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Serial Lesson 131
From Course XII-1, Natural Alchemy
Part 1: Evolution of Life
Original Copyright 1949, Elbert Benjamine (a.k.a. C. C. Zain)
Copyright 2011, The Church of Light
The Most Recent Discovery of Primitive Man Animals Have Extrasensory Perception Proofs of Man’s Animal Ancestry Present Day Subspecies of Man
Human Genealogical Tree The Gorilla Evolution of upright posture
Development of Man
Human Genealogical Tree
IN Chapter 3 (Serial Lesson 127) the chief characteristics of the vertebrate animals were mentioned. Man possesses all of these characteristics. Furthermore, as his young are born alive and nourished by mammary glands, he is a mammal. Of the mammals, the method by which the young are nourished before birth places him among the placentals. These are classified into four groups: the clawed ungiculates, the hoofed ungulates, the finned cetaceans, and the nailed arborial primates. Obviously he has neither the structure and claws of a dog, the hoofs of a horse, nor the fins of a whale. But he does have the flattened nails, the clavicle, the simple stomach, the thoric mammary glands, and all other characteristics of the primate group.
The ancestors of all Primates, as stated in Chapter 6 (Serial Lesson 130), there is good evidence to show, were small insect eating mammals that lived in the Cretaceous period some 75 million years ago. The first fossil Primates are found in the Washatch formation of the Great Basin of North America, some 45 million years old. Such is Pelycodus; but the transition between the earlier insect eaters and the true Primates is found in Lower Eocene formation, about 50 million years old. They had adopted a strict diet of fruits and nuts which took them into the trees. Still later, in Upper Eocene, the lemur called Northarctus, which resembles present day lemurs, is abundantly found in the formation of the Green River Valley in America.
The lemur is often referred to as a “half ape”; for the brain is not developed so extensively as in the true monkeys, and the second digit of the foot still bears a claw, instead of the nails which the other digits carry. It is thus much more closely related to other mammals than are the apes and monkeys.
The present day Primates are divided into several families. The marmosets belong to the family Hapalidae. The Capuchians, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, etc., belong to the family Cebidae. The Old World Monkeys, baboons, macaques, etc., belong to the family Cercopithecidae. The anthropoid, or manlike apes belong to the family Simiidae. Man is classed in yet another family, the Hominidae.
The nearest relatives to man, structurally and biologically, are the anthropoid, or manlike apes. There are four living genera of the anthropoids, and several extinct genera. The living genera are the Hylobates, or gibbons; the Simia, or orang; the Pan, or chimpanzee; and the Gorilla, or gorilla. The gibbons and orang at the present live in the Orient, and the chimpanzee and gorilla are natives of Africa. The transitional form between Northarctus of the Eocene and present day anthropoids, Propliopithecus, was found in the Oligocene formation of Egypt dating back about 30 million years.
The orang branched off from one anthropoid genealogical stem in Miocene times, about 18 million years ago. Somewhat later, in the Middle Miocene formation of India, representing an age of about 15 million years, there has been found the fossil of an extinct form, Sivapithecus. It lived rather close in time to another form, Dryopithecus, and not far from the time when both the chimpanzee and the gorilla branched off as different trends in anthropoid evolution.
To sum the matter up, we may say that the gibbon of today is somewhat less manlike in its characteristics than its ancestor, Propliopithecus, which lived about 30 million years ago. The orang of today is less human in structure, and probably in its habits, than its ancestor of some 18 million years ago. The chimpanzee is less manlike today than its ancestor of 15 million years ago, and the gorilla of today has at least no more likeness to man than its ancestor of 15 million years ago. We have much reason to believe, therefore, that there has been a constant widening of the structural breach between man and the living apes for not less than 30 million years.
The Most Recent Discovery of Primitive Man
The Java fossil man (Pithecanthropus) and the China fossil man (Sinanthropus) go back a long way, but the fossils of the oldest man discovered to this date (1949) are those of certain pigmies of South Africa. In late 1924 such a fossil was dug from a limestone quarry about 80 miles north of Kimberly. The discovery was announced by Dr. Raymond Dart, professor of anatomy at the University of Witwatersrand. This man ape, as it then was called, was only a baby, not more than four years old, that had died in a limestone cave which slowly filled up with stalagmites, turning the skull into rock. Happily the entire skull was preserved, and Dr. Dart at the time stated: “It is a creature well advanced beyond modern anthropoids in just those characters, facial and cerebral, which are to be anticipated in an extinct link between man and his simian ancestors.”
