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plunging downward; that civilization as you administer it is self-destructive; that civilization always destroys the man that builds it; that your vast efforts to improve man's lot, instead of improving man, are hastening the hour of his destruction; that the brain of man is not growing; that man as a breed of organic beings is not advancing; that microbic diseases are, in all probability, lessening, but man's incapacity to resist them is apparently increasing; that physiologic and functional diseases-"heart disease," Bright's disease, diabetes, cancer, degenerative diseases of the arteries, liver, and central organs, the "social" and "habit" diseases, are increasing; that weaklings, wastrels, paupers, hoboes, and imbeciles are increasing; that leadership (great men and firstclass workmen) is decreasing.
For fear your Excellency may think I merely wish to alarm you, let me urge you to glance at the chart of your own national biology. The army mental tests have shown that there are, roughly, forty-five million people in this country who have no sense. Their mental powers will never be greater than those of twelve-year-old children. The vast majority of these will never attain even this meager intelligence. Besides the forty-five millions who have no sense, but a majority of the votes, there are twenty-five millions who have a little sense. Their capacity for mental and spiritual growth is only that of thirteen- or fourteen-year-old children, and your education can add nothing to their intelligence. Next there are twenty-five millions with fair-to-middling sense. They have n't much, but what there is, is good. Then, lastly, there are a few over four millions who have a
great deal of sense. They have the thing we call "brains." You have never arranged that these four millions could make much use of them in the adventure of human government, but the brains are there. Your first duty is to put these four millions to work, helping you to govern the country, instead of trying to do it all yourself.
Now, the danger is not with the ninety-odd millions who have little or no brains, but with the four millions who have. No nation was ever overthrown by its imbeciles. Nature abhors a vacuum, and for that reason weeds out the heads of fools.
But you defy nature with your civilization. Evolution is a bloody business, but civilization tries to make it a pink tea. Barbarism is the only method by which man has ever organically progressed, and civilization is the only method by which he has ever organically declined. Civilization is the most dangerous enterprise upon which men ever set out. For when you take man out of the bloody, brutal, but beneficent, hand of natural selection, you place him in the soft, perfumed, daintily gloved, but far more dangerous, hand of artificial selection. Unless you call science to your aid and make this artificial selection that we call civilization as efficient as the rude methods of nature, you bungle the whole colossal task. You are doing this on an immense scale in industrial America.
Your four millions are decreasing while your ninety millions are increasing. A differential birth-rate, your Excellency, is one of the real problems of politics. Nations have often perished because of their differential birth-rate. A difference in the birthforce of one section over another of
one-tenth baby per family will soon alter the whole destiny of a people. And you have established a difference of a whole baby and a half between your four millions and your ninety millions.
Moreover, in dealing with your millions, you have contented yourself with two great sentimental nebulosities: first, that all men are born equal and, second, that God will raise up leaders for the people. Well, all men are born unequal, and leaders come not by prayer, but by germ-cells. "The most unequal thing in the world is the equal treatment of unequals." Your difficulty is not that men are too unequal, but that they are not unequal enough. The more you equalize opportunity, the more you unequalize men. You have failed beyond all calculation to equalize opportunity. You have been trying fatuously to equalize men. And this ungodly equalitarian doctrine has set up economic, social, political, educational, and even religious forces that are rapidly selecting out the priceless germ-cells of your four million superiors from the national blood stream. And once your four millions are lost, nothing is left except the stern, but effective, discipline of barbarism until nature can produce them again. And in that distant day your institutions, your ideals, your very bones, will be only material to delight and puzzle the mind of the archæologist.
The second warning of biology is brief and simple: that heredity, and not environment, is the maker of men; that it is the man who makes his environment and not the environment that makes the man; that nearly all
the misery and nearly all the happiness of the world are due not to environment, but to heredity; that the differences among men are due to the differences in the germ-cells from which they are born; that social classes, which you seek to abolish, are ordained by nature; that it is not the slums that make slum-people, but slum-people that make the slums; that, primarily, it is not the church that makes good people, but good people who make the church; that godly people are born and not made; that if you want church members, you will have to give nature a chance to produce them; that if you want artists, poets, philosophers, skilled workmen, and great statesmen, nature must have a chance to breed them.
