Edinburgh Review (April 1863)

by Carter Blake

ART. IX.–1. Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature. By T. H. HUXLEY. 8vo. London: 1863.
2. Osteological Contributions to the Natural History of the Anthropoid Apes. BY R. OWEN. (Transactions of the Zoological Society of London.) 4to. London: 1840–1863.
3. Teeth in the Varieties of Man and the Anthropoid Apes. By F. C. WEBB. 8vo. London: 1860.
4. Memoire sur les Plis Cerébrux de l'Homme et des Primatés. By M. GRATIOLET. 4to. Paris: 1854.

The disputes with regard to the precise affinity and relations of man to the lower animals have now excited so much acrimony, and have assumed such proportions, that we feel at length compelled to offer an opinion upon this controversy. The efforts of the human mind, in all historic times, to penetrate and explain the deep mystery of the origin of the human race, have once more been revived with an intensity of purpose surpassing all previous example; and we shall best promote the object in view if we direct attention to those important physical facts connected with the inquiry, which must form the true basis of any accurate generalization. We shall accordingly proceed to examine the main questions at issue, with the view of removing, if possible, some of the scientific, as well as popular, errors which prevail upon the subject.

The Homo sapiens of Linnæus, which the learned Swede defined to be in its wild aboriginal state, fourfooted, mute, and hairy, and which, brought under the more civilized influences of clothing and social habits, expanded into the American, European, Arabic, African races–besides the monstrous varieties comprising the cretin of the Alps, the giant of Patagonia, the Hottentot; the short and pyramidal-skulled Chinese, and the flatheaded Indian of Canada,–represented the idea which our ancestors formed of the human animal a hundred years ago. Linnæus, however, admitted a second species of man, as he deemed the Homo nocturnes, or Troglodytes. He considered this animal to be white, always erect, the hands reaching the knees, concealing itself during the daytimes virtually blind, and accustomed to wander forth in the night for plunder. Although its language was an unintelligible hiss, the attributes of thought and reason are predicated by Linnæus of his Homo nocturnus, in which there is reason to believe that the characters of the chimpanzee and those of the white negro, [542] or Blaford, were confusedly intermingled. The Swedish naturalist, however, while he thus misconceived the zoological character of the great ape from West Africa, appreciated in its true signification the systematic value of the other equally gigantic form of ape, which exists in the Indian archipelago, his Simia satyrus; and although he erroneously applied to this ape the term "chimpanzee," we recognise under this description the oran-ùtan of later writers.

If the zoologist attempts to find in the feeble and vague sketches of the manlike apes which were given by the elder naturalists, anything approaching to the accuracy of definition now essential to the systematic idea of species, he will be grievously disappointed. The work of Tyson, 'A philosophical Essay concerning the Pigmies, the Cynocephali, the Satyrs and Sphinges of the Ancients, wherein it will appear that they were all either Apes or Monkeys, and not Men, as formerly pretended,' furnishes an example of those speculations by which our forefathers sought to identify the traditions of mythology with the forms of zoological life. We shall entirely pass over, therefore, the controversy, not capable of any practical demonstration, whether the animals which Hanno and his companions flayed and deposited in the Punic temples, and termed [gorillai], being of the feminine gender, were actually the same ape which is now germed 'n'gina,' or 'n'guyla,' (unde derivavit, fide Burton 'gorilla') on the banks of the Gaboon. Some confusion seems to have arisen in the minds of zoologists respecting the precise import and meaning to be attached to the word 'n'tscheleigo' or 'engeco,' applied to the chimpanzee. It has been alleged that this word is of native origin. Philological researches, however, cast doubt on this deduction. We think the conjecture very probable, that the early Spanish voyagers, who, under the Portuguese flag, visited the Gaboon in the 15th and 16th centuries, were eye-witnesses to the existence of two species of anthropoid apes. The larger was the n'gina or gorilla; the smaller one, the species which we now name 'chimpanzee,' the Spanish sailor would term el chico, 'the little one.' The transition of the negro mouth from the diminutive el chico to engeco, or n'scheigo, is obvious. However this may be, we have the undisputed fact that in the year 1652, at the time of Battell, the distinction of the two apes into gorilla and chimpanzee was as marked as in the present day.

It is highly creditable to the state of English knowledge that such a work as that of Tyson should have been published at the end of the 17th century; and the honour of the first [543] monograph on the subject is due to this writer. Sixty years afterwards, our Swedish neighbours, who had followed in the steps of Tulpius, Bontius, and Aldrovandus revived the absurd statements of their predecessors, and produced illustrative proofs, in which (for example, the Lucifer Aldrovandi) was represented with the finely-turned calves and graceful ankles peculiar to the human species. The same artistic laxity which gave to all the representations of the negro races of Senegal and Congo the physiognomy of Englishmen, Frenchmen, or Spaniards, equably prevailed in the figures presented of the anthropoid apes.

The first living specimen, however, of a true anthropoid, whose aspect should have led the continental naturalists to consider the absurdity of the representations which they continued to publish for a century afterwards, was that which Tulpius portrays in 1641, from a specimen sent to Holland as a; present to Frederick Henry Prince of Orange. Afterwards, in the time of Buffon, the progress of discoverers under the auspices of the French Government enabled that great naturalist to study a living specimen of the chimpanzee, and about the same time an adult specimen of the gibbon (Hylobates lar) was described by him. The progress of our knowledge of these great forms of life since that period has been vast, and numerous specimens enrich the museums of Europe. The Dutch naturalists, Camper and Vosmaer, produced valuable memoirs on the oran-ùtan in 1778-9. Baron von Wurmb was the first traveller who published accurate observations on the oran-ùtan in its adult state, which he termed pongo, adopting the name used previously for the African form, and derived from the nation (the Mpongwé) in whose vicinity the great black ape was first observed. Erroneous observations led some French zoologists to erect the pongo of Borneo into a genus distinct from the oran-ùtan. Later and more correct facts, ascertained by Owen, demonstrated the complete identify of Wurmb's pongo with the adult oran-ùtan, and revealed to us the existence of a smaller Bornean form; while the progress of commercial and missionary enterprise in equatorial Africa had led to the discovery of those remarkable forms–the gorilla, the baldheaded ape, the kooloocamba, which have recently, through the labours of Dr. Savage and Du Chaillu, become even popularly familiar to us.

The sum of our knowledge of the geographical distribution of the anthropoid apes may be epitomized in the following propositions:–In Western Africa there are two species of Troglo[544]dytes, the gorilla (Troglodytes gorilla) and the n'scheigo, or chimpanzee (T. niger). Well-marked varieties of the form have been obtained from the neighbourhood of the Gaboon, one with a bald head, the nest-building n'scheigo m'bouvé (T. niger var. calves), and one which, in the shape of the ears and the frontal developement, at first sight seems more than any other ape to resemble man (T. niger var. koolocamba).

In the Asiatic Archipelago are also found two distinct forms. The oran-ùtan (Pithecus satyrus), of which there are varieties termed 'mias-pappan,' 'mias-rambi,' and others; this species is found in Borneo and Sumatra. There is also a smaller form in Borneo, the mias-kassar (Pithecus morio), differing from the larger species in the relatively small size of the canine teeth.

At least eight or nine species of the long-armed ape, or gibbon (Hylobates), have been discovered in Hindustan, in Transgangetic India, and the Malay Archipelago. The northern limit of the genus is vaguely defined.

It has been sought to draw a parallel between the measurements of the crania of the anthropoid apes and the measurements of the skull in those races of mankind coincident with them in geographical distribution. Thus, it is said that the chimpanzee is dolichocephalic (long-headed), so is the negro; the orang is brachycephalic (short-headed), so is also the Malay. To the transmutationist the hypothesis seemed captivating and probable; but unfortunately it is not confirmed by the test of comparison. When the adult skulls of the chimpanzee and oran-ùtan are compared, the African form is certainly longer than its Asiatic rival; but in order to form a just comparison, the skulls of the young should be placed side by side. In the young gorilla, chimpanzee, and oran-ùtan, of the same age, the transverse diameter of the skull is proportionately equal, and if there is any difference in breadth, it is in favour of the gorilla, which is coincident in its geographical distribution with whole nations of dolichocephalic or long-headed negroes.

