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Eugenics

EUGENICS (from the Gr., well born), the modern name given to the science which deals with the influences which improve the inborn qualities of a race, but more particularly with those which develop them to the utmost advantage, and which generally serves to disseminate knowledge and encourage action in the direction of perpetuating a higher racial standard. The founder of this science may be said to be Sir Francis Galton (q.v.), who has done much to further its study, not only by his writings, but by the establishment of a research fellowship and scholarship in eugenics in the university of London. The aim of the science as laid down by Galton is to bring as many influences as can reasonably be employed, to cause the useful classes in the community to contribute more than their proportion to the next generation. It can hardly be said that the science has advanced beyond the stage of disseminating a knowledge of the laws of heredity, so far as they are surely known, and endeavouring to promote their further study. Useful work has been done in the compilation of statistics of the various conditions affecting the science, such as the rates with which the various classes of society in ancient and modern nations have contributed in civic usefulness to the population at various times, the inheritance of ability, the influences which affect marriage, etc.

Works by Galton bearing on eugenics are: Hereditary Genius (2nd ed., 1892), Human Faculty (1883), Natural Inheritance (1889), Huxley Lecture of the Anthropol. Inst. on the Possible Improvement of the Human Breed under the existing Conditions of Law and Sentiment (1901); see also, Biometrika (a journal for the statistical study of biological problems, of which the first volume was published in 1902).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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