The evolution of man from a lower type of animal thus brings us back to the old question of starvation in overpopulation, and we find the early habits preserved in infancy still. For instance, monkeys carry every article to the nose to determine by smell whether it is good to eat. In their natural state they are constantly searching for food. In a later stage the stress was the same, and everything must have been instinctively carried to the nose or mouth. Habits which have been useful for hundreds of thousands of years do not disappear in a day. By the law of organic inertia, they persist long after their use has disappeared. Human infants thus retain many useless traits which were necessary in a prior stage of development. They can hang by their arms almost from birth - a perfectly useless arm power - but a vital necessity in baby monkeys and adult ones, also. The delight expressed by an infant when it grasps hair and the way it holds on, are both simian survivals. Consequently, as an infant carries everything to its mouth - a perfectly useless habit now - it merely proves that there was a time when its ancestors were always hungry and searching for food.
A condition of insufficient food was then the basis of that struggle for existence which caused man's evolution. If there had been fewer creatures or more food, men would not have been produced. We can now understand why he is adjusted to this state of affairs - his physique was evolved for this very purpose, and he must continue the struggle or decay. There is no medical fact better known than the necessity for work, so that our very salvation is dependent upon the overpopulation which compels us to work. Instead of being a disaster - the problems of overcrowding and poverty are blessings in disguise without which man would disappear. Every organ, tissue and function we possess is thus evolved by natural selection as the best for that struggle. Use is still necessaiy or they decay, and idleness a fatal curse. No sensible person believes the Biblical story that God cursed man by decreeing that he should gain his living by the sweat of his brow. The word should be changed, and we should say that God blessed man by compelling him to work. The Biblical account of the fall of Adam was merely man's way of accounting for the struggle for life, which is sometimes more or less painful and is always arduous. But its pleasures are vastly greater than its pains, and men of sense invariably work even where there is no pecuniary necessity. If the birth rate could be so reduced that it is equal to the death rate, then the struggle for life would lessen, idleness beget degeneration, as in too many rich families, the death rate would increase, and population lessen. Fortunately for us, nature is so delicately balanced, that the appropriate number of babies will appear yearly for all time, to keep up the proper degree of overpopulation, so that working for one's living will always be man's blessed necessity. We have, then, a proof in this necessity for work, that the earth is and always has been overpopu-lated within the sense that there are more men than can get food even if there is food enough somewhere to feed them all.
* Popular Science Monthly, December, 1908.