair withstand a hot climate better than other men: on the contrary, experience has taught him in making a selection of men for service on the coast of Africa, to choose those with red hair.*(2) As far, therefore, as these slight indications go, there seems no foundation for the hypothesis, that blackness has resulted from the darker and darker individuals having survived better during long exposure to fever-generating miasma.
* In the spring of 1862 I obtained permission from the Director-General of the Medical department of the Army, to transmit to the surgeons of the various regiments on foreign service a blank table, with the following appended remarks, but I have received no returns. "As several well-marked cases have been recorded with our domestic animals of a relation between the colour of the dermal appendages and the constitution; and it being notorious that there is some limited degree of relation between the colour of the races of man and the climate inhabited by them; the following investigation seems worth consideration. Namely, whether there is any relation in Europeans between the colour of their hair, and their liability to the diseases of tropical countries. If the surgeons of the several regiments, when stationed in unhealthy tropical districts, would be so good as first to count, as a standard of comparison, how many men, in the force whence the sick are drawn, have dark and light-coloured hair, and hair of intermediate or doubtful tints; and if a similar account were kept by the same medical gentlemen, of all the men who suffered from malarious and yellow fevers, or from dysentery, it would soon be apparent, after some thousand cases had been tabulated, whether there exists any relation between the colour of the hair and constitutional liability to tropical diseases. Perhaps no such relation would be discovered, but the investigation is well worth making. In case any positive result were obtained, it might be of some practical use in selecting men for any particular service. Theoretically the result would be of high interest, as indicating one means by which a race of men inhabiting from a remote period an unhealthy tropical climate, might have become dark-coloured by the better preservation of dark-haired or dark-complexioned individuals during a long succession of generations."
*(2) Anthropological Review, Jan., 1866, p. xxi. Dr. Sharpe also says, with respect to India (Man a Special Creation, 1873, p. 118), "that it has been noticed by some medical officers that Europeans with light hair and florid complexions suffer less from diseases of tropical countries than persons with dark hair and sallow complexions; and, so far as I know, there appear to be good grounds for this remark." On the other hand, Mr. Heddle, of Sierra Leone, "who has had more clerks killed under him than any other man," by the climate of the west African coast (W. Reade, African Sketch Book, vol. ii., p. 522), holds a directly opposite view, as does Capt. Burton.
Dr. Sharpe remarks,* that a tropical sun, which burns and blisters a white skin, does not injure a black one at all; and, as he adds, this is not due to habit in the individual, for children only six or eight months old are often carried about naked, and are not affected. I have been assured by a medical man, that some years ago during each summer, but not during the winter, his hands became marked with light brown patches, like, although larger than freckles, and that these patches were never affected by sun-burning, whilst the white parts of his skin have on several occasions been much inflamed and blistered. With the lower animals there is, also, a constitutional difference in liability to the action of the sun between those parts of the skin clothed with white hair and other parts.*(2) Whether the saving of the skin from being thus burnt is of sufficient importance to account for a dark tint having been gradually acquired by man through natural selection, I am unable to judge. If it be so, we should have to assume that the natives of tropical America have lived there for a much shorter time than the Negroes in Africa or the Papuans in the southern parts of the Malay archipelago, just as the lighter-coloured Hindoos have resided in India for a shorter time than the darker aborigines of the central and southern parts of the peninsula.
* Man a Special Creation, 1873, p. 119.
*(2) Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, vol. ii., pp. 336, 337.
Although with our present knowledge we cannot account for the differences of colour in the races of man, through any advantage thus gained, or from the direct action of climate; yet we must not quite ignore the latter agency, for there is good reason to believe that some inherited effect is thus produced.*
* See, for instance, Quatrefages (Revue des Cours Scientifiques, Oct. 10, 1868, p. 724) on the effects of residence in Abyssinia and Arabia, and other analogous cases. Dr. Rolle (Der Mensch, seine Abstammung, &c., 1865, s. 99) states, on the authority of Khanikof, that the greater number of German families settled in Georgia, have acquired in the course of two generations dark hair and eyes. Mr. D. Forbes informs me that the Quechuas in the Andes vary greatly in colour, according to the position of the valleys inhabited by them.
