15. From the similitude which exists between the body of man and that of the monkey certain physiologists have contended that the former was only a transformation of the latter. In that there is nothing impossible, although, if it is so, the dignity of man will naturally suffer. Bodies of monkeys may have served very well for the vestment of the first human Spirits necessarily undeveloped, who have been incarnated upon the Earth, these garments being more appropriate to their needs and for the exercise of their faculties than the bodies of any other animal. Instead of a special robe having been made for the Spirit, it may have been dressed in the skin of the monkey without ceasing to be a human Spirit, as man is sometimes dressed in animal skins without losing his manhood.
It is well understood that this is only an hypothesis which is not based upon principle, but only given to show that such an origin of the body is not prejudicial to the Spirit, which is the principal being, and that similitude of the body of man to that of the monkey does not imply equality between their respective Spirits.
16. By admitting this hypothesis, one can say that, under the influence of and by the effect of the intellectual activity of its new inhabitant, the envelope has been modified, embellished in details, yet preserving the general form as a whole (n° 11). The improved bodies by procreating themselves have reproduced themselves in improved conditions, like grafted trees. They have given birth to a new species, which has been gradually removed from the primitive type according as the Spirit has progressed. The spirit of the monkey, which has not been annihilated, has continued to bring about bodies of monkeys for its use like wild fruit reproduced from wild fruit; and the human Spirit has produced bodies of men varying from the first established form. The trunk has become divided, forked. It has produced a sprout and this sprout has become an independent trunk.
As there are no sudden transitions in nature, it is probable that the first men appearing on Earth have differed little from monkeys in exterior form, and probably no more in intelligence. There are still in our day savages who, by the length of their arms and feet, and the formation of their heads, have so many ways like a monkey, that a hairy covering only is missing to complete the resemble.