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added to the mass behind, so that the glacier moves slowly down the valley, grinding out its bed, and constantly replenished from behind. Rocks and stones of all sizes continually fall from the neighbouring peaks on to the surface of the glacier, many slip into the abundant fissures, and thus get under the huge mass of ice, which, as it slides along, scores and scratches them, and also causes them to scratch the rock which forms the glacier-bed. When the glacier reaches a lower level it melts, and consequently deposits its freight of stones. As the glaciers are persistent, large heaps of stones are thus formed, which glaciologists term “terminal moraines.” In consequence of the increase of temperature, the glacier at its lower extremity is much thinner, and wears away less rock than it does nearer its source; and thus a curved basin is formed, in which the glacier terminates. Now Professor Ramsay shows us that the great lakes of Switzerland are all situated in such basins as these, formed by great glaciers whose beds can be traced up the mountain valleys, which existed when the North of Europe was in a much colder condition than at present. In the same way he demonstrates to us that many of our Welsh and Scotch lakes have been similarly formed; for in the mountain valleys of Scotland and Wales we find the scratched stones, the furrowed rocks, and the “moraines,” which are undoubted evidence of the existence, in these valleys, of glaciers. At the extremities of these valleys are the lakes, for the existence of which Professor Ramsay thus accounts. He does not, however, tell us how the trout got into these lakes, as it does not come under this branch of science; but the question is one of some interest, and is, we believe, rather a knotty point for Darwinians to work out. The Drift period, in which our island was covered with an ice-bound sea, is fully discussed in another lecture, and the well-known bone-caves and their fierce inhabitants are described. The silts and gravels of river valleys, and the flint hatchets of the Somme deposits, occupy a part of the lecture. We are sorry M. de Perthes' fossil jaw was not brought to light in time for Professor Ramsay's course, otherwise we might have had his opinion as to its claim to belong to a “real fossil man."
In his last lecture Professor Ramsay points out the influence which the geological structure of Britain has had upon its population, its manufactures, and general welfare. He shows how the mountainous parts of our country have formed a refuge for the ancient conquered tribes of Britain ; how the coal-fields have centered around them an active and thriving population, engaged in manufacturing pursuits; and how the irregular contour of our coast has given rise to our great seaport towns. As to how and when man came to this part of the world, Professor Ramsay says: “ We know that these islands of ours have been frequently united to the continent, and as frequently disunited, partly by elevations and depressions of the land, and to a great extent also by denudations. When the earliest human population reached their plains, they were probably united to the continent. Such is the deliberate opinion of some of our best geologists.” He is able, in conclusion, to rejoice as a true philosopher over our present condition as an island : “We are happy, in my opinion, above all things in this, that by denudation we have been dissevered from the continent of Europe ; for thus it happens that, uninfluenced by the immediate contact of hostile countries, and almost unbiassed by the influence of peoples of foreign blood, during the long course of years in which our country has never seen the foot of an invader, we have been enabled so to develope our own ideas of right and wrong, of political freedom and of political morality, that we now stand here, the freest country on the face of the globe, enjoying our privileges under the strongest and freest Government in the living world.”
From the extracts we have given, it will be seen that the volume is replete with information and sound science. To the beginner it will be invaluable, to the adept it cannot but be of the utmost interest. It is, without exception, the most complete, accurate, and interesting little work on British geology that has come under our notice.
THE APE-ORIGIN OF MAN AND THE NEW PHILOSOPHY.*
N O any of our readers desire to become versed in the natural history
U of the man-like apes, from one or the other of which they are supposed by Professor Huxley and his school to be descended ? to know what features in their human organization, or what phases in their development, have led transmutationists to proclaim their simian descent; or, generally, to become conversant with the phenomena of animal development, and with the evidences of man's great antiquity? Then we would recommend them to seek this information in the work under review, where they will find all these matters ably and concisely treated, and from which they cannot fail to learn much that will be new and interesting to them.
