The Descent of ManCharles Darwin
The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, Vol. I (1st editio, by Charles Darwin This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, Vol. I (1st edition) Author: Charles Darwin Release Date: January 15, 2011 [EBook #34967] Language: English Character set encoding: UTF-8 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE DESCENT OF MAN AND *** Produced by StevenGibbs, Turgut Dincer and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net
DESCENT OF MAN,
SELECTION IN RELATION TO SEX.
By CHARLES DARWIN, M.A., F.R.S., &c.
IN TWO VOLUMES.—Vol. I.
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET.
[The right of Translation is reserved.]
BY THE SAME AUTHOR.
ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES BY MEANS OF NATURAL SELECTION; or, The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life; Fifth Edition (Tenth Thousand), with Additions and Corrections. 1869. Murray.
THE VARIATION OF ANIMALS AND PLANTS UNDER DOMESTICATION. In two vols. With Illustrations. 1868. Murray.
ON THE VARIOUS CONTRIVANCES by which BRITISH AND FOREIGN ORCHIDS ARE FERTILISED BY INSECTS; and on the Good Effects of Crossing. With numerous Woodcuts. Murray.
A NATURALIST‘S VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD; or, A Journal of Researches into the Natural History and Geology of the Countries visited during the voyage of H.M.S. ‘Beagle,’ under the command of Captain FitzRoy, R.N. Eleventh Thousand. Murray.
ON THE STRUCTURE AND DISTRIBUTION OF CORAL REEFS. Smith, Elder, & Co.
GEOLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS ON VOLCANIC ISLANDS. Smith, Elder, & Co.
GEOLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS ON SOUTH AMERICA. Smith, Elder & Co.
A MONOGRAPH OF THE CIRRIPEDIA. With numerous Illustrations. 2 vols. 8vo. Hardwicke.
ON THE MOVEMENTS AND HABITS OF CLIMBING PLANTS. With Woodcuts. Williams & Norgate.
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LONDON: PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, STAMFORD STREET, AND CHARING CROSS.
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Introduction Page 1-5
ON THE DESCENT OF MAN
The Evidence of the Descent of man from some Lower form.
Nature of the evidence bearing on the origin of man—Homologous structures in man and the lower animals—Miscellaneous points of correspondence—Development—Rudimentary structures, muscles, sense-organs, hair, bones, reproductive organs, &c.—The bearing of these three great classes of facts on the origin of man 9-33
Comparison of the Mental Powers of Man and the Lower Animals.
The difference in mental power between the highest ape and the lowest savage, immense—Certain instincts in common—The emotions—Curiosity—Imitation—Attention—Memory—Imagination—Reason—Progressive improvement—Tools and weapons used by animals—Language—Self-consciousness—Sense of beauty—Belief in God, spiritual agencies, superstitions 34-69
Comparison of the Mental Powers of Man and the Lower Animals—continued.
The difference in mental power between the highest ape and the lowest savage, immense—Certain instincts in common—The emotions—Curiosity—Imitation—Attention—Memory—Imagination—Reason—Progressive improvement—Tools and weapons used by animals—Language—Self-consciousness—Sense of beauty—Belief in God, spiritual agencies, superstitions 70-106
On the Manner of Development of Man from some Lower Form.
Variability of body and mind in man—Inheritance—Causes of variability—Laws of variation the same in man as in the lower animals—Direct action of the conditions of life—Effects of the increased use and disuse of parts—Arrested development—Reversion—Correlated variation—Rate of increase—Checks to increase—Natural selection—Man the most dominant animal in the world—Importance of his corporeal structure—The causes which have led to his becoming erect—Consequent changes of structure—Decrease in size of the canine teeth—Increased size and altered shape of the skull—Nakedness—Absence of a tail—Defenceless condition of man 107-157
On the Development of the Intellectual and Moral Faculties during Primeval and Civilised Times.
The advancement of the intellectual powers through natural selection—Importance of imitation—Social and moral faculties—Their development within the limits of the same tribe—Natural selection as affecting civilised nations—Evidence that civilised nations were once barbarous 158-184
On the Affinities and Genealogy of Man.
Position of man in the animal series—The natural system genealogical—Adaptive characters of slight value—Various small points of resemblance between man and the Quadrumana—Rank of man in the natural system—Birthplace and antiquity vii of man—Absence of fossil connecting-links—Lower stages in the genealogy of man, as inferred, firstly from his affinities and secondly from his structure—Early androgynous condition of the Vertebrata—Conclusion 185-213
On the Races of Man.