He named it Australopithecus Africanus, meaning southern manlike ape of Africa. And some geologists placed its age as going back to the commencement of the Pliocene period, some seven million years ago. But later digging has convinced Dr. Dart that the pigmies, of which this find was a member, often entered limestone caves in their hunt for baboons. And in the 25 years since this first find, Dr. Dart has kept persistently on the trail of this possible ancestor of modern man, and has unearthed numerous fossils of it, some quite mature. As a consequence of these later finds he says in the autumn, 1948, number of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology that now he wishes he had named it Homunclus, meaning little man.
These pigmies lived earlier than either the Java man or the China man. They lived on the treeless savannas of what is now central Transvaal. They had apelike faces, were about four feet high, and weighed around a hundred pounds. But in spite of their small size, their brains were almost as big as that of the oldest man previously discovered, the Java man, who stood around five feet eight inches.
Says Dr. Dart in the 1948 article: “These intelligent, energetic, erect, and delicately proportioned little people were as competent as any other primitive human group in cavern life made comfortable by the use of fire, in the employment of long bones as lethal weapons, in the cunning and courage of the chase and in internecine strife.”
In 1947 Dr. Dart’s diggers unearthed the back part of the skull, and a lower jaw from an immature pigmy. Near this skull were the skulls of many baboons which had been bashed in from above or behind with a club. The inference is that these pigmies hunted baboons by blocking all but one exit of a baboon cave colony, then as the apes ran out clubbing them from the side of this exit. As these pigmies lived at least 100,000 years, and perhaps many hundred thousand years before the China man, previously the earliest known man to have used fire, and as charred bones give conclusive evidence that they used fire, he named this new man Australopithecus prometheus.
After Dr. Dart’s first find, others also took up the search. And in 1936, Dr. Broom, chief paleontologist of the Transvaal Museum in Pretoria, found several fragments of an adult which he has now renamed Plesianthropus transvaalensis. Then two years later he located, from some rocks casually picked up by a schoolboy, a third genius of the same subfamily as Australopithecus, which he named Paranthropus robustus, meaning manlike and strong. During 1948 Dr. Broom was able to locate the fossils of at least 12 and possibly 15 individuals of Plesianthropus, representing the adult from head to toe. The plants and animals with which the finds of both Dr. Dart and Dr. Broom were associated were definitely those of the early Pliocene. If they were contemporaneous, that would mean that the South African Man Apes lived about seven million years ago. But Dr. Dart now doubts this, and tentatively places them at the end of the Pliocene or the commencement of the Pleistocene, only about a million years ago.
No doubt time and research will reveal not only the direct line through which modern man descended from Propliopithecus, but the significant successive steps. At the present moment the finger points at Australopithecus as the most promising ancestor, from one of the three genera of which, perhaps from Australopithecus prometheus, present man has evolved. The evidence is conclusive enough that present day man descended not from a monkey, but from an animal ancestor which was also the ancestor of the apes. But as to our immediate anthropoid ancestor, and just where on earth man developed, the evidence is as yet not conclusive, and must await the unearthing of new fossils.
The theory is that Australopithecus developed the erect posture and increased brain activity due to the section of the continent in which he lived becoming arid. But no doubt inner-plane weather conditions contributed to his progress as much as his outer-plane environment. Approaching aridity, as we have indicated in preceding chapters, is more often than not the cause either of extinction or the development of new structural adaptations by which extinction is escaped.
In a forested country, life is easy, food abundant, and there is little urge for swift development. This may be one of the reasons the gorilla, living in dense forests far to the north of Australopithecus, has remained in development where he was 15 million years ago. But in a region growing arid, food diminishes, water may be had only in certain places, predatory beasts have a great advantage, and the struggle for life becomes strenuous. In such a hard existence, wandering from place to place in search of food, yet beset by numerous enemies, the development of intelligence would prove the best adaptation. The erect position would free the hands for the examination of objects. Such examination is the foundation of all knowledge.
