26. At the corporeal and purely anatomical point of view, man belongs to the mammals, from which he differs only slightly in outward form. Beyond that he is of the same chemical composition as all animals, has the same organs, functions, modes of nutrition, respiration, secretion, and reproduction. He is born, lives, and dies in the same conditions; and at his death his body is decomposed like that of all other beings. There is not in his blood, flesh, or bone, an element more or less than in those of the lower animals. Like the latter, in dying he renders to the Earth oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon, which were combined in order to form him, and go towards forming new combinations, new mineral, vegetable, and animal bodies. The analogy is so perfect that man can study his own organic functions in certain animals when experiments cannot be made with himself.
27. In the family of mammals man belongs to the two legged order of animals. Immediately below him comes animals with four legs, — the monkeys, of which a few, like the orangutan, chimpanzee, and the ape, have certain ways like men, so much so that for a long time they have been called wild men of the woods. Like him they walk erect, use a stick, and carry food to their mouths with their hands, which are characteristically human habits.
28. Although one can observe the scale of living beings at the point of view of organism, it is recognized that from the lichen to the tree, and from the zoophyte to man, there is a continuous chain elevating itself by degrees, in which all the links are joined together. Following step by step the series of beings, one can say that each species is a transformation of the species immediately below it. Since the body of man is in conditions identical with other bodies chemically and constitutionally, as he is born, lives, and dies in the same manner, he must have been formed in the same way.
29. Although it is humbling to his pride, man must be resigned to behold in his material body only the last link of animality upon the Earth. The inexorable argument of facts compels him thus to regard himself, against which all protestation is vain.
But the more the body diminishes in value in his eyes, the more the spiritual principle increases in importance. If the first puts him on a level with the brute, the second elevates him to an immeasurable height. We can see the point where the animal stops; but, we cannot see the limit to which the human spirit can attain.
30. Materialism can see by this that Spiritism, far from fearing the discoveries of science and its positivism, goes before and invites them, because it is certain that the spiritual principle, which has an existence of its own, can suffer no harm from them.
In the field of matter, Spiritism advances side by side with materialism. It admits everything the latter does, though it advances beyond the point whereat science stops. Spiritism and materialism are like two travelers going on a journey, leaving from the same point. After a certain distance, one tells the other: “I cannot go any further.” The other however proceeds and discovers a new world. Why should the first traveler say that the second traveler is crazy? Only because, upon foreseeing new horizons, one decides to surpass the limits whereat the other decided to stop? Was not Christopher Columbus labeled crazy because he believed in the existence of a world beyond the ocean? How many of these crazy and sublime people, who propelled humanity forward and to whom we now render our praises — after throwing mud at them — does History register?
Spiritism, the idiocy of the 19th century, according to those who want to remain at the shores of Earth, reveals to us a whole new world. A world which is more important to mankind than America, as not everyone can go to America, whereas all of us, without exception, go to the Spirit world — usually making numerous trips from one world to the other.
Reaching the point wherein we currently find ourselves in Genesis, materialism comes to halt, while Spiritism proceeds with its researches, in the realm of Spiritual Genesis.