Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/200

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aberrant muscles in his structure may be recognized in some degraded progenitor. And in proof of this there is established a series of facts of precisely the same nature as is seen in those discoveries which link the horse in an almost unbroken line to earlier and more generalized animals.

It is instructive to read the discussions in relation to man's position in Nature as represented by Agassiz, Morton, and others.

The position that these eminent men were justified in taking shocked the Church, and received from her the same vigorous denunciations that Darwin was forced to bear at a later day.

The systematist, in formulating the separate species and genera of the apes and monkeys, was early led to see that man also in various parts of the world presented differences quite as striking, and if it were assumed, as indeed it was, that the peculiarities among men were only varietal, then it could be claimed with equal emphasis that the differences among apes were only varietal. Agassiz, in his keen grasp of things, readily saw this, and, since the races of men revealed differences just as specific in their characters as the animals immediately below them, he was forced to admit the plurality of origin of the human race. He says:

"Unless we recognize the differences among men, and we recognize the identity of these differences with the differences which exist among animals, we are not true to our subject, and, whatever be the origin of these differences, they are of some account; and if it ever is proved that all men have a common origin, then it will be at the same time proved that all monkeys have a common origin, and it will by the same evidence be proved that man and monkeys cannot have a different origin."

He confesses that he "saw the time coming when the position of the origin of man would be mixed up with the question of the origin of animals, and a community of origin might be affirmed for them all." With these convictions it is not surprising that he should have been led to express the opinions regarding the diversity of the human race that we find recorded.

Agassiz, in the meetings of the American Academy, repeatedly and in various ways illustrated the diversity of the human race. In one place he alludes to the difficulty in defining the species of man, and says the same difficulties occur in defining the species of anthropoid apes. We quote from the records:

"The languages of different races of men were neither more different nor more similar than the sounds characteristic of animals of the same genus; and their analogy can no more be fully accounted for on any hypothesis of transmission or tradition than in the case of birds of the same genus uttering similar notes in Europe and America."—("Proceedings of the American Academy," vol. iii., p. 6.)

Again, in a later volume, he expresses a general disbelief in the supposed derivation of later languages from earlier ones. He re-