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In this way we carry the antiquity of man—high as it may be in Europe—to a still higher antiquity in the other continents of the Old World, and which must be geologically investigated before any definite conclusion can be arrived at either as regards time or developmental descent.* The European men of the Bovine and Eeindeer periods evidently belonged to the white or Caucasian variety, but we have no certain evidence whether the Abbeville flint-fashioners were of Caucasian, Mongolian, or other variety. To whatever variety they belonged, they were clearly of a date immediately post-glacial; though, could it be shown by craniology that they were of other type than the Caucasian, it would in our opinion be further proof of their high antiquity. If we are to pursue the subject of man's antiquity in Africa or Asia, this question of type must constitute one of the main elements of determination, for it would be outraging every principle in science to apply the test of variation and development to the other orders of life, and shrink from applying it in the solitary instance of man. Where we can prove by archaeological means a high antiquity for man, let us adopt them; where we can show the same result by geological methods, let us not neglect them; but at the same time let us also value those palaeontological doctrines of progression and development which have thrown so much light on the order and connection of vitality in general. If there be such a law of progression, man must be as amenable to it as the rest of creation, and whatever variation occurs in his race must be taken, along with other elements, as a measure of time and duration. We are aware that many geologists shrink from
* Since the above was written, implements of quartzite have teen discovered in the lateritic formation of Madras by Messrs Foote and King of the Indian Geological Survey, thus opening the way to this new and much desiderated line of evidence.
this test of variation, and feel an uneasy tenderness whenever the question of man's descent becomes involved in their researches and speculations. Truth, however, will never be attained by such weakness. In science, as in morals, error becomes only more deeply rooted, and bigotry more emboldened, the longer that honest conviction hesitates, or gives to its beliefs a timid and uncertain utterance.
Observe that, however man may have originated, it does not alter his position in the scale of being. It is no degradation to have been descended from some antecedent form of life, any more than it is an exaltation to have been formed directly from the dust of the earth. In the present state of our knowledge it is even more difficult to conceive of an origin from inorganic matter than of a development from some pre-existing form. No one can compare with attention the vertebrate skeleton (of the mammals, for example) without perceiving that it is adaptive modification that runs throughout the whole of the ascensive orders, rather than independent creation of newer and higher forms. In his physical relations man is as much dependent upon external conditions as the lowest creature with which he is associated in the scheme of vitality. This scheme of vitality is one united whole, from which you cannot possibly dissociate any of its component parts; and whatever be the plan that has regulated the development of this scheme in time, it must embrace man as certainly as it embraces all or any of its other members. His high position depends not so much upon the physical life which he shares in common with other beings as upon his improvable intellect; and this, in any theory of his origin, can only be resolved into a newer and higher creational endowment—the latest manifestation in that Divine plan of cosmical progress which science is ever humbly and reverently endeavouring to reveaL We accept the fact of this new endowment; shall we reject the continuity of progress through which it has been evolved?
Such are some of the reasonings that suggest themselves in reviewing the question of "Man's Place in the Geological Eecord." In the first place, let it be treated without bias or predilection, as a matter of natural history and geology. In the second place, let us avail ourselves of all the evidence that history, archaeology, geology, and palaeontology can supply. And in the third place, let us, as true geologists, be wary in assigning dates in years and centuries, while the whole superstructure of our science is founded on a relative and not upon an absolute chronology. Guided by these methods, it would appear that man has been an inhabitant of Southern and Western Europe from a time immediately succeeding the close of the glacial epoch, and that in these regions his antiquity dates, if not from the very earliest, at least from the earlier of the posttertiary formations. How long ago this may have been in years and centuries, there is no condescension on the part of legitimate geology; but clearly it is far, very far, beyond the limits of the ordinarily received chronology of the human race. But ancient as this may be, the implementbearing gravels, the cave-earths, the peat-mosses, shellmounds, and lake-dwellings of Europe, cannot be taken as a measure of antiquity for Asia, from which, as everything tends to show, the first races of Europe were derived by the ordinary means of natural dispersion and selection. And even were the first appearance of the white or Caucasian race geologically determined in Asia, the first appearance of the coloured varieties (Mongol, Negro, Malay, &c), each in its own proper headquarters, would still remain a problem of antecedent date, requiring similar methods of research, and similar processes of solution. In this way, and on the fair presumption of the coloured and inferior being the older varieties, the antiquity of man as a species mounts still higher and higher; and the course of discovery may yet compel us—nay, will almost to a certainty compel us —to assign to him an origin coeval with the very dawn of what we are in the habit of regarding as the Quaternary epoch, if not, indeed, with the close of the Tertiary period, and just when the more gigantic fauna of that era were passing away from the warmer zones of Asia, Africa, and America.
OEDEE AND SUCCESSION OF LIFE.
LIFE, ITS NATURE AND FUNCTION—INTERDEPENDENCE OF PLANTS AND ANIMALS—HARMONY OF THEIR RELATIONS—THEIR EXISTING ASPECTS AND DISTRIBUTIONS —ASPECTS AND DISTRIBUTIONS OF THE PAST—ADVANCE IN TIME FROM LOWER TO HIGHER FORMS— ORDER OF THIS PROGRESSION—THEORIES OF LIFE-DEVELOPMENT ,—HOW FAR PROBABLE—LAW OF CREATIONAL PROGRESS—PROOFS OF ITS EXISTENCE—UNIVERSALITY OF ITS OPERATIONS ALIKE IN THE PHYSICAL, VITAL, AND INTELLECTUAL—ITS ENDURANCE.
However interesting it may be to trace the material changes to which the crust of the earth has been subjected, this interest falls infinitely short of that excited by the study of the life-forms by which its surface has been successively peopled. In the one case we know something of the forces by which the changes are produced, and the modes in which these forces operate; in the other we perceive only the external conditions under which plants and animals exist, but we know nothing of the origin of Life, and as yet very little of the causes concerned in the numerous variations and aspects it has assumed. In the one case we can, to a certain extent, mould and modify the operating forces; in the other, vital action is altogether beyond our production, and we can modify its variations only in the slightest and most temporary degree. In the one case we have masses that are operated upon from without; in the other, forms that are actuated by impulses from within, and, in