The distribution of the fossil forms of monkey, from which man may be supposed to claim a genetic relation, entirely baffles our attempts to associate the existing races of man with any of the species beneath him. In the Asiatic Archipelago, the land of the orang, no evidence whatever of any fossil monkey has yet been obtained; in Africa, the metropolis of chimpanzeedom, again the quadrumanous type of past ages is absent. At the antipodes, where the human race has reached its lowest level, whether by elevation or degradation, and where the besotted Australian savage grovels on, unconscious of most of those mental processes which have been thought to be dis[545]tinctive of humanity, and where man's physical structure approaches nearest to that of the inferior mammals, no monkeys exist, either in a recent or fossil state.

The remarkable abnormal variations which sometimes occur in the physical structure of man, often seem to approach the forms of the same organ in the lower animals. In the lowest races of man especially, we often find forms which have led speculative zoologists to infer community of descent for the African negro, the Australian, and the ape. Thus, in the upper jaw, the outer fangs of the second molar in the chimpanzee are double; they are so constantly in the Australian; the European has more commonly one external fang. The same proposition applies to the third molar, with the exception that the typical European implantation by one fang, is, on the testimony of the best observers, peculiar to that race, and has never been observed in the Australian. In one European cranium, an indication has been observed of a fifth or posterior tubercle in the second molar of the lower jaw; but this ape-like conformation has been frequently observed in the negroes of Senegal, where the last or wisdom tooth developes often five or even six tubercles. The degree of constancy of this phenomenon in the Ethiopian races is, however, yet unascertained. One of England's most philosophical anatomists, Dr. Humphry, says:–

'The inferior races of mankind exhibit proportions which are in many respects intermediate between the higher, or European, orders, and the monkeys. In the negro, for instance, the stature is less than the European. The cranium, as is well known, bears a small proportion to the face. Of the extremities the upper are proportionately longer, and there is in both upper and lower a less marked preponderance of the proximal over the distal segments. For instance, in the negro, the thigh and arm are rather shorter than in the European; the leg is actually of equal length in both races, and is therefore relatively a little longer in the negro; the fore arm in the latter is actually, as well as relatively, a little longer; the foot is 1/2 and the hand 1/12, longer than in the European. It is well known that the foot is less well formed in the negro than in the European. The arch of the instep, the perfect conformation of which is essential to steadiness and ease of gait, is less elevated in the former than in the latter. The foot is thereby rendered flatter, as well as longer, more nearly resembling the monkeys, between which and the European there is a marked difference in this particular.'1

Dr. Büchner has put this argument in the most striking form. After reciting the physiological differences with care, [546] he says that the disgusting odour, the uncleanliness, the making of grimaces while speaking, the clear shrill tone of the voice, and the apelike character of the whole being, are just so many characteristic signs, which, in all the corporeal forms and relations of the negro, unmistakably show the most decided approach to the monkey genus. While observers of this high mental rank deliberately express such opinions as these, comparative anatomists often find that those structures by which Man has been separated from lower forms, reappear in the inferior mammalia. Thus the 'mastoid' processes have been said to be peculiar to the human species, beautiful adaptations to the erect position of man, because those powerful muscles which aid in preserving the head upright, are attached to this structure. So far as this arrangement of muscles is coincident with the erect position of man, it is an admirable provision for that purpose. The gorilla has a slight developement of the true mastoid process; the chimpanzee and the oran-ùtan, in which the erect position is more seldom assumed, do not offer any vestiges of this structure. In the descending scale of tailed guenons (Circopithecus), this mastoid process in undeveloped. When, however, we examine the basal portion of the skull, in the large dog-headed baboons (Cynocephalus), we find that the mastoid process in size almost equals that of the gorilla. In all the skulls of Cynocephalus which we have as yet examined, a true 'mastoid' process is more or less visible. In the mandrills (Papio), in which the weight of the head would à priori seem to require an equal provision of osseous support for the muscular structure as in the Cynocephali, we have failed to detect any sign of the mastoid. We have no doubt that those detailed investigations which zoologists will hereafter institute into the bony structure of the order Quadrumana, will recall to us many similar and unaccountable abnormities of structure. Our present experience of the Quadrumanous order is however extremely limited. According to Wagner, there were 210 species known in 1852, and the number cannot now be compiled at less than 250. Not one-fifth of these have hitherto been subjected to accurate anatomical examination.

That man should be absolutely identical, both in his physical structure and the psychological results of structural organisation with the beasts of the field–that his direct ancestor should have been like the howling brute of the Gaboon, and his collateral relation another and more degraded Bornean form–is the great doctrine of which Professor Huxley, in England, is the chief apostle. And he appears to have adopted this opinion in con[547]junction with Mr. Darwin's theory of developement by natural selection, to which he was, if we mistake not, but a short time ago, not less vehemently opposed. But in truth there is less of novelty than is commonly supposed in these views. By far the most philosophical work which has been produced by the transmutative school is that which proceeded from the pen of J. J. Virey.2 His argument, however, in favour of the transmutability (under adequate conditions, according to the Lamarckian hypothesis) of the orang or chimpanzee into the negro, may be taken as the archetype ('common plan and pattern') from which Professor Huxley has derived his chief arguments. Virey alleges that we pass insensibly from the man to the ape by gradual shades. To those who point to the vast psychical gulf between the two species, the French doctor replied that there is no vast difference between the intelligence of a Bosjesman and that of an oran-ùtan, and that the difference is far greater between Descartes or Homer and the Hottentot than between the stupid Hottentot and the ape. The French naturalist then proceeded to allege that the degraded state of the African negro is to a certain extent induced by the distribution of the apes in the Old World, of which the fiercest and most obscene forms are peculiar to Africa; and he contrasts these African forms of ape with the Asiatic species, characterized by greater mildness and a higher degree of acquired docility. The idea of the coincidence and derivation of the races of man with and from various species of ape has been taken up with greater vigour by succeeding naturalists. Agassiz3 has remarked on the singularity of 'the fact that the black orang occurs upon that continent which is inhabited by the black human race, while the brown orang inhabits those parts of Asia over which the chocolate coloured Malays have been developed.' Unless, however, the European races are made to claim descent from the oran-ùtan (although the gorilla would, à priori, seem to be far more nearly allied to man), this theory leaves us entirely in the dark as to their origin. Neither does it account for the genesis of the Australian negroes, as there is not only no black ape, but no ape at all, within that continent which could furnish hypothetical zoologists with a convenient progenitor.

The present state of accurate scientific thought in England, with reference to the theory of Mr. Darwin, falls exceedingly short of entire and unmixed assent. In nearly every case in which the assumptions of Darwinism with respect to the operation [548] of the "selective' law have been fairly tested, the result has been their rejection. Under these circumstances Professor Huxley's unqualified 'selection' of Mr. Darwin's hypothesis as the only one which has any scientific existence, is not warranted by the true state of the case. Although Mr. Darwin's theory is supported by the most ingenious argument, worthy of its distinguished and deservedly-respected author, which has yet been offered in favour of transmutation, we still hold it to be entirely inconclusive. Nor do we think that the general theory of developement has gained anything from Professor Huxley's attempt to apply it to the relations of man to those creatures which are supposed to stand next to him in the order of the creation.

