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with her. Here, then, we see the true grandeur and dignity of man.”1

Even in the savage state man is the most dominant animal that has ever appeared on the earth. He has spread more widely than any other highly organized form; and all others have yielded before him. He manifestly owes this immense superiority to his intellectual faculties, his social habits, which lead him to aid and defend his fellows, and to his corporeal structure. The supreme importance of these characters has been proved by the final arbitrament of the battle for life.2 The tribes which possessed them in the highest degree would have the advantage in the struggle, and would eventually be selected to survive. Inclement seasons and sterile soils would only develop a hardier, more provident, and more social race; and the warlike struggles between tribe and tribe would leave the best endowed the masters of the field. This would be Natural Selection.

As civilization advanced the rule would remain the same the advantage would be with the intellectually endowed; for however obscure the problem, we can at least see that a nation which produced during a lengthened period the greatest number of highly intellectual, energetic, brave, patriotic, and benevolent men, would generally prevail over less favoured nations. And this would be Natural Selection.

"In regard to the moral qualities, some elimination of the worst dispositions is always in progress, even in the most civilised nations. Malefactors are executed or imprisoned for long periods, so that they cannot freely transmit their bad qualities. Melancholic and insane persons are confined or commit suicide. Violent 1 Wallace: Nat. Sel., 325. 2 Descent of Man, i. 136.



and quarrelsome men often come to a bloody end. Restless men, who will not follow any steady occupation, emigrate to newly-settled countries, where they prove useful pioneers. Intemperance is so highly destructive that the expectation of life of the intemperate, at the age, for instance, of thirty, is less than fourteen years, whilst for English rural labourers at the same age it is over forty years. Profligate women bear few children, and profligate men rarely marry; while both suffer from disease."1 This again is Natural Selection.

Had man not been subjected to Natural Selection, assuredly he would never have attained to the rank of manhood; and although the severity of the struggle for existence, resulting from a rapid rate of increase, leads in barbarous countries to infanticide and other evils, and in civilized nations to abject poverty, celibacy, and the late marriages of the prudent, we can see that in the long run such evils tend to be left behind. The standard of morality rises higher and higher continually. At first, murder, robbery, and treachery are only infamous within the limits of the tribe, and beyond these limits may be innocent or even praiseworthy; no pity is felt for the sufferings of enemies, of slaves, or even of women; intemperance and licentiousness are not counted as vices, because they seem only to concern the individual and his family: but civilization leaves all this behind. Man gradually advances in intellectual power, and is enabled to trace the more remote consequences of his actions; he acquires sufficient knowledge to reject baneful customs and superstitions; he regards more not only the welfare but the happiness of his fellow-men; and his sympathies become more tender and more widely dif1 Descent of Man, i. 172.

fused, so as to extend to the men of all races, to the imbecile, the maimed, and other useless members of society, and finally to the lower animals.

It is considered creditable in a man that he should have advanced beyond his father in education and refinement; it is matter of boasting to a nation that it has cleared itself of the semi-barbarism of the middle ages. If the nation has done more, and risen out of savagery; if the individual has climbed up from the apes and still lower forms, the reasons for congratulation are surely not lessened.

§ 2. The Future of the Human Race. "The perfect statue now rough-cast in clay.” Man may be excused for feeling some pride at having risen to the very summit of the organic scale; and the fact of this great advance from a lowly origin constitutes in itself a prophecy of a still higher destiny in the distant future. Our forefathers declared that they were descended from demi-gods; but the more hopeful view of science is, that leaving the past below us, we are daily rising to a more divine height.

In the first place, it seems probable that the human race has before it a long career, in comparison with which the past historical period is as nothing. It is a fact that the distribution of the organic world in time is very similar to its distribution in space; and thus the wide-spread sway which man has attained in the earth. is an indication that his rule will be of long continuance. The knowledge and ingenuity which enable him to plant his foot in all latitudes, to meet the cold with warmer clothing, to increase his food supply by cultivating the 1 A Tale of Eternity.

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ground, and tide over famine by previous accumulation of stores, will enable him to adapt himself to slow climatic and geographical changes, and outlive many species and genera of the lower animals. Every advance in scientific knowledge, in mechanical skill, in means of communication and commercial interchange, will tend in the same direction; and it may be confidently anticipated that man's increasing power to meet changed conditions—we may almost say to create the conditions suitable to himself—will carry him and those he chooses to protect through many geological periods to come.

No great change in the bodily organization of man is to be looked for, such as would transmute him into a new species, because it is chiefly the mental "variations" which are "selected" now and made to accumulate in particular directions. Man has already experienced far greater changes in the conditions of his environment than any other highly organized animal could have survived unchanged, and has met them by mental adaptations. His mental activity will, however, cause his brain to increase in size and complexity, and his skull to undergo corresponding changes of form; while the face, as the medium of expressing the most refined emotions, will sympathize in these changes. On the whole, Mr Wallace thinks that man's external form may remain unchanged, except in the development of that perfect beauty which results from a healthy and well-organized body, refined and ennobled by the highest intellectual faculties and sympathetic emotions.1 It may be questionable whether he can retain this opinion after reading the facts adduced by Mr Darwin in the Descent of Man. It is shown, for instance, that the 1 Natural Selection, p. 329.


proportions of the body may vary with the occupation. The United States Commission ascertained that the legs of the sailors employed in the late war were longer than those of the soldiers, and their arms shorter. It is familiar to every one that watchmakers and engravers are liable to become short-sighted; while sailors, and especially savages, are generally long-sighted. It is asserted that the hands of English labourers are at birth larger than those of the gentry, and there appears to be a correlation between the extremities of the body and the jaws, which makes them increase or decrease in size together. It appears as if the wisdom-teeth were tending to become rudimentary in the more civilized races of man, the posterior portion of the jaw being shortened, probably through having less to do than among savages in the way of chewing hard and uncooked food. These may suffice as instances, and they are enough to suggest caution in our speculations.

Man's battle with the lower animals, already nearly over except where he chooses to enter the jungle or to track a brute for sport, may be expected to end in the extermination of wild beasts, excepting that a few may be kept in menageries and gardens for the sake of instruction. The pressure of population must ultimately lead to the peopling of the entire globe, and then the tiger, hyena, and serpent will as surely disappear for ever as the wolf is gone from England. There will be no jungle or wilderness unreclaimed, no desert that is not constantly traversed, no cave or den that is not well known to man. "We may anticipate the time," says Mr Wallace-perhaps with a little exaggeration,— "when man's selection shall have supplanted Natural Selection, and when the ocean will be the only domain

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