Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 28.djvu/837

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817
THE TEETH OF THE COMING MAN.

excitation, encouragement, and opportunity for development, in the lack of which their usefulness will be impaired for life; that some children are endowed with great capacity in this direction, while they have but little in any other; that the happiness of every family may be promoted by the disposition and ability on the part of its various members to adapt the material resources within their control to the convenience and comfort of all; that by the cultivation in early childhood of a taste for manual employment there would be found in almost every individual aptitudes for hand-work of one kind or another, which would afford pleasurable pursuits in hours not occupied with the serious affairs of life, and which would contribute to his happiness as well as promote his pecuniary welfare; that such occupations, aside from the main pursuits of life, would aid in forming good habits and good morals; that the children of the poor especially need something to occupy their time and attention out of school-hours, whereby they may be withdrawn from the demoralizing influences of the streets; that it will be wise for this Association to promote the home industries of children by all means in their power, one of the most effective being public exhibitions, where a comparison of the results of the industries of the children may be made; that by such exhibitions we shall not only educate the child-contributors, but that they will also educate us and the community.


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THE TEETH OF THE COMING MAN.[1]

By OSCAR SCHMIDT.

THE alternative as to whether man was created or developed can no longer be raised, now that we are exercising the free use of our reason. Man's dentition has to be judged from our experiences made in the mammalian group. Hence, first of all, it is a reduced dentition. True, we do not know the definite stages by which it was attained in man, any more than we do in the case of the anthropomorphoids, and all the other apes of the Old World, but we shall not hesitate to maintain that the ancestors of man possessed a fuller number of teeth, as long as deductions are justified from the observation of facts. Our teeth have decreased in number during the course of our geologico-zoölogical development; we have lost on either side, above and below, two incisors, two premolars, and one molar. By this we transfer ourselves back to those periods from which the jaw of the otocyon has been preserved. Baume, our eminent odontologist, in a recent work which we have repeatedly referred to, has successfully followed and pointed out cases of atavism or reversion in the human

  1. From "The Mammalia in their Relation to Primeval Times." By Oscar Schmidt. New York: D. Appleton k Co., 1886.