What, then, is the real organic difference between Man and the apes? Professor Huxley endeavours to show 'that no absolute structural line of demarcation wider than that between the animals which immediately succeed us in the scale can be drawn between the animal world and ourselves; and I may add the expression of my belief that the attempt to draw a psychical distinction is equally futile, and that even the highest faculties of feeling and of intellect begin to germinate in the lower forms of life.' The great toe, the third lobe, the posterior cornu, the hippocampus minor, vanish as differential tests. The only text which he can discover is that 'man alone possesses the marvellous endowment of intelligible and rational speech, whereby in the secular period of his existence, he has slowly accumulated and organised the experience which is almost wholly lost with the cessation of every individual life in other animals.' And he elsewhere alleges that 'the possession of articulate speech is the grand distinctive character of man (whether it is absolutely peculiar to him or not).' But even this characteristic may be unsatisfactory as a test of zoological classification. No one who examines carefully the linguistic phenomena afforded by some of the inferior animals will deny that the domestic dog or cat possesses the power to a certain extent of expressing its emotions by semi-articulate or modulated sounds. The nicety with which some of the most delicate shades of entreaty, anger, desire, hunger, love of approbation, fear, or pleasure, are expressed by birds and beasts is familiar to every one; the crucial test which Professor Huxley has selected is inaccurate. What he means, apparently, is not merely articulate speech, but language. To utter articulate sounds is not necessarily an act of reason, for a parrot does it; but to marshal these sounds by syntax, and to inform them with inflections of meaning, is the attribute of Man.

[549] Professor Huxley, seeking to overthrow the zoological ordinal distinction between two-handed and two-footed man and four-handed monkeys, alleges that, in the characters afforded by an examination of the extremities, man in all cases is much nearer to the gorilla than the gorilla to the lowest quadrumane, the lemur. To this entirely illogical fallacy we would devote a few words. We know that there is a certain community of organisation between the various members of the class Mammalia. We see the brain rising by slow and gradual steps of ascending developement through changes, the progress of which cam be traced in the successive stages afforded by the rat, the sheep, the lion, the monkey, and the man. When we analyse particularly the exact significance of these successive changes, we see that in the order Quadrumana there is a certain range of progressive increment in the ratio of developement of the various brains. We may roughly say that the brains of the Quadrumana increase in developement and complication through the series indicated in the arithmetical terms, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and that the human brain may be represented by the term 15. Of course a controversialist may assert that the number 10 (gorilla) is nearer the term 15 (man) than is the number 1 (lemur), the respective differences being 5 and 9. But the fact remains that between the gorilla and the lemur there in a series of well-defined but short steps; between the gorilla and man no intervening link has as yet been discovered. This, we apprehend, is the true aspect of the question; and, until zoology or geology shall have demonstrated to us the existence of intervening links, we are justified in placing man, as he is at present, in a separate sub-class. The. question is, whether the anatomical differences between man and the highest ape (gorilla) are greater or less than between the second and third links (gorilla and chimpanzee) in the descending scale, or between any two successive links in the quadrumanous series. Professor Huxley plunges from the gorilla down to the lemur, and puts forward the difference between the brains and feet of these extremes of the series as a proposition equivalent in value to the difference between the brains and feet of the gorilla and negro.

With the view, moreover, of disparaging that manifest distinction by which the foot of man is enabled to implant itself firmly on the earth, while his hands are capable of the most delicate manipulation, Professor Huxley rakes up those semifabulous anecdotes which are found in the works of obscure travellers, in which a certain amount of opposability of the great toe, or homologue of the thumb, is alleged to be possessed [550] by a few individuals in a few races of man. We venture, however, to deny the alleged fact, and we dispute the inference which Professor Huxley attempt to draw from it.

Professor Huxley says that

'The civilised great toe, confined and cramped from childhood upwards, is seen to a great disadvantage, and that in uncivilised and barefooted people it retains a great amount of mobility, and even some sort of opposability. The Chinese boatmen are said to be able to pull an oar; the artisans of Bengal to weave; and the Carajas to steal fishhooks by its help; though, after all, it must be recollected that the structure of its joints, and the arrangements of its bones, necessarily render its prehensile action far less perfect than that of the thumb.'

This passage gives a totally erroneous notion of the amount of opposability which is possessed in the thumb of a few of the lower races of mankind. Whatever truth there may be in such narratives as these, or in those which allege that the Abyssinian horsemen support the stirrup between the great toe and the second toe; or that some of the Indians of Central America conceal small pieces of gold under their toes, and then slily uplifting their feet, hide the product in their clothing, there is one important objection to be made, which was originally suggested by M. Pruner-Bey. He has told us that a shortening of the great toe, often combined with its slight divarication from the other toes, has been noted in the negro, in some Malay races and amongst the Hottentots, as a constant feature assimilating these nations to the ape. The French anatomist, however, places the question before us in this manner:–'Is there any muscle, or even any aponeurotic tendon, which co-ordinates this alleged function?' The answer is explicit. The human hand differs from the human foot inasmuch as there is a special muscle (opponens pollicis) the function of which is to oppose the thumb to the other fingers. This muscle originates from the tapezium, or innermost carpal bone of the thumb. If we turn to the human foot, and examine the answerable bones, we see neither on the under surface of the bone which we term entocuneiforme, nor on the metatarsal bone of the great toe, any such surface for the attachment of muscle. This is the true difference between the human foot and the human hand–a difference which Professor Huxley entirely passes over. The value of the difference every reader will see; the hand has a structure by which its internal digit or thumb can be opposed to the other digits; the foot has no such power of opposability in its great toe. Granted that the hinder extremity of the gorilla is formed by bones homologous with those of the human [55] foot–granted that the tarsal bones 'in all important circumstances of number, disposition, and form resemble those of man'–nevertheless, the fact of the hind thumb, or hallex, being functionally opposable in the gorilla is to us decisive of the question. But neither in the foot of the Chinese boatmen, nor in that of the pilfering Caraja, can the anatomist perceive anything which approaches to a developement of any opponent muscle, by which the great toe can be converted functionally into the semblance of a thumb. In addition to this structure, the grasping power of the foot of the gorilla and orang is strengthened in a very peculiar manner. Every anatomist knows that the muscle termed flexor longus pollicis pedis originates from the lower portion of the outer bone of the leg or fibula, and that its solitary tendon passes along the sole of the foot, and is eventually inserted into the base of the last joint of the great toe. The whole force of the muscle is here concentrated; and the dancer who pirouettes on tiptoe exhibits a striking example of the power and force of this muscle in man. When we turn, however, to the foot of the orang, a totally different structure presents itself. The homologous muscle there is terminated in three tendons, each of which is inserted in one of the three middle toes, forming a grasping organ, wherewith the orang ascends the highest trees in Borneo. Professor Owen remarks on this structure–

'It is surely asking too much to require us to believe that in the course of time, under any circumstances, these three tendons should become consolidated into one, and that one become implanted into a toe to which none of the three separate tendons were before attached. The myology of the orangs, to which I may hereafter endeavour to direct more attention than it has yet received, affords many arguments, equally unanswerable, against the possibility of their transmutation into a higher race of beings.'

When we turn to the gorilla, the homologous muscle divides into three slips–the first and smallest is attached to the third joint of the great toe, the second slip is attached to the third joint of the third toe, and the third slip is attached to the third joint of the fourth toe. It will be obviously seen that the second and third slips in the gorilla have no direct representative in man. They are essentially climbing, and not standing, muscles. Should we think that the representatives of the second and third slips have become atrophied in man, and the power transferred to the great toe, we may ask, on the operation of that law which Professor Huxley terms 'atavism,' by which is meant a reversion of the character of the animal back to the primeval character of its long extinct progenitors, why [552] there is not on the part of the scansorial members of the human family a reversion towards the toe character of their baboon ancestors? Why do not the climbing sailors, whose immediate ancestors have gone aloft by the shrouds for generation after generation in our seaports, revert by 'atavism',' and exhibit in their prehensive feet the trifurcated muscle, longus pollicis pedis, of the gorilla? We can well imagine, on the Darwinian hypothesis, how such a favoured race would, if once fairly started, supplant their flat-footed rivals, and ultimately, by the selective process, reign the sole tenants of the rigging. But neither in the sailor, the acrobat, the bark-stripper of Aquitaine, nor the negro who climbs the palm tree of Senegal, do we find any trace of the retention of a structure which, if present, would materially aid him in his daily efforts to obtain food. When, however, we examine these theories seriously, when we test them by the common facts which are placed before the practical anatomist every day of his life, we are forced to reject entirely any idea of the application of the law of Natural Selection to the alteration of such structures as the human foot.

