Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 5.djvu/336

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322
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

He confesses his defeat when he sadly admits this last intrenchment impregnable; for here, he says, "it must ever remain a drawn battle." Rightly understood, not a drawn battle, but a victory to Religion, the possessor of the citadel—a victory which grows more and more decisive the more it is perceived that the "mind and heart of man himself" is the only territory it ever claimed—the only dominion it ever attempted to defend. After all, is not the simple admission of a devout mind, when it meets with some inexplicable fact—"God made it so"—more philosophical than the shallow assertion of presumptuous science, "We can never know?"

 

CLIMATE AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT.[1]
By HERBERT SPENCER.

LIFE in general is possible only between certain limits of temperature; and life of the higher kinds is possible only within a comparatively narrow range of temperature, maintained artificially if not naturally. Hence it results that social life, presupposing as it does not only human life, but that life vegetal and animal on which human life depends, is restricted by certain extremes of cold and heat.

Cold, though great, does not rigorously exclude warm-blooded creatures, if the locality supplies in adequate quantity the means of generating heat. The arctic Fauna contains various marine and terrestrial mammals, large and small; but the existence of these depends, directly or indirectly, on the existence of the inferior marine creatures, vertebrate and invertebrate, which would cease to live there did not the warm currents from the tropics check the formation of ice. Hence such human life as we find in arctic regions, dependent as it is mainly on that of these mammals, is also remotely dependent on the same source of heat.

Here the fact we have to note is that, where the temperature which man's vital functions require can be maintained with difficulty, social evolution is not possible. There can be neither a sufficient surplus power in each individual nor a sufficient number of individuals. Not only are the energies of the Esquimaux expended mainly in defending himself against loss of heat, and in laying up stores by which he may continue to do this during the arctic night, but his physiological processes are greatly modified to the same end. Without fuel, and, indeed, unable to burn within his snow-hut any thing more than an oil-lamp, lest the walls should melt, he has to keep up that bodily warmth which even his thick fur dress fails to retain, by devouring vast quan-

  1. From advance sheets of the "Principles of Sociology.—Part I. The Data of Sociology. Chapter III. Original External Factors."