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made out a better case for his side than he has done ; no other naturalist could, we are persuaded, have done more, or done better, to sustain Mr. Darwin's great thesis. We say “ Mr. Darwin's great thesis,” because in maintaining it the modern Darwinian school are faithful followers of their master. For the late Mr. Darwin declared that to admit the existence of a distinction of kind between the origin of man and that of other animals “ would make the theory of Natural Selection' valueless," and that, under such circumstances, he “would give absolutely nothing for the theory of Natural Selection,” adding, “ I think you will be driven to reject all or admit all.” That Mr. Romanes is a faithful exponent of his master's views is certain, for Charles Darwin has told us again and again that he saw no distinction of “ kind,” but only one of “ degree,” between our highest intellectual faculties and the feelings of a brute. He has also proclaimed the doctrine which denies to us the possession of any intellectual and moral faculties that could not have been evolved by the chance action of natural forces, from the powers possessed by brutes, to be a doctrine which “rests upon ground that will never be shaken.” *
The question to which Mr. Romanes applies himself - the question as to the existence of any essential distinction between the lowest human intellect and the
* This shows how little justified Mr. Alfred R. Wallace was in bestowing on his recent work, the name of “Darwinism ”-a work which, however fully it may maintain the doctrine of the origin of species of plants and animals by “Natural Selection," culminates in a distinct denial of that which we thus see Mr. Darwin regarded as an essential part of his whole contention.
highest psychical powers of any brute—is, as he says, "a most interesting and important” one, and is, in Professor Huxley's words, an “argument fraught with the deepest consequences."
The doctrine which Mr. Romanes, Professor Huxley, Professor Haeckel, Mr. Herbert Spencer, and others agree in asserting—the doctrine of the essential bestiality of man-is declared by one of the ablest and most honest and outspoken teachers of that school, Professor Ray Lankester—to be the very flower and culmination of modern philosophy.*
Very worthy, then, in our opinion, is Mr. Romanes's work of the most careful and candid consideration-a work on which he has lavished so much time and labour.
He has been very unreasonably blamed for attaching the importance he has to the question of “difference of kind," and for affirming † that such a difference involves a difference of origin ; and it has been asserted
* His words are, “Darwin, by his discovery of the mechanical principle of organic evolution, namely, the survival of the fittest in the struggle for existence, completed the doctrine of evolution, and gave it that unity and authority which was necessary in order that it should reform the whole range of philosophy. The detailed consequences of that new departure in philosophy have yet to be worked out. Its most important initial conception is the derivation of man by natural processes from ape-like ancestors, and the consequent derivation of his mental and moral qualities by the operation of the struggle for existence and natural selection from the mental and moral qualities of animals. Not the least important of the studies thus initiated is that of the evolution of philosophy itself. Zoology thus finally arrives, through Darwin, at its crowning development; it teaches, and may be even said to comprise, the history of man, sociology, and psychology” (“Encyc. Brit.," vol. xxiv. p. 820).
As he does on p. 3, in a note.
that creatures really different in kind may have been continuously produced, in succession, simply by evolution. To say this, however, is to confound a real, philosophical difference of “kind” (which, of course, is what Mr. Romanes has in view) with a mere popular use of the word. It is as if a man were to say he liked three “ kinds ” of toast for breakfast—" dry," " buttered," and “ French.” But a real difference of kind, a difference of essential nature, cannot be evolved. It cannot possibly admit of “more” or “less.” It simply “is” or it “is not.” Mr. Romanes has rightly apprehended the task before him, and has vigorously applied himself to it. He does not “palter with us in a double sense," but honestly and honourably strives to meet, pointblank, the strongest arguments of his adversaries.
Before beginning our examination of Mr. Romanes's work, we think it well to state distinctly what our own position exactly is.
We deem this necessary, because, as will shortly appear, our views have been so singularly misapprehended by Mr. Romanes. We therefore cannot but feel sure that other persons less gifted, or less interested in the subject than he is, may, not improbably, have misunderstood us also. It therefore seems to be incumbent on us to take what pains we can to obviate such misconceptions, by giving as plain and full a statement of our convictions as it is in our power to do.
A careful study of the facts of life (human, animal, and vegetal) has impressed us with the following convictions :
(1) Although our intellectual and volitional nature is essentially distinct from that of any mere animal, there is none the less abundant evidence that certain physical conditions are necessary for its external manifestation. In the absence of those conditions it may, as in sleep, remain latent. That often, when not externally apparent, it may for all that really persist in a latent condition, is plainly shown us by the fact that it can and does become subsequently manifest—as on waking—when the needful conditions have been supplied, as, e.g., through sufficient rest.
(2) Each human being is a true unity which possesses, simultaneously, the powers of two natures-one animal and the other rational-both sets of powers * co-operating in the whole mental life of each individual. We cannot, therefore, separate, for examination, our intellect from our sensuous activity, while our intellectual nature modifies the exercise of even our mere sensitivity. Nevertheless we can sufficiently distinguish the qualities of either set of faculties to be aware of the great difference which exists between them.
(3) We know, both by common sense and careful observation, that brutes do not make manifest externally an unequivocally intellectual nature. But though we know that such manifestations do not occur, we cannot know all that animals are or may be. We cannot, therefore, venture positively to affirm that, in the absence of intellect, they do not possess one or more powers or faculties which we do not, and which, therefore, we cannot imagine or fully understand. Did they possess, however, an intellectual nature, we are very confident that they would very soon make us distinctly and unmistakably aware of the fact by external signs.
* In our work “On Truth” (Kegan Paul, Trench and Co., 1889) we have described at length-pp. 178–223—both our higher and our lower mental powers. We shall be compelled again and again to refer our readers to this work, which was sent to press before that of Mr. Romanes appeared. Had it not been so sent the present volume would have been superfluous.
(4) But animals do not make signs; for a sign is a token or device addressed to eye or ear, depicting, by an external manifestation, some newly arising combination of ideas. Such a manifestation must be made with the intention of conveying to the understanding of another, a knowledge of the combination of ideas possessed by the mind of the sign-maker. Otherwise it is not and cannot be a “sign."
(5) The accounts we sometimes meet with of a quite exceptional display by animals of psychical powers which seem to be truly intellectual, must, then (occasional mendacity apart), be due to one of three causes :
(a) Errors of observation or mistaken inferences—and the actions of animals are very easily misapprehended.
(6) The possession by such animals of some power or faculty which we have not, and therefore cannot imagine.
(c) The possession by animals of an intellectual nature like our own (making them truly moral and responsible beings), which nature they are hindered from making manifest externally, owing to the absence of some requisite physical conditions. This view, instead of degrading man to the level commonly assigned to brutes, raises them to the level of mankind. It is