Family Treasures: A Study of the Inheritance of Normal Characteristics in Man

By David D. Whitney | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XI
TEMPERAMENTS AND SPECIAL ABILITIES

Many of the topics in this chapter will be of particular interest because they are examples of the factors or influences of both inheritance and environment. In some instances the factor of inheritance will be more evident, in some the environment, and in others each of the two factors may be of equal importance. Everyone is familiar with individuals who possess special abilities but who, owing to the circumstances controlling their lives, have never had an opportunity to develop them. Everyone is equally familiar with other persons who have placed themselves in the most favorable environments and have attempted to develop mediocre abilities to a high degree, only to fail.

In both of these extremes the factors of inheritance and of environment were unbalanced; for, of course, the most satisfactory results occur when superior ability is placed in an optimum environment. A thoroughbred race horse achieves the best records with the best trainer, and a fine rose produces the best flowers under the care of an experienced gardener. Thus it is with human achievements. Superior ability may "bloom as the rose" under the most favorable conditions.

Music.--Some children have been forced to practice their music, either instrumental or vocal, several hours daily for many weeks or even years, while other children, or even some adults, have pursued such study eagerly. Neither those who were forced to study against their inclinations nor some of those who voluntarily studied have ever developed much proficiency or skill in music, whereas a few who have studied and practiced less have far excelled the other two groups in

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Family Treasures: A Study of the Inheritance of Normal Characteristics in Man
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • Contents 3
  • Preface 5
  • Chapter I- The Family 9
  • Chapter II- The Individual 30
  • Chapter III- Hair 48
  • Chapter IV- The Eyes 82
  • Chapter V- The Mouth 94
  • Chapter VI - The Ears 110
  • Chapter VII- The Nose, Cheeks, Chin, and Jaws 126
  • Chapter IX- The Feet 172
  • Chapter X- The Body 186
  • Chapter XI- Temperaments and Special Abilities 203
  • Chapter XII- Good Health 228
  • Chapter XIII- Birthmarks, Acquired Characters, and Disease 239
  • Chapter XIV- Sex 256
  • Chapter XV- Nature of Man 267
  • Glossary of Terms Commonly Used in the Study of Heredity in Man 288
  • Index 295
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