Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 83.djvu/523

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THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE.
 

PSM V83 D523 Front and side views of twelve positions.jpg

Front and Side Views of Twelve Positions.

 

are the seven children of Charles Darwin, who married his first cousin. The royal families of Europe are closely inbred, but form a superior group. A consideration of their heredity shows, as might have been anticipated, that both desirable and undesirable qualities are enhanced by the marriage of those related by blood.

The social reasons making it desirable to forbid the marriage of those who become related through marriage are not urgent; indeed they have practically disappeared since segregation of the sexes has been largely abandoned. The limitations do not exist in many of the states and in others are curiously inconsistent. Marriage with a deceased wife's sister is not prohibited, but in West Virginia a man may not marry his deceased wife's step-daughter and in Massachusetts he may not marry his deceased wife's grandmother.

The laws in regard to intermarriage of races differ greatly in different states, as does public sentiment. Just now southern newspapers are urging the dismissal of a university professor because in an article in this journal he spoke kindly of the mulattoes. In Maryland whites and negroes or mulattoes who intermarry are deemed "guilty of an infamous crime," and are subject to ten years' imprisonment, while a mile away such marriages are legal. Apparently a white person and a mulatto who marry in Pennsylvania can return to live in Maryland, but would be subject to five years' imprisonment if they went to Texas. In California and in several other states marriage of a Caucasian with a Mongolian is illegal, and several states have laws against marriage with a North American Indian.

The diversity of the laws of the different states, marriages that are legal and approved by public sentiment in one part of the country being crimes elsewhere, indicates that it may be less difficult to apply eugenics in practise than it is to determine which kind of eugenics it would be desirable to apply.

 

SCIENTIFIC ITEMS

We record with regret the death of Dr. Reginald Faber Fitz, professor emeritus in the Harvard Medical School; of Dr. John Green Curtis, from 1876 to 1909 professor of physiology in Columbia University; of Professor Lucien Augustus Wait, emeritus professor of mathematics in Cornell Uni-