There is a lot of mystical rubbish in print that places man on earth back in time hundreds of millions of years. And it may be that evidence in time will prove that some species of Australopithecus lived well back in the Pliocene period. But there is no evidence that man lived on earth prior to the Pliocene. There are eoliths, which are flakes of flint that some believe were roughly chipped by human agency and used as primitive weapons and implements, that certain scientists have thought might be a bit earlier than the Pliocene. But other scientists not only believe these eoliths assumed their present form through natural agencies, such as being struck by boulders rolling along a stream bottom, but they doubt that they belong to a time earlier than the Pliocene.
According to Dr. Dart’s finds, however, man had made quite a development by the commencement of the Pleistocene. But before discussing the development of man since that time, during the last million years, let us consider some of the factors which show the close kinship between other animals and man. The proof of such kinship, which would require a volume for full discussion, rests upon at least the six following different and separate lines of research, any of which alone would be considered sufficient in a court of law to establish it as a fact.
Animals Have Extrasensory Perception
Before taking up indications of man’s kinship to animals, as I have repeatedly made reference to different life forms possessing in some degree both extrasensory perception and psychokinetic power, I believe I should elaborate somewhat on this repeated statement.
All my life I have spent as much time as I could spare from work in close contact with wild life, and have had opportunity to observe on occasions what seemed to me to be good examples of their extrasensory perception. But in reference to the kinship between animals and man it seems advisable to give conclusive instances in which animals have employed extrasensory perception.
Quoting from the November 15, 1945, Church of Light Quarterly Report:
“Even those customarily alert are at times caught napping. In the thirty years he has taught two Brotherhood of Light classes a week in Los Angeles, until this summer, Elbert Benjamine has missed working only one day on account of ill health. That was in the spring of 1922 when for a day he suffered from the ‘flu.’ But recently, during the second half of 1945, he has had a period of illness. It occurred merely because he failed to take the indicated precautionary actions for his progressed aspects. In his zeal for Church of Light affairs he permitted his adrenaline and cortin supply to become exhausted. In addition, war restrictions prevented him from obtaining his customary diet. But now he has recovered and is back on the job.”
The illness started July 22, 1945, under progressed Mars sesquisquare Uranus r and p, and progressed Moon square Mars p, reinforced by minor progressed Mercury opposition Mars p, and released by transit Jupiter conjunction Uranus r (birth chart in Chapter 3, Serial Lesson 41, Course I, Laws of Occultism).
On August 22 I was taken to a hospital. From the time I was carried on a stretcher from my home, my dog Duke (birth chart and progressed aspects in Chapter 3, Serial Lesson 127) crouched in corners, whined almost continuously, and refused to eat. On the third day, between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m., all at once his behavior changed. He trotted about the room, wagged his tail, and in his dog way begged for something to eat. This sudden change in attitude was so marked that my wife, Maria M. Benjamine, at once left him and went to the mail order department, close at hand, where she reported how he was acting. Rev. Edward Doane at once said, “Duke knows Elbert is going to get well.” Maria then returned to our living quarters. Within ten minutes after she arrived there the telephone rang. The head nurse at the hospital, a mile away, told her over the phone that the doctor had asked her to call Mrs. Benjamine and inform her the crisis was past, and that Mr. Benjamine would certainly recover.
In The American Weekly for December 5, 1948, Dr. J. B. Rhine, Director of Parapsychology Laboratory, Duke University, relates a similar event, but in which the event was more drastic.
He tells of a cocker spaniel which watched the illness of his mistress in an old Georgia mansion. For days, exhibiting grief continuously by his demeanor, he stayed in the deserted bedroom beside the bed from which his mistress had been taken to a hospital.
He did not whimper, but mutely retained a sad expression. Then one afternoon, with nothing unusual happening in his vicinity, all at once, and quite unexpectedly, he started the mournful howl which dogs frequently give in the presence of human death. The servants in the house, giving it this common interpretation, at once said their mistress had died. Checking later with the hospital it was found that the woman did die at approximately the time the cocker started howling.
In the same article Dr. Rhine tells of a man in Canada who left his German shepherd dog penned up securely before starting on a train trip which he anticipated would keep him from home some time. His orders were that the dog was not to be released until he returned.
Then something unexpected came up and the dog’s master returned much sooner than he, or those he had left in charge of his estate, had expected. But he had to alight from the train several miles from his home at a flagstop. In the meantime the dog had chewed his way to freedom, and much to the owner’s surprise—for no one but himself knew he would get off at this flagstop at that time—he was met there joyously by his dog.
