Evolution, Human Species, Race, Breeding, Biblical Authority, Geology, Creationism, Archaeology, Controversy, Comparative Anatomy, Darwinism, Exploration
Paul B Du Chaillu
The illustration shows a gorilla holding a stick and wearing a board on which is written 'AM I A MAN AND A BROTHER?'—a phrase much used in Punch in the context of its anti-slavery arguments. Written from the perspective of the gorilla from the Zoological Society Gardens, it opens by asking for clarification on the question of whether it is 'A man in ape's shape' or a 'monkey deprived of its tail'. Observes how Chambers 1844 'taught' how species had developed and progressed from 'naught', but then how Charles R Darwin 'in a book of much worth [Darwin 1859] showed how "Nature's selection"' and the 'struggle for life' resulted in 'specific distinction'. Illustrates this with the pointed example of 'pigeons and doves' that, through natural selection and 'a million of ages', develop into 'prophets and sages'. Goes on to describe five attempts to trace man's ancestry: Leonard Horner, who has shown that 'Biblical dates' cannot trace the 'age of the world'; William Pengelly, who has found evidence that 'celts and shaped stones' and 'cave bones' are the same age; Joseph Prestwich, who claims evidence for the existence of human 'tools [...] before the Mosaic creation'; and Thomas H Huxley and Richard Owen, who, 'with rivalry growing', argue over man's simian ancestry. Outlines Owen's opposition to the idea of man's simian ancestry with references to the cerebral and anatomical differences between humans and apes: these include the chimpanzee's brain (which is 'exceedingly small' and has no 'Hippocampus', and whose 'horn' of the posterior cornu is 'Of extremity shorn'), the existence of a 'solution, / Of '"Archencephalic" degree' on 'each "convolution"' of 'man's "cerebellum"', and apes' possession of 'thumbs for great toes' but 'no nose'. Huxley then accuses Owen of lying, of being unoriginal, and of 'not a few' mistakes 'detrimental to his reputation'. Concludes by judging Huxley's assertion at the end of Huxley 1861—'To twice slay the slain'—to be 'labour in vain, / Unproductive of gain', and then bids 'Adieu'.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]