The nature and value of specific characters—Application to the races of man—Arguments in favour of, and opposed to, ranking the so-called races of man as distinct species—Sub-species—Monogenists and polygenists—Convergence of character—Numerous points of resemblance in body and mind between the most distinct races of man—The state of man when he first spread over the earth—Each race not descended from a single pair—The extinction of races—The formation of races—The effects of crossing—Slight influence of the direct action of the conditions of life—Slight or no influence of natural selection—Sexual selection. 214-250
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Principles of Sexual Selection.
Secondary sexual characters—Sexual selection—Manner of action—Excess of males—Polygamy—The male alone generally modified through sexual selection—Eagerness of the male—Variability of the male—Choice exerted by the female—Sexual compared with natural selection—Inheritance at corresponding periods of life, at corresponding seasons of the year, and as limited by sex—Relations between the several forms of inheritance—Causes why one sex and the young are not modified through sexual selection—Supplement on the proportional numbers of the two sexes throughout the animal kingdom—On the limitation of the numbers of the two sexes through natural selection 253-320
Secondary Sexual Characters in the Lower Classes of the Animal Kingdom.
viii These characters absent in the lowest classes—Brilliant colours—Mollusca—Annelids—Crustacea, secondary sexual characters strongly developed; dimorphism; colour; characters not acquired before maturity—Spiders, sexual colours of; stridulation by the males—Myriapoda 321-340
Secondary Sexual Characters of Insects.
Diversified structures possessed by the males for seizing the females—Differences between the sexes, of which the meaning is not understood—Difference in size between the sexes—Thysanura—Diptera—Hemiptera—Homoptera, musical powers possessed by the males alone—Orthoptera, musical instruments of the males, much diversified in structure; pugnacity; colours—Neuroptera, sexual differences in colour—Hymenoptera, pugnacity and colours—Coleoptera, colours; furnished
with great horns, apparently as an ornament; battles; stridulating organs generally common to both sexes 341-385
Insects, continued.—Order Lepidoptera.
Courtship of butterflies—Battles—Ticking noise—Colours common to both sexes, or more brilliant in the males—Examples—Not due to the direct action of the conditions of life—Colours adapted for protection—Colours of moths—Display—Perceptive powers of the Lepidoptera—Variability—Causes of the difference in colour between the males and females—Mimickry, female butterflies more brilliantly coloured than the males—Bright colours of caterpillars—Summary and concluding remarks on the secondary sexual characters of insects—Birds and insects compared 386-423
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THE DESCENT OF MAN;
SELECTION IN RELATION TO SEX.
The nature of the following work will be best understood by a brief account of how it came to be written. During many years I collected notes on the origin or descent of man, without any intention of publishing on the subject, but rather with the determination not to publish, as I thought that I should thus only add to the prejudices against my views. It seemed to me sufficient to indicate, in the first edition of my ‘Origin of Species,’ that by this work “light would be thrown on the origin of man and his history;” and this implies that man must be included with other organic beings in any general conclusion respecting his manner of appearance on this earth. Now the case wears a wholly different aspect. When a naturalist like Carl Vogt ventures to say in his address as President of the National Institution of Geneva (1869), “personne, en Europe au moins, n’ose plus soutenir la création indépendante et de toutes pièces, des espèces,” it is manifest that at least a large number of naturalists must admit that species are the modified descendants of other species;2 and this especially holds good with the younger and rising naturalists. The greater number accept the agency of natural selection; though some urge, whether with justice the future must decide, that I have greatly overrated its importance. Of the older and honoured chiefs in natural science, many unfortunately are still opposed to evolution in every form.
In consequence of the views now adopted by most naturalists, and which will ultimately, as in every other case, be followed by other men, I have been led to put together my notes, so as to see how far the general conclusions arrived at in my former works were applicable to man. This seemed all the more desirable as I had never deliberately applied these views to a species taken singly. When we confine our attention to any one form, we are deprived of the weighty arguments derived from the nature of the affinities which connect together whole groups of organisms—their geographical distribution in past and present times, and their geological succession. The homological structure, embryological development, and rudimentary organs of a species, whether it be man or any other animal, to which our attention may be directed, remain to be considered; but these great classes of facts afford, as it appears to me, ample and conclusive evidence in favour of the principle of gradual evolution. The strong support derived from the other arguments should, however, always be kept before the mind.
