Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/177

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165
THE INADEQUACY OF "NATURAL SELECTION."

ticate the quagga, and having obtained a male, but not a female, he made an experiment.

"I tried to breed from the male quagga and a young chestnut mare of seven-eighths Arabian blood, and which had never been bred from; the result was the production of a female hybrid, now five years old, and bearing, both in her form and in her color, very decided indications of her mixed origin. I subsequently parted with the seven-eighths Arabian mare to Sir Gore Ouseley, who has bred from her by a very fine black Arabian horse. I yesterday morning examined the produce, namely, a two-year-old filly and a year-old colt. They have the character of the Arabian breed as decidedly as can be expected, where fifteen-sixteenths of the blood are Arabian; and they are fine specimens of that breed; but both in their color and in the hair of their manes, they have a striking resemblance to the quagga. Their color is bay, marked more or less like the qaagga in a darker tint. Both are distinguished by the dark line along the ridge of the back, the dark stripes across the fore-hand, and the dark bars across the back part of the legs."[1]

Lord Morton then names sundry further correspondences. Dr. Wollaston, at that time President of the Royal Society, who had seen the animals, testified to the correctness of his description, and, as shown by his remarks, entertained no doubt about the alleged facts. But good reason for doubt may be assigned. There naturally arises the question—How does it happen that parallel results are not observed in other cases? If in any progeny certain traits not belonging to the sire, but belonging to a sire of preceding progeny, are reproduced, how is it that such anomalously-inherited traits are not observed in domestic animals, and indeed in mankind? How is it that the children of a widow by a second husband do not bear traceable resemblances of the first husband? To these questions nothing like satisfactory replies seem forthcoming; and, in the absence of replies, skepticism, if not disbelief, may be held reasonable.

There is an explanation, however. Forty years ago I made acquaintance with a fact which impressed me by its significant implications; and has for this reason, I suppose, remained in my memory. It is set forth in the Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society, vol. xiv (1853), pp. 214 et seq., and concerns certain results of crossing English and French breeds of sheep. The writer of the translated paper, M. Malingid-Nouel, Director of the Agricultural School of La Charmoise, states that when the French breeds of sheep (in which were included "the mongrel Merinos") were crossed with an English breed, "the lambs present the following results. Most of them resemble the mother more than the father; some show no trace of the father." Joining the admission respecting the mongrels with the facts subsequently stated, it is tolerably clear that the cases in which the lambs bore no


  1. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society for the Year 1821, Part I, pp. 20-24.