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The Ape Ancestry of Man

LAMARCK was the first to formulate the scientific theory of the natural origin of all organisms, including man, and at the same time to draw the two ultimate inferences from this theory firstly, the doctrine of the origin of the most ancient organisms through spontaneous generation; and secondly, the descent of man from the mammal most closely resembling man - the ape.
-- ERNST HAECKEL, Evolution Of Man, Vol. I, p 85.

ACCORDING to his whole organization man is undoubtedly primarily, a member of but a single tribe, that of Vertebrates; second, he is a member of but a single class, that, of mammals; and, thirdly, a member of but a single order, that of the apes.
--ERNST HAECKEL, Evolution Of Man, Vol. II, p. 440.

A CENTURY of anatomical research brings us back to [Linnaeus'] conclusion, that man is a member of the same order ... as the apes and the lemurs.
--THOMAS HENRY HUXLEY Man's Place in Nature, P. 145.

THERE can, consequently, hardly be a doubt that man is, an off-shoot of the Old World simian stem ... the Simiadae then branched off into two great stems, the New World and Old World monkeys and from the latter, at a remote period, Man, the wonder and glory of the universe, proceeded.
-- CHARLES DARWIN, Descent of Man, ChapterVI, p. 181.

IT is pretty well agreed that the anthropoid apes and man come from a common ancestor, and he in turn from some primitive, broad-nosed ape.
--H. B. Ferris, Anatomical Laboratory, Sterling School of Medicine, Yale University, (in a letter to the author).

WE have in this not only a proof of the literal blood-relationship between man and apes, but the degree of relationship with the different main groups of apes can be determined beyond possibility of mistake.
-- GUSTAVE SCHWALBE, Darwinism and Modern Science, (Quoted by Arthur Thomson, in What is Man? p. 10).

ALL the evidence now at our disposal supports the conclusion that man has arisen, as Lamarck and Darwin suspected, from an anthropoid ape not higher in the zoological scale than a chimpanzee.
--SIR ARTHUR KEITH, Presidential address, British Association, Leeds, 1927.

THAT man is merely a modified monkey has come to be fully recognized not only by anatomists and physiologists, but also by psychologists and lately even by some sociologists ...The average layman of today possesses hardly more interest in or knowledge of his simian cousins than did Gilbert and Sullivan, who stated some time ago: "Man, however well behaved, at best is but a monkey shaved".
-- ADOLPH H. SCHULTZ, The Scientific Monthly, May, 1943.

ACCORDING to the viewpoint held by Wilder, Schwalbe, Keith, Elliot Smith, Sonntag, Tilney and many other recent investigators, including, the present writer, the existing anthropoids and man are merely divergent branches of a primitive anthropoid stock, exactly as held by Darwin. To deny at this date or to seek to minimize the importance of man's close relationship with the chimpanzee-gorilla stock, is to shut one's eyes to a vast accumulation of well tested facts.
--WILLIAM R, GREGORY, Did Man Originate in Central Asia?

IN spite of not infrequent attempts to disprove man's kinship with the apes, recent research in anatomy, embryology and comparative pathology, as well as the conclusive tests of blood relationship, has definitely established the fact of man's close kinship with the anthropoid apes, and especially with the gorilla.
G. ELLIOT SMITH, Article "Anthropology," Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 30, p. 143.

I STILL believe that man's stock separated from the large anthropoid ape trunk in the Miocene.
--EARNEST A. HOOTON, Apes, Men, and Morons, p 50.

WERE a hypothetical "man from Mars"to visit the earth and write a natural history of the animals of this planet, he would undoubtedly lump man with the higher apes and distinguish him from his simian relatives by a lesser degree of stupidity and the habit of walking erect on the hind legs.
--ALFRED S. ROMER, Professor of Zoology, Harvard University.

ALL but three of the above quotations dealing with the ape descent of man were printed in a leaflet which I prepared some years ago for the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism. This leaflet had wide distribution and was particularly obnoxious to those writers who, through ignorance or design, had misstated Darwinian teaching.

The following correspondence explains itself:

Dear Mr. Teller:               October 9, 1939

Thank you for sending me the slip on "The Ape Ancestry of Man". Comparative anatomists have decided that man and the anthropoid apes are offshoots from a common as yet unknown ancestor. Very few of the good anatomists now teach that man is directly descended from the anthropoid ape. The correct view is given by H. B. Ferris and William K.Gregory' printed on the slip which you have so kindly sent me.

Faithfully yours, WALDEMAR KAEMPFFERT, Science Editor, The New York Times.

Dear. Mr. Kaempffert                 October 11,1939.

Thank you for your letter concerning the leaflet I sent you on "The Ape Ancestry of Man". 'You state that Dr. H.B. Ferris expresses "the correct view".

I agree with you. And this view is that "the anthropoid apes and man come from a common ancestor, and he in turn from some primitive, broad-nosed ape". How, then, can you deny that man is descended from a "broad-nosed ape"?

If man is descended from a "broad-nosed ape" (as Ferris says he is) how can you maintain that the ancestry of man is "unknown"? A "broad-nosed ape" is a very definite ancestor.

"Very few of the good anatomists", you say, "now teach that man is directly descended from the anthropoid ape". Only ape men stand between man and the primitive anthropoids. And who are these "good" anatomists? Not Keith, not Gregory, not Wooton, not Elliot Smith, These authorities all teach that man is descended from a primitive anthropoid ape. And if an ape isn't a monkey, what kind of an animal is it?

I suspect that a good part of the denial one hears today of man's monkey descent is wrapped up in the religious question. Popular writers and journalists know they are tackling a ticklish question when they tell Pat Mahoney and Isaac Ginsberg that they are descended from monkeys. So they are politely informed they are merely "cousins" of the ape, with a common ancestor "unknown".

No amount of verbal twisting can un-Darwin Darwin, The decriers of monkey descent should take time off to study Darwin and learn that man has not only monkeys in his family tree hut worms among his ancestors.

Keith summarizes our monkey origin as follows: "All the evidence now at out disposal supports the conclusion that man has arisen, as Lamarck and Darwin suspected, from an anthropoid ape not higher in the zoological scale than a chimpanzee."

--Very truly yours, WOOLSEY TELLER

Dear Mr. Teller :                 Oct. 13, 1939.

Thank you for your letter of the 11th.

No one knows what the common ancestry of ape and man may be. Hence to say that man is descended from a broad-nosed ape is going too far. In the evolution of man stems have become very important.

I have no intention of twisting Darwin's teaching into something un-Darwinian. The major tenets of Darwin still hold good, though at the time he wrote his "Descent of Man" he did not have before him facts now available to comparative anatomists,

--Faithfully yours, WALDEMAR KAEMPFFERT.

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