This is an instance of either prevision, or of the dog getting the information telepathically from his master’s mind. But, apparently, dogs also at times pick up the experiences of other dogs at a distance. In the same article Dr. Rhine tells of two dogs belonging to the same owner. One of the dogs became ill, and was taken to a veterinarian hospital. The other dog, a Boston terrier, had been in good health. Yet a few days later he was struck suddenly with convulsions as if suffering severely with abdominal pains. Very quickly he returned to his normal health again. But it was learned that his dog friend had died of violent convulsions at about the time the Boston terrier had unaccountably suffered temporarily a similar seizure.
There are a great many instances on record in which both dogs and cats exhibit great fear when in a room where a ghost is supposed to make visits. In the mentioned article such an experience is quoted from Dr. Walter F. Prince’s book, Human Experiences. In this instance a Newfoundland dog of pronounced fighting propensities, in the presence of such a ghost, deserted the little girl it was his duty to guard and fled whining, with his tail between his legs, to the cellar where he hid in a coal bin; something he had never done before.
The scientists at Duke University investigate dogs that are reputed to have telepathic or extrasensory perception. And they have found some with quite extraordinary telepathic powers. One dog, Pikki, performing with a Russian circus, they gave a series of such telepathic tests. Pikki would do almost anything his master commanded him to do mentally. Screens and other devices were used to make it impossible for the dog’s master, Professor Bechterav, to give the dog any kind of sensory clue as to what he wanted him to do.
Thus is there evidence obtained by trained scientific experimenters that dogs on occasion possess the ability to gain information telepathically.
As there is ample evidence that man’s personality survives the tomb, the question next arises, does his kin, the animals, survive physical dissolution?
Many have recorded that a pet dog or a pet cat after it died had some time later been seen as a ghost in the locality to which it had become accustomed before its death; moving through the house, jumping up on an easy chair, or doing something else that it habitually did while alive in the physical.
Mr. Pierre Van Paassen in his book, Days of Our Years, relates his experience of a ghostly dog. He was in France sitting by the fire. It was about eleven o’clock at night. Suddenly he felt cold. He went down stairs to throw some coal on the fire, and as he returned something brushed his leg. He looked back and saw it was a large black dog. He had never seen it before. He was surprised; for there seemed no way for a dog to get into the house. It scampered down the steps. He turned all the lights on and made a thorough search of the house. But no dog. So he went to the front door and unlocked it, all the doors and windows being shut and bolted, and called in his two police dogs.
The next night, and on several subsequent nights, he saw the same black dog again, but could find no way by which it could get into, or out of, the house. Then he was sent to Rumania on an assignment for five weeks. When he returned he found his servant, who was already sleeping elsewhere, leaving. Her reason was that she would not work in a haunted house. She said at night a big black dog pushed her door open and came into her room.
Mr. Van Paassen got a man and his nineteen-year-old son to watch with him. They were armed with a club and a pistol. At eleven o’clock they all heard the dog’s footsteps as he came running down the stairs from the upper story. All three ran into the hall, and there at the foot of the stairs was the black dog, which calmly stared back at them. One of the men whistled to the dog, which wagged his tail in friendly fashion. But when they started to descend the stairs toward the dog, its figure began to grow hazy and dim, and long before they had reached it, it had completely vanished.
On an evening subsequent to this, instead of the two men, Mr. Van Paassen got his two police dogs to help him watch. When the patter of the black dog’s feet were heard overhead the two police dogs pricked up their ears. Then the hackles on their necks became erect and both backed toward the exit door, growling and showing their teeth. Their master on this occasion, however, could not see the black dog. But apparently the two police dogs did; for they let out howls as if in pain, and began snapping and biting as if they were in a terrific fight with something. Mr. Van Paassen could not see what they were fighting, although he stood ready to take part with a stout club. But suddenly one of his police dogs let out a dreadful wail and dropped dead on the floor. The other one backed into a corner whining, whimpering and quivering. The astral dog had won the fight.
But dogs are not the only animals whose ghosts have been reported by reliable witnesses. Major General R. Barter, of the British army, a young subaltern in the Indian service, had an experience in 1854 with a phantom rider on a pony. In 1888 the General sent the story to the Society for Psychical Research, and it is recorded in the Proceedings in Vol. V, Page 459.
