Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2009




Author of

The New Decalogue of Science

The Fruit of the Family Tree



Copyright, 192V By The Bobbs-Mbbbill Company






Biologist, biometrician, historiometer ^lover of

truth of whom a renowned scientist said: **I have

watched his genius for twenty years and have never

known him to be wrong."


This book is tlie outcome of a telegram that I re- ceived on one occasion from Dean Carl E. Seashore, asking me to deliver an address on *^Some Aspects of Eugenics'' to the Graduate School of the University of Iowa. The address had the good fortune to be kindly received by the scientific men present. At the urgent suggestion of a number of friends I have rather reluctantly enlarged the discussion into a book. This does not mean that all of my scientific friends have agreed with its major premises. They have not. They have, however, believed that I had presented some aspects of man's probable future on this earth which merited more extended discussion. Hence this book.

If I am wrong, no praise from friends or critics will make me right ; if I am right, no adverse criticism will make me wrong. The effort to improve man's organic constitution is the most difficult and complex problem to which human intelligence has ever addressed itself. It would, therefore, not be surprising if, during the first one or two hundred years, we should all be wrong. As long, however, as men seek the truth by critical methods, instead of by mystical contemplation, the truth will ultimately come out of their very errors. Should this entire volume be wrong, it will never- theless be of service in getting that much of the dis- cussion out of the way, and making its error manifest.

Eugenical truth is the highest truth men will ever know. The climax of all natural processes is the evolu- tion of man. And if man can, by the use of the intelligence which that evolution has given him, aid in


his further evolution, it will certainly be the highest achievement which the powers given him by nature will ever enable him to make. Eugenics will not solve aU the problems of society; but it hopes to aid intro- ducing a race that can solve them.

My own belief is that biology and psychology have recently placed in our hands new and powerful instru- ments and agencies by which man can greatly accel- erate his own evolution, and that these discoveries of science are going to usher in a new age of man. Human nature, I think, has profoundly changed within the past ten or fifteen thousand years. I believe we are better men than have ever lived; also that human nature is going to change even more rapidly in the comparatively near future than it has ever changed in the past. Beyond question, there is going on, all around us, a rising tide of degeneracy; but right in fhe midst of it, I am convinced, there is also going on a rising tide of biological capacity. I believe that civilization has in the past ten or fifteen thousand years been slowly evolving a naturally civilized man; and that science is about to place in our hands dis- coveries which will greatly increase this process in rapidity of action and definiteness of result. There are, here and there, people who are naturally good, naturally sane, healthy, intelligent and long-lived. These people are naturally happy and naturally civ- ilizable. I believe that through the use of the new instrumentalities of science these people are going, in the course of no great time, to constitute the main body of the population.

To maintain the foregoing thesis is the aim of this essay.

My thanks are due to Dean Seashore for hav- ing stimulated me to lay the foundations of the book. The World* s Work, Collier's Weekly and the Metro-


politan Newspaper Syndicate have kindly permitted me to draw upon articles of mine which they have published. Mr. Alfred A. Knopf, publisher, and Dr. ^iaymond Pearl, Director of the Institute of Biological Research of Johns Hopkins University, have extended to me exceptional courtesies in the matter of using extracts from Doctor Pearl's researches. I am grate- ful to Dr. J. McKeen Cattell, also, for permission to make quotations from the various Journals of the Science Press. Prof. Karl Pearson, Director of the Galton Laboratory of London, has personally extended me the privilege of making extracts from the Annals of Eugenics and other publications from his laboratory. I have acknowledged, in my dedication, my indebtedness to Frederick Adams Woods. Mrs. Wiggam has done an enormous amount of reading and correlating of technical material for me. Without her assistance the volume would not have been possible. The public has been extraordinarily kind in its re- ception of my previous writings. I can here express only feebly my profound sense of gratitude, as it is beyond my physical power to reply to all of the many grateful readers who have so kindly written me. My hope is that this present volume will, at least, not de- crease this interest and generosity.

