F. Houssay.Practical Eugenics.i59 contests, for the improvement of the breed of domestic animals, ought assuredly to be taken into account as a valuable potential contributor to the improvement of the humankind considered as a whole. In this latter case the only question which can be raised and discussed is that of the right of society to intervene in such a matter. Persuasive intervention at least could not be considered illegitimate, and could only be combated by contrary persuasion. But persuasion would doubtless be of little effect in cases of advanced degeneracy accompanied by incurable pauperism, which no assistance can remedy, and sometimes by a state of habitual profligacy or criminality. In these circumstances enforced sterilization, if its value as a social preservative is sufficiently established, is only a special aspect of the right to punish. This, in fact, is neither in the nature of vengeance nor retalia­ tion ; its legitimacy rests entirely on the elemental need of society for self- preservation and for the extinction of focuses of contamination, whose exten­ sion and spread would imperil higher civilisation and even society itself. Now, this right to punish is not combated in the name of an abstract logic, which forgets human and social realities, except by an insignificant minority. In spite of the efforts of thinkers, whose hearts are stronger than their heads, the majority of civilized states have maintained their right to punish inclusive of the penalty of death; some of them have replaced this by perpetual and complete seclusion, which seems a penalty worse than that which it replaces« But whichever way we choose, by death or seclusion, the condemned man is cut off from the social body and his lineage extin­ guished at a stroke. The extinction of descendants by sterilization is evidently a penalty less than the preceding, since, in place of the suppression of natural or social life, we have here only a morphological and physiological limitation of it, which can be effected without pain. It seems, consequently, permissible to extend its use to more numerous cases of less severity and less clamorous menace to society. Moreover, in the actual state of human psychology, which we must carefully cherish, this penalty would be considered as more degrading and humiliating than death on the public scaffold, with its accompaniments of photographer and cinematograph. It would be equally, and at less expense, a salutary example and a deterrent for the restraint of those who are on the border line of defectiveness, and in whose case a voluntary effort might prevent lapse. Artificial selection, whose legitimacy we thus discuss in the abstract, can moreover be justified in another way, if one considers that it would come about all the same, a little later, without any social interference, by the simple fact that the offspring of defectives or degenerates undergo spon­ taneous extinction, in a few generations, by premature death of children or by ordinary infertility. Artificial selection, as suggested by Eugenics, is