Barter, when he arrived for duty in the Punjab, rented a house which had been built a year or two before by another officer who had died some six months previously. One evening some friends had visited him and after he had gone up the trail some distance with them when they left, he turned around to go back to his house, accompanied by his two dogs. As he turned, he heard the ring of a horse’s iron shoe on the rocks. Watching in the direction of the sound, presently he saw in the bright moonlight a man riding a horse, a very strange figure; for attended by two grooms, he was in full evening dress, with white waistcoat and high silk hat. The horse was a strong hill pony, dark brown in color, with a black mane and tail. On either side of the pony’s head walked one of the grooms. One of the grooms had his back turned and the other’s face was hidden by the pony’s head. But with one hand each held the bridle close by the bit and rested the free hand on the rider’s thigh as if to steady him in the saddle.
The path they were on led only to Barter’s house, so he shouted to them, but received no reply. When they came close to him he shouted at them angrily, for he was exasperated that they paid no attention to him.
To this there was no response, but the group halted, and stood motionless. Then Barter recognized the rider as Lieutenant B_______ who had built the house he was living in; for he had previously known him in the service. When Barter sprang to lay hold of the Lieutenant who had been dead six months, the whole group vanished. And he noticed that his dogs, who never strayed far from his heels, had taken to the underbrush.
The next morning he went to visit Lieutenant Deane, who had been in the same regiment with the man now dead. Among the questions he asked the Lieutenant was where the man now dead got his pony. The Lieutenant seemed startled, and said, “Why, how do you know anything about this? You haven’t seen B________ for two or three years and the pony you never saw. He bought him at Peshawar and killed him one day riding in his reckless fashion down the hill to Trete.”
Proofs of Man’s Animal Ancestry
Within man’s anatomy are nearly 200 vestigial structures. These are structures, such as the familiar vermiform appendix, that have served a useful purpose in lower forms of life, but which now serve man no useful purpose. He is in the process of getting rid of them. They have diminished in size, and although yet a part of his physical inheritance, he is discarding them as fast as his system can make adaptation. Thus they are small and inconspicuous. It seems strange if man is a special creation that he should be encumbered with nearly 200 structures that not only serve no useful purpose to him, although they do serve other animals a very useful purpose, but actually, in many cases, such as the appendix, which I cite because all are familiar with the fact that it is easily infected and causes so many surgical operations, encumber his activities and endanger his life.
In man’s skeleton, muscles, nerves, nerve centers, alimentary canal and its tributary glands, the glands of internal secretion, and the respiratory and circulatory systems, he parallels in structure and function other mammals. The few differences, such as the erect attitude and the placement of the skull on the spinal column to permit this attitude (picture on page ), and the enlargement of the brain, are specializations developed due to certain habits that have been adopted by man and not by other animals, even as other genera of animals differ from each other because of their differing habits.
It also seems strange if man is a special creation, that in the development of the human embryo it is first like an invertebrate, then like a fish, then as development proceeds partly reptile-like and partly bird-like, then like a mammal, and finally like a man. The heart when it first develops has a single chamber like the heart of a fish. The auricle next divides in two, giving three chambers like the heart of an amphibian. Finally the ventricle divides and we have the four-chambered heart of the warm-blooded animals including man.
The blood as it develops also passes through the stages of its ancestral evolution. The first red blood cells are large and nucleated like the blood of fishes and amphibians. They then take on the characteristics of the blood of reptiles, and finally, before birth they lose this reptilian structure and become non nucleated and bi concave, the characteristic of the human blood.
Definite proof also is forthcoming as to man’s nearest kin among the animals. Blood transfusion affords one such test. The blood serum, or fluid in which the blood corpuscles are carried, of animals of close blood kin when transfused mixes without injury; but the blood serums of animals not closely related is poisonous one to another. The blood serum of the horse is not injurious to the blood corpuscles of the donkey; the blood serum of the hare is not injurious to the blood corpuscles of the rabbit; and the blood serum of the wolf is not injurious to the blood corpuscles of the dog. But the serum of a horse is poisonous to the blood corpuscles of a dog, and the blood serum of a wolf is poisonous to the blood corpuscles of a rabbit. The immunity of the blood corpuscles of one animal to the serum from another undoubtedly is due to such animals having diverged recently from a common parent stock and therefore the serum and the corpuscles have undergone almost no modifications since the divergence occurred. Where the divergences from a common ancestor is so far in the past that the serum and the corpuscles of the different stocks have undergone considerable modifications they become injurious to each other.
