Page:Descent of Man 1875.djvu/195

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Chap. VII.
The Races of Man.

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,[1] 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 archæologists[2] 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,[3] 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.

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 birth-place; for if once learnt they would never have been forgotten.[4] He

  1. 'On Analogous Forms of Implements,' in 'Memoirs of Anthropolog. Soc.' by H. M. Westropp. 'The Primitive Inhabitants of Scandinavia', Eng. translat., edited by Sir J. Lubbock, 1868, p. 104.
  2. Westropp, 'On Cromlechs,' &c., 'Journal of Ethnological Soc.' as given in 'Scientific Opinion,' June 2nd, 1869, p. 3.
  3. 'Journal of Researches: Voyage of the "Beagle,"' p. 46.
  4. 'Prehistoric Times,' 1869, p. 574.