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soning-has pointed out how this principle they were less developed, would live and mainof natural selection has been modified, and tain their numbers, while the others would dein a manner veiled and disguised, though crease and finally succumb. by no means either neutralised or suspended, Again, when any slow changes of physical in the case of man; so that neither history geography, or of climate, make it necessary for nor geology enables us to trace any change
an animal to alter its food, its clothing, or its in his external structure analogous to those weapons, it can only do so by a corresponding which we find in such abundance and to such change in its own bodily structure and internal a remarkable extent in the case of the lower organisation. If a larger or more powerful beast animals. He adapts himself, just as they vorous animal which has hitherto preyed on
is to be captured and devoured, as when a carnido, to the altered conditions of external na- sheep is obliged from their decreasing numbers ture, but he does it by mental not by bodily to attack buffaloes, it is only the strongest who modifications. As with them, so with him, the can hold, - those with most powerful claws, and best adapted to surrounding circumstances, formidable canine teeth, that can struggle with the most in harmony with the imperious and overcome such an animal. Natural selection necessities of life, surmount, survive, and immediately comes into play, and by its action multiply; but in this case the adaptation is these organs gradually become adapted to their made and the harmony secured by intellect- new requirements. But man, under similar ual and moral efforts and qualities, which circumstances, does not require longer nails or leave no stamp on the corporeal frame. As teeth, greater bodily strength or swiftness. He with them, inferior varieties and individ- makes sharper spears, or a better bow, or he conuals succumb and die out in the eternal structs a cunning pitfall, or combines in a huntand universal “struggle for existence;' only, pacities which enable him to do this are what he
ing party to circumvent his new prey. The cain the case of man, the inferiority which determines their fate is inferiority not of mus- therefore, be gradually modified by natural se
requires to be strengthened, and these will, cle, of stomach, or of skin, but of brain.
lection,' while the form and structure of his body In man, as we now behold him, this is differ- will remain unchanged. So when a glacial epoch ent. He is social and sympathetic. In the rud- comes on, some animals must acquire warmer est tribes the sick are assisted at least with food ; fur, or a covering of fat, or else die of cold. less robust health and vigour than the average Those best clothed by nature are, therefore, does not entail death. Neither does the want of preserved by natural selection. Man, under the perfect limbs or other organs produce the same same circumstances, will make himself warmer effect as among the lower animals. Some divis- clothing, and build better houses; and the neion of labour takes place ; the swiftest hunt, cessity for doing this will react upon his menthe less active fish or gather fruits ; food is to tal organisation and social condition — will adsome extent exchanged or divided. The action vance them while his natural body remains of natural selection is therefore checked, the naked as before. weaker, the dwarfish, those of less active limbs When the accustomed food of some animal or less piercing eyesight, do not suffer the ex- becomes scarce or totally fails, it can only exist treme penalty which falls on animals so defective. by becoming adapted to a new kind of food, a
In proportion as these physical characteristics food perhaps less nourishing and less digestible. become of less importance, mental and moral · Natural selection 'will now act upon the stomqualities will have increasing influence on the ach and intestines, and all their individual variwell-being of the race. Capacity for acting in ations will be taken advantage of to modify the concert, for protection and for the acquisition of race into harmony with its new food. In many food and shelter; sympathy, which leads all in cases, bowever, it is probable that this cannot turn to assist each other; the sense of right, be done. The internal organs may not vary which checks depredations upon our fellows; the quick enough, and then the animal will decrease decrease of the combative and destructive pro- in numbers and finally become extinct. But pensities; self-restraint in present appetites; and man guards himself from such accidents by suthat intelligent foresight which prepares for the perintending and guiding the operations of nafuture, are all qualities that from their earliest ture. He plants the seed of his most agreeable appearance must have been for the benefit of food, and thus procures a supply independent of each community, and would, therefore, have be- the accidents of varying seasons or natural excome the subjects of natural selection.' For it tinction. He domesticates animals which serve is evident that such qualities would be for the him either to capture food or for food itself, and well-being of man; would guard him against ex- thus changes of any great extent in his teeth or ternal enemies, against internal dissensions, and digestive organs are rendered unnecessary. Man, against the effects of inclement seasons and im- too, has everywhere the use of fire, and by its pending famine, more surely than could any means can render palatable a variety of animal merely physical modification. Tribes in which and vegetable substances, which he could hardly such mental and moral qualities were predomi- otherwise make use of, and thus obtain for himnant, would therefore have an advantage in the self a supply of food far more varied and abunstruggle for existence over other tribes in which I dant than that which any animal can command.
