MAN APPEARS UPON THE EARTH

OUR grandfathers were very angry with Darwin when he, in effect, reminded them that man was an animal who, by developing enormously the front part of his brain, had outstripped his kinsmen, the monkeys and the apes. To-day we accept the relationship. Our only wonder is at the length of time which must have elapsed during man's development, so infinitely delicate were the alterations of bodily structure necessary before man could move on two legs instead of on four, or before he could transform his brute cries into articulate speech. There have been discovered recently in Africa remains which suggest that even a million years ago man had already developed a brain approximating in size to that of his modem descendant. Man started on his career with two great advantages ; he had a brain which enabled him to " look before and after," and he had freed his hands for the service of that brain, but the struggle for existence in the tropical jungle which then covered the whole of Europe must have made life " solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." The two greatest discoveries which have enabled man to hold his place in nature are language and fire. The first enables him to exchange information and ideas with his fellow-men, and to secure that the inventions of the present become the legacy of the future. By means of the second, he was able to withstand the changes of climate, to frighten away the great beasts, and, when he had invented pottery, to gain a more varied and nutritious diet. Europe has four times undergone severe changes of climate, resulting in four ice ages with milder intervals. The last of these ice ages covered England with a sheet of ice as far south as the Thames. The tropical beasts could not endure the cold and either died or fled, but man sought refuge in natural caves in the hills. There he left the remains which reveal to us his way of life. By chipping flint stones in various ways he had invented edged and pointed tools. With his primitive chisels and drills he made new weapons, such as daggers, and arrows for his newly-invented bow. The bone needles he left behind prove that he had found further protection against the cold. The bison and the wild horse not only provided him with food, but their skins when stitched together now helped to keep him warm. Most surprising of all, he had reached a high level of artistic creation. His carvings in ivory and limestone, and his paintings and drawings on the cavern walls, are full of vigour and show close observation. The drawings of bisons in the cave at Altamira in Spain give a most realistic effect of savage defiance. Nor was he merely a creature of use and wont, living only for the day. The fact that he had his tools and ornaments buried with him shows that he hoped to use them in the life hereafter.