It must now form part of our task to comment on the leading modifications of the cerebrum in the Quadrumana, in the six families into which they are divided by Professor Huxley under the order Primates. The lowest is the Cheiromyini, of which the solitary example is the Aye Aye. In this species, two-thirds of the cerebellum are left exposed by the cerebrum. There is no trace of any posterior horn, or of any contained hippocampus minor. The 'middle horn' answers to the definition of 'cornu descendens;' instead of projecting backwards, it sinks down directly into the sphenoidal 'lobe,' or natiform' protuberance of the cerebrum. The 'calcaring sulcus' is absent. In the next family, the Galeopithecini, or flying lemur, our information respecting the brain is of the most fragmentary character, and we have no trustworthy data to guide us. Next we come to the true lemurs. In the Galago (Otolicnus), Mr. Flower has demonstrated that a cavity or fissure exists, extending backwards almost in the extremity of the cerebral hemisphere. The floor and inner wall of this are raised into a prominence, corresponding to a calcarine sulcus beneath. This prominence Mr. Flower considers to be the 'hippocampus minor.' This opinion is accompanied by a remarkable admission. He attaches a note to his elaborate description, expressing a doubt 'whether the above-named cavity in the posterior lobe existed before dissection, the length of time which it had been in spirit having greatly facilitated this process.' If this should prove to be the case, Mr. Flower considers 'that it will justify [553] the statement of the absence of hippocampus minor by anatomists who have looked at this structure only in its relation to the posterior cornu.' A large portion of the cerebellum is left uncovered in the galago. When we examine the next genus, Stenops, there we see that Vrolik found no trace whatever of the hippocampus minor, nor have we any evidence of the presence of a posterior horn. The cerebral lobes here leave the cerebellum uncovered. In the little tarrier, in which also the cerebellum is partially uncovered, a very long fissure extends into the so-called 'posterior lobe.' This fissure is, however, significantly different from the admittedly homologous structure in man; the walls are, as in Otolicnus, adherent together, there not being the slightest vacuity offered in which ventricular fluid could be contained. Vicq d'Azir4 declares that the posterior horn is entirely absent in the Lemur macauco.

The next modification of the brain in Quadrumana is that of the Arctopithecini (marmosets, tamarind). The tips of the posterior cerebral lobe here project far beyond the cerebellum, as in all the lowest forms of American Quadrumana. The cornu posterius is, however, but a slender fissure, and the presence of the hippocampus minor, homologous with the organ in man, is hitherto undemonstrated. The drawing of the brain of Hapale in Mr. Flower's5 memoir advantageously contrasts with the 'diagrammatic representations' which other and less accurate anatomists6 have made. When, however, we examine the brain of the little marmoset, and mark the difference: between the slender pointed posterior cerebral lobe in the Hapale and in Man, the true differences become strikingly manifest. The same range of variation is also present in the Cebi and Ateles of South America. The howler monkey (Mycetes) presents one of the most characteristic cerebral forms; and in face of our present state of ignorance respecting South American monkeys, we are not entitled to say how far it may not be typical of a number of species. The occipital foramen is, as admitted by Professor Huxley, situated completely in the posterior face of the skull. This has the effect of leaving a large proportion of the cerebellum exposed, when we take the base line of the skull as defined by Professor Huxley as the horizontal line.

[554] Turning to the monkeys of the Old World, our knowledge of the brain of Cynocephalus is founded on the researches of Leuret. In that genus, as in the marmosets, the slender acuminated cerebral lobes project beyond the cerebellum. Their large developement, proportionately to that of the allied forms, was, we believe, first brought prominently before an English audience by Professor Owen, in the catalogue of the Hunterian Museum (p. 34.). In France, this fact was afterwards demonstrated by Gratiolet. The bulk of the posterior lobe, however, is far inferior to that in the human species.

In the valuable memoir which M. Camille Dareste contributed 'Sur les Circonvolutions du Cerveau chez les Mammiferes,' which was presented to the Academy of Sciences of Paris on the 26th March 1855, is figured a most accurate representation of the brain of the magot (Inuus sylvanus.) In this figure the cerebral hemispheres do not extend further beyond the cerebellum than in the little tamarin. Unlike, however, that species, they leave a large portion of the cerebellum uncovered between them. The well-known accuracy of the observations of M. Camille Dareste entirely precludes the supposition that in his case he figured this brain from a specimen in bad condition, or one which had been subjected to affaissement, or posthumous alteration. The length of the posterior lobes in the Macaci is vaguely defined. They are, however, coextensive with the cerebellum. According to Mr. Flower; 'in adult examples, the walls of the posterior cornu adhere very closely.' In the higher genus Cercopithecus, the cerebral hemispheres are coextensive with, and even in some species project over, the cerebellum. With respect to the brains of the intervening forms, Presbytis, Hylobates, &c., our information is not complete; at the same time, our thanks are due to Mr. W. H. Flower for the ability and lucidity with which he has put before us the facts at his disposal. The miaskassar (Pithecus morio) has never yet been adequately and scientifically described, as regards its cerebral structure. We shall intentionally pass over all inaccurate or unduly partial descriptive details which may have been from time to time put forth, and, with a sense of relief, turn to the descriptions of the brain of the larger orang, which have recently elaborated by Messrs. Schröder van der Kolk and Vrolilf, and by Mr. W. H. Flower. The first writers state that in this orang, 'the posterior or occipital lobe does not project so far as that of Man; it does not cover the cerebellum so perfectly, at least it does not hide it completely, especially laterally.' In the brain which Mr. Flower dissected, 'the posterior lobes were seen to project exactly as far back[555]ward as completely to cover the cerebellum, but not to extend beyond it.' With respect to the internal structure of the brain, we shall consider this further, when alluding to the generalisations which Professor Huxley has offered on the subject.

Our knowledge of the brain of the chimpanzee (Troglodytes niger) still leaves much to be desired. The accounts and representations which have been made of it all rest upon the examination of adolescent or very young specimens, in which the ventricles are proportionately larger than in the adult. This criticism applies both to the inaccurate figures given by Tyson and Macartney, and to the elaborate and careful descriptions with which we have been favoured by Tiedemann, Schröder van der Kolk, Vrolik, Gratiolet, and Professor John Marshall.7 The last-named observer, especially, has contributed the most valuable monograph on the brain of the chimpanzee yet before us. We observe, however, that his measurements show most distinctly that the posterior lobes in man project far more than in the chimpanzee, the proportion being as 1 (man) to •83 (chimpanzee.) The absolute amount of overlap is greater in man, being 6/10 inch, and in the chimpanzee 5/10 inch; relatively, however, the proportional overlap, taking Professor Marshall's base line as correct, is greatest in the chimpanzee, being about 1/9 of the total cerebral length, while in man the proportion is 1/11 inch. As in the case of the oran-ùtan, we shall postpone our criticism of the internal structure.

