Though its stand-point is Evolution and its subject Man, this book is far from being designed to prove that Man has relations, compromising or otherwise, with lower animals. Its theme is Ascent, not Descent. It is a History, not an Argument. And Evolution, in the narrow sense in which it is often used when applied to Man, plays little part in the drama outlined here. So far as the general scheme of Evolution is introduced --and in the Introduction and elsewhere this is done at length-- the object is the important one of pointing out how its nature has been misconceived, indeed how its greatest factor has been overlooked in almost all contemporary scientific thinking.