You are opposed to this belief. You believe you can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, get blood out of turnips, find Lincolns in every log cabin if you look hard enough, and get genius out of fools. You believe that the reason one man starts at the bottom of the ladder and climbs up while another man starts at the top and slides down is due to the ladder being wrong end up. Science knows it is due to the inborn difference between the climber and the slider. Your environmental remedy is to kick the ladder from under both, and put them on the same level. As a result you deprive each of any means of rapid transportation toward his natural destination. A government built upon scientific inequalitarianism will "lift up the fallen” and “rescue the perishing" with a new and unfailing, because enlightened, mercy.
The third warning of biology is that your philanthropy and your noble
hearted, but soft-headed, schemes for ameliorating the conditions of life have failed and will fail to improve the race, and are, in fact, hastening its deterioration.
You fondly believe that you can speed up evolution with cakes and cream for the unfit. Nature has progressed by letting the devil take the hindmost. But your method is to increase the number of the hindmost. Nature slaughters the innocents, but you merely throw more innocents into her ravenous maw. Your very mercy only adds to nature's brutality. You think your cakes and cream will hasten the millennium. But a heaven for the unfit would be a biological hell for the fit.
It is said that Daniel Webster, when called upon to pay a bill, would give a note for it, with the satisfying remark, "Well, thank God! that bill 's paid." You are trying to pay your overdue bills to evolution with promissory notes. You think this "applies the golden rule." It is a flattering unction. But the golden rule, as you falsely conceive it, if applied, would wreck the race that tried it. I see the results of your golden rule filling jails, penitentiaries, reformatories, "rescue homes," and asylums-mute monuments, one and all, to your belated efforts to dam the swelling tide of degeneracy that your golden rule has largely created. They are catch-alls for the products of your impertinent meddling with evolution. You think that the meek and lowly should inherit the earth, and have well nigh completed arrangements for their doing it. They already absorb nearly one half the time, energy, and money of your civilization. You fail to notice that the meek and lowly you care for are
mostly the grandchildren of the same meek and lowly your grandfathers took care of, only they are far more numerous, while you are relatively less numerous. Brute nature slays its thousands, but your charity in the end will slay its tens of thousands. And unless it becomes imbued, as a few social workers are becoming imbued, with a new biological conscience, you will reap the whirlwind of your own well-intentioned, but socially disastrous, folly.
The fourth warning of biology is that medicine, hygiene, sanitation, and your efforts to call mental and physical soundness out of the vacuum of nowhere, instead of upbuilding by selection the boundless health, energy, and sanity that are already in the stream of human protoplasm, are weakening and will weaken the human breed.
Who uses your hygiene? Who swallows your medicines? The strong or the weak? Your wise men are searching for a cure for tuberculosis, for insanity, pneumonia, flabby hearts, brittle arteries, recalcitrant livers, and abridged kidneys some panacea which will conceal instead of cure the weak spot in the human armor. Bless them in their efforts! them in their efforts! But, if you apply that panacea and do nothing else, you will again wreck the very race you have saved. A race that would save its life must lose it; must lose, I mean, its unfit instead of coddling them, as you do, for reproduction. If a race goes down hill long enough, it will find itself at the top. That is to say, its survivors will be the biologically worthy. Vice and disease purify the race because they kill the weak and vicious. They leave the strong, ro
bust, and virtuous to hand the torch of heredity to men unborn. Your intentions are good, but in the end nature herself will damn your judgment.
The fifth warning of biology is that morals, education, art, and religion will not directly improve the inborn righteousness, educability, or artistic and religious capacity of the human breed. This is a dark saying to you. Yet you have spent untold millions in improving your plants and animals by the only method by which they can be improved-selection.
But the more you "improve" the environment of plants, animals, or men without selection, the more rapidly do they deteriorate. Yet you have risked man's earthly destiny on the fatuous notion that the "grandfather's environment is the grandchild's heredity"; that if you want to produce a genius, you must begin by educating the grandfather; that the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children; and that if the fathers have eaten sour grapes, it will set the children's teeth on edge.