The cast of the brain cavity of the gorilla lies before us as we write. On comparing its proportions with those of man, the prevailing differences which strike the observer are–the flattened and narrow frontal lobe, the rounded and smooth sphenoidal lobe, or 'natiform' protuberance; and above all the absence of cerebral projection over the cerebellum. Taking the basi-cranial line as proposed by Huxley, or one parallel with it, the cerebellum is seen to project beneath the cerebrum for at least one-eighth of an inch; taking a line drawn from the glabella to the posterior margin of the foramen magnum as the base line (the natural position of the brain during the life of the animal), a much larger proportion of the cerebellum is visible. On either method of measurement, it cannot be said that the cerebrum in the gorilla projects beyond the cerebellum. With respect to the other controverted points, it must be borne in mind that we have not yet any information respecting the internal structure of the brain of the most manlike ape. The [556] specimens which Gratiolet and Owen have both dissected were severally in the most decayed and perishable condition. We can but hope that the perseverance of some energetic traveller, endowed with the same physical stamina, zeal for scientific discovery and truth, which has distinguished Captain R. F. Burton in his valuable researches, may enable us ere long to rectify our knowledge of the brain of the gorilla. We would further remark, that to such a traveller alone, will the discovery be due of that 'missing link,' if any such exist, which, according to the aspirations of the transmutationists, may disclose still more clearly the affinity between the negro and the ape of Equatorial Africa.

The fact being reluctantly admitted that the cerebral lobes in the gorilla are coextensive with the cerebellum, and no more, it has been endeavoured to show that this anthropoid ape is not really the species nearest akin to Man. Upon the allegations broadly made, that in the chimpanzee the convolutions correspond more closely to the human type, has been based another assumption, that that species, and not the gorilla, is the one most nearly allied to Man. The place of the gorilla in nature has thus been degraded by unsystematic naturalists to the level of the baboons; as the zoologists of forty years ago, somewhat for the same reason, classed their imaginary pongo with the Cynocephali. But those who are acquainted with the osteological structure of the gigantic ape of West Africa will have no doubt whatever of its higher affinities. The presence of mastoid and styloid processes, the developement of the heelbone, and the form of the pelvis, raise the gorilla far above the chimpanzee. Even if we place it elsewhere, we cannot recognise either its affinity or analogy with the baboons. The lower forms, with the vertebræ of their loins so firmly interlocked together, with the cerebral mass of the brain compressed within such a small chamber, and associated with such a powerful dentary apparatus, assuredly bear no relation whatever to the ape of the Gaboon.

From a review of the above facts, as well as those at which we have arrived after a prolonged examination of the cerebral characters of the Quadrumana, we consider ourselves entitled to draw the following conclusions:–

1. That in some Quadrumana (Gorilla, Mycetes) the cerebellum is uncovered to a certain proportion of its extent; that in others (Troglodytes, Pithecus, Macacus, Inuus, Midas), the cerebral lobes are coextensive with the cerebellum; that in Cercopithecus, Cynocephalus, Cebus, Chrysothrix, they project slightly beyond it. That in no ape is the portion which projects [557] beyond the cerebellum in any degree equal in bulk or substance to the far larger structure which is termed the posterior lobe of man.

2. That the lowest lemurs exhibit no posterior cornu; that in Tarsius a slender ventricular fissure exists, as well as in the marmosets; in the Sapajous, our information as yet is scanty and often inaccurate; but in the Old World Quadrumana, from Macacus to Cercopithecus there is no indication of any cavity in the posterior lobe answering to the posterior cornu in man, or greater in extent than the 'scrobiculus parvus' of Tiedemann, or the 'actual or potential cavity' described by Flower8; that in the higher apes, Troglodytes, Pithecus, the posterior cavity of the tricornate ventricle becomes of larger dimensions than in Cercopithecus, although far inferior in size and diverse in shape, from the much deeper, and more incurved cornuate bay which forms the digital cavity of man.

3. That the structure termed hippocampus minor, taking it in the sense in which the term is used by human anatomists, is, strictly speaking, absent in all Quadrumana, in none of which is there that characteristic inversion of the grey cortical brain matter, coincident in its direction with the floor of the posterior cornu, which forms the hippocampus minor of anthropotomy.

The state of the literature of the classification of Mammalia in 1857 led Professor Owen to propound a new system of arrangement, primarily based on the ascensive steps of cerebral modification observed. Thus, mammals were divided into the four subclasses, Lyencephala, Lissencephala, Gyrencephala, and Archencephala–the platypus and the opossum being examples of the first subclass; the rat, mole, bat, and armadillo, of the second; the whale, dugong, toxodon, elephant, rhinoceros, ox, lion, and ape, representing the third; and man alone being comprised in the fourth division. The cerebral character of the Gyrencephala were thus defined by Professor Owen, in his memoir:–'The third leading modification of the Mammalian cerebrum is such an increase in its relative size that it extends over more or less of the cerebellum, and generally more or less of the olfactory lobes. Save in very few exceptional cases of the smaller and inferior forms of Quadrumana, the superficies is folded into more or less numerous gyri or convolutions, whence the name Gyrencephala, which I propose for the third subclass of Mammalia.' In this memoir, the brains of the small Tamarin monkey, Midas rufimanus, and of the [558] chimpanzee, were figured: the first, from Professor Owen's original dissection, was intended to illustrate the average degree of extension of the cerebrum over the cerebellum in Quadrumana; the second, from Schröder van der Kolk's important paper on the anatomy of the chimpanzee, was destined to exhibit the general arrangements of the cerebral gyri and convolutions in the Quadrumana. The proportions of the cerebral projection in this brain were defectively illustrated; the cerebrum having slid forward after death, and left a large proportion of the cerebellum exposed. As, however, the average quadrumanous projections of the cerebral lobe were illustrated in the figure of the tamarin's brain, this defect was one for which Messrs. Schröder van der Kolk and Vrolik were solely responsible; and as they still adhere to the statement, 'Nous reconnaissons avec M. Owen, que ces dessins sont exacts,' the criticism of Professor Huxley, that Owen has 'misused their authority,' appear to be based upon a misconception of his opponent's argument.

The fourth and last modification of the brain in Mammalia is that of the Archencephala. As Professor Huxley9 has published what, to use the mildest term, must be deemed an inaccurate version of the original definition by his antagonist, we make no excuse for transcribing it at length from the 'Journal of the Linnean Society' (vol. ii, p. 19.):–

'In man the brain presents an ascensive step in developement, higher and more strongly marked than that by which the preceding sub-class was distinguished from the one below it. Not only do the cerebral hemispheres overlap the olfactory lobes and cerebellum, but they extend in advance of the one and further back than the other. Their posterior developement is so marked that anatomists have assigned to that part the character of a third lobe; it is peculiar to the genus Homo, and equally peculiar is the "posterior horn of the lateral ventricle" and the hippocampus minor which characterise the hind lobe of each hemisphere. The superficial gray matter of the cerebrum, through the number and depth of the convolutions, attains its maximum of extent in Man. Peculiar mental powers are associated with this highest form of brain and their consequences wonderfully illustrate the value of the cerebral character; according to my estimate of which, I am led to regard the genus Homo, as not merely a representative of a distinct order but of a distinct sub-class of the Mammalia for which I propose the name of Archencephala.

Professor Huxley states–

'At a meeting of the British Association at Oxford, in 1860, Professor Owen repeated these assertions in my presence, and of [559] course, I immediately gave them a direct and unqualified contradiction, pledging myself to justify that statement elsewhere.'

The following, counter-propositions were afterwards made by him10:–

'That the third lobe is neither peculiar to, nor characteristic of Man, seeing that it exists in all the higher Quadrumana. That the posterior cornu of the lateral ventricle is neither peculiar to, nor characteristic of Man, inasmuch as it also exists in the higher Quadrumana. That the hippocampus minor is neither peculiar to, nor characteristic of Man, as it is found in certain of the higher Quadrumana.'

We shall proceed to criticise the actual and logical value of these counter-statements of Professors Owen and Huxley in detail; observing that the proposition laid down by Professor Owen by no means implied the negation of the existence of rudiments of the structures in question in other animals than man.

