Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/34

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types, as a crab or a lobster, with limbs some very small and some very large. How came this contrast to arise in the course of evolution, if there was the equality of variation supposed?

But now let us narrow the meaning of the phrase still further; giving it a more favorable interpretation. Instead of considering separate limbs as co-operative, let us consider the component parts of the same limb as co-operative, and ask what would result from varying together. It would in that case happen that, though the fore and hind limbs of a mammal might become different in their sizes, they would not become different in their structures. If so, how have there arisen the unlikeness between the hind legs of the kangaroo and those of the elephant? Or if this comparison is objected to, because the creatures belong to the widely different divisions of implacental and placental mammals, take the cases of the rabbit and the elephant, both belonging to the last division. On the hypothesis of evolution these are both derived from the same original form, but the proportions of the parts have become so widely unlike that the corresponding joints are scarcely recognized as such by the unobservant: at what seem corresponding places the legs bend in opposite ways. Equally marked, or more marked, is the parallel fact among the Articulata. Take that limb of the lobster which bears the claw and compare it with the corresponding limb in an inferior articulate animal, or the corresponding limb of its near ally, the crayfish, and it becomes obvious that the component segments of the limb have come to bear to one another in the one case proportions immensely different from those they bear in the other case. Undeniably, then, on contemplating the general facts of organic structure, we see that the concomitant variations in the parts of limbs have not been of a kind to produce equal amounts of change in them, but quite the opposite—have been everywhere producing inequalities. Moreover, we are reminded that this production of inequalities among co-operative parts, is an essential principle of development. Had it not been so, there could not have been that progress from homogeneity of structure to heterogeneity of structure which constitutes evolution.

We pass now to the second supposition:—that the variations in co-operative parts occur irregularly, or in such independent ways that they bear no definite relations to one another—miscellaneously, let us say. This is the supposition which best corresponds with the facts. Glances at the faces around yield conspicuous proofs. Many of the muscles of the face and some of the bones, are distinctly co-operative; and these respectively vary in such ways as to produce in each person a different combination. What we see in the face we have reason to believe holds in the limbs as in all other parts. Indeed, it needs but to compare people whose arms are of the same lengths, and observe how stumpy are