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

By David D. Whitney | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XII
GOOD HEALTH

Definition.--When the body is functioning normally in all of its parts, it is usually considered to be in a state of good health (Fig. 213). This optimum functioning of the body allows an individual to put his attention on other interests, forgetting and ignoring himself. As a matter of fact, the ordinary individual is very ignorant concerning the various activities that are constantly taking place in his body. He becomes conscious of them only when they fail to occur in the normal manner.

Unrelated Parents.--Oliver Wendell Holmes once said that if one wished to have a good body equipped with an excellent mind, it was necessary to use discretion in selecting one's four grandparents. This sounds facetious and is, of course, impossible; but it implies the conception that normal and healthy parents are very likely to produce normal and healthy children. In some plants, especially corn, and in most of the larger animals, unrelated parents are more likely to have normal offspring than are related parents. This also seems to be true in general for man, although in the past there have been some noted exceptions, as, for example, the Ptolemy dynasty, in which marriages between brother and sister, and uncle and niece took place with no ill effects showing in the children.

Related Parents.--In some plants, such as peas, beans, wheat, and many others, the seed is made entirely by one plant and normal offspring result; but in corn two plants are necessary for the production of good seed. If one corn plant alone produces the seed, smaller and dwarfed offspring are produced. Corn has hidden recessive traits that are

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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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