Thus. man, by the mere capacity of clothing to a certain stage of his progress, tends to himself, and making weapons and tools, has the improvement and perfection of the race, taken away from nature that power of changing would appear to be forcibly interfered with the external form and structure which she exer- and nearly set aside; nay, to be set aside cises over all other animals. As the competing pretty much in direct proportion to the comraces by which they are surrounded, the climate, plication, completeness, and culmination of for food, are slowly changing, they must under- our civilisation. We do not assert that if go a corresponding change in their structure,
our civilisation were purely and philosophihabits, and constitution, to keep them in har: cally ideal — perfect in character as well as mony with the new conditions to enable them splendid and lofty in degree — this result to live and maintain their numbers. But man would follow, or would continue; but it does this by means of his intellect alone; which certainly does follow now, and it delays enables him with an unchanged body still to keep and positively menaces the attaininent of in harmony with the changing universe. that ideal condition. Our thesis is this:
From the time, therefore, when the social and that the indisputable effect of the state of sympathetic feelings come into active operation, social progress and culture we have reached, and the intellectual and moral faculties become of our high civilisation, in a word, is to fairly developed, man would cease to be influ- counteract and suspend the operation of that enced by natural selection ’in his physical form righteous and salutary law of natural seand structure; as an animal he would remain lection' in virtue of which the best specimens almost stationary; the changes of the surround of the race ing universe would cease to have upon him that
the strongest, the finest, the
worthiest - - are those which survive, surpowerful modifying effect which they exercise over other parts of the organic world. But mount, become paramount, and take precefrom the moment that his body became station- dence; succeed and triumph in the strugary, his mind would become subject to those very gle for existence, become the especial proinfluences from which his body had escaped; genitors of future generations, continue the every slight variation in his mental and moral species, and propagate an ever improving nature which should enable him better to guard and perfecting type of humanity. against adverse circumstances, and combine for The principle does not appear to fail in mutual comfort and protection, would be pre- the case of races of men. Here the abler, served and accumulated; the better and higher the stronger, the more advanced, the finer specimens of our race would therefore increase in short, are still the favoured ones, sucand spread, the lower and more brutal would ceed in the competition; exterminate, govgive way and successively die out, and that rapid ern, supersede, fight, eat, or work the infeadvancement of mental organisation would oc- rior tribes out of existence. The process is cur which has raised the very lowest races of men so far above the brutes (although differing quite as certain, and nearly as rapid, whether 80 little from some of them in physical struc
we are just or unjust; whether we use careture), and, in conjunction with scarcely percep
fulness or cruelty. Everywhere the savage tible modifications of form, has developed the tribes of mankind die out at the contact of wonderful intellect of the Germanic races.