A. E. Wiggam. New York City, January 15th, 1927.



I Can We Remain Civilized f 15

II The Modern Man, His World and His

Problem . 77

III The Four Corner Stones of Race

Progress 119

IV Are We Winning the Human Race? . 221 V Who Makes Progress? 267

VI Our Vanishing Leaders . . . . . . 305

VII The Next Age of Man . . ., ■..■ . . 347 Index .....■• . .... 403




When some disgruntled genius of the jungle, dis- satisfied with the lack of soap, newspapers and under- wear, got up the idea of civilization, he unwittingly let the ** so-called human race'' in for a host of unexpected troubles. He, no doubt, held out to his fellows a glit- tering prospect of wealth, comfort, loafing, rapid transit, limousines, pullmans, medicines, hospitals, welfare workers, radio, airplanes, chewing gum and telephones; a vote, a college education, and three square meals a day for everybody; and the Salvation Army to take care of the unfit. It took him several thousand years to put the scheme over; there have been a good many hitches in the program, and, indeed, quite a sizable portion of the human race is not **sold" on the idea yet.

But on the whole he has made good on his pros- pectus. When we compare the foregoing inventory of his present stock in trade and his rather conspic- uous state of solvency to-day with the impressive absence in the jungle of these modem conveniences commonly referred to nowadays as ** necessities'* ^we are forced to admit that he has made no small success of his enterprise. True, there is still a bit of dissatis- faction here and there as to the ** distribution" of



these so-called * ^ goods, '^ some asserting that they receive too little of the chewing gum, loafing and col- lege education, and too much attention from the Sal- vation Army; but on the whole, things seem better since philosophy, science, art and education were invented than they were prior to these creations of the intelligence and sense of the aesthetic.

Indeed, there have been several occasions, notably in Babylon, Greece, Eome and other centers of art, philosophy and trade, when it seemed as though ** prog- ress" had come to stay, and from then on all anybody would have to do would be merely to get on it and ride; in fact, in tw^o or three instances it has seemed as though mankind were just about to ride into the millennium. But in every instance a monkey-wrench has been thrown into the machinery by parties un- known— at least, historians and philosophers are still busy trying to identify the culprits. Some have insisted it was the crowd that changed the trade routes and ** economic conditions"; some that it was the busybody who devised birth control and sold it to the fit at so high a price that it could not be purchased by the unfit; others, that it was the moron who invented democracy; while still others have laid a good deal on the doorstep of the peace-loving Chinese who invented gunpowder.

But whatever caused the breakdown of the machinery, sometimes it has been so complete that it has looked as though the w^hole idea would have to be given up. Especially at the close of the Roman effort it hardly seemed worth while trying again. But new blood came in from the outside ^peoples who had not yet had a chance to try one of these new-fangled civilized joy rides and, barring a few considerable setbacks such as the Thirty Years' War, the World War, the rise of the bootleggers to opulence and social


distinction, and similar discouragements, things have at last begun to look a bit hopeful again.

However, the very success of the enterprise has given leisure, opportunity and stimulus to a few here- tofore unoccupied minds known as biologists, psy- chologists and biometricians, to inquire whether there may not be forces seated in the very nature of human nature which have been important and possibly de- cisive factors in determining both the rise and disso- lution of the societies of the past. They are also inquiring whether these forces may not be corralled and made to work both for the organic improvement of man and the success of the social undertaking instead of, as heretofore, sometimes against them. If this should turn out to be feasible, these students be- lieve that we could develop a culture, a system of education, a set of social ideals and taboos, a political and economic organization which would make luxury, art, ease, w^ealth, gaiety, liberty and beauty just as natural and healthful an environment for man and one which would work just as powerfully for his con- tinuous improvement in energy, sanity and moral character, as did the jungle with its soil constantly soaked with his own blood.