It has been sought to prove, and it has been more than once repeated, that Professor Owen has advocated the proposition that the whole of the cerebellum is uncovered in the Quadrumana, and that he has stated that the ventricular cavity in these apes is biradiate and two-horned, as in the dog. Such an assertion has on no occasion, to our knowledge, been made by the learned Professor. The degree of projection of the cerebral hemispheres over the cerebellum in the lowest monkeys of South America was originally defined by him in a memoir contributed to the Royal Society in 1837; and the whole scope of his public teaching, so far as we are acquainted with it, has involved the recognition in the highest Gyrencephala of organs admittedly homologous with those of man, but differing from the structure of the highest mammal by their minor degree of deveIopement and their less amount of complexity. At the same time it would have been more consistent with his own dignity and with the interests of science to have admitted any real inaccuracy, or to have explained any apparent inaccuracy, which may have escaped him; but we are by no means satisfied that any real inaccuracy exists, if the terms of the question are clearly stated.

The older anatomists, whose support Professor Huxley claims, who employed such terms as 'scrobiculus,' 'pes hippocampi,' 'minor,' 'indice du petit pied d'hippocampe,' 'aanduiding van den kleinen voyelklaauw,' rightly appreciated the true signification of these structures. The most scrupulous care was exercised by them, in order to exclude the idea which it has been the [560] fashion recently so much to advocate, that the ape's brain possesses the disputed structure to a greater extent than in man. A most elaborate argument has been offered, with a view to explain away the fact, that Tiedemann, in 1821, termed the indication of the posterior cornu in the pigtailed monkey (Macacus nemestrinus), a small furrow in lieu of the hinder horn (scrobiculus parrus loco cornu posterioris). Further evidence of Tiedemann's experience in the brains of pigtailed monkeys is not vouchsafed, but it is sedulously put before us, that Tiedemann, in 1826, during the long course of his cerebral investigations, described the brain of an orangutan, in which, as the cavity in question is admittedly greater in Pithecus than in Macacus, he used the terns cornu posterius. And in the sense in which he employed the word, merely as expressing the recognition of the homology of the structure in the orang and in man, he was correct. But the term, in the sense in which the ape's structure is alleged to be in point of fact a structure equal in size to the developement which it attains in man, is, we submit, in this case, misused to an extent wholly at variance with the facts. We apply the term 'hand' to the prehensive portion of the anterior extremity in man; and our conception of 'hand' is based upon the predominance of certain characters, e. g. the opposable thumb, peculiar to man and the Quadrumana. But we apply to the structure in the lion, although confessedly composed of homologous bones as the human hand, the term 'paw;' in the ungulate herbivore, the term 'hoof:' in the pinnigrade carnivore, or seal, the term 'flipper;' and in the cetacean, the term 'paddle' are used to express organs which are homologous to the human hand. We give them distinctive names to express our idea of certain manifest structural differences; and while we recognize that the term 'manus,' or hand, is applicable to each of these structures on the ground of mere homology, the distinctive names indicative of the function of each respective modification is preferred. In like manner, the definition of the posterior cornu in the brain of man expressly declares that its direction is 'backwards, outwards, and then inwards.' On the 101st page of Professor Huxley's work, he figures the brain of man and the chimpanzee in juxtaposition, the first being taken from a specimen dissected by Mr. W. H. Flower; the second from the photograph which Professor J. Marshall gives in the 'Natural History Review.' Bearing in mind one very important fact, not stated by Professor Huxley, that the human brain here figured is that of an adult, while the chimpanzee was a young male just cutting its upper teeth (in which, of course, the ventricles were [561] proportionately larger), we accept the two drawings as faithful copies of the subjects after dissection. We do not fail to observe the vast differences between the lengths of the anterior cornua in man and the ape; in the former being as •21, in the latter as •103 to 1. We see also that the posterior cornu is fractionally larger in the man. But the broad and striking difference lies not in the size, but in the proportions of the posterior horn. In man we see it worthy the name of a digital cavity (cavité ancyroide), curving round, and becoming inflected behind the internal perpendicular fissure. In the ape we cannot perceive any such inflection towards the mesial line. We see that the space between the posterior end of the posterior cornu in man, and the edge of the cerebral lobes, is not more than half the length of the whole posterior horn; in the chimpanzee, this space at least equals the whole length of the hinder horn. With such differences as these patent before us, how can we term this animal structure a 'horn' when it is not cornuate, a 'digital cavity' when it is not like a finger, an 'ancyroid' bay when it is not anchor-shaped? If Professor Huxley would employ himself in inventing new terms for the structures in the inferior animals, he might confer an advantage upon science; if he will apply the terms used by the elder zoologists, such as Tiedemann, we should consider such nomenclature most convenient; but the laws of scientific terminology, no less than of common sense, preclude the application of the terms used by our elder human anatomists to structures which bear no possible resemblance to them whatever, and are incompatible with the accepted definitions.

The degree of doubt with which the anatomists assembled in public session at Amsterdam received the statements of MM. Schröder van der Kolk and Vrolik, is highly characteristic of the love for actual facts which is innate in the Dutch mind. The brain on which these anatomists demonstrated the so-called presence of the posterior lobe, posterior cornu, and hippocampus minor in the orang, exhibited the cerebellum distinctly projecting on either side the flattened cerebral lobes. The fact was universally recognized by all the anatomists present at the meeting, and forms an amusing commentary on the statement of Professor Huxley:–'Every marmoset, American monkey, Old-world monkey, baboon, or manlike ape, on the contrary, has its cerebellum entirely hidden posteriorly by the cerebral lobes and possesses a large posterior cornu, with a well-developed hippocampus minor' (p. 97.). The well-developed hippocampus minor of Professor Huxley, so hardily predicated in every ape, is described by Schröder van der Kolk and Vrolik as 'l'indice du [562] petit pied d'hippocampe,' a term which far more accurately expresses its real signification.

When Professor Owen, at Cambridge, exhibited the cast of the brain-cavity of the Gorilla skull, and compared it with the cast of the human brain, from Professor Clark's museum, Professor Huxley objected to the comparison and considered it unfair. He has not, however, the same scruples when he places in juxtaposition the drawings of the internal casts of the chimpanzee and human skull, the cerebral chambers of which are exhibited in the most distorted manner for reciprocal comparison. Professor Huxley is forced to admit that "the sharper definition of the lower edge of the cast of the cerebral chamber in the chimpanzee arises from the circumstance that the tentorium remained in that skull and not in the man's. The cast more accurately represents the brain in the chimpanzee than in the man.' Comparisons of this nature between two incongruous objects are detrimental to the progress of true science.

Professor Huxley excuses himself from demonstrating the presence of the posterior cornu and hippocampus minor in the apes by a dogmatical assertion not entirely consistent with what he has said of the Mycetes in the preceding pane:–

'I do not feel bound to enter upon any discussion of these points, but content myself with assuring the reader that the posterior cornu and the hippocampus minor have now been seen–usually at least as well developed as in man, and often better–not only in the chimpanzee, the orang, and the gibbon, but in all the genera of the Old-world baboons and monkeys, and in most of the New-world forms, including the marmosets.'

At the same time, he proposes the following tests of distinction:–'Let it be admitted, however, that the brain of man is absolutely distinguished from that of the highest known apes. 1st. By its large size, as compared with the cerebral nerves. 2nd. By the existence of the lobule of the marginal convolution. 3rd. By the absence of the external perpendicular fissure.'

We shall not here discuss these points. The first head is merely a recapitulation of the arguments of the elder anatomists, and is one which no one has ever controverted. The second and the third are not yet sufficiently proved to the satisfaction of competent anatomists.

The passage in which Professor Huxley closes his 'succinct history' we cannot pass without comment. He says:–

'Not only are the statements made by me in consonance with the doctrines of the best older authorities, and with those of all recent investigators, but I am quite ready to demonstrate them on the first monkey that comes to hand; whilst Professor Owen's assertions are [563] not only in diametrical opposition to both old and new authorities, but he has not produced–and, I will add, cannot produce–a single preparation which justifies them.'

