Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/586

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

and among the mountain valleys of the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush. Each different type of country produced its own peculiar impression upon me, find has enabled me to appreciate perhaps more keenly than I otherwise should have done its particular influence upon the inhabitants. The forest produces a feeling of indefinable repression; one seems so hedged in and hampered about, and longs to be free of the endless succession of trunks of trees, and to be able to see clear space in front. Far preferable, in my opinion, is the desolation of the desert, which, depressing as it may be, in some way produces also a feeling of freedom; and on the open steppes an irresistible desire to roam and wander seems to come over one, which I can well understand was the motive power which caused the Mongol hordes under Genghis Khan to overrun the rest of Asia, and part even of Europe. Again, with these Mongols of the desert and the steppes a stranger is always hospitably received, and there is little of that dread of people from the outside so frequently met with among barbarous nations. The Kirghiz of the open Pamirs, too, have some of these characteristics. But directly one enters the narrow, shut-in valleys, such as are found on the southern slopes of the Hindu Kush and the Himalayas, one finds the ideas of the people shut in too. They have a dread of strangers; they desire, above all things, to be left to themselves, and unless forced by over-population to do so, or led away by the ambitions of a chief, seldom leave the particular valley to which they belong."

 

Ratios of Illegitimacy.—A table of statistics of illegitimacy in Europe, published by Dr. Albert Leffingwell, shows the Irish to be the most virtuous of all the peoples, the ratio of illegitimate births among them being twenty-six in every thousand. The English rate is forty-eight, and the Scotch eighty-two per thousand. Thus we may roughly say that for every child born out of wedlock in Ireland two are born in England and three in Scotland. In Europe at large, Ireland is closely followed in its place of honor by Russia, with the low rate of twenty-eight per thousand, and by Holland with the rate of thirty-two per thousand. The Italian and French rates are respectively seventy-four and eighty-two per thousand, comparable with the rate in Scotland. Among the countries that show the highest proportions of illegitimacy are Sweden, Saxony, Bavaria, and Austria, in which the rates range from one hundred to one hundred and forty per thousand. Austria is at the opposite pole from Ireland, and takes the lowest place in morality among the European nations, with a rate of one hundred and forty-six per thousand. The inquiry into the causes of these varying rates of illegitimacy raises complicated and interesting problems. The causes generally supposed to be principal factors in the matter are poverty, ignorance, and the contamination of great cities. Examining the influence of these, Dr. Leffingwell finds it very slight. In Ireland, the lowest rates are in the poorest counties. Russia, with one of the lowest rates, is one of the poorest countries; and the author affirms that "there is nowhere such uniform relation between the indigence of a people and the prevalence of illegitimacy as to justify the hypothesis that this phase of moral delinquency in any district or country can be accurately described as caused by its poverty. As little can the influence of great cities account for the prevalence of illegitimacy. Education and creed appear to have little influence. We must seek the real factors in race and heredity, legislative restraints upon marriage, social usage, and other like circumstances."

 

Value of the Applications of Anthropology.—In a paper on Anthropology as a Science and as a Branch of University Education, Dr. D. G. Brinton thus estimates the value of the applications of this science: "In government and law, in education and religion, men have hitherto been dealt with according to traditional beliefs or a priori theories of what they may or ought to be. When we learn through scientific research what they really are, we shall then, and then only, have a solid foundation on which to build the social, ethical, and political structures of the future. It is the appreciation of this which has given the extraordinary impetus to the study of sociology—a branch of anthropology—within the last decade. Anthropology alone furnishes the key and clew to history. This also is meeting recognition. No longer are the best histories mainly chronicles of kings and wars, but records of the develop-