Season of Birth: Its Relation to Human Abilities

Season of Birth: Its Relation to Human Abilities

Season of Birth: Its Relation to Human Abilities

Season of Birth: Its Relation to Human Abilities

Excerpt

Two years ago, as part of a book entitled, Civilization, I planned to write a few pages on the effect of the seasons. Looking the matter up, I found some interesting suggestions as to birthdays of men of eminence, but nothing conclusive. Thinking to test the matter, I began gathering statistics. They proved so interesting that it seemed desirable to write an article about them. Further search made it clear that I had uncovered a great deposit of the richest kind of ore. Two years of work have made it possible to sink a trial shaft and make the preliminary assays which appear in the following pages. It is clear that further high-grade ore is available in large quantities for anyone who chooses to dig.

The first main result of the present study is what seems to be a convincing explanation of the highly puzzling fact that man has two different optima of temperature--physical and mental. Both appear to owe their origin to the selective effect of the climate in which the species Homo sapiens originated during the glacial period. The physical optimum apparently represents the season when conceptions were most likely to result in the birth of infants that were able to survive. The mental optimum represents the cooler season when births of this kind actually occurred.

The second main result takes the form of evidence which seems explicable only on the hypothesis that man inherits an extremely complex and delicate adjustment to climate and weather. This adjustment centers around four conditions. Two of these are the critical events of conception and birth. The third is the dangers to which the heat of summer exposes an infant. The fourth is the curious relation of low temperature not only to mental activity but also to the conception of persons who later display unusual intellectual . . .

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