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descent. If man is an animal, and animals have developed one from another, it is reasonable to suppose that man also has followed the general law of Nature. Moreover, man exhibits rudimentary organs, such as the coccyx (and the appendix ?); his embryological development falls within the scope of the phylogenetic argument outlined above, and the different races of men show structural differences which are related to their mental development, especially in their cranial capacity, and the anatomical structure of the skull.
(B) Still the chief evidence is to be sought for in geological history; for an ascertained evolution in times past would certainly overcome the weaknesses in the other lines of argument. As was to be expected, the debate among scientific men has been keenest on this point; in fact, several remains were discovered and the conclusions arrived at by the specialists who examined them are not altogether concordant. Undoubted human remains were found in Gibraltar (Lerves Quarry-1848-fragmentary skull); at Neanderthal (Düsseldorf, Germany-1856-skullcap and skeletal fragments); at Spy (near Dinant, Belgium -1887-two skulls and skeletons); at Lipka (Moravia1882-jaw of a child); at Krapina (Croatia, AustriaHungary-1899-portions of many skeletons of adults and children); and in several parts of France, especially that of a nearly entire skeleton discovered in 1908 by the Abbé Bouyssonie at La Chapelle-aux-Saints, Corrèze. Though the statements made are conflicting, it appears that all these remains are evidence of a race of men (Homo neanderthalensis, H. primigenius, H. mousteriensis, etc.but none the less, the self-same Homo sapiens of to-day) which flourished in mid-Pleistocene times. More recent races, assigned to Upper Palaeolithic times, have also been described such as the Grimaldi, a race of negroids, championed by Verneau; the Cro-Magnons, extending over Wales, France, Italy, Spain, and Austria; the Brünn races in Moravia and Hungary, to which perhaps the Gibraltar man may have belonged, etc. In all cases the skeletons and associated implements and (by no means contemptible) objects of art found exhibit man, as known to-day-somewhat different in structural type, it is true, but immeasurably above the rest of his fellow-creatures by his intellectual capacities. Neanderthaloid type of skulls may be seen, even to-day, in every city of Europe; and famous men
have been likened to these supposed primitive types, e.g., St. Martin, Bishop of Tours, fourth century; the warrior Bruce, and others.
A heated controversy has raged with regard to three discoveries made by Dr. Dubois, at Trinil, in Java, in 1891; by Dr. Schoetensack, at Mauer, near Heidelberg, in 1908; and that by Mr. Dawson, at Piltdown, near Fletching, in Sussex.
Dr. Eugène Dubois, who had left Holland for Java with the avowed intention of finding the missing link,' discovered in September, 1891, a molar tooth (m, right side), the wisdom tooth of Pithecanthropus erectus; a month later, between three or four feet away from the tooth, the cranial vault of the skull-cap was found lying in the same bed, and on the same horizon. Work was then suspended on account of the rainy season, but was resumed in May of the following year, and in August the thigh-bone of the left leg was found lying fifty feet away from the spot where the first tooth was obtained, but still on the same horizon, and finally, in October, another molar tooth 1 (m2 left side) lying ten feet away from the skull-cap.
As for their significance, German specialists assert that they are Simian, English experts describe them as human, while French anthropologists regard them as standing midway between man and apes. As a matter of fact, besides the impossibility of proving that the femur and skull-cap belong to the same individual, there is the further assumption that the individual was a healthy representative of his race and not merely one of those unfortunate microcephalic idiots or syphilitics who are to be met with in every one of the well-populated asylums of Europe of to-day.
The Heidelberg find consists of a massive lower jaw, with broad ascending arms and a receding chin which places it mid-way between that of an anthropoid ape and Homo sapiens. However, the dentition is completely human and, in some respects, less Simian than that which may sometimes be observed in existing primitive races. A further point, which called forth a great discussion at the time, is the absence of a spine on the inner aspect of the chin, which was said to be exclusively Simian, and to denote inability of speech, but has now been proved to be absent amongst modern African and other races, who are known to speak European languages beside their own. From this jaw, the whole man has been reconstructed by imaginative artists, even though the scientific evidence
1 According to Dr. W. B Pearsall, this is a wisdom tooth, and worn away after the manner of wisdom teeth of baboons and other apes.
Sollas, Ancient Hunters, ed. 2, p. 33. (The italics are ours.)
is so utterly deficient. Before any far-reaching conclusions can be arrived at, it will have to be shown that receding chins do not exist at the present day, and that the Heidelberg jaw was a normal jaw, typical of an extinct race of man-like apes or ape-like men.
The Piltdown skull, found by Mr. Dawson, together with part of the lower jaw, was the occasion of much speculation until the jaw was shown to belong to an adult chimpanzee, by the discovery of a canine tooth by Father Teilhard. Thus the strange creature which was supposed to have a human skull and an ape's jaw turns out to be just one more specimen of Homo as we know him to-day, and who, moreover, may have used that monkey's jaw as a tool, just as present-day aborigines do.
