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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index D > Raymond A. Dart Quotes

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Raymond A. Dart
(4 Feb 1893 - 22 Nov 1988)

Australian-South African physical anthropologist, palaeontologist and surgeon.


Science Quotes by Raymond A. Dart (2 quotes)

All fossil anthropoids found hitherto have been known only from mandibular or maxillary fragments, so far as crania are concerned, and so the general appearance of the types they represented had been unknown; consequently, a condition of affairs where virtually the whole face and lower jaw, replete with teeth, together with the major portion of the brain pattern, have been preserved, constitutes a specimen of unusual value in fossil anthropoid discovery. Here, as in Homo rhodesiensis, Southern Africa has provided documents of higher primate evolution that are amongst the most complete extant. Apart from this evidential completeness, the specimen is of importance because it exhibits an extinct race of apes intermediate between living anthropoids and man ... Whether our present fossil is to be correlated with the discoveries made in India is not yet apparent; that question can only be solved by a careful comparison of the permanent molar teeth from both localities. It is obvious, meanwhile, that it represents a fossil group distinctly advanced beyond living anthropoids in those two dominantly human characters of facial and dental recession on one hand, and improved quality of the brain on the other. Unlike Pithecanthropus, it does not represent an ape-like man, a caricature of precocious hominid failure, but a creature well advanced beyond modern anthropoids in just those characters, facial and cerebral, which are to be anticipated in an extinct link between man and his simian ancestor. At the same time, it is equally evident that a creature with anthropoid brain capacity and lacking the distinctive, localised temporal expansions which appear to be concomitant with and necessary to articulate man, is no true man. It is therefore logically regarded as a man-like ape. I propose tentatively, then, that a new family of Homo-simidæ be created for the reception of the group of individuals which it represents, and that the first known species of the group be designated Australopithecus africanus, in commemoration, first, of the extreme southern and unexpected horizon of its discovery, and secondly, of the continent in which so many new and important discoveries connected with the early history of man have recently been made, thus vindicating the Darwinian claim that Africa would prove to be the cradle of mankind.
— Raymond A. Dart
'Australopithicus africanus: The Man-Ape of South Africa', Nature, 1925, 115, 195.
Science quotes on:  |  Africa (35)  |  All (4107)  |  Ancestor (61)  |  Anthropoid (9)  |  Anthropology (58)  |  Ape (53)  |  Apparent (84)  |  Appearance (140)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Both (494)  |  Brain (270)  |  Capacity (100)  |  Character (243)  |  Claim (146)  |  Commemoration (2)  |  Comparison (102)  |  Complete (204)  |  Completeness (19)  |  Concern (228)  |  Condition (357)  |  Connect (125)  |  Constitute (97)  |  Continent (76)  |  Cradle (19)  |  Creature (233)  |  Charles Darwin (304)  |  Discovery (785)  |  Distinctive (25)  |  Early (186)  |  Equally (130)  |  Evident (91)  |  Evolution (593)  |  Expansion (41)  |  Extinct (21)  |  Extreme (75)  |  Face (212)  |  Failure (161)  |  Family (95)  |  First (1284)  |  Fossil (136)  |  Fragment (54)  |  General (511)  |  History (675)  |  Hominid (4)  |  Horizon (45)  |  Human (1470)  |  Importance (287)  |  Individual (404)  |  Intermediate (37)  |  Known (454)  |  Living (491)  |  Major (83)  |  Man (2249)  |  Mankind (340)  |  Modern (385)  |  Most (1729)  |  Necessary (363)  |  New (1217)  |  Obvious (126)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pattern (110)  |  Permanent (64)  |  Portion (84)  |  Present (620)  |  Primate (11)  |  Prove (252)  |  Quality (134)  |  Question (622)  |  Race (268)  |  Reception (15)  |  Regard (304)  |  Represent (154)  |  Species (402)  |  Specimen (28)  |  Teeth (43)  |  Time (1877)  |  Together (387)  |  Two (937)  |  Type (167)  |  Unexpected (52)  |  Unknown (182)  |  Unusual (37)  |  Value (368)  |  Whole (738)

From the time of Aristotle it had been said that man is a social animal: that human beings naturally form communities. I couldn’t accept it. The whole of history and pre-history is against it. The two dreadful world wars we have recently been through, and the gearing of our entire economy today for defensive war belie it. Man's loathsome cruelty to man is his most outstanding characteristic; it is explicable only in terms of his carnivorous and cannibalistic origin. Robert Hartmann pointed out that both rude and civilised peoples show unspeakable cruelty to one another. We call it inhuman cruelty; but these dreadful things are unhappily truly human, because there is nothing like them in the animal world. A lion or tiger kills to eat, but the indiscriminate slaughter and calculated cruelty of human beings is quite unexampled in nature, especially among the apes. They display no hostility to man or other animals unless attacked. Even then their first reaction is to run away.
— Raymond A. Dart
In Africa's Place In the Emergence of Civilisation (1959), 41.
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (192)  |  Against (332)  |  Animal (617)  |  Ape (53)  |  Aristotle (173)  |  Attack (84)  |  Being (1278)  |  Belie (3)  |  Both (494)  |  Call (769)  |  Carnivorous (6)  |  Characteristic (148)  |  Civilization (206)  |  Cruelty (23)  |  Display (56)  |  Dreadful (14)  |  Eat (104)  |  First (1284)  |  Form (960)  |  Robert Hartmann (2)  |  History (675)  |  Hostility (16)  |  Human (1470)  |  Human Being (176)  |  Human Beings (117)  |  Kill (100)  |  Lion (22)  |  Man (2249)  |  Most (1729)  |  Nature (1928)  |  Nothing (969)  |  Origin (241)  |  Other (2236)  |  Outstanding (16)  |  People (1005)  |  Point (580)  |  Reaction (104)  |  Run (174)  |  Show (346)  |  Social (252)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Today (314)  |  Truly (116)  |  Two (937)  |  War (226)  |  Whole (738)  |  World (1778)


See also:
  • 4 Feb - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Dart's birth.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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