Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 27.djvu/35

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23
CAN MAN BE MODIFIED BY SELECTION?

as compared with the hearing children, is greater than it is in the community as a whole, and this fact is proved beyond question by the statistics.

The census returns show that there are 33,878 deaf-mutes in the country, or that one person out of every 1,500 is deaf; or that, out of each 1,500 children who are born, 1,499 retain their hearing throughout life, while only one is deaf.

If deaf children are no more numerous in the families of deaf parents than they are elsewhere in the community, only 23 out of the 33,878 deaf-mutes should have deaf parents; but we have a record of nearly ten times this number, for Professor Bell states that, although

PSM V27 D035 The fullerton family of hebron new york genealogy.jpg
THE FULLERTON FAMILY OF HEBRON, NEW YORL.

only thirty-five of the fifty-eight institutions of the country have sent replies to his queries, the returns from these thirty-five show that no less than 207 deaf children of deaf parents have been admitted as pupils. Deaf children are, therefore, at least ten times as numerous in families where the parents are deaf as they are in the community at large, and it is impossible, after reading Professor Bell's paper, to doubt 1. That deafness is hereditary; 2. That, of the deaf persons who marry, nearly all select deaf partners; 3. That their children are especially liable to deafness; and, 4. That the number of deaf-mutes who marry deaf-mutes is increasing, and that our educational system fosters this tendency, and is to a great extent responsible for it.

So far Professor Bell's conclusions seem to be unanswerable, and there is no room to doubt that the means that we have adopted for the amelioration of the conditions of the deaf have actually tended to increase the evil they were intended to diminish.