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between animals of very different grades of structure, and their non-progressiveness ; 2. The question of articulate speech.
Considering the vast antiquity of the great animal groups, it is, indeed, remarkable how little advance in mental capacity has been achieved even by the highest brutes. This is made especially evident by Mr. Darwin's own assertions as to the capacities of lowly animals. Thus he tells us that
Mr. Gardner, whilst watching a shore-crab (Gelasimus) making its burrow, threw some shells towards the hole. One rolled in, and three other shells remained within a few inches of the mouth. In about five minutes the crab brought out the shell which had fallen in, and carried it away to the distance of a foot; it then saw the three other shells lying near, and evidently thinking that they might likewise roll in, carried them to the spot where it had laid the first.'vol. i. p. 334.
Mr. Darwin adds or quotes the astonishing remark, 'It would, I think, be difficult to distinguish this act from one performed by inan by the aid of reason.' Again, he tells us :
• Mr. Lonsdale informs me that he placed a pair of land-shells (Helix pomatia), one of which was weakly, into a small and ill-provided garden. After a short time the strong and healthy individual disappeared, and was traced by its track of slime over a wall into an adjoining well-stocked garden. Mr. Lonsdale concluded that it had deserted its sickly mate; but after an absence of twenty-four hours it returned, and apparently communicated the result of its successful exploration, for both then started along the same track and disappeared over the wall.'— vol. i. p. 325.
Whatever may be the real value of the statements quoted, they harmonize with a matter which is incontestable. We refer to the fact that the intelligence of brutes, be they high or be they low, is essentially one in kind, there being a singular parity between animals belonging to groups widely different in type of structure and in degree of development.
Apart from the small modifications which experience occasionally introduces into the habits of animals-as sometimes occurs after man has begun to frequent a newly-discovered island —it cannot be denied that, looking broadly over the whole animal kingdom, there is no evidence of advance in mental power on the part of brutes. This absence of progression in animal intelligence is a very important consideration, and it is one which does not seem to be adverted to by Mr. Darwin, though the facts detailed by him are exceedingly suggestive of it.
* Mr. Darwin (vol. i, p. 360) refers to Dr. Scudder's discovery of a fossil insect in the Devonian formation of New Brunswick, furnished with the well-known tympanum or stridulating apparatus of the male Locustidæ,'
When we speak of this absence of progression we do not, of course, mean to deny that the dog is superior in mental activity to the fish, or the jackdaw to the toad. But we mean that, considering the vast period of time that must (on Mr. Darwin's theory) have elapsed for the evolution of an Orang from an Ascidian, and considering how beneficial increased intelligence must be to all in the struggle for life, it is inconceivable (on Mr. Darwin's principles only) that a mental advance should not have taken place greater in degree, more generally diffused, and more in proportion to the grade of the various animals than we find to be actually the case. For in what respect is the intelligence of the ape superior to that of the dog or of the elephant? It cannot be said that there is one point in which its psychical nature approximates to man more than that of those four-footed beasts. But, again, where is the great superiority of a dog or an ape over a bird ? The falcon trained to hawking is at least as remarkable an instance of the power of education as the trained dog. The tricks which birds can be taught to perform are as complex and wonderful as those acted by the mammal. The phenomena of nidification, and some of those now brought forward by Mr. Darwin as to courtship, are fully comparable with analogous phenomena of quasi-intelligence in any beast
. This, however, is but a small part of the argument. For let us descend to the invertebrata, and what do we find ?-a restriction of their quasi-mental faculties proportioned to their constantly inferior type of structure? By no means. We find, e. g., in ants, phenomena which simulate those of an intelligence such as ours far more than do any phenomena exhibited by the highest beasts. Ants display a complete and complex political organization, classes of beings socially distinct, war resulting in the capture of slaves, and the appropriation and maintenance of domestic animals (Aphides) analogous to our milk-giving cattle.
Mr. Darwin truthfully remarks on the great difference in these respects between such creatures as ants and bees, and singularly inert members of the same class—such as the scale insect or coccus. But can it be pretended that the action of natural and sexual selection has alone produced these phenomena in certain insects, and failed to produce them in any other mere animals even of the very highest class ? If these phenomena are due to a power and faculty similar in kind to human intelligence, and which power is latent and capable of evolution in all animals, then it is certain that this power must have been evolved in other instances also, and that we should see varying degrees of it in
many, and notably in the highest brutes as well as in man. on the other hand, the faculties of brutes are different in kind from human intelligence, there can be no reason whatever why animals most closely approaching man in physical structure should resemble him in psychical nature also.
This reflection leads us to the difference which exists between men and brutes as regards the faculty of articulate speech. Mr. Darwin remarks that of the distinctively human characters this has justly been considered as one of the chief' (vol. i.
p. We cannot agree in this. Some brutes can articulate, and it is quite conceivable that brutes might (though as a fact they do not) so associate certain sensations and gratifications with certain articulate sounds as, in a certain sense, to speak. This, however, would in no way even tend to bridge over the gulf which exists between the representative reflective faculties and the merely presentative ones. Articulate signs of sensible impressions would be fundamentally as distinct as mere gestures are from truly rational speech.
