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The Human Race: its Past, Present, and Probable Future

Nature volume 82, page 277 (06 January 1910) | Download Citation



IN part of this small volume is summarised the whole history of the human race—man's origin and material progress, the history of his vices and virtues, and of his mental, social, and political development. That such a summary must be very superficial is only to be expected, and the author claims very little for it, but hopes “that it will at least stimulate inquiry and serious study on the part of youths about entering life.” Its chief fault appears to us to be that there is no clear distinction drawn between changes in man himself arid changes in his surroundings. Thus, for example, under the heading “Man's Mental Progress” are catalogued a number of discoveries and inventions, such as the spectroscope and telephone, which are not evidence of mental progress at all if one takes the term to mean improvement of mental powers. It is also to be regretted that, although the author appears to be a believer in evolution, no mention is made of heredity as a factor possibly affecting the history of mankind.

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