We have seen in the second chapter that the conditions of life affect the development of the bodily frame in a direct manner, and that the effects are transmitted. Thus, as is generally admitted, the European settlers in the United States undergo a slight but extraordinary rapid change of appearance. Their bodies and limbs become elongated; and I hear from Col. Bernys that during the late war in the United States, good evidence was afforded of this fact by the ridiculous appearance presented by the German regiments, when dressed in ready-made clothes manufactured for the American market, and which were much too long for the men in every way. There is, also, a considerable body of evidence shewing that in the Southern States the house-slaves of the third generation present a markedly different appearance from the field-slaves.*
* Harlan, Medical Researches, p. 532. Quatrefages (Unite de l'Espece Humaine, 1861, p. 128) has collected much evidence on this head.
If, however, we look to the races of man as distributed over the world, we must infer that their characteristic differences cannot be accounted for by the direct action of different conditions of life, even after exposure to them for an enormous period of time. The Esquimaux live exclusively on animal food; they are clothed in thick fur, and are exposed to intense cold and to prolonged darkness; yet they do not differ in any extreme degree from the inhabitants of southern China, who live entirely on vegetable food, and are exposed almost naked to a hot, glaring climate. The unclothed Fuegians live on the marine productions of their inhospitable shores; the Botocudos of Brazil wander about the hot forests of the interior and live chiefly on vegetable productions; yet these tribes resemble each other so closely that the Fuegians on board the "Beagle" were mistaken by some Brazilians for Botocudos. The Botocudos again, as well as the other inhabitants of tropical America, are wholly different from the Negroes who inhabit the opposite shores of the Atlantic, are exposed to a nearly similar climate, and follow nearly the same habits of life.
Nor can the differences between the races of man be accounted for by the inherited effects of the increased or decreased use of parts, except to a quite insignificant degree. Men who habitually live in canoes, may have their legs somewhat stunted; those who inhabit lofty regions may have their chests enlarged; and those who constantly use certain sense-organs may have the cavities in which they are lodged somewhat increased in size, and their features consequently a little modified. With civilized nations, the reduced size of the jaws from lessened use- the habitual play of different muscles serving to express different emotions- and the increased size of the brain from greater intellectual activity, have together produced a considerable effect on their general appearance when compared with savages.* Increased bodily stature, without any corresponding increase in the size of the brain, may (judging from the previously adduced case of rabbits), have given to some races an elongated skull of the dolichocephalic type.
* See Prof. Schaaffhausen, translat., in Anthropological Review, Oct., 1868, p. 429.
Lastly, the little-understood principle of correlated development has sometimes come into action, as in the case of great muscular development and strongly projecting supra-orbital ridges. The colour of the skin and hair are plainly correlated, as is the texture of the hair with its colour in the Mandans of North America.* The colour also of the skin, and the odour emitted by it, are likewise in some manner connected. With the breeds of sheep the number of hairs within a given space and the number of excretory pores are related.*(2) If we may judge from the analogy of our domesticated animals, many modifications of structure in man probably come under this principle of correlated development.
* Mr. Catlin states (N. American Indians, 3rd ed., 1842, vol. i., p. 49) that in the whole tribe of the Mandans, about one in ten or twelve of the members, of all ages and both sexes, have bright silvery grey hair, which is hereditary. Now this hair is as coarse and harsh as that of a horse's mane, whilst the hair of other colours is fine and soft.
*(2) On the odour of the skin, Godron, De l'Espece, tom. ii., p. 217. On the pores of the skin, Dr. Wilckens, Die Aufgaben der Landwirth. Zootechnik, 1869, s. 7.
We have now seen that the external characteristic differences between the races of man cannot be accounted for in a satisfactory manner by the direct action of the conditions of life, nor by the effects of the continued use of parts, nor through the principle of correlation. We are therefore led to enquire whether slight individual differences, to which man is eminently liable, may not have been preserved and augmented during a long series of generations through natural selection. But here we are at once met by the objection that beneficial variations alone can be thus preserved; and as far as we are enabled to judge, although always liable to err on this head, none of the differences between the races of man are of any direct or special service to him. The intellectual and moral or social faculties must of course be excepted from this remark. The great variability of all the external differences between the races of man, likewise indicates that they cannot be of much importance; for if important, they would long ago have been either fixed and preserved, or eliminated. In this respect man resembles those forms, called by naturalists protean or polymorphic, which have remained extremely variable, owing, as it seems, to such variations being of an indifferent nature, and to their having thus escaped the action of natural selection.