The blood serum of man is poisonous to, and destroys the blood corpuscles of other animals, but does not injure the corpuscles of the anthropoid apes. Certain contagious diseases common to man, likewise, are not possible to other animals than the anthropoid apes.
Still a further test of man’s kinship with the anthropoids has been discovered in the “precipitin” test of blood relationship. It has been discovered that if a fresh blood serum of any animal is injected into the veins of a rabbit there will be produced in the rabbit’s blood an antibody. Now if into blood taken from the same species of animal originally used to develop the antibody in the rabbit’s blood a few drops of the drawn off blood of the treated rabbit be introduced, a white precipitate is formed. If the blood used for the experiment is not of the same species, but of a closely related species, there will be a small amount of the precipitate formed; the amount being determined by the closeness of the relationship between the animal used to procure the antibody and the animal used to get the precipitate.
Thus a scientist, without being made aware of the identity of the animal from which the blood was drawn to form the antibody, and without knowing from what animal the blood was drawn for the test, can determine to what extent they are blood kin. If a horse is used to get the antibody, another horse’s blood will show a strong precipitate, indicating a very close relationship; while a donkey’s blood will yield a precipitate, but less in amount, showing a relationship not quite so close.
When human blood is used to get the antibody, and other human blood is used for the precipitin test, the precipitate is pronounced. When anthropoid ape blood is used for the test there is a precipitate, but less marked than when human blood is used. And when monkey blood is used for the test there is still a precipitate, but not so marked as when anthropoid ape blood is used. When the blood of other animals is used for the test there is no precipitate. Thus is the relationship between man and the anthropoid apes established by the almost identical chemical composition of their blood streams.
Physical man and the anthropoids, however, as we have seen, branched from the same parent stock not less than 30 million years ago, and man has evidently been specializing in brains almost ever since. The freeing of his hands due to his erect posture enabled him to hold things before his eyes for examination. This examination reacted upon the brain and made him more anxious to examine other objects; hands, eyes and brain each helping the other to develop. As the hands became more dexterous, the use of implements was discovered, and the thumb then rapidly developed.
In the same strata with the Ape Man of Java (Pithecanthropus), who lived something like a million years ago, possibly contemporaneous with, but by some scientists thought later than, Australopithecus, have been found flints that may have served him as crude implements. This point, however, is open to controversy. Australopithecus, however, who lived at least at as early a date, according to late finds, used both weapons and fire. The weapon which is found with his bones is a club which had a ridged head, the distal end of the humerus bone, with which he bashed in the skulls of the baboons he killed for food.
The China Man, or Peking Man, was unearthed in China near Peking. He lived perhaps 900,000 years ago. His chief claim to fame is that he is supposed to have had a larger brain than the Java Man, and had reached the fire using stage of culture.
The Piltdown Man*, Eanthropus, found in England, belongs to still another genus of man. He lived perhaps in the First Interglacial Interval, something over 800,000 years ago; but the precise time is uncertain. The brain case, brow, and back of head are distinctly human of a very low type, the brain capacity being about that of the lowest living savage. The lower jaw and dentition are ape like, the chin being lacking. He walked erect, and in the pit where he was discovered have been found a rough flint spearhead, a stone hide dresser, and a hammer stone. It is thought that he possessed fire.
*The Piltdown Man was a hoax. Bone fragments were presented as the fossilized remains of a previously unknown early human. These fragments consisted of parts of a skull and jawbone, said to have been collected in 1912 from a gravel pit at Piltdown, East Sussex, England. The significance of the specimen remained the subject of controversy until it was exposed in 1953 as a forgery, consisting of the lower jawbone of an orangutan that had been deliberately combined with the skull of a fully developed modern human.
Probably belonging to the Second Interglacial Interval, some 600,000 years ago, is the Heidelberg Man. His stock branched off from the main human stem at a much earlier date than that of the Piltdown Man. His jaw is remarkable in size and strength, being quite ape like, but the teeth are distinctly human. There was no chin, and no processes for fastening the muscles usually used in speech, therefore, it is doubted if he had language. Crude stone implements found in the same stratum indicate that he was a giant in size and strength; for modern man would find these tools too heavy to work with.
