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February 24, 1906


JAMA. 1906;XLVI(8):586-587. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.02510350036005

There is an almost universal impression existing with special force among physicians that unsuitable hygienic conditions, and especially the influence of widespread disease, in the course of time, brings about degeneration in a race subjected to them. It is not a little surprising, then, to find that an article expressing exactly the opposite ideas has been written by a distinguished student of heredity, whose observations have extended over a long period of time, and who is known as a conservative writer, not lightly to be tempted to express exaggerated notions contrary to usually accepted ideas, merely for the sake of attracting attention. In an article on "Heredity and Social Problems,"1 Dr. G. Archdale Reid, a fellow of the Royal Society of England, who last year published a book on "Principles of Heredity" that attracted widespread attention, insists that there is conelusive evidence of the erroneousness of the belief that the

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