We have thus far been baffled in all our attempts to account for the differences between the races of man; but there remains one important agency, namely Sexual Selection, which appears to have acted powerfully on man, as on many other animals. I do not intend to assert that sexual selection will account for all the differences between the races. An unexplained residuum is left, about which we can only say, in our ignorance, that as individuals are continually born with, for instance, heads a little rounder or narrower, and with noses a little longer or shorter, such slight differences might become fixed and uniform, if the unknown agencies which induced them were to act in a more constant manner, aided by long-continued intercrossing. Such variations come under the provisional class, alluded to in our second chapter, which for want of a better term are often called spontaneous. Nor do I pretend that the effects of sexual selection can be indicated with scientific precision; but it can be shewn that it would be an inexplicable fact if man had not been modified by this agency, which appears to have acted powerfully on innumerable animals. It can further be shewn that the differences between the races of man, as in colour, hairiness, form of features, &c., are of a kind which might have been expected to come under the influence of sexual selection. But in order to treat this subject properly, I have found it necessary to pass the whole animal kingdom in review. I have therefore devoted to it the Second Part of this work. At the close I shall return to man, and, after attempting to shew how far he has been modified through sexual selection, will give a brief summary of the chapters in this First Part.
NOTE ON THE RESEMBLANCES AND DIFFERENCES IN THE STRUCTURE AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BRAIN IN MAN AND APES. BY PROFESSOR HUXLEY, F. R. S.
The controversy respecting the nature and the extent of the differences in the structure of the brain in man and the apes, which arose some fifteen years ago, has not yet come to an end, though the subject matter of the dispute is, at present, totally different from what it was formerly. It was originally asserted and re-asserted, with singular pertinacity that the brain of all the apes, even the highest, differs from that of man, in the absence of such conspicuous structures as the posterior lobes of the cerebral hemispheres, with the posterior cornu of the lateral ventricle and the hippocampus minor, contained in those lobes, which are so obvious in man.
But the truth that the structures in question are as well developed in apes' as in human brains, or even better; and that it is characteristic of all the primates (if we exclude the lemurs) to have these parts well developed, stands at present on as secure a basis as any proposition in comparative anatomy. Moreover, it is admitted by every one of the long series of anatomists who, of late years, have paid special attention to the arrangement of the complicated sulci 0and gyri which appear upon the surface of the cerebral hemispheres in man and the higher apes, that they are disposed after the very same pattern in him, as in them. Every principal gyrus and sulcus of a chimpanzee's brain is clearly represented in that of a man, so that the terminology which applies to the one answers for the other. On this point there is no difference of opinion. Some years since, Professor Bischoff published a memoir* on the cerebral convolutions of man and apes; and as the purpose of my learned colleague was certainly not to diminish the value of the differences between apes and men in this respect, I am glad to make a citation from him.
* "Die Grosshirnwindungen des Menschen"; Abhandlungen der K. Bayerischen Akademie, B. x., 1868.
"That the apes, and especially the orang, chimpanzee and gorilla, come very close to man in their organisation, much nearer than to any other animal, is a well known fact, disputed by nobody. Looking at the matter from the point of view of organisation alone, no one probably would ever have disputed the view of Linnaeus, that man should be placed, merely as a peculiar species, at the head of the mammalia and of those apes. Both shew, in all their organs, so close an affinity, that the most exact anatomical investigation is needed in order to demonstrate those differences which really exist. So it is with the brains. The brains of man, the orang, the chimpanzee, the gorilla, in spite of all the important differences which they present, come very close to one another" (loc. cit., p. 101).
