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require a somewhat lengthened considerada
The subject really involves two oo
really involves two questions: first,
senisting in the various branches of the human race have come, in the way of gradual variation, from one original type? and second, If intrinsically possible, can it have been done within the limited space of time which, with the most pliant Scripture chronology, we are able to allow for it? These questions, however, though properly separate, so run into each other, that it will be more easy to consider them together.
The affirmative of both of them is argued, 1. From the superficial character of these diversities ; 2. The actual changes which have been observed as taking place in particular circumstances of the race; 3.* From the analogy of similar changes which have occurred in other animals, particularly in those most nearly associated with man, and subject to the same general influences that have operated on him.
1. Naturalists are not agreed as to the number of sub-races into which the human family should be divided. Some make two only, the white and the black. Morton reckons twenty-two, and Burke sixty-three. Agassiz makes eight principal centers of creation, which he calls "zoological provinces,” viz., the Arctic, the Mongolian, the European, the American, the Negro, the Hottentot, the Malay, and the Australian. But whatever be the number, it is now regarded as settled that the differences between them are not specific — that the entire genus homo consists of but a single species.
indicate t orses are agreed. *
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of the organic, physiological, and psychological differences which were present among themselves, and compares them with those which are shown among domestic animals. He takes into view all the variations in the form of the skull, and bones in other parts of the body, the size, color of the skin, color and quality of the hair, etc., etc., and draws from the whole the following conclusion : "The organic and physiological differences seen in the different varieties of mankind are analogous to those which are known to exist among the domestic animals, and the psychological differences of the different peoples of the earth are neither original nor permanent.” And Professor Owen, than whom there is no greater authority on topics of this kind, says, " With regard to the value to be assigned to the distinctions of race, in consequence of not any of these differences being equivalent to those characteristics of the skeleton or other parts of the frame upon which specific differences are founded by naturalists in reference to the rest of the animal creation, I have come to the conclusion that man forms one species, and that differences are but indicative of varicties. ... These varieties merge into each other by easy gradations. The Malay and the Polynesian
link the Mongolian and the Indian [Indo-European] · varieties, and the Indian is linked by the Esqui
La Peyrère, a mixture of complete faith and free criticism. This book convinced no one, and the doctrine of the author soon fell into forgetfulness, until within a few years since it has been reproduced and welcomed with a favor sufficiently unexpected.”
It is not surprising that a theory so repugnant to the general teachings of Christianity should have met with favor from the apostles of French infidelity. Voltaire and Rousseau reproduced this argument in their attempts to shake the authority of the Scriptures.* But, according to Quatrefages, it was reserved for America to bring this doctrine into notice, and give it any considerable currency. His account of the matter is substantially this: In 1846 Professor L. Agassiz, in a visit to Charleston, S.C., broached the theory of the plurality of origin for the human race in the " Literary Conversations Club," of that city. The expression of these views aroused a decided antagonism in that meeting. The professor found two able opponents in the persons of the Rev. Drs. Bachman and Smyth, who both spoke and wrote in opposition to him. Professor A. pub
lished his views in extenso in the " Christian Exam, iner” for March and July, 1850; and afterward, in 1854, in an essay entitled " The Natural Provinces
* Smyth’s Unity of the Human Species, p. 163, Eng. ed.