'I now leave this subject, for the present. For the credit of my calling, I should be glad to be, hereafter, for ever silent upon it. But, unfortunately, this is a matter upon which, after all that has occurred, no mistake or confusion of terms is possible; and in affirming that the posterior lobe, the posterior cornu, and the hippocampus minor, exist in certain apes, I am stating either that which is true or that which I must know to be false. The question has thus become to be one of personal veracity. For myself, I will accept no other issue than this, grave as it is, to the present controversy.'

This is not the language of good temper or good taste; and if Mr. Huxley is right in his opinion, he has done himself harm by the injudicious and offensive manner in which he has advocated it. But when he deliberately assures the British public that he is supported by the best older authorities, and we glance back over his pages, and see that the names of such men as Tiedemann11, Cruveilhiert12, John Hunter, and Burmeister, adverse authorities to his conclusions, are excluded from his category of past anatomists, we are reluctantly led to the conclusion that there is more of the passion of contention than of the candour of science in his statements.

The opinion of one of England's best anatomists, the venerable and recently departed Robert Knox, was vehemently opposed to that of the modern Darwinite transmutation school. He took every opportunity of denouncing the hippocampus minor controversy as a 'silly dispute;' and his idea of the true question was that the great distinction between the human brain and that of vertebrate animals is, that 'in man the posterior lobe of the cerebrum overlaps the cerebellum, whilst in other [564] animals (with scarcely an exception) it does not. But the brain in all mammals is formed on precisely the same plan; no parts have been left out.' We entirely agree with Dr. Knox in his opinion of the extreme absurdity of this quarrel; and if men of science are to impugn the veracity of others or to stake their own credit on such questions, it is at least desirable that the subject in dispute should have some real meaning. So little is known of the true functions of the different parts and organs of the brain, that we believe no one has even attempted to assign any especial purpose in the animal œconomy, or in the operations of the brain, to the hippocampus. Nothing is known about it; and if the distinction between men and apes rested on this difference, it would be very small indeed. We believe it to be a matter of perfect indifference to the real progress of science, and to the determination of all that is important in this controversy, whether Professor Owen or Professor Huxley is the right on this fact; for, granting it be demonstrated either way, it leaves all the essential characteristics of men and monkeys where they were before.

Let us, before we conclude, take one more example of the structural differences.

The teeth in man offer many remarkable points of dissimilarity with those of the higher apes. The broad and striking differences, which were originally pointed out by Professor Owen, may be described as follows:–The equable developement of the teeth in the human species; the absence of all sexual distinction in particular teeth; the moderate size of the incisors, canines, and premolars; the configuration of the grinding surfaces of the latter, together with their implantation by one fang in the lower jaw, and by two fangs, which are in most cases connate, in the upper; the large size of the true molars in comparison with the incisors, canines, and premolars, and the character of their grinding surfaces; the absence of break or diastema in the series; the curve formed by the molar series, including the premolars, and the parabolic arch which the entire dental series describes. It may be incidentally remarked that the fourth distinctive character is one in which the lower black races of man differ from their alleged ancestors the apes, to a greater extent than the more elevated white European races. The large size of the molar teeth in the Negro, and especially in the Australian races, is an established fact, however over-zealous advocates for the unity of the human race on dental grounds alone may attempt to explain it away by reference to occasional and exceptional cases. This very difference has the effect of placing the Australian farther from the ape than his [565] white brother. The fifth difference we do not consider of much classificatory value, as individuals are frequently discovered of both species of oran-ùtan, in which no break exists in the series of teeth in the lower jaw. The sixth difference prevails in the majority of human skulls; however, a specimen in the collection of the Royal College of Surgeons of an exceedingly degraded Australian skull exhibits a remarkable departure from the parabolic curve of man's organ of speech. It must be borne in mind that in the very young apes before the great developement of the canine teeth has, so to say, squared the jaws, the curve formed by the milk-teeth is, on the whole, very equal.

Dr. F. C. Webb, the most accurate English observer on the range of dental variation in the various races of mankind, and who has adopted the arguments originally adduced by Professor Owen, thus eloquently, and we think fairly, developes the teleological argument against the operation of a derivative law of transmutation as observed in the tooth-characters of the higher apes:–

'In the Anthropoid apes, in common with inferior members of the group, the purposes for which the teeth are designed differ from those which they fulfil in Man. In him, their primary use is the division and mastication of his varying aliment; and secondly, they subserve the faculty of speech. The unbroken series and equal length of the teeth, the thin crowns of the moderately-developed incisors, the smooth equality of their posterior surfaces, their vertical or nearly vertical implantation, are all provisions in which may be recognised a design in unison with the capacious and complicate brain, the exquisitely organised larynx and the flexible and highly-endowed tongue. In human organization, all is rendered subservient to the expression and embodiment of thought. In the Great Ape, the dental apparatus is constituted on a different plan, and answers a widely differing purpose. Endowed with no power to conceive or perfect instruments by which he may repel attack or assert superiority over the denizens of his native forest, Nature has furnished his jaws with organs of other mould than those which add enchantment to human smiles, and give distinctness to the accents of human eloquence. His teeth are destined not only for overcoming the resistance of the tough rind or harder shell which encloses the sapid fruit, but as deadly weapons they may claim equality with the fangs of the highest Carnivores.' . . .

'The order of succession of the permanent teeth presents this striking difference" In Man the canines and bicuspids come into place before the second molar, and the anterior part of the dental arch is completed long before the acquisition of the full grinding apparatus. In the great Quadrumanes the second molar is cut before the lateral incisors and premolars; and the large canine comes into place the last of the dental series after the third molar.'

[566] Thus far we have dealt with Mr. Huxley's statements and arguments as mere questions of physical science, capable of being brought to the test of anatomical demonstration; but before we quit the subject we feel bound to advert to some considerations of a different order. Mr. Huxley's conclusion (to quote his own words), that

'If man as separated by no greater structural barrier from the brutes than they are from one another, then it seems to follow that if any process of physical causation can be discovered by which genera and families of ordinary animals have been produced, that process of causation is amply sufficient to account for the origin of man In other words, if it could be shown that the Marmosets, for example, have arisen by gradual modification of the ordinary Platyrhini, or that both Marmosets and Platyrhini are modified ramifications of a primitive stock, then, there would be no rational ground for doubting that man might have originated, in the one case, by the gradual modification of a man-like ape; or, in the other case, as a ramification of the same primitive stock as those apes.' (P. 105.)

And he states in a note to a preceding passage, that–

'Believing with Cuvier that the possession of articulate speech is the grand distinctive character of Man (whether it be absolutely peculiar to him or not), I find it very easy to comprehend that some inconspicuous structural difference may have been the primary cause of the immeasurable and practically infinite divergencies of the Human from the Simian stirps.' (P. 103.)

These passages, and some others of a similar import, appear to us to exhibit in a striking manner the fallacy which pervades all Mr. Huxley's reasoning on this subject. It amounts in fact to a revival, under a more ingenious form, of the extravagant paradox of Helvetius and the French Encyclopédistes, who held that if the upper extremities of man had been terminated by a hoof instead of a hand, the human species would still be wandering in the forests, incapable of art, of habitations, and of defence. Are not these scientific sceptics in reality the most credulous of theorists?