There remains, then, no dispute as to the resemblance in fundamental characters, between the ape's brain and man's: nor any as to the wonderfully close similarity between the chimpanzee, orang and man, in even the details of the arrangement of the gyri and sulci of the cerebral hemispheres. Nor, turning to the differences between the brains of the highest apes and that of man, is there any serious question as to the nature and extent of these differences. It is admitted that the man's cerebral hemispheres are absolutely and relatively larger than those of the orang and chimpanzee; that his frontal lobes are less excavated by the upward protrusion of the roof of the orbits; that his gyri and sulci are, as a rule, less symmetrically disposed, and present a greater number of secondary plications. And it is admitted that, as a rule, in man, the temporo-occipital or "external perpendicular" fissure, which is usually so strongly marked a feature of the ape's brain is but faintly marked. But it is also clear, that none of these differences constitutes a sharp demarcation between the man's and the ape's brain. In respect to the external perpendicular fissure of Gratiolet, in the human brain for instance, Professor Turner remarks:*
* Convolutions of the Human Cerebrum Topographically Considered, 1866, p. 12.
"In some brains it appears simply as an indentation of the margin of the hemisphere, but, in others, it tends for some distance more or less transversely outwards. I saw it in the right hemisphere of a female brain pass more than two inches outwards; and on another specimen, also the right hemisphere, it proceeded for four-tenths of an inch outwards, and then extended downwards, as far as the lower margin of the outer surface of the hemisphere. The imperfect definition of this fissure in the majority of human brains, as compared with its remarkable distinctness in the brain of most Quadrumana, is owing to the presence, in the former, of certain superficial, well marked, secondary convolutions which bridge it over and connect the parietal with the occipital lobe. The closer the first of these bridging gyri lies to the longitudinal fissure, the shorter is the external parieto-occipital fissure" (loc. cit., p. 12).
The obliteration of the external perpendicular fissure of Gratiolet, therefore, is not a constant character of the human brain. On the other hand, its full development is not a constant character of the higher ape's brain. For, in the chimpanzee, the more or less extensive obliteration of the external perpendicular sulcus by "bridging convolutions," on one side or the other, has been noted over and over again by Prof. Rolleston, Mr. Marshall, M. Broca and Professor Turner. At the conclusion of a special paper on this subject the latter writes:*
* "Notes more especially on the bridging convolutions in the Brain of the Chimpanzee," Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1865-6. "The three specimens of the brain of a Chimpanzee," just described, prove that the generalisation which Gratiolet has attempted to draw of the complete absence of the first connecting convolution and the concealment of the second, as essentially characteristic features in the brain of this animal, is by no means universally applicable. In only one specimen did the brain, in these particulars, follow the law which Gratiolet has expressed. As regards the presence of the superior bridging convolution, I am inclined to think that it has existed in one hemisphere, at least, in a majority of the brains of this animal which have, up to this time, been figured or described. The superficial position of the second bridging convolution is evidently less frequent, and has as yet, I believe, only been seen in the brain (A) recorded in this communication. The asymmetrical arrangement in the convolutions of the two hemispheres, which previous observers have referred to in their descriptions, is also well illustrated in these specimens" (pp. 8, 9).
Even were the presence of the temporo-occipital, or external perpendicular, sulcus, a mark of distinction between the higher apes and man, the value of such a distinctive character would be rendered very doubtful by the structure of the brain in the platyrhine apes. In fact, while the temporo-occipital is one of the most constant of sulci in the catarhine, or Old World, apes, it is never very strongly developed in the New World apes; it is absent in the smaller platyrhine; rudimentary in Pithecia;* and more or less obliterated by bridging convolutions in Ateles.
* FIower, "On the Anatomy of Pithecia Monachus," Proceedings of the Zoological Society, 1862.
A character which is thus variable within the limits of a single group can have no great taxonomic value.
It is further established, that the degree of asymmetry of the convolution of the two sides in the human brain is subject to much individual variation; and that, in those individuals of the bushman race who have been examined, the gyri and sulci of the two hemispheres are considerably less complicated and more symmetrical than in the European brain, while, in some individuals of the chimpanzee, their complexity and asymmetry become notable. This is particularly the case in the brain of a young male chimpanzee figured by M. Broca. (L'ordre des Primates, p. 165, fig. 11.)
Again, as respects the question of absolute size, it is established that the difference between the largest and the smallest healthy human brain is greater than the difference between the smallest healthy human brain and the largest chimpanzee's or orang's brain.
Moreover, there is one circumstance in which the orang's and chimpanzee's brains resemble man's, but in which they differ from the lower apes, and that is the presence of two corpora candicantia- the Cynomorpha having but one.
