September 26, 1896


JAMA. 1896;XXVII(13):714-715. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430910044005

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The beneficent as well as maleficent microbe has at last achieved recognition as a factor in human evolution, of which fact a recent review by Prof. E. Ray Lankester of a work by a Mr. Archidall Reid ("The Present Evolution of Man," Chapman & Hall, 1896) in the September number of the Fortnightly Review, is in evidence. Mr. Lawson Tait, many years ago, wrote a paper showing that the law of natural selection appeared to be suspended in the case of man, and Mr. Reid, independently recognizing this fact, seeks to find the real agencies that take its place. War, exposure, famine, the struggle with wild beasts, all the elements that entered into the evolution of the savage or primitive man are ineffectual now, and the survival of the fittest must depend on other determining causes than those that so obviously prevail throughout the animal kingdom. Mr. Reid finds the

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