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July 1, 1899


JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(1):44. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.02450530050006

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Some thirty years ago Moreau (de Tours) pointed out that an "incorrect conception of heredity looks for identical phenomena in each succeedng generation. Some have refused to admit that mental faculties were subject to heredity, because the mental character of the descendants were not precisely those of the progenitors. Each generation must copy the preceding. Father and son must present the spectacle of one being, having two births, and each time leading a different life, under the same condition. But it is not in the heredity of function or of organic or intellectual facts that the application of the law of heredity must be sought, but at the very fountain-head of the organism, in its inmost constitution. A family whose head is insane or epileptic does not of necessity consist of lunatics or elileptics, but the children may be idiotic, paralytic or scrofulous. What the father transmits to the children

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