In short, human intelligence has at last turned itself to an enthusiastic consideration of the question which the inventors of civilization entirely overlooked. This oversight, the biologists believe, has been a prime cause of a great deal of the trouble that has beset the human pathway. That question is, whether social processes can not be devised which will work in har- mony with those organic evolutionary processes by which man has climbed from his humble beginnings to his present high estate. For the thing which strikes the historian who has been schooled in biological and psychological fact and theory is that these two pro-


cesses have to a considerable extent always run coun- ter to each other. And he is beginning to believe that unless, in the future, civilization can be founded upon new organizing principles, these two processes- will always conflict and will, periodically, completely can- cel each other and hurl man back into the melee of natural selection from which he has so painfully emerged.

In considering this situation, perhaps the most astonishing thing that strikes us especially since we have come to penetrate some of the deeper levels of the natural human trends is that so rude a barbarian, endowed with so many tendencies at complete variance with culture and social life, should have ever made such a gentleman out of himself as he has. No one, I think, can contemplate, for example, such a fact as one which Mr. Madison Grant points out ^namely, that of the wild, blood-drinking Nordic coming out of the snows of the north into Normandy, and from there, within only one hundred and fifty years, entering England as the finest gentleman the world up to that time had ever seen without feeling profound surprise that such a thing was possible to that sort of human nature.

Yet, with this and a thousand other similarly aston- ishing social feats to his credit, man has never quite succeeded in producing a sufficient proportion of gentlemen and socially minded persons in any of his communities to keep these communities going per- manently. A result was, as Stanley Hall asserted shortly before his death, that **man has never yet demonstrated that he can remain permanently civil- ized.'' As a consequence, a few students are beginning to wonder whether this may not have been because man's civilizations have been *' rigged" biologically so that, as they became more and more complex and


needed more and more intelligence and social capacity to man them, they have failed to evolve a type of man better adapted and more richly endowed by nature for carrying them on than was the crude, uncouth bar- barian who began the undertaking. These students are at last beginning to believe that if man is to remain permanently civilized he must build a civilization which will by its own processes evolve a naturally civ- ilized man, a man whose very inborn aptitudes and temperament are better adapted to a civilized life than those of his badly mannered forbears.


Indeed, on the very face of it this seems a far- fetched theory; certainly one opposed to our experi- ence with probability even to expect that a jungle dis- cipline would evolve a creature who would be naturally at home in drawing rooms, colleges and machine shops. No one who still believes to any extent in Darwinian selection as a factor in evolution will doubt that drawing rooms, colleges, machine shops and other civ- ilized contrivances began, the moment they were instituted, to select out for preservation those breeds especially adapted to carrying on that kind of life. But this process has, somehow, either never worked rapidly enough, or else has never had long enough time in which to work, to produce enough naturally parlor- bred, hand-fed that is, naturally social ^men, to make them the chief part of the population.

It is easily evident that the hard, cooperative work and the demands upon sheer intelligence and moral character which civilization necessitates run consider- ably against the grain in man's natural constitution. For example, as suggested by Prof. Gr. W. T. Pat- rick of Iowa University, only by the hardest kind of


work can we collect a score of people to contemplate a superlative work of art. At the same time, witH moderate effort we can get one hundred and fifty per- sons out to hear a public student debate or an oratori- cal contest; with a little more effort we can get a couple of thousand to witness a tennis match; while with no effort at all we can get twenty thousand to witness a baseball game, a hundred thousand to witness a football game, and a hundred and fifty thousand to witness a prize-fight ^with, at the same time, the whole population of America, young and old. Christian and Jewish, rich and poor, maimed, halt and blind, hanging on the radio, listening to every blow that is given and either mentally or financially wager- ing on the result. It strongly indicates that the masses of men are civilized only because a few leaders have forced them to behave themselves. It seems pretty evident from the analysis of human traits now emerg- ing from the laboratories that civilization is a scheme got up by a comparatively few, and that it has been with only indifferent success forced on the many. For the average man has nothing to do with progress ex- cept to hold it back. His leaders supply him with plenty of propaganda and ready-made slogans, so that he imagines he really has something to do with what is going on. And the saddest thing which strikes a biologist when he discovers the disastrous effect of civilization on man's natural constitution ^his inborn strength, intelligence and moral character is that even these leaders have always mistaken the social progress which they were creating for natural prog- ress in the inborn characteristics of man. They have supposed that if they could improve man's surround- ings, his manners and education, this would not only cause an improvement in his nature, but would be in itself an actual improvement in man's natural traits and capacity. As I shall show later, a slight mechan-


