(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Man In The Modern World"

MAN IN THE MODERN WORLD
beings may be different on account of differences in genetic make-up.
What far greater differences in conceptual worlds must be due to
genetic differences in intelligence and emotion!
It would be most unlikely that this variability should be evenly
distributed between different social and ethnic groups. As regards
the latter, indeed, the existence of marked genetic differences in
physical characters (as between yellow, black, white and brown)
make it prima facie likely that differences in intelligence and tempera-
ment exist also. For instance, I regard it as wholly probable that
true negroes have a slightly lower average intelligence than the whites
or yellows. But neither this nor any other eugenically significant
point of racial difference has yet been scientifically established.
Further, even were the probability to be established that some
"races" and some classes are genetically inferior to others as a fact, it
seems certain, on the basis of our present knowledge, that the differ-
ences would be small differences in average level, and that the ranges
would overlap over most of their extent—in other words, that a con-
siderable proportion of thee e inferior " group would be actually superior
to the lower half of the "superior" group. Thus no really rapid
eugenic progress would come of encouraging the reproduction of one
class or race against another: striking and rapid eugenic results can
be achieved only by a virtual elimination of the few lowest and truly
degenerate types and a high multiplication-rate of the few highest
and truly gifted types.
Do not let us forget that the over-believers in genetics are not the
only ones in error. While the view that the observed differences in
achievement and behaviour between class and class, nation and
nation, are primarily genetic, is untrue and unscientific, the opposite
view that opportunity is all, and that we need only work at reforming
the social environment, is precisely as unscientific and untrue. For
instance, up to the present, the theoretical foundations of Commun-
ism have prevented the Russians, in spite of their great achievements
in pure genetics, from paying proper attention to eugenics. It now
appears, however, that they are being confronted with problems, such
as the rarity of qualities making for leadership and the inherent differ-
ence between a born leader and an ordinary man, which are bound
to bring them face to face with eugenics, Here we see a social bias
operating in the first place, to be checked later by the realities
emerging from the social situation.
But while the enormous differences in social environment between
nation and nation, class and class, normally mask any genetic differ-
ences that may exist, and, so far as visible and effective characters arc
34