Now, in the sense in which you believe these things they are not true. Long ago biology has consigned them to the realm of myth and fancy. It would only bewilder you for me to say that in rare experimental situations permanent germinal modifications have probably been induced; but, speaking generally, parents can eat sour grapes for a thousand years and never affect the dental apparatus of the children. While the Hebrew prophets were merely speaking of criminal law and not of heredity, the sins of the fathers are not visited to
any appreciable extent upon the children unless the fathers commit the one unpardonable biological sin of assortative mating with the sinful. But educating you or cultivating your morals will never directly cause your children to be born brighter or more virtuous. If your father went crazy from getting hit on the head with a brickbat, you do not inherit his cracked brain, but only his inability to dodge brickbats. Stupidity begets stupidity, and intelligence begets brains; but a thousand years of educating or improving the parents will never "improve" the children. short, "Wooden legs are not inherited, but wooden heads are."
Now, your Excellency may have concluded by this time that you have made a fearful mess of things. This is the spiritual reaction desired. As the biologist sees it, the only hope of escape from this muddle lies in your obeying, with a new spiritual vision of politics, the six dominant commandments of the new decalogue of science, which has emerged from the modern Sinai-the laboratory.
The first commandment biology gives to statesmanship is the duty of eugenics. Eugenics is a method ordained of God for securing better parents for our children, in order that they may be born more richly endowed, mentally, morally, and physically, for the human struggle. Eugenics is simply evolution made conscious and intelligent. It is not a scheme or program at all. You cannot enact eugenics any more than you can enact the weather. Eugenics means a new religion, a new moral code, a new social and
political Bible, a change in the very purpose of civilization and the fundamental mores of man. It means the improvement of man as an organic being. It means that the improvement of man's inborn capacities for happiness, health, sanity, and achievement must become the one living purpose of the state.
This is eugenics, and nothing short of it is. It is simply the projection of the golden rule down the stream of protoplasm. The men of the future will be born from this stream, and its quality depends solely upon us. You and your fellow-statesmen have never discovered but half of Christianity. have applied it only to those now living. You have failed to apply it to your biological neighbor yet unborn. He can build his own nurture. We alone can endow him with his nature. Jesus purposed that he the unbornalso might have life more abundantly. And the abundance or barrenness of his life, the biologist has found, is absolutely in our hands. Not environment, but heredity alone will insure him the life abundant. We may do We may do a little for his environment, but we can absolutely determine his heredity. And his heredity, the biologist knows, will determine four fifths of his happiness. If Jesus had been among us, he would have been president of the first Eugenics Congress. Interpreting the spiritual significance of Weissmann's microscope, Darwin's experiments, and Gregor Mendel's peas, he would have cried: "A new commandment I give unto you the biological golden rule, the completed golden rule. Do unto both the born and the unborn as you would have both the born and the unborn do unto you." This is the biological conception of the brotherhood
of man. This is the real golden rule. This, and this only, is the final reconciliation of science and the Bible. Science came not to destroy the Bible, but to fulfil it. It is the only thing that can fulfil it. Eugenics, which is simply conscious, intelligent organic evolution, furnishes the final program for the completed christianization of mankind.
The second commandment of biology is the duty of scientific research.
Science has made morality possible. You have read the injunction, "Seek ye after God, if haply ye might find Him." When some unknown genius of the past mixed nine parts of copper with one part of tin and made bronze, he not only lifted mankind from the Stone to the Metal Age, but he began a new era of morals, because he began experimentally to seek after God.
In the electron of the atom and the germ-cell of living protoplasm man has at last found God at work in His own workshop. The mechanist has looked about this workshop and said, "It is all machinery." The spiritualist has said, "Behind it is the breath of God." One has found a universe that works; the other has found a universe that is significant. One has found the tools; the other has found the Workman. But both are agreed that the endless discovery of natural law is the only way to coöperate with it. And coöperation with natural law-the will of God-is the only righteousness. It is only thus that man can become a practical co-worker with God. And for mankind to become, upon a national and world-wide scale, practical co-workers with God— this and this alone is progress.