Thus, one may conclude that
the order of succession in time of fossil remains of the Mammalia, and especially of apes and man, suggests that man, in the strictest sense Homo sapiens, is a creature of Pleistocene time; as we look backwards into the past we lose sight of him before the close of that age, and encounter in his place forms specifically and even generically distinct; that other species of the human family might have already come into existence in the Pliocene epoch seems possible, but scarcely in the Miocene, and still less in the Oligocene epoch.1
That is to say, that as far as ascertained scientific facts are concerned, the earliest known men are structurally alike to the present-day races of men, and show themselves endowed with those faculties which make Homo sapiens the primate on earth. Mere brain capacity and large skulls do not in the least prove a greater share of intellectual powers as a glance at the numerous large-headed imbeciles and idiots inside, and outside of, lunatic asylums will show. Moreover, concurrently with the earliest discoveries of human remains, marvellous works of art have been found which, it may safely be said, few of our professors of anthropology could rival. Even primitive flint instruments show ingenuity in handicraft: Homo sapiens is already using his wits with effect.
In attempting to determine the Catholic exegete's attitude towards these facts and theories, the wise principles of Leo XIII must be kept well in mind :
[The expositor of Holy Scripture] must not consider... that it is forbidden, when just cause exists, to push inquiry and exposition beyond
1 Sollas, Ancient Hunters, ed. 2, p. 85.
what the Fathers have done, provided he carefully observes the rule so wisely laid down by St. Augustine-not to depart from the literal and obvious sense, except only where reason makes it untenable or necessity requires; a rule to which it is the more necessary to adhere strictly in these times, when the thirst for novelty and the unrestrained freedom of thought makes the danger of error most real and proximate.1
From this it seems to follow that apart from dogmatic definitions, which are irrevocable because they have been recognized to be truths revealed by God, the Church is not unwilling to accept scientific discoveries, so long as these discoveries are ascertained facts, and not mere transitory speculations. It is reasonable, in the latter case, to expect the Church to cling to the letter of the Scriptural texts until morally certain grounds can be adduced to show that the literal interpretation must be abandoned. even then, the exegete may inquire how far he is committed to the literal interpretation of the text, and what figurative meanings would be possible on the analogy of faith'; that is to say, having in view the definitive and ordinary teaching of the Church.
From what has been said above on the theory of descent it should be evident that, apart from the question of man's descent, the Book of Genesis is in no way incompatible with such a theory. In a previous article it was shown that the first chapter of Genesis must be taken to be a quasi-poetical presentation of the main facts of Creation rather than a chronological scientific description of events. It has even been asserted that St. Augustine and the Schoolmen accepted evolutionism. It would seem, however, that what St. Augustine and the Schoolmen had in view was not evolution of species, but rather the inclusion of all individuals, past, present, and to come, in the creative act, seminaliter and potentialiter, so as to interpret better the words of Genesis: and on the seventh day God rested. However this may be, it has been shown in the article referred to that no certain conclusion can be drawn from the Book of Genesis either with regard to the number of species created or with reference to the period which separated the creation of plant and animal life from
1 Encycl. 'Providentissimus Deus,' 18th Nov., 1893. It is very instructive in this connexion to follow the discussions about the Piltdown and Neanderthal remains; and to compare such books on Evolution as Haeckel's Riddle of the Universe with Scott, The Theory of Evolution.
I. E. RECORD, March, 1917, Fifth Series, vol. ix. 'The Days of Genesis,' by Rev. L. O'Hea, S.J.
that of man. Creation by God is the central lesson of the whole narrative.
To the theory of descent, then, apart from the question of man, there appears to be no insuperable theological difficulty; theologically the worst that can be said against it is perhaps this, that it appears to create a prejudice in favour of the bodily evolution of man himself. But the fact that a hypothesis does not conflict with revelation is, of course, no sign that it is true; it still has to stand the test of facts known by unaided reason. Enough has perhaps been said above to show these facts are not such as to exclude reasonable doubt, if the theory be considered in its extreme form. As for man, there is no truly scientific proof that he was evolved from lower animals. The first man that science shows to us is Homo sapiens, even as we know him to-day, whatever may be the minor differences in bodily structure and however varied may be the objects of their mental and spiritual activities.
When we endeavour to go further still, we must be careful to distinguish the source of our knowledge. That the human soul is created directly by God is a demonstrated conclusion of sane philosophy, and from a theological standpoint it appears to be heretical to deny it, mainly because of the consistent teaching of the whole Church upon the point, though there is much in Genesis and elsewhere in Holy Writ to favour it. Science teaches it also, since psychology is a true science; science in a narrower sense abstracts from it. But it is evident that most of our knowledge touching the first man comes to us from revelation alone, and in the main from the Book of Genesis and St. Paul, with the comment of tradition. That the human race actually springs from a single pair, for example, is clearer from St. Paul than from Moses, and is an article of faith, because taught as an essential part of the doctrine of original sin. This is one of the doctrines which the Biblical Commission (June, 1910) bids us hold fast; the other three which more immediately concern us-though the enumeration is not intended to be exhaustive are the creation of all things by God at the beginning of time; the special creation of man; the formation of the first woman from the first man. As regards the first heading, all things' is not intended, of course, to cover souls created later. It might perhaps be going too far to say that it is of faith that Adam's body