ical difficulty in the egg-cell from which human beings are born renders this supposition extremely doubtful. Indeed, what actually happens to the human form and mind divine in a state of civilization as a biologist views it, at least I think I can throw into easy relief by a very simple parable.


A certain man had two ears of wheat, the grains large in size, of equal vigor and freedom from disease. He planted the grains from one in rich, mellow soil and the others in hard, sterile soil. He gave them equal care and cultivation. They each received an equal amount of air, moisture and sunshine. At the end of the season those planted in the rich soil yielded him both a richer harvest and much larger ears. He congratulated himself that he had discovered a simple and easy method of improving the inborn quality of his whole race of wheat ; that is, the method of providing an improved environment.

The results of the improved environment were so immediate and unmistakable that he failed to inquire what had gone on inside the plants themselves.

Being, however, of an experimental turn of mind, he saved all the grains from both lots for seed, just as we save all human beings for reproduction. He therefore planted all the w^heat from both lots again in the same sort of ground as before, those from the rich soil back in the rich soil and the others in the poor soil.

At the end of a few seasons, however, he began to

* I have used wheat to illustrate the foregoing parable on the advice of Edward M. East, Professor of Genetics, Harvard University. Prof. East advises me that there are a few genetical and practical difficulties, some of them not yet completely understood, which rather over-simplify the application of this parable to human evolution. He believes that the broad general principles of the parable are applicable with these reservations. The writer intends only to draw an illustrative analogy.


suspect that something was going wrong with his stocks. He found among those grown continuously in the rich soil an enormous number of little grains.^ He was unable to account for this, as he had started' out only with large ones. True, there w^ere still many good-sized grains from the rich soil, but what dis- couraged him was the increasing number of little ones. When he considered the general average size of this entire stock he found it greatly reduced from that of the original lot. He also found that disease had set in among them, while the ones from the poor soil seemed strangely unaffected by disease. He concluded that his soil J not his seed, was deteriorating, and also that he had not expended sufficient time and skill in cultivation.


He therefore bought expensive fertilizers, and re- doubled his efforts at tillage. But his fertilizers brought him only a new disappointment. For a time they did give him a few extraordinarily large speci- mens, but even these were not free from disease. In- deed, both the fertilizers and the extra efforts at cul- tivation seemed only to promote both the amount of disease in his rich-soil wheat and to increase the num- ber of small, puny grains. One thing also that had stnick him all along about his poor-soil wheat was that, while at first the hard environment decreased its average size, yet the plants remained free from dis- ease and, as time went on, gradually improved slightly in size and quality.

He now had two pictaires before him. First, the rich soil had given him size and abundance, all mixed with disease and littleness, with a gradual tendency of his whole stock toward general degradation. On the other hand, the hard, forbidding soil had appar- ently preserved the vitality of his stock and kept it


free from disease, but had given him very little in the way of food.


AH this experience led our farmer to take a new tack. He selected a large, general random sample of his rich-soil wheat and planted the grains in the poor soil, and at the same time he transferred a similar sample from the lot bred in the meagre ground to the rich and stimulating environment.