the civilised ones. Sometimes they are ex
tinguished by conquest and the sword; But this is by no means the whole of the sometimes by the excessive toil which avari
As we follow out the reflections sug- cious victors impose upon the feeble vangested by this argument, an entirely new quished; often by he diseases which the series of consequences and operations opens more artificial man brings with him and before us. We perceive that the law of nat- which flourish with fearful vigour in'a virural selection, and of the preservation of gin soil; occasionally they fade away before favoured races and individuals in the strug- the superior vitality and prolific energy of gle for existence,' has become in the course the invading race in lands where there is of man's progress not only thus modified, not room for both; in some cases before the as Mr. Wallace points out, and directed to new and unsuitable habits which civilisation one part of his organisation (the brain) tries to introduce among them; not unfrealone, but positively suspended, and in quently it would seem from some mysterious many instances almost reversed. It even blight which the mere presence of a superior dawns upon us that our existing civilisation, form of humanity casts over them. But, in which is the result of the operation of this every part of the world, and in every inlaw in past ages, may be actually retarded stance, the result has been the same; the and endangered by its tendency to neutral- process of extinction is either completed or ise that law in one or two most material and actively at work. The Indians of the Ansignificant particulars. The great, wise, tilles, the Red man of North America, the righteous, and beneficent principle which South Sea Islanders, the Australians, in all other animals, and in man himself, up even the New Zealanders (the finest and most pliable and teachable of savages), | bad no culture, but they had vast capacare all alike dying out with sad rapidity ities; and they brought with them a renoin consequence of the harshness, or in spite vating irruption of that hard energy and of the forbearance and protection, of the redundant vitality which luxury and success stronger and more capable European. The had nearly extinguished among those they negro alone survives — and, but for the ob- conquered. They were then the most faservation of what is now going on in our voured race,” the fittest for the exigencies of sugar islands and in the United States, we the hour, the best adapted to the conditions should say seems likely to survive. He of the life around them; they prevailed, only has been able to hold his own in a therefore, by reason of a very indisputable, fasbian, and to live and flourish side by side though not the most refined sort of, superiwith masterful and mightier races, though in ority. With the nations of modern history, a questionable relation and with questiona- the same rule has governed the current of ble results. But the exception is a confir- the world, though perhaps with more inmation of the general law. The negro is not stances of at least apparent exception. only strong, docile, and prolific, but in some Each nation that has dominated in turn, or respects he is better adapted to surrounding occupied the first post in the world's anconditions than his European neighbour, nals, has done so by right of some one conqueror, or master; in certain climates quality, achievement, or possession – then he, and not the white man, is the favoured especially needed - which made it for the race;' and for many generations, perhaps time the stronger, if not intrinsically the for ages, in the burning regions about the nobler, among many rivals. Intellect, and equator, a black skin may take precedence intellect applied alike to art, to commerce, of a large brain, and be a more indispensable and to science, at one period made the condition of existence; or possibly the brain Italians the most prominent people in Eumay grow larger without the skin growing rope. There was an undeniable grandeur any whiter. The principle of natural se- in the Spanish nation in its culminating lection' therefore — of the superior and years towards the close of the fifteenth cenfitter races of mankind trampling out and tury which gave it a right to rule, and at replacing the poorer races, in virtue of their once explained and justified both its dissuperior fitness
- would seem to hold good coveries and its conquests. No one can universally.
say that France has not fairly won her vast So probably it does also, and always has influence and her epochs of predominance done, in the case of nations; and the ap- by her wonderful military spirit and the parent exceptions to the rule may be due peculiarity, of her singularly clear, keen, only to our erroneous estimate of the true restless, but not rich, intelligence. Engelements of superiority. In the dawn of land owes her world-wide dominion and history the more cultivated and energetic (what is far more significant and a greater races conquered the weaker and less ad- subject for felicitation) the wide diffusion vanced, reduced them to slavery, or taught of her race over the globe, to a daring and them civilisation. It is true that in the persistent energy with which no other varicase of the Greeks and Romans the coarser ety of mankind is so largely dowered. And organisation and less developed brain of if in modern conflicts might has sometimes the latter easily overpowered and over-triumphed over right, and the finer and shadowed probably the finest physical and kinder people fallen before the assaults of intellectual nature that has yet appeared the stronger, and the events of history run upon the earth ; but the Greeks, when they counter to all our truer and juster sympasuccumbed, had fallen away from the per- thies, it is probably because, in the counsels fection of their palmier days; they were of the Most High, energy is seen to be more enervated and corrupt to the very core; needed than culture to carry on the advanceand the robuster will and unequalled politi- ment of humanity, and a commanding will, cal genius of their Roman conquerors con- at least in this stage of our progress, a more stituted an undeniable superiority. They essential endowment than an amiable temtriumphed by the law of the strongest- per or a good heart. At all events it is though their strength might not lie precisely those who in some sense are the STRONGEST in the noblest portion of man's nature. and the fittest who most prevail, multiply, Intellectually