In view of these facts I do not hesitate in this year 1874, to repeat and insist upon the proposition which I enunciated in 1863:*
* Man's Place in Nature, p. 102.
"So far as cerebral structure goes, therefore, it is clear that man differs less from the chimpanzee or the orang, than these do even from the monkeys, and that the difference between the brain of the chimpanzee and of man is almost insignificant when compared with that between the chimpanzee brain and that of a lemur."
In the paper to which I have referred, Professor Bischoff does not deny the second part of this statement, but he first makes the irrelevant remark that it is not wonderful if the brains of an orang and a lemur are very different; and secondly, goes on to assert that, "If we successively compare the brain of a man with that of an orang; the brain of this with that of a chimpanzee; of this with that of a gorilla, and so on of a Hylobates, Semnopithecus, Cynocephalus, Cercopithecus, Macacus, Cebus, Callithrix, Lemur, Stenops, Hapale, we shall not meet with a greater, or even as great a break in the degree of development of the convolutions, as we find between the brain of a man and that of an orang or chimpanzee."
To which I reply, firstly, that whether this assertion be true or false, it has nothing whatever to do with the proposition enunciated in Man's Place in Nature, which refers not to the development of the convolutions alone, but to the structure of the whole brain. If Professor Bischoff had taken the trouble to refer to p. 96 of the work he criticises, in fact, he would have found the following passage: "And it is a remarkable circumstance that though, so far as our present knowledge extends, there is one true structural break in the series of forms of simian brains, this hiatus does not lie between man and the manlike apes, but between the lower and the lowest simians, or in other words, between the Old and New World apes and monkeys and the lemurs. Every lemur which has yet been examined, in fact, has its cerebellum partially visible from above; and its posterior lobe, with the contained posterior cornu and hippocampus minor, more or less rudimentary. Every marmoset, American monkey, Old World monkey, baboon or manlike ape, on the contrary, has its cerebellum entirely hidden, posteriorly, by the cerebral lobes, and possesses a large posterior cornu with a well-developed hippocampus minor."
This statement was a strictly accurate account of what was known when it was made; and it does not appear to me to be more than apparently weakened by the subsequent discovery of the relatively small development of the posterior lobes in the siamang and in the howling monkey. Notwithstanding the exceptional brevity of the posterior lobes in these two species, no one will pretend that their brains, in the slightest degree, approach those of the lemurs. And if, instead of putting Hapale out of its natural place, as Professor Bischoff most unaccountably does, we write the series of animals he has chosen to mention as follows: Homo, Pithecus, Troglodytes, Hylobates, Semnopithecus, Cynocephalus, Cereopithecus, Macacus, Cebus, Callithrix, Hapale, Lemur, Stenops, I venture to reaffirm that the great break in this series lies between Hapale and Lemur, and that this break is considerably greater than that between any other two terms of that series. Professor Bischoff ignores the fact that long before he wrote, Gratiolet had suggested the separation of the lemurs from the other primates on the very ground of the difference in their cerebral characters; and that Professor Flower had made the following observations in the course of his description of the brain of the Javan loris:*
* Transactions of the Zoological Society, vol. v., 1862.
"And it is especially remarkable that, in the development of the posterior lobes, there is no approximation to the lemurine, short hemisphered brain, in those monkeys which are commonly supposed to approach this family in other respects, viz., the lower members of the platyrhine group."
So far as the structure of the adult brain is concerned, then, the very considerable additions to our knowledge, which have been made by the researches of so many investigators, during the past ten years, fully justify the statement which I made in 1863. But it has been said, that, admitting the similarity between the adult brains of man and apes, they are nevertheless, in reality, widely different, because they exhibit fundamental differences in the mode of their development. No one would be more ready than I to admit the force of this argument, if such fundamental differences of development really exist. But I deny that they do exist. On the contrary, there is a fundamental agreement in the development of the brain in men and apes.