To his amazement, the whole picture was instantly reversed. The wheat from the poor soil, when trans- ferred to the rich environment, leaped up at once to great size and vigor, and even exceeded its original size of years before, when he began his experiment. The seeds were practically all healthy and of good pro- portions, while, on the other hand, those taken from the comfortable environment and put into the hard, ruthless soil had become so weakened that they scarcely survived at all.

At last there dawned on his mind, from this ex- pensive experience, a new idea. From the new lot, hardened by their long experience in sterile soil, which had weeded out their weaklings, their diseased and unfit, and which he had now tried for a season in his rich soil and found to respond magnificently to luxury and cultivation, he selected not a random sample, but the finest, healthiest and largest specimens he could find, and saved them for seed. The remainder he used for his own food or sent to the market.

The next season he planted his selected seeds in his most luxurious soil and gave them every possible care and nourishment. Wlien the harvest came he found himself richly rewarded for his use of intelligence. The crop from his selected seeds was the finest and largest and the freest from disease that he had ever grown. His fame went abroad and his neighbors cam^


to purchase seed. The superstitious actually believed that he had been somehow blessed by Heaven or that some special god of wheat had bestowed his favors on this particular breed.

As a matter of fact, what the farmer had done in his first experiment was to defy nature's laws by pre- serving all his weaklings for seed. He thus gave them as good a chance as the strong and healthy; in good soil they reproduced their wealmess and spread it throughout the entire race. Thus, his very efforts to improve the environment had been the chief cause of his racial disaster. But in his second experiment the farmer had obeyed nature's laws in two directions: First, he had selected out his weaklings and prevented them from reproduction; and second, he had given those which he selected for seed the finest possible opportunity and encouragement for individual devel- opment. Still further he continued this educational process with the children and grandchildren. In this way he secured all the benefit of his best heredity and his wonderful environment combined.


Now, men are not different from wheat. Biologists can find very little difference either in the breeding mechanism or in the physiological processes of repro- duction of wheat and of men. There are differences in detail but none in general process. Every plant which the farmer had planted in stern, austere soil had had to fight for its life. The ones that were naturally more vigorous, those that possessed a superior heredity of strength or rapidity of growth or resistance to drouth or excessive rain or cold, won out. The small grains and the weaklings never got a proper start, or if they did they were killed off. But in the warm, opulent and stimulating environment of the rich, mellow soil, all


sorts of grains survived the good, bad and indifferent alike and unfortunately they also reared offspring. In time the weak were crossed with the strong. Thus the weakness spread even to the largest and most ro- bust specimens ; the entire race became degraded, and feebleness and disease perpetuated themselves.


Just SO it is when men are in a state of brute sav- agery. Strange and contradictory as it may seem, they progress constantly in their mental, moral and physical qualities. For the jungle administers a racial discipline to man which is bound even to-day to excite the unqualified admiration and esteem of the most ardent advocate of eugenics. The weak and the witless quickly pay their debt to nature. The fool lit- erally perishes by his own folly; the wages of sin and departure from tribal custom and morality is instant death. The beasts of the field, the birds and the in- sects of the air make their hourly raids and select out the less agile, the less cooperative and the less cour- ageous. The microbial diseases take their yearly toll and leave only those who by nature lack a lethal sus- ceptibility to these invisible and therefore mysterious enemies.

In a wonderful picture of these early days when man was beginning his long and toilsome journey from brutedom to culture. Doctor Ales Hrdlicka, our American anthropologist, says: ** Humankind is the greatest accomplishment of this world. What is its meaning? ... It had a long, laborious and difficult infancy, reaching far back into the Ice Age. What almost endless sacrifices man was obliged to make be- fore he became sufficiently apt to cope with adver-


sities and have a sufficient surplus of progeny to enable him to multiply and to spread to the more dis- tant parts of the earth! His progress, his evolution were hard earned, and every step was paid for t(T the full."