Are there any, again, to whom such knowledge would be rendered more acceptable by the accompaniment of a “slashing” attack upon our leading English naturalist, Professor Owen, whose opinions on some of the matters referred to are at variance with those of the author and his disciples; an attack made with weapons tipped, now and then, with a little sharp personality : have they a leaning towards extreme views in philosophy; or would they hail with pleasure the introduction of “sensation ” writing into matters of dry scientific inquiry? Then we know of no better source from whence they may take a long deep draught than from the volume before us.
The object of the work appears to be twofold ; first, to show that the differences between man and the higher apes are not sufficiently great to entitle the former to a distinct sub-class in the animal kingdom, but that he constitutes the highest family of the order Primates, in which the apes, &c. are included ; and secondly, to enunciate the author's reasons for holding that man is a modification, by “natural selection," of some lower animal, probably a species of ape; and generally to expound the new philosophy which the author believes to be inaugurated through the publication of the Darwinian version of the transmutation theory.
* « Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature." By T. H. HUXLEY, F.R.S. Williams & Norgate.
As to the first inquiry, the evidence contained in the work serves to show that the attempt to raise man too high, zoologically, is unwise ; for that an examination of his structure, compared with that of the apes, reveals many marks of family resemblance. But as the terms “family," “ order," "group," &c. are somewhat arbitrary (especially coming from a transmutationist), and as it is almost impossible to find two naturalists who can agree on the subject; one claiming for man a distinct kingdom by virtue of his psychical faculties, another denying him even an ordinal distinction, on the ground of his structural resemblances to the apes, and a whole file of zoologists standing intermediate between these two extremes ;—we think our readers will agree with us that this should be a mere technical debate, and that it contains nothing calculated to provoke a popular controversy.
We quite agree with the author, that it is very absurd to “ base man's dignity on his great toe, or to insinuate that we are lost if an ape has a hippocampus minor ;” and we go with him to the very fullest extent in his views concerning the nobility of man (perhaps a little further), believing with him that “the unity of origin of man and brutes," if it were proved, would by no means “involve the brutalisation and degradation of the former.” But who that lays claim to authority in these matters has ever made such assertions ?
If Professor Owen had based man's dignity and salvation upon such trifling features in his anatomy (and we know of no one else to whom these remarks can be intended to apply), we should have been ready to applaud the author's attacks upon that naturalist, oft-repeated though they be, not only in this volume, but wherever readers or an audience can be found to whom such a controversy is deemed interesting. But we have never been able to extract from Professor Owen's publications or addresses (and we have read and heard several) any such inference; and when the author declares the question of the posterior lobe, the posterior cornu, and the hippocampus minor,” to be one affecting his own veracity, and time after time, even after he has declared that it is positively his last performance in that part, renews his onslaught on his illustrious contemporary, he must not be surprised if a discerning public begins at length to think that he resembles the valiant Irishman-who, returning from Donnybrook fair, disappointed of his scrimmage (or encouraged by it, we forget which), politely requested some one to tread upon his coat-tail, that he is designedly bringing giants into existence in order that he may exhibit his valour in slaying them.
No; it is not Professor Owen who misapplies the structural resemblances and differences between man and the apes ; but it is our author who does 80. It is he who, ignoring man's highest mental distinctions, falls back upon his anatomy, and upon minor features in his organisation-nominally for the “ascertainment of the place which man occupies in Nature, and his relation to the universe of things;” but really in the endeavour to prove a pet theory, which may or may not be a correct one. As our readers are no doubt well aware, the author is a warm advocate of the theory of “natural selection ;' indeed, in the opinion of some, he outDarwins Darwin. In another work * he says of Mr. Darwin's theory, that “the argument which applies to the improvement of the horse from an earlier stock, or of ape from ape, applies to the improvement of man from some simpler and lower stock than man ;” for “it is perfectly demonstrable that the structural differences which separate man from the apes, are not greater than those which separate some apes from others.”
In other words he says, that if the various species of animals be the result of a progressive development from one another, by the Darwinian process of “natural selection,” he sees no reason why man should be exempted from the operation of this law; for in his bodily structure he is as nearly allied to his humbler fellows as they are to one another. And as regards the mental distinction between the two (man and ape), our author gets over the difficulty by making the broad assertion that “there is no faculty whatever that is not capable of improvement;" that “every faculty being dependent upon structure is varied and improved, with a variation and improvement in structure ;” and that “the attempt to draw a psychical distinction” (between man and the animals immediately below him in the scale) “ is equally futile,” for that “even the highest faculties of feeling and of intellect begin to germinate in the lower forms of life.” .
