It is recognized, by most observers who have studied the subject, that alcohol may play an important rôle in the causation of monstrosities and of structural defects predisposing to later disease. This view is based largely on observations on defective human beings, and the probability of its truth is sufficiently established to warrant further careful experimental analysis.
The quality of an offspring depends on two factors, the perfection of the germ cells from which it arises and the nature of the environment in which it develops. Diseased and weakened germ-cells give rise to a defective individual under all circumstances, while perfect germ-cells produce a perfect offspring only when the embryo develops in a normal or favorable environment. These facts may be readily demonstrated in lower vertebrates in which the development of the egg is outside the mother's body. The egg or spermatozoon in such cases may easily be chemically
STOCKARD CR. AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY OF RACIAL DEGENERATION IN MAMMALS TREATED WITH ALCOHOL. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1912;X(4):369-398. doi:10.1001/archinte.1912.00060220074008