Gratiolet originated the statement that there is a fundamental difference in the development of the brains of apes and that of man- consisting in this; that, in the apes, the sulci which first make their appearance are situated on the posterior region of the cerebral hemispheres, while, in the human foetus, the sulci first become visible on the frontal lobes.*
* "Chez tous les singes, les plis posterieurs se developpent les premiers; les plis anterieurs se developpent plus tard, aussi la vertebre occipitale et la parietale sont-elles relativement tres-grandes chez le foetus. L'Homme presente une exception remarquable quant a l'epoque de l'apparition des plis frontaux, qui sont les premiers indiques; mais le developpement general du lobe frontal, envisage seulement par rapport a son volume, suit les memes lois que dans les singes"; Gratiolet, Memoire sur les plis cerebres de l'Homme et des Primateaux, p. 39, tab. iv, fig. 3.
This general statement is based upon two observations, the one of a gibbon almost ready to be born, in which the posterior gyri were "well developed," while those of the frontal lobes were "hardly indicated"* (loc. cit., p. 39), and the other of a human foetus at the 22nd or 23rd week of utero-gestation, in which Gratiolet notes that the insula was uncovered, but that nevertheless "des incisures sement de lobe anterieur, une scissure peu profonde indique la separation du lobe occipital, tres-reduit, d'ailleurs des cette epoque. Le reste de la surface cerebrale est encore absolument lisse."
* Gratiolet's words are (loc. cit., p. 39): "Dans le foetus dont il s'agit les plis cerebraux posterieurs sont bien developpes, tandis que les plis du lobe frontal sont a peine indiques." The figure, however (pl. iv, fig. 3), shews the fissure of Rolando, and one of the frontal sulci plainly enough. Nevertheless, M. Alix, in his "Notice sur les travaux anthropologiques de Gratiolet" (Mem. de la Societe d'Anthropologie de Paris, 1868, page 32), writes thus: "Gratiolet a eu entre les mains le cerveau d'un foetus de Gibbon, singe eminemment superieur, et tellement rapproche de l'orang, que des naturalistes tres-competents l'ont range parmi les anthropoides. M. Huxley, par exemple, n'hesite pas sur ce point. Eh bien, c'est sur le cerveau d'un foetus de Gibbon que Gratiolet a vu les circonvolutions du lobe temporo-sphenoidal deja developpees lorsqu'il n'existent pas encore de plis sur le lobe frontal. Il etait donc bien autorise a dire que, chez l'homme les circonvolutions apparaissent d' a en w, tandis que chez les singes elles se developpent d'w en a."
Three views of this brain are given in plate II, figs. 1, 2, 3, of the work cited, shewing the upper, lateral and inferior views of the hemispheres, but not the inner view. It is worthy of note that the figure by no means bears out Gratiolet's description, inasmuch as the fissure (antero-temporal) on the posterior half of the face of the hemisphere is more marked than any of those vaguely indicated in the anterior half. If the figure is correct, it in no way justifies Gratiolet's conclusion: "Il y a donc entre ces cerveaux [those of a Callithrix and of a gibbon] et celui du foetus humain une difference fondamental. Chez celui-ci, longtemps avant que les plis temporaux apparaissent, les plis frontaux, essayent d'exister."
Since Gratiolet's time, however, the development of the gyri and sulci of the brain has been made the subject of renewed investigation by Schmidt, Bischoff, Pansch,* and more particularly by Ecker,*(2) whose work is not only the latest, but by far the most complete, memoir on the subject.
* Uber die typische Anordnung der Furchen und Windungen auf den Grosshirn-Hemispharen des Menschen und der Affen," Archiv fur Anthropologie, iii., 1868
*(2) "Zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der Furchen und Windungen der Grosshirn-Hemispharen im Foetus des Menschen." Archiv fur Anthropologie, iii., 1868.
The final results of their inquiries may be summed up as follows:-
1. In the human foetus, the sylvian fissure is formed in the course of the third month of utero-gestation. In this, and in the fourth month, the cerebral hemispheres are smooth and rounded (with the exception of the sylvian depression), and they project backwards far beyond the cerebellum.
2. The sulci, properly so called, begin to appear in the interval between the end of the fourth and the beginning of the sixth month of foetal life, but Ecker is careful to point out that, not only the time, but the order, of their appearance is subject to considerable individual variation. In no case, however, are either the frontal or the temporal sulci the earliest.