Let us now, for the purpose of dispassionate inquiry into its validity, put the author's doctrine as follows:
Mr. Darwin believes in the origin of species by “natural selection.”
With a certain reservation, Mr. IIuxley believes the same ; le considers it “the only hypothesis regarding the origin of species of animals in general which has any scientific existence”+ and as such he does not hesitate to apply it to the origin of our race, inasmuch as the structural differences between man and ape are no greater than between one ape and another; and there is no distinct line of demarcation in man's mental constitution, as compared with the animals which precede him.
Remembering, then, that we have so far no proof that one species of ape is derived from another, and that we are not now considering the question of man's place in the zoological system—that is to say, that we are not prosecuting our inquiries for the purpose of ascertaining whether the structural differences between him and the apes are sufficient to entitle him to the zoological distinction of a kingdom, class, order, or what notwe will now consider the conclusions at which the author has arrived in the present volume concerning the two forms of life, man and ape, and our readers shall judge whether or not they are favourable to his own doctrine.
Let us take his summing up of the evidence, first as regards the general resemblance between the two forms:
“In the general proportions of the body and limbs there is a remarkable difference between the gorilla and man, which at once strikes the eye. The gorilla's brain-case is smaller, its trunk larger, its limbs shorter, its upper limbs longer in proportion than those of man.”
* On our Knowledge of the Causes of the Phenomena of Organic Nature. Hardwicke.
+ " Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature,” p. 106.
Passing over that important feature, the naked skin, to which the author does not seem to think it necessary to refer, but which has done at least as much as his speech to bring into play his highest intellectual faculties, we now inquire what he has to say in regard to the extent of the difference in the capacity of the brain-cases.
“ The lowest man's skull has twice the capacity of that of the highest gorilla."* This, he tells us, loses much of its systematic value when viewed by the light of certain other facts; but as we are not presuming to decide between Professor Owen and our author concerning the classificatory value of certain features, this supplement does not affect our inquiry ; and we now proceed to seek information concerning the contents of the braincases--the human and simian brains; and we find that "it may be safely said that an average European child of four years old has a brain twice as large as that of an adult gorilla.”
Coupled with the psychical differences between the two, this is rather adverse to the transmutation theory. But we must not be hasty in our conclusions; and passing over many such trifling distinctions as a tooth, “which projects like a tusk,” we will try to find a brief general conclusion as to the differences between Homo and Troglodytes. And this is frankly and clearly given-in self-defence, by the way,—for the author tells us that “those who endeavour to teach what nature so clearly shows us in the matter are liable to have their opinions misrepresented and their phraseology garbled, until they seem to say that the structural differences between man and even the highest apes are small and insignificant."
No one can, however, thus misrepresent the author in this instance who says that every bone of the gorilla bears marks by which it might be distinguished from a corresponding bone in man; and that in the present creation, at any rate, no intermediate link bridges orer the gap between Homo and Troglodytes.”+ · We place the utmost reliance upon Professor Huxley's testimony, for, as every one knows, he is a careful and conscientious observer and a comparative anatomist of the highest order. But this testimony compels us to ask : If the differences between them be so vast, and there is no intermediate link in the present creation, upon what does le base his belief in man's simian descent--Is the link to be found in the records of the past? And at the conclusion of his volume we find an 'explicit reply to our inquiry. It is “ that the fossil remains of man hitherto discovered do not seem to take us appreciably nearer to that lower pithecoid form, by the modification of which he has probably become what he is;"I and if such a link exists, he intimates that it will probably have to be revealed by some “unborn palæontologist.”
In this work, then, the evidences of the probable" modification of man from the ape would appear to be that the structural differences between the two are enormously great, and that neither in the present creation, nor in the records of the past, do we find a link which brings the
* Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature, p. 77.
I Ibid. p. 159.