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Sunday, January 04, 2009

A high school biology textbook in use in 1917 said this: ...

Read it and try to guess which one:

Promise you won't cheat by Googling this quote. Or if you do, fine, but don't post an answer that makes it sound like you had figured out the origin using brain power or historical knowledge or such. I'll find you out eventually, because you won't be anywhere near that smart later, when Google can't help you:
Improvement of Man. - If the stock of domesticated animals can be improved, it is not unfair to ask if the health and vigor of future generations of men and women on th earth might not be improved by applying to them the laws of selection.

Eugenics. - When people marry there are certain things that the individual as well as the race should demand. The most important of these is freedom from germ diseases which might be handed down to the offspring. Tuberculosis, that dread white plague which is still responsible for almost one seventh of all deaths, epilepsy, and feeble-mindedness are handicaps which it is not only unfair but criminal to hand down to posterity. The science is of being well born is called eugenics.
As an old woman who lived my life in the latter, not the former, half of the twentieth century, I must say this sounds plenty weird, and it has about as much to do with science as evolutionary psychology does = not at all.

There isn't a science of being well born. Your parents either got rocks or they don't. Nice if they do. Apart from that, absolutely nothing beats just being alive, plain and simple. So go live your life and be happy!

Later tonight, I will put up the answer to the question: What book is this quotation from?

(Okay, here we are: Yes, it was indeed Hunter's Civic Biology, the text at the centre of the Scopes Trial. Never mind "Inherit the Wind." How about "NOT Inherit the Racism and Class Prejudice?" )


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