Full text: Problems in eugenics

20Section II,F, Houssay. 
defective parents or other close relatives. The denial of marriage between 
races has this justification, that most other races have not, through selection, 
attained the social status of the Caucasian. In such cases the socially 
inadequate should be sterilized or segregated in other races as well as in the 
By Frederic Houssay, 
Professor of Science, University of Paris. 
Eugenics, which is a social application of biological science, cannot yet 
be judged by its results; it must be judged by its tendencies. To deter­ 
mine these, we must adjust them to principles generally admitted. 
And inasmuch as it advocates practical rules and seeks to check the 
propagation of the unfit, by isolation or sterilization (voluntary or enforced), 
it is an artificial selection. 
Its justification lies in the fact that, without intervention, the descendants 
of defectives or degenerates would, in a few generations, eliminate them­ 
selves by early death of children or by natural sterility. This would pro­ 
duce a natural selection which Eugenics simply proposes to anticipate by 
social economy. 
It seems that, by applying Darwinian principles, the group of defectives, 
considered at a given moment, could be rapidly extinguished. But this 
group is continually reinforced by fresh degeneration of healthy stocks which 
become tainted. 
Hence the need to keep our eye on the re-formation of the group as well 
as its elimination, and to keep in touch with Lamarckian principles. The 
study of the origin and hereditary conservation of defects points already 
as essential factors, to alcoholism, syphilis, and more generally every 
chronic ailment and diathesis, among which gout must be put in a lead­ 
ing position. Everything which will tend to restrain the action of these 
factors is of capital importance from our present point of view, whether 
it occurs in the ranks of rich or poor. 
The questions, thus, which Eugenics seeks to answer would be on this 
view reduced to questions of hygiene and morals. 
So that the different biological principles, which sometimes seem in 
mutual opposition, would become convergent, and would find in Eugenics 
a ready reconciliation and a field of useful co-operation.

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