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

46Section I.V. G. Ruggeri. 
“ The union of individuals of different races involves a contest between their 
two natures—a contest of which the theatre is the field where the new being 
is organised. Now, this contest does not take place en bloc, so to speak, 
as has been generally admitted. Each of the characters of the two parents 
struggles on its own account against the corresponding character (its an­ 
tagonist, as has just been said). When the hereditary energy is equal on 
both sides there necessarily ensues a kind of process of which the conse­ 
quence is the fusion of the maternal and paternal characters in an inter­ 
mediate character. If the energies are very unequal the hybrid inherits a 
character borrowed entirely from one of his parents; but this parent, con­ 
queror on one point, may be conquered upon another. Hence, there results 
with the hybrid a juxtaposition of characters derived from each of the types 
of which he is the child ”(i). 
He instances, also, the figure of a Creole with the head of hair of a 
negress, the physiognomy of a white and an intermediate colour of the skin. 
Much rarer is the case where one of the two types is reproduced in all its 
characters. “ In successive generations alternate heredity and atavism 
came into view.” De Quatrefages also speaks of the juxtaposition of 
skeletal characters observed by him. He was quite of opinion that all that 
was favourable to monogenismus; and, in fact, we see that almost all those 
who have been occupied with the so-called Mendelian laws have spoken of 
varieties of one and the same species, commencing from Mendel himself, who 
crossed 22 varieties or sub-species of Pisum sativum, to Lang, who crossed 
two varieties of Helix ortensis, to Correns, who crossed VUrtica filulifera 
and VTJrtica Dodartil, which are two varieties, notwithstanding the Linnoean 
name, as is affirmed by naturalists, and so many other authorities. Hence, 
neither Davenport’s fowls, nor Hurst’s rabbits, nor the mice of Cuenot and 
Darbishire belonged to different species, and still less to species assigned to 
distinct genera. There is a certain Polygenist in the case of man, who 
speaks with unenviable confidence of hybrids between species and of hybrids 
between genera (in man !), while at the present day the word “ hybrid ” is 
adopted by all biologists in the greater number and in almost all cases 
instead of the old word “ mongrel ” to indicate crossings amongst varieties, 
which is not any more convenient to the polygenists. It is a process of 
reducing science ad usum delfhini, where the exceptions are sought out 
with a lantern, and absurdly exaggerated, putting the general rule quite into 
the shade. They presume to treat “ the human mammal ” in line with the 
other mammals, and as it were claim with a waste of breath a patent-right 
of such a conception, and in what sort of hands the poor beast has fallen 
is seen from the tortures which they inflict upon it at full tilt. 
It is hardly necessary to say that with us much more weight is assigned 
to the law propounded by a true zoologist—“ True hybridism cannot be 
(1) A. De Quatrefages, Introduction h Petude des races humaines. Paris, 1889, p. 182.
        

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