The first man of which we have the entire skeleton—although the fossil pieces of different individuals that have been found represent the complete skeleton of Australopithecus very well—is the Neanderthal Man. He probably descended from the Heidelberg Man, living as far back as the Third Interglacial Interval, at least 250,000 years ago, and up to the end of the last Glacial Period and slightly later, say up to within 25,000 years ago. He is the proverbial Cave Man; for he sought shelter from the cold, and protection from the Cave Bear and other extinct beasts, by taking refuge in caves, where in Europe numerous remains of him have been found. He had great beetling eyebrow ridges, massive jaws, was short of stature, and had a shambling gait. Nevertheless, he had a large brain, was a skilled worker in flints, buried his dead with an outfit for their long journey, and was a believer in magic. In 1921 an African species of this Neanderthal Man was found in Rhodesia, Africa. He is called the Rhodesian Man.
In fitting together the jigsaw puzzle of the time in which each of the mentioned primitive men lived I have presented it in apple pie order. But it is probable future finds will upset both the timing and relationship factors markedly. But as stated, it gives a fairly consistent picture of where, so far as at present known, each of these pre human men fit into the puzzle. Neither the Piltdown Man of England, the Heidelberg Man of Germany, the Neanderthal Man of Spain and France, nor the Rhodesian Man of Africa left any descendants. They were genera of the pre human race that became extinct. All the present day races of the world belong to a single species of a single genera—as shown by their anatomy—that branched into three distinct races, or subspecies, soon after the Piltdown Man branched from the same main human genealogical tree.
Present Day Subspecies of Man*
*The concept of human subspecies of man is discredited and is no longer good science.
Each of these three subspecies has certain well-marked characteristics. One of the most easily determined is the hair, which not only differs in superficial appearance, but has a different structure when examined under a microscope. All the races of the world at present are thought to belong to one of the following groups:
1. The Polynesian-European Group: These have Wavy hair, fair skin, and long heads. They practically encircle the earth, occupying most of Europe and Northern Africa, and extending in a band through Southwestern Asia and Western America north of the equator along the shores of these two continents.
2. The Asian-American Group: These have Straight hair, yellow or red skin, broad heads and narrow eyes. They occupy Eastern Asia and Western America north of the equator along the shores of these two continents.
3. The Australian-African Group: These have Wooly hair, black skin, and decidedly long heads. They occupy Australia and Africa south of the equator.
As I mentioned, the people of these three groups began to diverge from each other some 700,000 years ago. First the Australian-African group branched from the main stem. Then, perhaps 600,000 years ago, the Asian-American group separated from the Polynesian-European group. Since this branching into three subspecies, the Polynesian-European group, which embraces all of the White race, developed fastest along special lines. The Asian-American group, embracing the Mongols and American Indians, developed not quite so fast, and not in just the same way. The Australian-African group, embracing the Negroes and Australian Black Fellows, developed still less rapidly than the other two branches. On the outskirts of the vast areas of the earth’s surface inhabited by each of these three great groups are to be found other people, differing more or less from these marked types. It is supposed that these people, lying on the fringe of well-inhabited areas, have been subjected to certain periods of considerable isolation from the main body of humanity, and have undergone considerable modification due to local environment. They are merely outlying groups of the three main groups which have become highly specialized in some direction.
I have already spoken of the jigsaw puzzle of the relation of the pre human people of the earth to each other and to modern man. But its pieces are nowhere nearly so difficult to fit together as are those of the pattern showing just where present day man had his origin and from what precise pre human people he descended.
He did not descend from the Neanderthal or any other known ancient man. Neither is there any evidence where he attained the development and culture that he possessed when he first appeared upon the scene of the world’s records. The first record of the modern type of man is the Cro-Magnon. Just as soon as the glaciers of Europe receded far enough that the climate and conditions were in a measure endurable, the Cro-Magnon came on the scene. No one knows where he came from, but he was a big fellow, many of the skeletons showing him to be 6 feet, 4 inches in height. In intelligence and physique he was the equal of any race living today. His skeleton was like that of modern man, except that he was unusually wide across the face at the cheek bones. He had much culture, being possessed of rough implements of stone, and he drew pictures of animals on bone and on the walls of his caves. The Basques of the Pyrenees of France and Spain are supposed to be present day direct descendants of these Cro-Magnons.