Nobody disputes that there is the strongest analogy and resemblance between the structural organization of the human body and the structural organization of the higher mammalia. The senses and many of the organs of man are the same in kind, though not in degree, as those of the lower animals; and where there is a difference it is often in favour of the brute creation. The eye of the vulture, the scent of the hound, the limbs of the horse, are far more powerful than the corresponding human organs. But this dispute which agitates the comparative anatomists of the present day, and makes them alternately [567] offensive to each other and ridiculous to everybody else, has no practical bearing at all on the question of the proper origin and nature of mankind; for the real distinctive characteristics of man begin just where these resemblances of structural organisation leave off. This is the barrier which is absolutely insurmountable by the advocates of the theory of developement, because the differences between the animals and man are not differences of degree, but differences of kind. To Mr. Huxley, however, the question of structural organisation may well assume very great importance, for he gives us to understand that structural differences, however inconspicuous in their origin, may have been the primary cause of the divergencies between men and apes. We might comment on the extreme looseness and inaccuracy of his language even for his own purposes, since it is difficult to understand how a slight structural difference could be the 'primary cause' of anything at all, as it must itself have resulted from some other cause, and could in truth be no more than what the logicians call an accident. Mr. Huxley can scarcely mean to imply that the infinite divergencies between the human and the brute species may have originated in something as fortuitous and insignificant as a little rust on the pinion of a watch. Yet if he does entertain that opinion, it helps him not, for the rust on the pinion of a watch must have its cause also.

But our answer is of a broader character. We believe that all the higher faculties of human nature–all the powers that make us MAN–are visibly independent of that mere structural organisation in which, as we have seen, many of the animals surpass us. Take an animal gifted with the nicest sensuous faculties, and he will not approach in mental capacity the lowest of the human species. Take a man deprived or destitute of all his senses and animal powers, there is still something in his capacity immeasurably superior to the whole brute creation. There is the gift of articulate language,–the power of numbers –the powers of generalizations–the power of conceiving the relation of man to his Creator,–the power of foreseeing an immortal destiny,–the power of knowing good from evil, on eternal principles of justice and truth.

'What' (exclaimed Sydney Smith in the conclusion of his eighteenth Lecture on Moral Philosophy, in which he discusses the faculties of beasts with infinite wit and discernment), 'what have the shadow and mockery of faculties, given to beasts, to do with the immortality of the soul? Have beasts any general fear of annihilation? have they any love of posthumous fame? do their small degrees of faculties ever give them any feelings of this nature? are their [568] minds perpetually escaping into futurity? have they any knowledge of God? have they ever reached in their conceptions the slightest trace of a hereafter? can they form the notion of duty and accountability? is it any violation of any one of the moral attributes of the Deity to suppose that they go back to dust and that we do not? . . . I feel as sure that the blue ape without a tail will never rival us in poetry, painting, or music, that I see no reason whatever that justice may not be done to the few fragments of soul and tatters of understanding which they may really possess.'

To these questions structural organization gives no answer at all. The theory of developement, thus applied, utterly fails to account for the phenomena it has to explain. Its resource would probably be to deny those phenomena; for it is impossible to give a solution of the intellectual and moral faculties of man by any comparison, however ingenious, between the structure of his body and that of the lower animals. Conscience and reason protest against it. Philosophy and science (not to speak of religion), alike condemn it. On the other hand, nothing prevents us from conceiving and believing in the absolute identity of man as a moral and intelligent being, under conditions of structural organization totally dissimilar from those which are adapted to the physical conditions of our present life; and indeed the doctrine of the conscious immortality of the soul cannot be reconciled with any lower theory of our nature.

We have no desire to apply harsh names to the processes of scientific inquiry, still less to those who are engaged with sincerity in the prosecution of these inquiries; but we cannot conceal our suspicion that the theory propounded in this book is indistinguishable from that of absolute materialism, and even tends to atheism. It was remarked by the most calm and tolerant of modern philosophical writers, Dugald Stewart, who witnessed in his own day the prevalence of similar theories, that 'from those representations of human nature which tend to assimilate to each other the faculties of man and of the brutes, the transition to atheism is not very wide.'13 Not being able to raise the brutes to man, they degrade man to the level of the brutes, to complete the symmetry of a scientific theorem; and having begun at the opinion of Lamarck, they end in the doctrines of the 'Système de la Nature.' What other significance is to be given to the following passage?

'The whole analogy of natural operations furnishes so complete and crushing an argument against the intervention of any but what are termed secondary causes in the production of all the phenomena of [569] the universe, that in view of the intimate relations between Man and the rest of the living world, and between the forces exerted by the latter and all other forces, I can see no excuse for doubting that they are coordinated terms of Nature's great progression from the formless to the formed–from the inorganic to the organic–from blind force to conscious intellect and will.' (P. 108.) .

We confess our utter inability to affix to this sentence any meaning which we would willingly suppose it to convey. What are 'secondary causes?' They are in fact no causes at all, but merely the means by which a primary cause operates. Yet Mr. Huxley appears to exclude the intervention of any but secondary causes in the production of all the phenomena of the universe; and the concluding lines of the extract are of the same character. It is necessary that we should know to what this so-called 'Theory of Developement' is leading us. If it means that all the phenomena of the universe are the result of 'Nature's' great progression from blind force to 'conscious intellect and will,' irrespective of that conscious intellect and will to which alone we ascribe creative power, that is purely and simply the scientific form of the doctrine which denies a Creator altogether, or places the Creative Mind at an incalculable distance from its works. Lord Bacon indeed said, more than two centuries ago, 'for certain it is that God worketh nothing in nature but by second causes;' and if this were Mr. Huxley's meaning, it were certainly no modern discovery at all. But, as we understand him, his meaning is precisely the reverse.

We agree with the lively Canon of St. Paul's, whom we have just quoted, 'that the weakest and most absurd arguments ever used against religion have been the attempts to compare brutes with men:' but we have no intention of opposing Mr. Huxley's reasoning on theological grounds. Materialism and atheism, irrespective of all other considerations, are the least philosophical conclusions at which it is possible to arrive. They in reality explain nothing: on the contrary, they make the universe itself quite unintelligible. We are most reluctant to suppose that writers of this country and this age can deliberately intend to profess these opinions as the result of their scientific investigations. But it is to be regretted that Mr. Huxley in dealing with questions of so much gravity should have failed to convey his meaning with precision. The moment he quits those methods of physical science with which he is familiar, he appears to us to be out of his depth; and we can only suppose that he does not understand the full purport which might be ascribed to some of the expressions he has employed.

1 Humphrey, Treatise on the Human Skeleton, p. 91.

2 Histoire Naturelle du Genre Humain, 3 vols. 8 vo. Paris: 1824.

3 Agassiz, 'Christian Examiner,' Boston (U. S.), July, 1850.

4 Œuvres complètes, Description anatomique des Singes, t. v., p 314.

5 Phil. Trans., 1862, Plate iii. Fig. 9.

6 Med. Times and Gazette, 1862, vol. i. p. 182.

7 Nat. Hist. Rev., 1861, p. 26.

8 Phil. Trans., 1862, p. 193. Pl. iii. Fig. 7.

9 Natural Hist. Review, 1861, p. 71.

10 Nat. Hist. Rev., 1861, p. 67, and seq.

11 The words of Tiedemann, which cannot be too often quoted, are – 'Pedes hippocampi minores vel ungues, vel calcaria avis, quæ a posteriore corporis callosi margine tanquam processus duo medullares proficiscuntur, inque fundo cornu posterioris plicas graciles et retroflexas formant, in cerebro Simiarum desunt, nec in cerebro aliorum a me examinatorum mammalium occurrunt; homini ergo proprii sunt.' (Tiedemann, Icones Cerebri Simiarum et quorundum Mammalium variorum, p. 51. Folio. Heidelberg: 1821.

12 Cruveilhier, one of the best human anatomists that France ever produced, says:–'L'érgot (hippocampus minor) de meme que la cavité digitale (posterior cornu of the lateral ventricle) n'éxiste guères que chez l'homme, sans doute parce que l'homme seul présente un grand developpement de la partie occipitale du cerveau.' (Craveilhier, Anatomie Descriptive, tome iv. p. 697. Paris: 1836.)


C. Blinderman & D. Joyce
Clark University