Mr. Darwin evades the question about language by in one place (vol. i. p. 54) attributing that faculty in man to his having acquired a higher intellectual nature; and in another (vol. ii. p. 391), by ascribing his higher intellectual nature to his having acquired that faculty.
Our author's attempts to bridge over the chasm which separates instinctive cries from rational speech are remarkable examples of groundless speculation. Thus he ventures to say
• That primeval man, or rather some early progenitor of man, probably used his voice largely, as does one of the gibbon-apes at the present day, in producing true musical cadences, that is in singing; we may conclude from a widely-spread analogy that this power would have been especially exerted during the courtship of the sexes, serving to express various emotions, as love, jealousy, triumph, and serving as a challenge to their rivals. The imitation by articulate sounds of musical cries might have given rise to words expressive of various complex emotions.
And again :
• It does not appear altogether incredible, that some unusually wise ape-like animal should have thought of imitating the growl of a beast of prey, so as to indicate to his fellow monkeys the nature of the expected danger. And this would have been a first step in the formation of a language.'-vol. i. p. 56.
But the question, not whether it is incredible, but whether there are any data whatever to warrant such a supposition. Mr. Darwin brings forward none: we suspect none could be brought forward.
It is not, however, emotional expressions or manifestations of sensible impressions, in whatever way exhibited, which have to be accounted for, but the enunciation of distinct deliberate judgments as to the what,' the how,' and the why,' by definite articulate sounds; and for these Mr. Darwin not only does not account, but he does not adduce anything even tending to account for them. Altogether we may fairly conclude, from the complete failure of Mr. Darwin to establish identity of kind between the mental faculties of man and of brutes, that identity cannot be established; as we are not likely for many years to meet with a naturalist so competent to collect and marshal facts in support of such identity, if any such facts there are. then, between presentative instinct and representative reason remains still unimpaired, and, as we believe, insurmountable.
The old barrier,
We now pass to another question, which is of even greater consequence than that of man's intellectual powers. Mr. Darwin does not hesitate to declare that even the moral sense' is a mere result of the development of brutal instincts. He maintains, 'the first foundation or origin of the moral sense lies in the social instincts, including sympathy; and these instincts no doubt were primarily gained, as in the case of the lower animals, through natural selection' (vol. ii. p. 394).
Everything, however, depends upon what we mean by the moral sense.' It is a patent fact that there does exist a perception of the qualities .right' and wrong' attaching to certain actions. However arising, men have a consciousness of an absolute and immutable rule legitimately claiming obedience with an authority necessarily supreme and absolute—in other words, intellectual judgments are formed which imply the existence of an ethical ideal in the judging mind.
It is the existence of this power which has to be accounted for; neither its application nor even its validity have to be considered. Yet instances of difference of opinion respecting the moral value of particular concrete actions are often broug ward as if they could disprove the existence of moral intuition. Such instances are utterly beside the question. It is amply sufficient for our purpose if it be conceded that developed reason dictates to us that certain modes of action, abstractedly considered, are intrinsically wrong; and this we believe to be indisputable.
It is equally beside the question to show that the existence of mutually beneficial acts and of altruistic habits can be explained by natural selection.' No amount of benevolent habits tend even in the remotest degree to account for the intellectual
ception of right' and duty.' Such habits may make the doing of beneficial acts pleasant, and their omission painful; but such feelings have essentially nothing whatever to do with the perception of 'right' and wrong,' nor will the faintest incipient stage of the perception be accounted for by the strongest development of such sympathetic feelings. "Liking to do acts which happen to be good, is one thing; seeing that actions are good, whether we or others like them or not, is quite another. Mr. Darwin's account of the moral sense is
different from the above. It may be expressed most briefly by saying that it is the prevalence of more enduring instincts over less persistent ones -the former being social instincts, the latter personal ones. He tells us :
* As man cannot prevent old impressions continually repassing through his mind, he will be compelled to compare the weaker impressions of, for instance, past hunger, or of vengeance satisfied or danger avoided at the cost of other men, with the instinct of sympathy and good will to his fellows, which is still present and ever in some degree active in his mind. He will then feel in his imagination that a stronger instinct has yielded to one which now seems comparatively weak; and then that sense of dissatisfaction will inevitably be felt with which man is endowed, like every other animal, in order that his instincts may be obeyed.'—vol. i. p. 90.
Mr. Darwin means by the moral sense' an instinct, and adds, truly enough, that 'the very essence of an instinct is, that it is followed independently of reason' (vol. i. p. 100). But the very essence of moral action is that it is not followed independently of
Having stated our wide divergence from Mr. Darwin with respect to what the term "moral sense' denotes, we might be dispensed from criticising instances which must from our point of view be irrelevant, as Mr. Darwin would probably admit. Nevertheless, let us examine a few of these instances, and see if we can discover in them any justification of the views he propounds.
As illustrations of the development of self-reproach for the neglect of some good action, he observes :
•A young pointer, when it first scents game, apparently cannot help pointing. A squirrel in a cage who pats the nuts which it cannot eat, as if to bury them in the ground, can hardly be thought to act thus either from pleasure or pain. Hence the common assumption that men must be impelled to every action by experiencing some pleasure or pain may be erroneous. Although a habit may be blindly and implicitly followed, independently of any pleasure or pain the moment, yet if it be forcibly and abruptly checked, a vague sense