RECORD: Anon. 1871. [Review of Descent]. North Star (Danville, Vermont) (14 April): 1.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe. 7.2021. RN1

[page] 1

THE DESCENT OF MAN. –In his last work, "The Descent of Man, or Selection in Relation to Sea [sic]," Mr. Charles Darwin has carried his view to their utmost consequences. The logic of his work may be thrown into the following syllogism:

All animals are derived through descent and modification from earlier and simpler forms.

Man is an animal;

Therefore man is the natural descendent of some ancient and inferior animal species.

Mr. Darwin holds that the major premise of this syllogism is now so well established as to be accepted as a truth of science by many of the ablest naturalists of the world and says it is now time to take up the minor premise and show that man is an animal. This might seem superfluous, but Mr. Darwin holds that while this proposition is admitted, it is not half comprehended. He maintains that man is much more animal, and animals far more human, than the lord of creation has found it agreeable to admit, or even than naturalists have hitherto suspected. Whatever may be though of Mr. Darwin's conclusion as to the origin of man, his book will be found a rich mine of facts, entertaining and curious on the highest questions of natural history.

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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

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