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whilst he grows feebler in limb, unproductive as a labourer, impotent as a warrior, in all such regards a mere burden on the species, yet the knowledge and experience stored in his great brain is of use to his younger fellow-men, and age is for that reason respected. Moreover, the species Homo is widely different from any other species; indeed, from the point of view of a general philosophy, it is almost erroneous to apply the term 'species' to the collective varieties of man at all. For the development of the brain and of intelligence in man has really changed the whole course of Nature, supposing that the developmental course was hers. The further progress of organic beings beyond the limit reached by man (and this may be as acceptable a truth to the teleologist as to the evolutionist) can only operate through that brain, so thoroughly dominant, so all-powerful has it become. No longer are the structures of the whole organism affected by changed conditions, but of the brain alone,2 and the result of this is that there are no physiological species among men.
The various races and kinds of men can interbreed. It is only their intelligence, their power, knowledge, and cast of thought which largely differs, and this does
1 The term “polymorphism’ is fairly applicable, in its zoological sense, to man as a civilized being, each unit in a society, with his special skill and special function, being comparable to such units in a polypidom or a hymenopterous colony.
2 Other changes are exceedingly small, and are not permanent as are those of the brain.
not prevent the sperm-cell and germ-cell of two races being so developed as to unite in forming a fertile ovum.
Men exist in the most diverse conditions, not only in distant lands and varied climates, but even in the same city, in conditions so diverse, that were any other organism known, to be submitted to an equally great range of external agencies, even the most highly developed, it must either perish, or, if gradually introduced to the change, must so completely modify its structure as to become a new and distinct species. Man may be said to make his own conditions by his brain, or through it all conditions may be said to be comparatively uniform for him and for the animals which he chooses to associate with himself. Originating probably in the East, in a warm but not a tropical climate, feeding on rich and abundant fruits, he has yet gradually spread over the whole world, and does not shew any material modification of structure—no modification so great as to prevent interbreeding. When circumstances forced him to cold countries, his intelligence made him light a fire and build a house, and cover himself with the skins of other and inferior animals, which he entrapped by cunning, and whose roasted flesh served him as a substitute for the failing fruits. As necessities arose, he learned to build boats, skill of all kinds became his through his brain, and his vast knowledge was gradually acquired, and handed down from generation to generation, and passed from man to man by means of speech, which yearly grew more perfect. Meanwhile, he lived in families at first, then in tribes, and still later in societies of various kinds, which have grown, and are daily growing larger, in virtue of which the individual struggle for existence is, almost in the most civilized, and must be eventually entirely, abandoned, Darwin's law of survival of the fittest operating through the emulation of hundreds of varied combinations of men as wholes, instead of through the isolated struggles of the units composing them.
The structural differences which have been produced in men by their distribution over the various parts of the globe, are apparent enough to the eye; perhaps seeming greater than they really are, as compared with differences amongst other individuals, by reason of our detailed knowledge of the objects compared, when they are
But these characters of skull-form and hair-form, of complexion and hair-colour, and of size, which are what constitute the chief divergencies, other than those of the brain, among men, are not sufficiently constant in races to enable naturalists to ascertain the pedigree of the various nations of the earth, and to group their races by descent. Indeed, locality not race is what is marked by these characters. It is in the variety of language-a part of the intellectual development—that characters of far greater constancy and value are found. Whilst the shape of the skull, the colour and such structural attributes, having assumed a certain state in a race, may rapidly change in a few generations to a totally different state, language remains comparatively constant. The Circassians, who embody the ideal of beauty of the Western Europeans, are Mongolidæ in language; that is, are more closely related in descent to the Chinese and Siamese than to us. The Turk in Europe is acquiring European characteristics, losing his rounded form of head; whilst the Jew and the Ashantee are of nearer relationship to one another than either is to any of the other races named. Compare an English Jew of pure race with an African savage, and the transient character of structural character in man, such as is not brain structure, will be recognised.
1 Individual men do not struggle for existence—that is assured to them by society—they struggle to get on.'
It is needless to mention further the varied colour of the hair and physiognomy of Europeans; all such and many similar facts tend to shew the complete subordination of other to brain character. Hence potential longevity being dependent on structure (as pointed out early in the essay), and the various races of men not exhibiting constancy in structural character, we cannot expect that the various races should exhibit anything like an approach to specific potential longevity. This, too, the more so, remembering the delicacy of the quantity, and its liability to fluctuation with small influences. We have, on the contrary, every reason to believe that a man of English race and a man of Fuegian race, who by gradual change in the condition of their ancestors (for sudden change is likely to act injuriously by its mere suddenness 2) should be living side by side, would live to the same period of time, that is, have the same potential longevity. But it is true enough that either the Fuegian would be no longer a Fuegian, for he would have abandoned the habits and conditions of life which are his peculiarities, or the Englishman would have ceased to be an Englishman by similar metamorphosis. Buffon, a man of really great insight and philosophical spirit, says :- The man who does not die of accidental causes reaches everywhere the age of ninety or one hundred years. If we reflect that the European, Negro, Chinese, and American, the civilized man, the savage, the
1 Too great reliance must not be placed on language; for an invading race will in some cases communicate its language to the conquered, or, in other cases, adopt the language of the invaded country.
2 The fact that the Jewish physiognomy has been traced in some African races, must be mentioned on the other side, and the certainly long persistence of the type of hair in the two great groups of smoothand curly-haired races.
1 Dr. Kane, the American Arctic explorer, and his companions, after residing three years in a high latitude, experienced the most severe injury from the summer heat of the Northern States, and eventually Dr. Kane died from the exhaustion and prostration so produced.• Wynn's American Statistics' (Influence of Locality on Disease).