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to have a section of its own, whether convenient or inconvenient, but then those in power have a right to their opinion, and the new-comer must wait his turn, and make his way by degrees, unless by some splendid services he can carry his point by storm. The case, in fact, is one not for personal complaints and bickerings, but for calm discussion.
We are told that, if this claim be not granted, the Anthropological Society will summon an Anthropological Congress. By all means. Why not? If spirits will come from the vasty deep, why not have them? To make anthropologists is clearly the easiest thing in the world, and why they should not be created in thousands as well as hundreds we do not in the least see; all that we would stipulate for is that, when they come, they would leave us in peace and darkness, and turn the beams of their magic lanterns in some more profitable direction.
LUBBOCK ON THE UNITY OF MAN AND NATURAL
In his able and exhaustive work on “ Pre-historic Times and the Manners of Modern Savages ” Mr. Lubbock adopts the doctrine of the unity of the human race, that is, in its consisting of a single species branching into many varieties, and not of a genus consisting of many species; and this, as far as we can see, even on his own showing, on no better grounds than that it accords best with the theory of progression by “natural selection," of which, like many other ingenious and ingenuous young philosophers, he is a profound worshipper.
“ The preceding argument,” says Mr. Lubbock, assumes of course the unity of the human race. It would, however, be impossible for me to end this volume without saying a few words on this great question. It must be admitted that the principal varieties of mankind are of great antiquity. We find on the earliest Egyptian monuments, some of which are certainly as ancient as 2400 B.C., 'two great distinct types: the Arab on the East and West of Egypt, and the Negro on the South, and the Egyptian type occupying a middle space between the two. The representations of the monuments, although conventional, are so extremely characteristic that it is quite impossible to mistake them.' These distinct types still predominate in Egypt and the neighbouring countries” p. 476.
But not only the man of the Egyptian monuments, but the domesticated animals represented on them, haveundergone no appreciable change, as we see in the examples of the ox, the horse, and the ass, which in form, size, and colour are the same as those of forty centuries ago. If, then, four thousand years have effected no changes, what right have we to fancy that forty thousand or four hundred thousand should do so ? The imagination alone can help the advocates of the theory of “natural selection” to a solution of this difficulty; and assuredly it has been largely drawn upon. At a loss for facts to support a theory, it is not allowable to plunge into the inanity of time for them.
Our author supposes the first men to have been inhabitants of tropical countries, and to have lived like monkeys in trees, subsisting like these animals on wild fruits. If this were so, it would follow that the first created men were black, or brown, or yellow, or red, since no other men dwell within the Tropics; and it behoves the abettors of the new theory to tell us how in some cases they turned white, and in others continued black, or brown, or yellow, as they spread from the Tropics to temperate, and ultimately to cold regions. But there exists no race of men, and assuredly never could have existed one, living in trees and feeding, like monkeys, exclusively on their spontaneous fruits. Monkeys, by their form, are made to live in trees, and are frugivorous; while man is made to tread the earth, and is omnivorous. No race of savages hạs ever been seen without a knowledge of fire to cook their victuals and to warm themselves; and most assuredly the most anthropoid monkey has never been known to kindle a fire or to put on clothing.
If the first men were created within the Tropics, and afterwards spread from thence to temperate and cold regions, how came this miraculous achievement for feeble savages to be accomplished ? Mr. Lubbock's account is eminently contradictory. “It is too often supposed," he says, "that the world was peopled by a series of migrations.' But migrations, properly so called, are compatible only with a comparatively high state of organization. Moreover, it has been observed that the geographical distribution of the various races of man curiously coincides with that of other races of animals; and there can be no doubt that man originally crept over the earth's surface, little by little, year by year, just, for instance, as the weeds of Europe are now gradually but surely creeping over the surface of Australia"
p. 476. In this paragraph Mr. Lubbock truly says that migration, properly so called, is compatible only with a comparatively high state of civilization; that is, with the possession of a certain amount of resources. And after this admission he forthwith represents man peopling the earth by creeping over its surface “ little by little, year by year.” But is not creeping over the earth's surface just as much migration as crossing the Atlantic or the Pacific ? The difference is only in degree, just as the creeping of the snail is as much locomotion as is the swift pace of the antelope. Migration is simply a change of place or residence, and has nothing to do with the manner in which the action is performed. Are wide deserts, marshes, and forests, broad rivers, rough and broad seas, and high mountains to be crossed by “creeping”? The author of the new theory ought to tell us what possible motive could induce the savages of the Tropics to quit the languid life of warm climates to tempt the dangers, difficulties, and inevitable privations of temperate climates and the worse of cold ones. In his recent work, the “Exodus of the Western Nations,” Lord Bury, who has had much personal knowledge of savages, has formed a juster estimate of their capacity for migration. “One of the most remarkable circumstances relating to the early history of America," says he, “is the complete isolation of each petty tribe. Each was ignorant of the very existence of any other nations than those they met in their hunting excursions.”