When we try to picture this helpless, naked crea- ture in that day, and think of the long red gantlet of evolution which he has successfully run, following always the loftiest vision within him toward some un- known goal, there should certainly be no reluctance, to our imaginations, in picturing the heights of inteDi- gence and character to which he yet may climb. Archeology and anthropology have made it a definite certainty and not a theory that man's life in that far- away time was simply a bare-handed fight against a whole universe which seemed hostile to his every step. Women who could not succeed at childbirth always died, and their offspring, who would naturally inherit this disability, perished with them. To-day we keep such women alive and save their offspring by surgical interference with nature. The halt, the maimed and the blind, instead of being invited to tribal feasts, had to rustle for themselves. Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost, was the unmitigated law.


When we think to-day of our feeble efforts to make men good in their natural qualities by Sunday schools, jails, prohibitions and copybook maxims, our strivings seem puny indeed compared with those gigantic and bloody methods by which nature disciplined a terrified and foolish creature into organic courage and moral health. Vice constantly purified the race, because it killed its votaries. No fatted calf was prepared for the prodigal. He starved upon the husks of his own


folly. Thieves, violators of sex morals and those who defied the tribal law were executed without chance of appeal to any higher court. The anti-social man who would not cooperate with his fellows paid the penalty of his foolhardiness and died alone. There were no sentimental women to carry flowers to the murderer, and no sentimental Governor, bidding for votes in the next election, to grant a reprieve. Nature lay in wait day and night to enter the weak spot in every man's armor and when she found it, without mercy she shot her shaft to the death. As Prof. F. C. S. SchiUer, the philosopher, of Oxford, has suggested, when you see in the museum to-day the adult skull of some pre- historic human being, you may feel considerable assurance that its original inhabitant was a pretty smart man since, in the good old days of natural selec- tion probably no fool ever lived long enough to leave an adult skull.


But this new thing, civilization, at once reversed just as the rich soil did with the wheat nearly every purifying agency which had worked such amaz- ing benefit upon the body, the mind and the character of the savage. Particularly, under this new regime the strong, the intelligent and the sympathetic had to devote their time and energies to caring for the weak, the witless and the incompetent. The naturally civ- ilized thus expended their energies in taking care of the naturally uncivilized and in giving them a chance to breed, the very privilege which nature had denied them in the jungle.


By the very process by which morality and sym- pathy exercise their natural functions they bred


immorality into the race. Indeed, I think it highly probable that the greatest social as well as biological disaster which civilization has worked upon man's natural constitution, especially upon his moral health, has been that it caused the man of great powers of social cooperation and rich moral emotion to take care of the man with little cooperative interest and social passion to such an extent that the cooperative man did not have enough surplus energy left to re- produce his generous nature in an abundant brood of children, while the non-social and the non-cooperative man was by this very process especially set up in busi- ness as a going, breeding concern. It was precisely as though the glorious thoroughbreds in some famous stable were put to the plough to do the labor of the fields, while the scrubs and mongrels were kept in lux- urious idleness and given the privilege of reproduc- tion. The very softness of human sympathy and cooperativeness, which have been two of the chiefest agencies in making civilization, are also two of the chiefest agencies in breeding out the hard, robust and virile virtues. In this way gentleness keeps bru- tality alive, and the milk of human kindness congeals in the racial veins. If the reader has any doubt upon this point and believes that it is merely a fanciful theory, I beg him to contemplate the history of the Ishmaelite family in America as worked out by Doctor Arthur Estabrook of the Carnegie Institution. A few generations ago, down in Old Virginia, this family was composed of but two members. Old Man Ishmael and his wife, helpless, anti-social, thriftless incompetents. By the finest thing in civilization, kind-heartedness, the Ishmaelites were kept alive; not only that, they were given a better chance to reproduce their kind than the school teachers, preachers, business men, skilled mechanics, doctors and lawyers who tried to


teach their empty brains to clothe and shelter their filthy bodies and, by expensive legal procedures, pre- vent them from being hanged. There were two of them then; there are nearly twelve thousand now!

