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psychological and historical grounds. But philology cannot yet use this truth so as to distinguish between the common properties and the differences of families of languages; still less can it judge of the relation of the root languages, and the races which must be assigned to them. Philology therefore at any rate cannot prove that the different languages must be traced back to several originally and entirely different beginnings, and that they have not their first historical origin in a common language; nor that the differentiation of language may not have taken place in the manner described by the Bible in the wonderful account of the confusion of languages at Babel.'
? Kaulen, Op. cit. p. 26 seq., 65 seq.
THE UNITY OF THE HUMAN RACE_Conclusion.
The theory of the specific unity of mankind is borne out by the fact that all races of men are able to intermix and are fertile ; that they have the same anatomical structure, the same length of life, and other points in common, which I have enumerated before, and as to which I have observed that in the animal world such similarity is only found among individuals and varieties of one species, but never among the species of one genus. We must add to this the similarity of the spiritual powers and characteristics, for however great may be the intellectual, moral, and social differences between the different peoples, there can be no doubt that they all possess the same spiritual powers and characteristics. We find differences of degree in the spiritual qualities possessed by members of a nation, and even of a family, just as much as in those possessed by members of different races; but in spite of all the differences of degree, we find everywhere among men the same spiritual capacity, reason, memory, selfconsciousness, conscience, power of speech, etc.; and experience teaches us that the apparent differences are produced by habit and education, and specially by external influences. Negroes who grow up under
Burmeister, Geol. Bilder, ii. 138.
external influences similar to those of Europeans may attain to the same spiritual development; and Europeans who grow up amongst savage tribes will not surpass the culture of their surroundings.?
The specific unity of mankind may therefore be considered as certainly proved. But this does not prove that the whole race has descended from one pair. It would still be possible that all men now living might be descended from several pairs of ancestors, who resembled one another in all the physical and spiritual characteristics which we find now are common to all mankind; but who differed from one another in those points in which the several races of men differ from each other now. The question therefore is, Can it be scientifically proved that we must assume a plurality of ancestors ? Cannot the differences which we find coexisting with the resemblances between men
1 Waitz, Anthropol. i. 304 seq., comes to the conclusion that the difference in the culture of the separate races depends much more on the difference in their condition of life and destinies and other causes, than on their original spiritual capacity. Of course the latter cause may have had some effect. This assumption is possible, but it cannot be proved ; the course of our inquiry shows that it is more probable that culture, and want of culture, if once it exists, is generally preserved equally easily by all the peoples of the earth ; but that when a people once attains to a high stage of developmeut, its progress is made much easier, because it transmits to its descendants a greater capacity for culture, in consequence of that to which it has itself attained. The individual assimilates the culture or want of culture which he finds prevailing amongst the people to which he belongs. And yet at the higher stages of culture, the single individuals are they who bring about the great progress of the State in religion, in art, and in science. Persons so spiritually eminent and endowed with genius are not wanting even in the most barbarous peoples, there is no specific difference between peoples in this respect,—but in these latter, as a rule, they have either no influence, or only a very slight influence which leads to no result, p. 475. Cf. Einige Bemerkungen über die Seelen fühigkeiten der Neger, by Tiedemann; Das Hirn des Negers, etc. p. 64. Perty, Grundziige, etc. p. 424. Rauch, Die Einheit, etc. p. 237.
be explained without the assumption of several ancestors ?
As regards the physical qualities of men, these differences are principally those differences in colour and in the form of skull, on which rests the division of men into races. The contrasts which we find in these points lose a good deal of their weight, as we have seen, by reason of the numerous intermediate forms which exist. Men cannot be divided into races so that the special characteristics of a race are all found amongst all the individuals belonging to that race, and amongst these alone; on the contrary, we have seen that the races are not sharply divided from one another, that transitions from one to the other occur, and that we find individuals and whole tribes who possess some of the special characteristics of one race and some of another. No doubt some people think they can explain the existence of these transition forms by assuming that they have been produced by the intermixture of the race types, which were originally distinct from one another. But we must ask whether this hypothesis is the only one by which the phenomenon now before us can be explained; and whether the differences of race as they now appear can be explained by other causes in such a manner that the idea of original unity can be preserved. In order to answer this question we must glance at the method in which varieties and races are formed in other organic beings, animals and plants.
“The species of animals and plants,” says Joh. Müller, “alter as they spread themselves over the surface of the earth ; these changes take place within the limits of the kind and species; but they reproduce
themselves as types of the variations of the species throughout the generations of organic beings. The present races of animals have sprung from the conjunction of many different conditions, both internal and external, which sometimes cannot be distinguished, and the most remarkable forms in these races are found in those animals which are capable of the most extended distribution over the earth.”I I have on a former occasion spoken in detail about the mutability of species, and the origin of varieties and races; and I have already pointed out that in this respect the observations made and instigated by Darwin have produced a result favourable to the theory of the unity of mankind. And although we must remember that these alterations take place within the limits prescribed to the kinds and species, we must not suppose that the power of alteration is very limited, at any rate not so limited as many zoologists and botanists have assumed. The fact on which Müller lays stress, that the limits of mutability in one species are wider than in another, and widest of all in those animals which are capable of spreading themselves most extensively over the earth, is worthy of notice. And here we must observe further, that variations among wild kinds of plants and animals are less frequent and important than they are among species of organic beings whom man takes under his care. In the natural, wild condition, most plants and animals are confined to certain limits. The greatest variations are found among our ordinary domestic animals and plants, which from time immemorial have belonged to
i Physiologie, ii. 768, 772. 2 See above, p. 66.