Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/562

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species of man; that this species, much more ancient than was formerly believed, was the contemporary of the elephant and rhinoceros on the soil of France. Although spread everywhere at present, the human species, like other organic and living beings, had its special centre of creation. It must have appeared at first on a particular and circumscribed part of the globe, situated probably in the centre of Asia. Our earth then was peopled by way of migration. In the varied journeyings performed to reach all points of his domain, man has encountered thousands of conditions of existence. He has accommodated himself to them all—in other words, he has become acclimated everywhere.

There is another question we had to meet, because it was seriously put to us, but, to answer which, we had to confess the insufficiency of present knowledge: it is the question of the first origin of man. Our answer to this question was founded on science alone. I have made this declaration many times; I repeat it every time I speak before a new audience. For the most part, the problems we have considered are treated by theologians and philosophers. Neither here, nor at the museum, am I, nor do I wish to be, either a theologian or a philosopher. I am simply a man of science, and it is in the name of comparative physiology, of botanical and zoological geography, of geology and paleontology, in the name of the laws which govern man as well as animals and plants, that I have always spoken.

To-day, however, I shall not need to recur, as much as in preceding lectures, to these terms of comparison. We have to commence the study of man considered in himself; and, in the first place, to account in a general way for the modifications presented by the human type.

These modifications constitute the characters which serve to distinguish divers groups of men—the different human races. Before studying these races in detail, we must fix somewhat the extent and the meaning of these modifications of character.

To give order even to the brief study of the characters of the human race, it is necessary to separate them into a certain number of groups. This division is easily made, because of the multiple nature of man, which at the same time connects him with the rest of creation, and gives him a position apart.

Like all organic and living beings, man has a body. This body will furnish a first class of characters—the physical characters. Like animals, man is endowed with instinct and intelligence. Though infinitely more developed in him, these characters are not changed in their fundamental nature. They appear in the different human groups in phenomena, sometimes very different, as for instance the different languages. The differences of manifestation of this intelligence will constitute the second class of characters—the intellectual characters.

Finally, it is established that man has two grand faculties, of which we find not even a trace among animals. He alone has the moral sen-