Perhaps until modern times this tendency of co- operativeness to breed non-cooperativeness, of social coherence to breed social incoherence, has not had extensive sway; but since the rise of humanitarianlsm it has been one of the outstanding features of both social and racial evolution. Social capacity is caring on an immense scale for social incapacity and giving the latter nearly all the aces in the biological deck. Human sympathy is thus steadily waging war against itself and by its own exercise is steadily weeding out its own agents. At the very least, the modem stage is set for just such a biological fiasco.


Man has come, therefore, in these burgeoning years of the twentieth century to the point where a critical examination, by the biologists, psychologists, educa- tors and statesmen, of the natural agencies which have made him what he is and which, if they could only be understood and controlled might make him something better than he is or than he otherwise could be seems one of the most worthwhile as well as adventurous enterprises to which the intelligence and social capac- ity which he has already attained could possibly devote themselves. This is the field of hope and in- quiry to which the prophetic genius of Sir Francis Galton gave the happily born name ** Eugenics."


Both the sentiment and the science of eugenics for, fifty years after its christening, eugenics can now safely be called a science are bound to meet with


opposition, especially from those whose biological edu- cation has been limited to a few pleasant week-ends of diverting reading in the less technical literature of^the subject. Mr. Clarence Darrow, for example who occasionally adds greatly to the gaiety of biologists by his interesting speculations on heredity in man, especially as to what heredity would be if it were something different from what biologists know very well that it is warns us with apparently great per- sonal alarm that any effort to improve man's natural strength, sanity and character would be a dangerous undertaking because, as he says, it would be *' tinker- ing with the human germ-plasm."

And, in order to show that man has already reached even a higher level of intelligence and moral character than is good for him, Mr. Darrow relates that he would much prefer to have the Jukes family as his neigh- bors— with their charming array of murderers, thieves, pilferers and others addicted to similar forms of social diversion ^than the Edwards family with their array of debaters, theologians, scientists, diplomats and college presidents, all of whom Mr. Darrow seems to view as disturbers of intellectual and social peace.


To prefer the Jukeses to the Edwardses as neigh- bors is a perfectly natural sentiment for a criminal lawyer. The Jukes would no doubt occupy his time pleasantly both day and night. Only one drawback suggests itself. That is that Mr. Darrow might miss the cantankerous Edwardses while carrying on his favorite in- and out-door sport of debating the ques- tion, ^^ Resolved, That Life Is Not Worth Living. '^ I believe there is no record that any of the descendants of Max Jukes have been celebrated for


their powers of dialectic that science as well as art of applying logical principles to discursive reasoning which Aristotle defines as *Hhe method of arguing with probability on any given problem and of defend- ing a tenet without inconsistency." While I can readily understand Mr. Darrow's indisposition to take up his residence in a neighborhood of Fundamentalist theologians, yet the very cantankerousness of the Edwardses to which Mr. Darrow so seriously objects might be the very thing he would need most to make life worth living among the Jukeses. Far be it from me to detract from Mr. Darrow's sources of either neighborly solace or professional activity, yet I gen- uinely fear that the absence of any opportunity to exercise his well known passion and skiU in forensic combat, a species of dialectological endeavor in which the Edwardses have always been ready to take on all comers, would leave him at times lonesome and dis- consolate, chafing like the stabled war horse when he hears the sound of the distant fray.


However, whatever may be Mr. Darrow's social and intellectual preferences, it is precisely the unfor- tunate circumstance that civilization is itself a gigan- tic and never-ending tinkering with the human germ- plasm which makes eugenics a superlative necessity for keeping that very civilization as a going concern.

It is a source of surprise that so obvious a thing as this should escape the notice of Mr. Darrow's robust and salubrious intelligence.