the inferiors of the Greeks and spread, and become in the largest whom they subdued, they were morally and measure the progenitors of future nations. volitionally more vigorous. The same may But when we come to the case of individbe said of those rude Northern warriors uals in a people, or classes in a community who at a later period flowed over and mas- - the phase of the question which has far tered the degenerate Roman world. They the most practical and immediate interest for ourselves - the principle fails alto- But we forget that this higher average of gether, and the law is no longer supreme. life may be compatible with, and may in a Civilisation, with its social, moral, and ma- measure result from, a lower average of terial complications, has introduced a dis- health. We have kept alive those who, in turbing and conflicting element. It is not a more natural and less advanced state, now, as Mr. Wallace depicts, that intellect- would have died — and who, looking at the ual has been substituted for physical supe- physical perfection of the race alone, had riority, but that artificial and conventional better have been left to die. Among savhave taken the place of natural advantages ages, the vigorous and sound alone survive; as the ruling and deciding force. It is no among us, the diseased and enfeebled surlonger the strongest, the healthiest, the vive as well; — but is either the physique most perfectly organised; it is not men of or the intelligence of cultivated man the the finest physique, the largest brain, the gainer by the change? In a wild state, by most developed intelligence, that are · fa- the law of natural selection, only, or chiefly, voured' and successful in the struggle for the sounder or stronger specimens were alexistence that survive, that rise to the lowed to continue their species; with us, surface, that natural selection' makes thousands with tainted constitutions, with the parents of future generations, the con- frames weakened by malady or waste, with tinuators of a picked and perfected race. brains bearing subtle and hereditary misIt is still the most favoured,' no doubt, in chief in their recesses, are suffered to transsome sense, who bear away the palm, but mit their terrible inheritance of evil to other the indispensable favour is that of fortune, generations, and to spread it through a not of nature. The various influences of whole community. our social system combine to traverse the Security of property, security for its righteous and salutary law which God or- transmission, as well as for its enjoyment, dained for the preservation of a worthy is one of our chef boasts. Thousands and improving humanity; and the varie- upon thousands who never could themties' of man that endure and multiply their selves have acquired property by industry, likenesses, and mould the features of the or conquered it by courage, or kept it by coming times, are not the soundest consti- strength or ingenuity, and who are utterly tutions that can be found among us, nor incompetent to use it well, are yet enabled the most subtle and resourceful minds, nor by law to inherit and retain it. They are the most amiable or self-denying tempers, born to wealth, they revel in wealth, though nor even the most imperious and persistent destitute of all the qualities by which wealth wills, but often the precise reverse - often is won, or its possession made a blessing to those emasculated by luxury and those the community. In a natural state of socidamaged by want, those rendered reckless ety they would have been pushed out of by squalid poverty, and those whose physi- existence, jostled aside in the struggle and cal and mental energies have been sapped, the race, and left by the way to die. In and whose morale has been grievously im- civilised communities they are protected, paired, by long indulgence and forestalled fostered, flattered, married, and empowdesires.
ered to hand down their vapid incapacities The two great instruments and achieve- to numerous offspring, whom perhaps they ments of civilisation, are respect for life can leave wealthy too. In old and highly and respect for property. In proportion as advanced nations, the classes who wield both are secure, as life is prolonged, and as power, and affluence, and social supremacy wealth is accumulated, so nations rise or as a consequence of the security of propconsider that they have risen. Among wild erty, do not as a rule consist — nay, consist animals the sick and maimed are slain; in a very small measure - of individuals among savages they succumb and die; who have won, or could have won, those among us they are cared for, kept alive, influences for themselves - of natural enabled to marry and multiply. In un- kings of men;' the elite lots in life do civilised tribes, the ineffective and incapa- not fall to the élite of the race or the ble, the weak in body or in mind, are un community. Those possessions and that able to provide themselves food; they fall position, which in more simply organised behind in the chase or in the march, they tribes would be an indication and a proof fall out, therefore, in the race of life. either of strength, of intelligence, or of With us, sustenance and shelter are pro- some happy adaptation to surrounding exivided for them, and they survive. We gencies, now in our complicated world indipride ourselves and justly - on the in- cate nothing - at least in five cases out of creased length of life which has been ef- six — but merit or energy or luck in some fected by our science and our humanity. I ancestor, perhaps inconceivably remote,
who has bequeathed his rank and property struction. The intellects of both have been to his successors, but without the qualities exposed to opposite disadvantages. The which won them and warranted them. Yet organisations of neither class are the best this property and rank still enable their in the community; the constitutions of neithpossibly unworthy and incapable inheritors er are the soundest or most untainted. Yet to take precedence over others in many of these two classes are precisely those which the walks of life, to carry off the most de- are, or are likely to be, preponderatingly, the sirable brides from less favoured though far fathers of the coming generation. Both nobler rivals, and (what is our present marry as early as they please and have as point) to make these brides the mothers many children as they please, – the rich of a degenerating, instead of an ever im- because it is in their power, the poor beproving race.