The sole object of this work is to consider, firstly, whether man, like every other species, is descended from some pre-existing form; secondly, the manner of3 his development; and thirdly, the value of the differences between the so-called races of man. As I shall confine myself to these points, it will not be necessary to describe in detail the differences between the several races—an enormous subject which has been fully discussed in many valuable works. The high antiquity of man has recently been demonstrated by the labours of a host of eminent men, beginning with M. Boucher de Perthes; and this is the indispensable basis for understanding his origin. I shall, therefore, take this conclusion for granted, and may refer my readers to the admirable treatises of Sir Charles Lyell, Sir John Lubbock, and others. Nor shall I have occasion to do more than to allude to the amount of difference between man and the anthropomorphous apes; for Prof. Huxley, in the opinion of most competent judges, has conclusively shewn that in every single visible character man differs less from the higher apes than these do from the lower members of the same order of Primates.
This work contains hardly any original facts in regard to man; but as the conclusions at which I arrived, after drawing up a rough draft, appeared to me interesting, I thought that they might interest others. It has often and confidently been asserted, that man’s origin can never be known: but ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science. The conclusion that man is the co-descendant with other species of some ancient, lower, and extinct form, is not in any degree new. La4marck long ago came to this conclusion, which has lately been maintained by several eminent naturalists and philosophers; for instance by Wallace, Huxley, Lyell, Vogt, Lubbock, Büchner, Rolle, &c.,1 and especially by Häckel. This last naturalist, besides his great work, 'Generelle Morphologie ‘(1866), has recently (1868, with a second edit. in 1870), published his ‘Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte, ‘in which he fully discusses the genealogy of man. If this work had appeared before my essay had been written, I should probably never have completed it. Almost all the conclusions at which I have arrived I find confirmed by this naturalist, whose knowledge on many points is much fuller than mine. Wherever I have added any fact or view from Prof. Häckel’s writings, I give his authority in the text, other statements I leave as they originally stood in my manuscript, occasionally giving in the foot-notes references to his works, as a confirmation of the more doubtful or interesting points.
During many years it has seemed to me highly probable that sexual selection has played an important part in differentiating the races of man; but in my 5
6‘Origin of Species’ (first edition, p. 199) I contented myself by merely alluding to this belief. When I came to apply this view to man, I found it indispensable to treat the whole subject in full detail.2 Consequently the second part of the present work, treating of sexual selection, has extended to an inordinate length, compared with the first part; but this could not be avoided.
I had intended adding to the present volumes an essay on the expression of the various emotions by man and the lower animals. My attention was called to this subject many years ago by Sir Charles Bell’s admirable work. This illustrious anatomist maintains that man is endowed with certain muscles solely for the sake of expressing his emotions. As this view is obviously opposed to the belief that man is descended from some other and lower form, it was necessary for me to consider it. I likewise wished to ascertain how far the emotions are expressed in the same manner by the different races of man. But owing to the length of the present work, I have thought it better to reserve my essay, which is partially completed, for separate publication.
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THE DESCENT OR ORIGIN OF MAN.
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Part I.—THE DESCENT OF MAN.
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The Evidence of the Descent of Man from some Lower Form.
Nature of the evidence bearing on the origin of man—Homologous structures in man and the lower animals—Miscellaneous points of correspondence—Development—Rudimentary structures, muscles, sense-organs, hair, bones, reproductive organs, &c.—The bearing of these three great classes of facts on the origin of man.
He who wishes to decide whether man is the modified descendant of some pre-existing form, would probably first enquire whether man varies, however slightly, in bodily structure and in mental faculties; and if so, whether the variations are transmitted to his offspring in accordance with the laws which prevail with the lower animals; such as that of the transmission of characters to the same age or sex. Again, are the variations the result, as far as our ignoranc
e permits us to judge, of the same general causes, and are they governed by the same general laws, as in the case of other organisms; for instance by correlation, the inherited effects of use and disuse, &c.? Is man subject to similar malconformations, the result of arrested development, of reduplication of parts, &c., and does he display in any of his anomalies reversion to some former and ancient type of structure? It might also naturally be enquired whether man, like so many other animals, has given rise to varieties and sub-races, differing but slightly from each other, or to10 races differing so much that they must be classed as doubtful species? How are such races distributed over the world; and how, when crossed, do they react on each other, both in the first and succeeding generations? And so with many other points.
The enquirer would next come to the important point, whether man tends to increase at so rapid a rate, as to lead to occasional severe struggles for existence, and consequently to beneficial variations, whether in body or mind, being preserved, and injurious ones eliminated. Do the races or species of men, whichever term may be applied, encroach on and replace each other, so that some finally become extinct? We shall see that all these questions, as indeed is obvious in respect to most of them, must be answered in the affirmative, in the same manner as with the lower animals. But the several considerations just referred to may be conveniently deferred for a time; and we will first see how far the bodily structure of man shows traces, more or less plain, of his descent from some lower form. In the two succeeding chapters the mental powers of man, in comparison with those of the lower animals, will be considered.