He is also sometimes called the “Reindeer Man” because the reindeer which he had hunted over the steppes of Europe was one of his two chief food supplies, the other being the horse. He killed off the Neanderthal Man, who had no chance against his great intelligence, and possessed himself of their caves. In certain remote and secret caverns he built clay models of animals, and in connection with his religion went through magical ceremonies over these effigies; this magic being, it is thought, for the purpose of overcoming these creatures when he met them in the flesh.
He made very fair paintings of them too, on the walls of his caves, using a number of natural pigments, such as red and yellow ocher. The animals usually so drawn are the bear, the reindeer, the aurochs and the bison. Where did he develop? In lost Atlantis? He first appeared, so far as there are records to show, about 30,000 years ago.
Then about 12,000 years ago there came a new influx of people into Europe. And no one knows where they came from. But the climate by that time had become suitable for agriculture, and the people who then arrived were of the Polynesian-European group. They had long heads, fair skin, and wavy hair.
Previous to this there had been an invasion of negroid people, for their skeletons have been found in a European cave along with those of the Cro-Magnon. But this new invasion, probably the first wave of the dark white race usually called the Mediterranean Race, came to stay, bringing with them polished stone implements, and high culture in many respects, including the use of domestic animals and the cultivation of such grains as wheat, barley and millet. They had pottery, used milk, and lived a life differing very little from that lived a hundred years ago by the majority of European peasants.
But from whence they came, or from whence came later the wave of light Whites, called the Nordic Race, or where either developed their culture, there are as yet no records to show. At some period they set up huge rough monuments of stone; and similar monuments of about the same are found in India and America. Did this custom have its origin in an astrological cult developed in Atlantis?
There was an influx later of still a third type of white man. He is stocky in build, low crowned, and wide between the ears. His is the Alpine Race. He contrasts strongly in disposition and in his political ideals with either the tall, rangy, large boned, high crowned, lone headed, blond Nordic Race, or the slim, smaller, long headed, moderately high crowned brunet Mediterranean Race.
The Alpine has no governing capacity, has great vitality, little organizing ability, great endurance and plodding patience. The Mediterranean is intellectual, philosophical, musical and patient, but lacks the initiative of the blond Nordic. The Nordic is a politician, loves adventure and action, is a natural ruler, and is capable of high cooperation with his fellowman. These three types are to be found more or less segregated in Europe today, and constitute a great political problem; as the three types find it difficult, due to different religious, political and temperamental bias, to unite in a common effort for the good of all.
It should not be thought that any one of the something like fifteen great races into which ethnologists divide the three great subspecies of mankind are pure strains. There is an interblending, a shading of the White group into the Yellow and Black, and of the Yellow into the Black. Mankind, being of a single species interbred freely. Different species when they breed produce sterile offspring, as is the mule, which is the offspring of mating a male donkey with a female horse. But the interbreeding of any of the human races produces fertile offspring.
This interbreeding of races has gone on almost constantly in the past. There is no such thing as a pure White Race, or a pure Yellow Race. Professor Dixon of Harvard University collected and measured all the human skulls he could procure, and collected the measurements made by other anthropologists. Many White skulls showed traces of both Black and Yellow, and many Yellow skulls showed traces of Black and White admixtures, and many Black skulls showed traits derived from Yellow and White ancestors.
Which of these races is superior? Time alone will show. Each has certain natural aptitudes not possessed in equal degree by others. Certainly the color of a man’s skin, or the race to which he belongs, is no criterion of inferiority or superiority. Which is superior remains to be demonstrated; for whatever the color of a man’s skin, or the character of his hair, we can judge his superiority only by one standard. That standard of superiority is the degree in which he can and does contribute to the welfare of mankind.
Today, with greater facilities of travel, the human species instead of diverging, is amalgamating more and more. More and more the Black Races are being mixed with the White and Yellow, and the Whites are being mixed with the Yellow and Black. Of the White Races the Alpines intermarry with the Mediterraneans and Nordics and the Nordics intermarry with the Mediterraneans and the Alpines.
Nowhere is this fusion being more rapidly accomplished than in the melting pot called America. But where any of these people had their origin or developed their culture previous to about 12,000 years ago there is at present no irrefutable evidence to show.
Man’s nearest living kin
Evolution of Upright Posture
From left to right are the skeletons of the gibbon, orang, chimpanzee, gorilla, and man, showing transition to the upright posture.