Human Biology and Racial Welfare

Human Biology and Racial Welfare

Human Biology and Racial Welfare

Human Biology and Racial Welfare

Excerpt

In an essay entitled "This Simian World" Clarence Day has considered what kind of planet this might be if some other species than the great apes had evolved into mastery. He plays with the idea of the dignity and wisdom that might have been displayed if children of elephants had deveIoped into leadership instead of monkey-like animals; what cIeanness and cunning would have marked a worId ruled by super-cats; what poise and vision might have come with glorified descendants of eagles. But as a matter of fact animals akin to monkeys were the ones who did evoIve; it is the children of that race who rule the earth today. The biology derived from this ancestry governs our potential development and marks its ultimate borders.

We inherit some very great liabilities from these animal forebears. Our bodies are weak and puny as compared with the magnificence of elephants. The grace and beauty of the great cats is lacking in our Simian civilization. We have little sense of personal dignity and no real regard for privacy. We congregate in hordes, live together crowded into tenements and hovels. We are unstable, constantly running after new toys and new ideas, rushing, often aimlessly, up and down the earth as our ancestors used to scuttle chattering among the trees.

But we inherited in common with our monkey cousins, one great talent, namely curiosity. And that single quality, probably more than all other things taken together, is responsible for the phenomenal progress of our race. We have an insatiable hunger to know all about everything. This appetite drives us to avid gossip about our fellows; to handling and tinkering with--"monkeying with"--every object or idea that crosses our path; to rushing hither and yon to glimpse a dog fight or view an aeroplane; and also to deep and profound study of intricate problems of medicine and physics.

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