|PERVASIVE INFLUENCE 135
from it, often although not always in the direction of the Ape; while the white races occupy an intermediate position" (p. 28). His generosity toward yellow skins did not extend to black, although it is easy to list an impressive set of features for which Africans are the most strongly paedomorphic of human groups (Montagu, 1962, p. 331). Ellis continues, presaging Bolk's argument: "The child of many African races is scarcely if at all less intelligent than the European child, but while the African as he grows up becomes stupid and obtuse, and his whole social life falls into a state of hide-bound routine, the European retains much of his childlike vivacity" (1894, p. 518).
Second, women are clearly more paedomorphic than men. Again, Bolk chose to ignore the issue and Ellis met it directly with an admission of inferiority: "The infant ape is very much nearer to Man than the adult ape. This means that the infant ape is higher in the line of evolution than the adult, and the female ape, by approximating to the infant type, is somewhat higher than the male" (p. 517). Women, Ellis affirms, are leading the direction of human evolution:
She bears the special characteristics of humanity in a higher degree than man . . . Her conservatism is thus compensated and justified by the fact that she represents more nearly than man the human type to which man is approximating. This is true of physical characters: the large-headed, delicate- faced, small-boned man of urban civilization is much nearer to the typical woman than is the savage. Not only by his large brain, but by his large pelvis, the modern man is following a path first marked out by woman, (p. 519)
But if any biologist is willing to listen, he may care to recognize in the chorus of those who are singing the praise of the ruler of our time, the naturalist, and playing to him on instruments—the tibia of the archaic horse, the antennae of the hymenoptera, the many stops of the hydra's legs—the plaintive note of one who but tries to interpret the wail of the human babe.
J. M. Baldwin, 1906, p. x
Criminal anthropology and racist ideology used the primitive-as- child argument to reinforce their claims about adults-atavistic deviants or members of lower races, respectively. But the argument could be reversed, usually with more benevolence, to ask what comparative anatomy and evolutionary history had to say about the na- ture of children. Recapitulation supplied an obvious general answer: we understand children only when we recognize that their behavior replays a phyletic past.
Over and over again, we find an explicit appeal to biological reca-