Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/201

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189
AMERICAN ZOÖLOGISTS AND EVOLUTION.

garded each, language and each race as substantially primordial, and ascribed their resemblances to a similarity in the mental organization of the races.

This extract illustrates the extremity to which one is logically driven if he accepts the hypothesis of special creation, and these words are quoted, not with the belief that at the present time they would have been uttered, but as illustrating the necessary admissions with the theory of plurality of origin. In precisely the same manner that Whitney, Müller, and other eminent philologists, have shown the outgrowth of present existing languages from primitive forms of language, so science is prepared to show the outgrowth of present men from primitive forms of animals. Agassiz was bitterly assailed by the Church for the bold attitude he assumed regarding the plurality of origin of the human race, though now that science will show that after all man has originated from a common centre, it seems no better satisfied. The facts bearing on man's lowly origin have been fully contributed by American students, and, as all intelligent men understand the bearing of these facts on the question, it is only necessary to allude to them here. If man has really been derived from an ancestor in common with the ape, we must expect to show—1. That in his earlier stages he recalls certain persistent characters in the apes; 2. That the more ancient man will reveal more ape-like features than the present existing man; and, 3. That certain characteristics pertaining to early men still persist in the inferior races of men.

Prof. Wyman[1] points out certain resemblances between the limbs of the human embryo and the permanent condition of the limbs of lower animals. In some human embryos about an inch in length he found that the great-toe was shorter than the others, and, instead of being parallel to them, projected at an angle from the side of the foot, thus corresponding with the permanent condition of this part in the Quadrumana.

In some observations made on the skeleton of a Hottentot, Prof. Wyman[2] calls attention to the complete ossification of the nasal bones, no trace of a suture remaining. This was more noticeable as the individual was young, and the other bones were immature, and had an interest "in connection with the fact that the nasal bones are coössified at an early period in the monkeys and before the completion of the first dentition in gorillas and chimpanzees." Careful measurements of the pelvis also revealed quadrumanous features, though "the resemblance is trifling in comparison with the differences."

In a study of the crania, Wyman[3] found differences in the relative position of the foramen magnum. In the North American Indian this opening was farther back than in the negro, while some crania from Kauai presented this opening still farther back than in the

  1. "Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History," vol. x., p. 185.
  2. Ibid., vol. ix., p. 352.
  3. Ibid., vol. xi., p. 447.