The Descent of Man: character in the long-age chapter

“Nevertheless, from the strength of the feeling of jealousy all through the animal kingdom, as well as from the analogy of the lower animals, more particularly of those which come nearest to man, I cannot believe that absolutely promiscuous intercourse prevailed in times past, shortly before man attained to his present rank in the zoological scale.” …

Image result for DESCENT OF MAN

“We may indeed conclude from what we know of jealousy of all male quadrupeds, armed as many of them are, with special weapons for battling with their rivals, that promiscuous intercourse in a state of nature is extremely improbable.” (Darwin, C (1871) The Descent of Man: John Murray, London, pp. 611-612)

“The capacity and love for singing or music, though not a sexual character in man, must not here be passed over. Although the sounds emitted by animals of all kinds serve many purposes, a strong case can be made out, that the vocal organs were primarily used and perfected in relation to the propagation of the species. ” (Darwin, C. (1871) The Descent of Man . John Murray: London p. 587)

Image result for DESCENT OF MAN

“All these facts with respect to music and impassioned speech become intelligible to a certain extent, if we may assume that musical tones and rhythm were used by our half-human ancestors, during the season of courtship, when animals of all kinds are excited not only by love, but by the strong passions of jealousy, rivalry, and triumph. From the deeply-laid principle of inherited associations, musical notes in this case would be likely to call up vaguely and indefinitely the strong emotions of a long-past age. As we have every reason to suppose that articulate speech is one of the latest, as it certainly is the highest, of the arts acquired by man, and as the instinctive power of producing musical notes and rhythms is developed low down in the animal series, it would be altogether opposed to the principle of evolution, if we were to admit that man’s musical capacity has been developed from the tones used in impassioned speech. We must suppose that the rhythms and cadences or oratory are derived from previously developed musical powers. We can thus understand how it is that music, dancing, song, and poetry are such very ancient arts. We must go even further than this, and, as remarked in a former chapter, believe that musical sounds afforded one of the bases for the development of language.” (Darwin, C. (1871) The Descent of Man . John Murray: London p. 593)

“…and nearly all these measurements show that the males differ much more from one another than do the females. This fact indicates that, as far as these characters are concerned, it is the male which has been chiefly modified, since the several races diverged from their common stock.” (Darwin, C. (1871) The Descent of Man . John Murray: London p. 580)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s