Full text: papers communicated to the first International Eugenics Congress held at the University of London, July 24th to 30th, 1912

Biology and Eugenics.5 
Section I. 
Biology and Eugenics. 
VARIATION AND HEREDITY IN MAN. 
(Abstract.) 
By Professor G. Sergi, 
Professor of Anthropology, Rome. 
In his paper Professor G. Sergi wishes to show that in man after his 
morphological characteristics are established there occur no profound 
variations to change the typical forms which are naturally persistent. 
The principal discussion concerns the different forms of the skull which 
are important as characteristics of race. Professor Sergi distinguishes in 
the human skull two principal and primordial forms : the dolichomorphic 
and the brachymorphic are both very ancient, as they are found contempo­ 
raneously in European human fossils. Consequently he attacks the idea of 
the transformation of one form into another. He does not find it 
demonstrated that the dolicomorphic type is transformed into the brachy­ 
morphic, and considers the causes adduced for this supposed transformation 
insufficient. It i9 neither the effect of environment of the plains or of the 
mountains, or the climatic influence of extreme cold, or the increase of 
volume of the brain supposed to be due to greater cerebral activity owing to 
a more developed culture, that the form of the skull is transformed into 
another type. All these suppositions are contrary to facts, because dolicho­ 
morphic and brachymorphic skulls are found alike in mountain and plain, 
in northern and southern regions, among primitive and civilized populations, 
in fact without any distinction. 
The mutations that are believed to be found in the different populations 
are due to the effect of intermixture and penetration of new demographical 
elements, and not to the transformation of forms. That is also proved by the 
crossing of the two different human types from which no intermediary forms 
are derived : but instead there occurs in the heredity a segregation analagous 
to that under the mendelian theory. If this were not so, to-day after 
many thousands of years of intermixture of the most diverse races, there 
would be but a single form derived from transformation ; the demonstration 
of the facts proves that this has not occurred.B 2
        

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