The illustration of the creeping of European plants over the surface of Australia is an unhappy one. A few of the weeds of Europe have been spreading over Australia, no doubt; but they did not get there by creeping, but through organized migration, the work of man. They live and thrive only in climates suitable to them, which excludes the tropical and subtropical parts of the country, embracing one half of the whole continent. The pine-apple, a native of tropical America, will grow, and even become a weed, in any hot climate whatever, but perishes in any cold or even temperate one. This creeping theory will not do.
The argument for the unity of man has been much insisted on by Mr. Alfred Wallace, in a memoir which Mr. Lubbock describes as « admirable.” For ourselves, we recognise in Mr. Wallace a skilful naturalist and a judicious, observant, and enterprising traveller ; but we can discover nothing to admire in his argument for the unity of man, except its ingenuity and the courage with which he tries to ride ever insuperable difficulties. Here is Mr. Wallace's account of his doctrine:
“By the capacity of clothing himself, and making weapons and tools, (he) has taken away from Nature that power of changing the external form and structure which she exercises over all other animals.
From the time, then, when the social and sympathetic feelings came into active operation, and the intellectual and moral faculties became fairly developed, man would cease to be influenced by natural selection in his physical form and structure : as an animal, he would remain almost stationary; the changes of the surrounding universe would cease to have upon him that powerful modifying effect which it exercises over other parts of the organic world. But from the moment that his body became stationary, his mind would become subject to those very influences from which his body had escaped. Every slight variation in his mental and moral nature which should enable him better to guard against adverse circumstances, and combine for mutual comfort and protection, would be preserved and accumulated; the better and higher specimens of our race would therefore increase and spread, the lower and more brutal would give way and successively die out, and that rapid advancement of mental organization would occur which has raised the very lowest races of men so far above the brutes (although differing so little from some of them in physical structure), and, in conjunction with scarcely perceptible modifications of form, has developed the wonderful intellect of the Germanic races
Now, we ask, what possibly can Mr. Wallace know of the state of man before he was clothed and armed, except through his imagination ? In order to procure food and to defend himself, man must have used a club, however rude, from the first moment of his creation, and he must have clothed himself with the skin of a wild beast, as soon as he felt cold. Man, therefore, was armed and clothed from the very beginning, and there was consequently no interval of time for the transubstantiation by "natural selection," which is supposed, but never proved in a single instance to have operated on the lower animals. Many of the inhabitants of America, the Australians, the Papuans and the Andaman islanders, are at this moment almost as destitute of the constraint of clothing as at their creation ; but it cannot be shown that they were ever otherwise, nor that “natural selection” has made any more change on them in that condition than it has done on the Egyptians, who have been well clothed for probably not less than ten thousand years.
The following passages from Mr. Wallace's dissertation are very eloquent, but also very dreamy; and we must observe that he makes a tremendous leap when he jumps from the first club and skin to the planting of the first seed, the beginning of agriculture, which implies a very advanced stage of man's progress, probably preceded by the taming of the dog. Not one of the tribes we have above enumerated has yet arrived at the agricultural period.
“ From the moment when the first skin was used as a covering, when the first rude spear was formed to assist in the chase, the first seed sown or shoot planted, a grand revolution was effected in Nature, a revolution which in all the previous ages of the world's history had had no parallel ; for a being had arisen who was no longer necessarily subject to change with the changing universe—a being who was in some degree superior to Nature, inasmuch as he knew how to control and regulate her actions, and could keep himself in harmony with her, not by a change in body, but by an advance in mind. Here, then, we see the true grandeur and dignity of man. On this view of his special attributes we may admit that even those who claim for him a position and an order, a class or a sub-kingdom by himself, have some reason on their side. He is, indeed, a being apart, since he is not influenced by the great laws which irresistibly modify all other organic beings. Nay, more: this victory which he has gained for himself gives him a directing influence over other existences. Man has not only escaped natural selection' himself, but he is actually able to take away some of that power from Nature which, before his appearance, she universally exercised. We can anticipate the time when the earth will produce only cultivated plants and domestic animals; when man's selection shall have supplanted 'natural selection;' and when the ocean will be the only domain in which that power can be exerted which for countless cycles of ages ruled supreme over the earth " p.
What a sportive exercise of the imagination do we not find in these passages !
In his admiration of the Darwinian hypothesis, our ingenious author concludes his eulogy in the following inordinate terms, little short, in our judgment, of naked extravagance :
“Thus, then, the great principle of natural selection, which is to biology what the law of gravitation is for astronomy, not only throws an unexpected light on the past, but illuminates the future with hope; nor can I but feel surprised that a theory which thus teaches us humility for the past, faith in the present, and hope for the future should have been regarded as opposed to the principles of Christianity, or the interests of true religion” p. 481.
We entirely agree with Mr. Lubbock in believing that the theory which begins with a monad, and rises to the dignity of an ape, ending in man, is utterly harmless both to religion and morality. We object to it only because it is an unsubstantial dream, the vain figment of a teeming fancy, albeit shored by much knowledge, and buttressed by a world of ingenuity.