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stimulus, or as being influenced by the muscular actions, as the development of the stomach, or of any internal gland.
The two external divergent fangs of the premolar teeth, and the slighter modifications of the crowns of the molars and premolars, appear likewise from the actual results of observation to be equally predetermined and non-modifiable characters.
No known cause of change productive of varieties of mammalian species could operate in altering the size, the shape, or the connexions of the premaxillary bones, which so remarkably distinguish the Troglodytes gorilla, not from man only, but from all other anthropoid apes. We know as little the conditions which protract the period of the obliteration of the sutures of the premaxillary bones in the Tr. gorilla beyond the period at which they disappear in the Tr. niger, as we do those that cause them to disappear in man earlier than they do even in the smaller species of chimpanzee.
There is not, in fact, any other character than those founded upon the developments of bone for the attachment of muscles, which is known to be subject to change through the operation of external causes; nine-tenths, therefore, of the differences, especially those very striking ones manifested by the pelvis and pelvic extremities, which I have cited in the memoirs on the subject, published in the Zoological Transactions, as distinguishing the gorilla and chimpanzee from the human species, must stand in contravention of the hypothesis of transmutation and progressive development, until the supporters of that hypothesis are enabled to adduce the facts and cases which demonstrate the conditions of the modifications of such characters.
If the consideration of the cranial and dental characters of the Troglodytes gorilla has led legitimately to the conclusion that it is specifically distinct from the Troglodytes niger, the hiatus is still greater that divides it from the human species, between the extremest varieties of which there is no osteological and dental distinction which can be compared to that manifested by the shorter premaxillaries and larger incisors of the Troglodytes niger as compared with the Tr. gorilla.
The analogy which the establishment of the second and more formidable species of chimpanzee in Africa has brought to light between the representation of the genus Troglodytes in that continent, and that of the genus Pithecus in the great islands of the Indian Archipelago, is very close and interesting. As the Troglodytes gorilla parallels the Pithecus Wwrmhii, so the Troglodytes niger parallels the Pithecus morio, and an unexpected illustration has thus been gained of the soundness of the interpretation of the specific distinction of that smaller and more anthropoid orang.
It is not without interest to observe, that as the generic forms of the Quadrumana approach the Bimanous order, they are represented by fewer species. The gibbons (Hylobates) scarcely number more than half-a-dozen species; the orangs (Pithecus) have but two species, or at most three; the chimpanzees (Troglodytes) are represented by two species.
The unity of the human species is demonstrated by the constancy of those osteological and dental characters to which the attention is more particularly directed in the investigation of the corresponding characters in the higher Quadrumana.
Man is the sole species of his genus, the sole representative of his order and subclass.
Thus I trust has been furnished the confutation of the notion of a transformation of the ape into man, which appears from a favourite old author to have been entertained by some in his day.
"And of a truth, vile epicurism and sensuality will make the soul of man so degenerate and blind, that he will not only be content to slide into brutish immorality, but please himself in this very opinion that he is a real brute already, an ape, satyre or baboon; and that the best of men are no better, saving that civilising of them and industrious education has made them appear in a more refined shape, and long inculcate precepts have been mistaken for connate principles of honesty and natural knowledge; otherwise there be no indispensable grounds of religion and virtue, but what has happened to be taken up by over-ruling custom. Which things, I dare say, are as easily confutable, as any conclusion in mathematics is demonstrable. But as many as are thus sottish, let them enjoy their own wildness and ignorance; it is sufficient for a good man that he is conscious unto himself that he is more nobly descended, better bred and born, and more skilfully taught by the purged faculties of his own minde1."
1 Henry More's Conjectwra Oahbalistica, fol. (1661)—p. 175.
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