Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 50.djvu/802

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brunettes. Environment and race here join hands to produce greater blondness in the mountains. It is in the south of Italy that the two work in opposition, and here we turn for test of our law. In the south the mountains should contain the Mediterranean brunette type in relatively undisturbed purity, for the northern blondes are more frequent in the attractive districts open to immigration. Even here in many cases this racial probability is reversed or equalized by some cause which works in opposition to race, so that we find comfort at every turn.

The law which we have sought to prove is not radically new. Many years ago Waitz asserted that mountaineers tended to be lighter in color of skin than the people of the plains,[1] educing some interesting evidence to that effect from the study of primitive peoples. He held that the true cause lay in the modifying influences of climate. Much of the data which we have here collected does not prove this. In fact, climatic changes can not be related to some of the variations in blondness which have been outlined. It seems as if some other factor had been at work. Dr. Livi ascribes the blondness of mountain peoples rather to the unfavorable economic environment, to the poor food, unsanitary dwellings, and general poverty of such populations. This explanation fits neatly into our social theory: for we assert that the population of mountains is relatively pure because there is no incentive for immigration of other types. Thus a pure population implies poverty of environment—a poverty which may stand in direct relation to the lack of pigmentation. It is yet too early to assert that this is the main cause. For the present it will suffice to have proved that appreciable differences in pigmentation exist, leaving the cause for future discussion. Much interesting material drawn from comparisons of urban with rural populations may help to throw light upon it. Our main purpose here has been to prove that pigmentation is a trait which is affected by environment. If, as we hope to have shown, the shape of the head is not open to such modification, we shall know where to turn when conflict of evidence arises. We shall pin our faith to that characteristic which pursues the even tenor of its racial way, unmoved by outward circumstances.

commenting on the possibilities foreshadowed by the opening of the Niagara water power and foreseeing the extension of the principle to other cataracts, the London Spectator suggests that we shall perhaps as in the future not "Has the country got coal?" but "Has it got waterfalls?"

  1. Anthropologie der Naturvölker, vol. i, p. 49 seq.