The first which appears, in fact, lies on the inner face of the hemisphere (whence doubtless Gratiolet, who does not seem to have examined that face in his foetus, overlooked it), and is either the internal perpendicular (occipito-parietal), or the calcarine sulcus, these two being close together and eventually running into one another. As a rule the occipito-parietal is the earlier of the two.
3. At the latter part of this period, another sulcus, the "posterio-parietal," or "Fissure of Rolando" is developed, and it is followed, in the course of the sixth month, by the other principal sulci of the frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital lobes. There is, however, no clear evidence that one of these constantly appears before the other; and it is remarkable that, in the brain at the period described and figured by Ecker (loc. cit., pp. 212-213 tab. II, figs. 1, 2, 3, 4), the antero-temporal sulcus (scissure parallele) so characteristic of the ape's brain, is as well, if not better developed than the fissure of Rolando, and is much more marked than the proper frontal sulci.
Taking the facts as they now stand, it appears to me that the order of the appearance of the sulci and gyri in the foetal human brain is in perfect harmony with the general doctrine of evolution, and with the view that man has been evolved from some ape-like form; though there can be no doubt that that form was, in many respects, different from any member of the primates now living.
Von Baer taught us, half a century ago, that, in the course of their development, allied animals put on at first, the characters of the greater groups to which they belong, and, by degrees, assume those which restrict them within the limits of their family, genus, and species; and he proved, at the same time, that no developmental stage of a higher animal is precisely similar to the adult condition of any lower animal. It is quite correct to say that a frog passes through the condition of a fish, inasmuch as at one period of its life the tadpole has all the characters of a fish, and if it went no further, would have to be grouped among fishes. But it is equally true that a tadpole is very different from any known fish.
In like manner, the brain of a human foetus, at the fifth month, may correctly be said to be, not only the brain of an ape, but that of an arctopithecine or marmoset-like ape; for its hemispheres, with their great posterior lobster, and with no sulci but the sylvian and the calcarine, present the characteristics found only in the group of the arctopithecine primates. But it is equally true, as Gratiolet remarks, that, in its widely open sylvian fissure, it differs from the brain of any actual marmoset. No doubt it would be much more similar to the brain of an advanced foetus of a marmoset. But we know nothing whatever of the development of the brain in the marmosets. In the Platyrhini proper, the only observation with which I am acquainted is due to Pansch, who found in the brain of a foetal Cebus apella, in addition to the sylvian fissure and the deep calcarine fissure, only a very shallow antero-temporal fissure (scissure parallele of Gratiolet).
Now this fact, taken together with the circumstance that the antero-temporal sulcus is present in such Platyrhini as the Saimiri, which present mere traces of sulci on the anterior half of the exterior of the cerebral hemispheres, or none at all, undoubtedly, so far as it goes, affords fair evidence in favour of Gratiolet's hypothesis, that the posterior sulci appear before the anterior, in the brains of the Platyrhini. But, it by no means follows, that the rule which may hold good for the Platyrhini extends to the Catarhini. We have no information whatever respecting the development of the brain in the Cynomorphia; and, as regards the Anthropomorpha, nothing but the account of the brain of the gibbon near birth, already referred to. At the present moment there is not a shadow of evidence to show that the sulci of a chimpanzee's, or orang's, brain do not appear in the same order as a man's.
Gratiolet opens his preface with the aphorism: "Il est dangereux dans les sciences de conclure trop vite." I fear he must have forgotten this sound maxim by the time he had reached the discussion of the differences between men and apes, in the body of his work. No doubt, the excellent author of one of the most remarkable contributions to the just understanding of the mammalian brain which has ever been made, would have been the first to admit the insufficiency of his data had he lived to profit by the advance of inquiry. The misfortune is that his conclusions have been employed by persons incompetent to appreciate their foundation, as arguments in favour of obscurantism.*
* For example, M. l'Abbe Lecomte in his terrible pamphlet, Le Darwinisme et l'origine de l'homme, 1873.
But it is important to remark that, whether Gratiolet was right or wrong in his hypothesis respecting the relative order of appearance of the temporal and frontal sulci, the fact remains; that. before either temporal or frontal sulci, appear, the foetal brain of man presents characters which are found only in the lowest group of the primates (leaving out the lemurs); and that this is exactly what we should expect to be the case, if man has resulted from the gradual modification of the same form as that from which the other primates have sprung.