cause they have no motive for abstinence; But even this by no means presents the - and as we know, scanty food and hard whole strength of the case. Not only does circumstances do not oppose but rather encivilisation, as it exists among us, enable courage procreation. Malthus's prudenrank and wealth, however diseased, enfee- tial check' rarely operates upon the lower bled, or unintelligent, to become the con- classes; the poorer they are, usually, the tinuators of the species in preference to faster do they multiply; certainly the more larger brains, stronger frames, and sounder reckless they are in reference to multiplicaconstitutions; but that very rank and wealth, tion. It is the middle classes, those who thus inherited without effort and in absolute form the energetic, reliable, improving elesecurity, tend to produce enervated and un- ment of the population, those who wish to intelligent offspring. To be born in the rise and do not choose to sink, those in a purple is not the right introduction to word who are the true strength and wealth healthy energy; to be surrounded from the and dignity of nations, — it is these who cradle with all temptations and facilities to abstain from marriage or postpone it. Thus self-indulgence, is not the best safe-guard the imprudent, the desperate, those whose against those indulgences which weaken standard is low, those who have no hope, the intellect and exhaust the frame. No no ambition, no self-denial, - on the one doubt noblesse oblige, and riches can buy side, and the pampered favourites of fortune the highest education, bating that education on the other, take precedence in the race by surrounding circumstances which is real- of fatherhood, to the disadvantage or the ly the only one that tells very effectually on exclusion of the prudent, the resolute, the the youthful plant. No doubt, too, there striving and the self-restrained. The very are splendid and numerous exceptions - in- men whom a philosophic statesman or a stances in which rank is used to mould its guide of some superior race would select as heir to its duties, and in which wealth is most qualifying and deserving to continue used to purchase and achieve all that makes the race, are precisely those who do so in life noble and beneficent. But we have the scantiest measure. Those who have no only to look around us, and a little below need for exertion, and those who have no the surface, and then ask ourselves whether opportunities for culture, those whose frames as a rule, the owners of rank and wealth - are damaged by indulgence, and those whose still more the owners of wealth without frames are weakened by privation, breed ad rank are those from whose paternity we libitum ; while those whose minds and bodies should have most right to anticipate a have been hardened, strengthened and purihealthy, a noble, an energetic, or a truly fied by temperance and toil
, are elbowed intellectual offspring
- a race fitted to con- quietly aside in the unequal press. Surely trol and guide themselves as well as others, the selection' is no longer • natural.' The to subdue the earth as well as to replenish careless, squalid, unaspiring Irishman, fed it, to govern, to civilise, to illustrate, to on potatoes, living in a pig-stye, doting on carry forward, the future destinies of man? a superstition, multiplies like rabbits or
And if it is not from the highest and most ephemera : - the frugal, foreseeing, selfopulent, assuredly it is not from the lowest respecting, ambitious Scot, stern in his moand most indigent. The physique and the rality, spiritual in his faith, sagacious and morale of both the extreme classes are im- disciplined in his intelligence, passes his perfect and impaired. The physique of the best years in struggle and in celibacy, marrich is injured by indulgence and excess ries late, and leaves few behind him. Given that of the poor by privation and want. a land originally peopled by a thousand The morale of the former has never been Saxons and a thousand Celts, - and in a duly called forth by the necessity for exer- dozen generations, five-sixths of the popution and self-denial; that of the latter has lation would be Celts, but five-sixths of the never been cultivated by training and in- property, of the power, of the intellect,