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"Primitive Eugenics," by Harry Whitisle, People (April 1931), history of eugenic practices around the world (1)

"Primitive Eugenics," by Harry Whitisle, People (April 1931), history of eugenic practices around the world (1)
"Primitive Eugenics," by Harry Whitisle, People (April 1931), history of eugenic practices around the world (1)
1609. 32 PEOPLE [photo, left side][photo credit]By Courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History [photo caption]AN AINU SALUTATION The Ainus are the primitive natives of Japan, and are thought to be more close allied ethnologically to European types than the Japanese proper. would consequently multiply, while the others would decrease; not only from their inability to sustain the attacks of disease, but from their incapacity of contending with their more vigorous neighbors. The colour of this vigorous race I take for granted, from what has been already said, would be dark. But the same disposition to form varieties still existing, a darker and darker race would in the course of time occur; and as the darkest would be the best fitted for the climate, this would at length become the most prevalent, if not the only race, in the particular country in which it had originated." He then extended these same views to the white inhabitants of colder climates. And we must not forget the grandfather of Charles Darwin, Erasmus Darwin, who set out the theory of evolution in much the same way as did his more illustrious grandson. And Charles Lyell, and Buffon, and Goedfrey Saint-Hillaire, and Goethe. But none of these put forth the ideas which Francis Galton, the cousin of Charles Darwin gave to the world. He, too, believed in evolution and he gave us the first forceful ideas about another aspect of the question. He saw that there were basic influences under social control which had tremendous effects upon the races of mankind. The study of these effects we call eugenics, using the name that he gave to it. And in the light of this interpretation, let us [text, right column]examine some of the influences in society about which we seldom think, especially primitive society. The world is full of scientists who are examining the activities of civilized mankind to see which social agencies are making the race better and which worse. Of course very little consideration has ever been given to the most primitive of all peoples, the savages - savages of yore and of the present, because we know but little about them. But we can go back in our imaginations to a time in the emergence of the human race when intelligence was not yet greatly developed - to the stage between the dark and the daylight. To a primitive family always in a state of warfare with nature, the defective child was a decided burden. We can be very sure that under such conditions there was but little chance for defectiveness to live and sure too, are we, that the best fitted in the struggle for existence were those that lived. Had this not been so, had nature perpetuated the inferior and suppressed the best as we tend to do under our system of civiliza- [photo][photo credit]Ewing Galloway [photo caption]DAUGHTER OF CEYLON The marriage of brother and sister among the royal families of this little girl's native island is encouraged. [end]
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