The present evolution of man (1896) by G. Archdall Reid PDF book (Organic Evolution and Mental Evolution)

The present evolution of man

The present evolution of man


Sir George Archdall O'Brien was a Scottish physician and a writer on public health and on the subject of evolution. A socialist, he was interested in the effects of alcohol on society, and in the evolution of races. He was one of the first to identify alcoholism as a disease.

Content: of the book:

Part I.— Organic Evolution : 

Physical Evolution ... ... ... 3 

The Factors Of Evolution ... ... 54 

Mental Evolution ... ... ... 135 

Part 2.— The Present Evolution Of Man : 

Physical Evolution ... ... ... 199 

Mental Evolution 307 

Excerpt from the author's introduction:

during the quarter of a century which has elapsed since Biology began to occupy itself again with general problems, at least one main fact has been made clear by the united labors of numerous men of science, viz. the fact that the theory' of descent, the idea of development in the organic world is the only con- the question as to the origin of the latter which is scientifically tenable. It is not only that, in the light of this theory, numerous facts receive for the first time a meaning and a significance; it is not that, under its influence, all the ascertained facts can bo harmoniously grouped together; but in some departments, it has already yielded the highest results which can be expected from any theory, it has rendered possible the prediction of facts, not indeed with the absolute certainty of calculation, but with a high degree of probability. 

It has been predicted that man, who in the adult state only possesses twelve pairs of ribs, would be found to have thirteen or fourteen in his embryonic state; it has been predicted that, in this early period in his existence, he would possess the insignificant remnant of a very small bone in his wrist, the so-called 08 centrale, which must have existed in the adult condition of his extremely remote ancestors. Both predictions have been fulfilled, just like the planet, Neptune was discovered after its existence had been predicted from the disturbance induced in the orbit of Uranus.


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