Full text: Problems in eugenics

246Section III.F. A. Woods. 
Northern and Mediterranean stocks, the short, dark race can more easily 
adapt itself to a town life. It appears to be more tolerant of industrial 
conditions, and to be more resistant to the diseases and unwholesome condi­ 
tions of life that it there encounters. Thus the urbanization of Great 
Britain, as of the Roman Empire, may be held to favour the Southern 
stock. Again, the voluntary restriction of the birth-rate—a well-known pheno­ 
menon both in the Greece and Rome at the time of their entrance on the 
downward grade—which has been in action among us since 1875, made its 
appearance earlier and to a more marked extent among the more successful 
and prosperous classes, probably containing a higher proportion of northern 
blood. There is, on the whole, a less diminution of birth-rate in many great 
towns, such as Liverpool and Dublin, where it still stands above 30 per 
1,000, than in the country districts surrounding them; and the poorer parts 
of many towns, containing the shorter, darker elements, hardly show traces 
of any lowering in the output of children. 
It seems probable, then, that these modern tendencies of our civilization 
favour selectively the racial elements of Southern origin, the elements that, 
as far as we can ascertain, have been the least productive of men of ability 
and genius in England. If this be the case, bearing in mind the char­ 
acteristics of the two races, the British nation and perhaps the nations of 
Western Europe generally, may find themselves becoming darker, shorter, 
less able to take and keep an initiative, less steadfast and persistent, and 
possibly more emotional, whether in government, science, or art. 
A gradual alteration of the biological constitution of any nation in the 
direction we have indicated would have cumulative results, and, in the 
end, must lead to some shifting of power and influence, both internal and 
external, to an extent that would certainly be recorded prominently in 
Dr. F. A. Woods, 
Harvard Medical School. 
The eugenics movement, in order to justify itself in the eyes of the body 
politic, must first of all emphasize heredity; but it must do more than that. 
It is incumbent on the advocates of eugenics to prove that the desired better­ 
ments in the social organism cannot be looked for as a consequence of 
environment; for, if they can, then why take up a new remedy ? Every 
research in anthropology and history, which shows that nature is stronger

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