Full text: Problems in eugenics

32Section III.C. Gini. 
History and genealogy both speak unmistakably for heredity. Men 
of genius have as many eminent relationships as the expectations of heredity 
demand. The same is true among the highest aristocratic classes, and is 
equally true under democratic government, as is proved by a study of the 
family history of those Americans whose names are in the Hall of Fame. 
History shows that about half of the early monarchs were not cruel or were 
not licentious. Alternative heredity can well account for that. Virtuous 
types have only slightly increased in numerical proportion. Environment 
cannot be very effective; but there are biological factors of a more hidden 
nature which are silently making for progress. Mental qualities are cor­ 
related with moral; and in the European dynasties the survivors have been 
generally the descendants of the morally superior. 
Physical differences can also be demonstrated, coming in the course of 
generations. A study of the portraits of royal, noble, and other historical 
personages shows that the bony framework of the face, especially about 
the nose and eyes, has changed rapidly since the beginning of the sixteenth 
century. In explaining the rise and fall of nations, gametic and personal causes 
can be measured and marked. All the evidence of history points to the 
power and importance of a very few great personalities—they themselves 
the product of inborn forces. These have been the chief causes of political 
and economic differences, but non-gametic (environmental) causation can be 
occasionally detected, and separated out; as, for instance, the modern scientific 
productivity in Germany and the proportionate intellectual activity among 
women in America. It is estimated that there are four hundred thousand 
books on history. These form an almost unworked mine of information, 
easily available to every student of eugenics. It is high time that the human 
record, so ancient in its beginnings, should be used to contribute to that most 
modern of sciences, the improvement of the human breed. 
By Dr. Corrado Gini, 
Professor of Statistics in the Royal University of Cagliari, Italy. 
Tables of mortality relating to human beings with classification as to age, 
when compared with similar statistics relating to the equine species, show 
that man during the period of development has a much heavier death-rate. 
It is not possible to say whether in their natural state the higher kinds of 
animals possess a higher or lower death-rate during the period of develop­ 
ment than when under domestication, but the second of the alternatives seems

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