A superb treatise in evolution and eugenics from one of Britain’s leading professors of physiology and discoverer of the anti-coagulant hirudin. Professor Haycraft discusses race, Darwin’s Law of Selection, Galton’s work, and the hereditary nature of diseases, insanity, alcoholism, crime and racial degeneration.
He moves on to detail healthy eugenics, the outbreeding of the “capables” by the “incapables” and the necessity for the best in society to expand their numbers at the expense of the worst.
A medical doctor by training, Professor Haycraft was also a research scholar of the British Medical Association and was chair of physiology at University College, Cardiff where he worked until retirement in 1920.
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTORY
Muscle and Brain versus Political Organisation—The Muscles and Brains of a Race are not bound to decay—The Fall of Greek and Roman Political Organisation—The Permanence of the Scandinavian and Jewish Types—Possible Racial Degeneration in Spain—Our Power to ensure our own Racial Progress—The Knowledge we possess regarding the Laws of Racial Change—Evolution—Modern Philanthropic Effort—Are these conducive to Racial as well as to Individual Well-being?
CHAPTER II: THE STANDPOINT OF BIOLOGISTS
Lamarck’s View on Heredity—Darwin’s Law of Selection—Three Ideas involved in Selection—Selection is a Fact, not a Theory—How much is explainable by Selection?—Galton and Weismann—Are Acquired Characters Transmitted ?—Many Cases of Supposed Transmission to be explained by Selection—Paucity of Experimental Evidence of such Transmission—The Reproductive and the Body Cells—Reproductive Cells unaffected by Local Changes in the Body Cells—Constitutional Changes may, though they rarely do, affect the Reproductive Cell—The Facts of Evolutive Selection known to the Gardener and Breeder
CHAPTER III: CAUSES AND SIGNS OF PHYSICAL DETERIORATION
Modern Care for the Individual—Preventive Medicine—Micro-organisms of Diseases and their Extermination—The Reproductive Cells as a Rule unaffected by them—Man has been selected by the Action of the Microbes of Fever—Leprosy an Exterminator of the Unhealthy—Germs of Phthisis and Scrofula our Racial Friends—If we stamp out Infectious Diseases we perpetuate Poor Types—Births, Deaths, and Marriages—Increase of Constitutional Weakness—Death-rate for Advanced Years on the Increase—Life Tables compared—Physical Degeneration of the Race already indicated
CHAPTER IV: INSANITY AND ALCOHOLISM
Nerve Derangements, Insanity—The Importance of preventing its Transmission—Marriages of Insane Persons—Alcoholism a Habit, and Alcoholism a Sign of Mental Instability—Drink is a Selective Agency—Parents who drink from Habit may have Debilitated Offspring—Preventive Measures—Drink among Australian Convicts—Drink and Prevention in America—Public Habit and Conscience the best Preventive—The Power of the Community over the Individual—The Necessity for replacing one Selective Agency by another—How it is that the Production of Children by Diseased Parents is tolerated—The Necessity for producing Posterity out of our Best Types
CHAPTER V: THE CRIMINALS, INCAPABLES, AND THOSE IN DISTRESS
Crime is often an Acquired Habit—The Innate Criminal—The Jukes Family—Intermarriage does not stamp out Criminal Tendencies—Segregation of the Criminal an Ultimate and Effectual Resort —Our Unfortunate Use of the Word “Poor”—The Unfortunate, the Aged, the Incapables and the Vicious are treated alike—Our Poor-Law Regulations are at Fault—The Idle and Vicious are Subjects for the Criminal Law—The Poor in Very Deed—Our Misguided Attitude to these—The Incapables—Segregation ultimately required for their Elimination—Incapables to be treated like Chronic Hospital Patients
CHAPTER VI: COMPETITION
Competition of Brain against Brain—Does the Race show Increased Brain Capacity ?—The Neolithic compared with the Modern English Skulls—Abeyance of Brain Development since Neolithic Times—Social Communities do not permit of the Destruction of the Less Intellectually Capable—Human Brain Power results merely in Wealth Accumulation—Further Study of Individual Competition—Those competing are handicapped by Property—Property is not always acquired by the Most Capable—Property Holders Less Capable than Property Acquirers—The Poor Child is scratched against the Rich Child—Modern Democratic Attempts to equalise the Struggle—Those who succeed are not always the Best
CHAPTER VII: STERILITY OF THE CAPABLES
Are the More Capable relatively sterile ?—If so, we are breeding from our Incapables—Capable and Ambitious Men marry Late in Life—Many Unmarried Persons among Upper Classes—Lower Class Marriages are the Most Prolific—Their Infant Mortality is Greater—Artificial Restriction of the Family—Fertility of French and English Marriages Contrasted—Possible Swamping of the Capables by the Incapables—Artificial Restrictions at present most disastrous
CHAPTER VIII: OBLIGATION IN PARENTHOOD
Are we prepared to carry out Selective Methods?—Rights of the Individual, and Obligations to the Community—Rights of Children and our Obligation to them—Our Sense of Obligation is Developing—Social Philosophers and Social Reformers—Segregation is not yet practicable—Segregation no New Idea, and ultimately a Necessary Practice—The Masses must be taught the Main Facts of Heredity and Evolution—The End and Aim of Marriage—Our False Ideas regarding Marriage—The Stream of Life.