As an instance, you cannot even get up a church sociable and introduce two young persons to each other who fall in love and subsequently marry and rear a family of children endowed with certain physi-


cal, mental and tempermental characteristics two young persons who but for your interference would have married other individuals and reared children of quite different mental, temperamental and physical traits without tinkering with the human germ-plasm. It would seem that Mr. Darrow, with his enormous experience, would be the first to reflect that you can- not place a man on trial for his life and, by the elo- quence of one lawyer hang him, or by the eloquence of another set him free to rear a brood of similar kind, without having directly and boldly done precisely what Mr. Darrow is afraid eugenics will do namely, tinkered with the human germ-plasm.

We could multiply these examples endlessly. You cannot invent an automobile by which young people enormously extend the number of their acquaintances, without affecting the destiny of the race. For in- stance, when I was a boy in southern Indiana some thirty-five or forty years ago, a country lad who was acquainted with more than a dozen young women from whom to choose his wife was a far-traveled man and a gay Lothario to boot. But nowadays even a farm boy in that same region goes to a dance one night at Greensburg, twenty miles distant, the seat of the next county, another dance the following night at Colum- bus or Madison, neighboring county seats, and perhaps he spends Sunday with a young lady in Louisville or Indianapolis, sixty or seventy miles away.


For the geographical area of man's lovemaking has always been limited by the distance which he could travel after early supper, the time, as long as possible, which he would spend with his lady love, and his get- ting back home unobserved before daylight. Primi-


tive man had to walk. Next came the ox-cart, which did not increase the distance but gave the added thrill of a joy-ride. Next came the horse and saddle, and next the horse and buggy. To-day it is the automobile and to-morrow it will be the airplane. Perhaps when radio and the transmission of speaking likenesses have become more developed, the area of the humblest man's courtship will be the entire surface of the globe. Whether all this will enable him to make a wiser choice than Max Jukes or Richard Edwards, or than Mr. Darrow or I made something which in our cases would probably be impossible to human intelligence no man can say. And whether all of this is tinkering the human germ-plasm up, or tinkering it down again, no man knows.


This tinkering process which so alarms Mr. Darrow extends throughout our whole industrial, educational and political life. When we organize a department store or factory or public school or college, and place human beings under different conditions for making their living and place them under a new psychology and set up new ideals and taboos, we tinker decisively with man's organic destiny. When we vote one-third of the taxpayers' money as they do in Massachusetts, or one-fourth as they do in New York, or from one- tenth to one-fifth as they do in many other states, in order to take care of people so little adapted to civilized life that they cannot take care of themselves, we again tinker with the germinal stream.

We have always, for instance, treated the tariff in this country as though it were purely a political ques- tion. Recently, it is true, we have begun to realize vaguely that it is also an economic question, to be


settled by statistical inquiry and control. But it is likewise a very large eugenical, that is, biological question. This is because high and low tariff affect living conditions, social life, educational progress," and these in turn affect marriage rates, birth rates, home building, death rates, the development of art, of religious institutions, and of a hundred other things, all of which are powerful agencies working to change the mental and physical constitution of man.


Just now, it seems to me, some of our candidates for doctors' degrees in our universities could render us an immense service by undertaking a large coopera- tive research into the motives of migration. I don't know, but I think they would find that the motives which induce the migrants to leave one country and go to another are the things which select out certain types of physique and mentality and which are very large factors in determining the tone, the temper and the tempo of the civilization in the land where they cast their new lot. I imagine they would find that in this country down to about 1850 the freedom mo- tive was the dominant motive in selecting the types that up to that time had settled America. First the motive of religious freedom and then later the motive of political freedom both of them highly complicated with the adventure motive were certainly powerful agencies in the migration throughout that period. And I believe they would find that these motives and this general temper flooded all the events and gave color to the institutional life and the fundamental legal and social documents of our country. Next came the home-seeking motive which peopled the West and Northwest with a splendid home-loving type,