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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 70.djvu/340

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336
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

believed to be the cause of the remarkable decrease in the mortality from consumption.

The diseases of the circulatory and eliminative organs, of which arterio-sclerosis may be cited as the type, are the destructive element which bear off our brain workers and educated men many years before their time. Does any one doubt that these men might live as long, as happily and usefully as Carnaro did, if they will ascertain, as he did, the physiological régime upon which their lives should be governed and act accordingly?

See what Japan, in the science of domestic hygiene certainly the most civilized nation on the globe, has accomplished in the few short years between its war with China and its war with Russia. In the former war three Japanese soldiers died from disease to one who died from wounds. This has been considered the average mortality rate of modern warfare, and so strong is prejudice and so well entrenched is error that this ratio has been looked upon as the inevitable consequence of war, whereas in the Russo-Japanese war, by the exercise of simple and perfectly feasible methods, the ratio of the mortality from sickness to that from wounds in the Japanese army assumed the proportion of one to four and one half, a difference from the accepted ratio of almost 800 per cent. No one would have believed this possible had it not been amply demonstrated. Suppose that an army of United States troops was opposed to a Japanese army. It would not be necessary for the latter to strike a blow or to fire a gun; if they could only hold our army in check for six months disease would do the rest. Do I say disease? I mean the ignorance and officialism which prevents the systematic adoption of the study of the individual soldier and the reasonable precautions which have borne such splendid results in Japan. And shall we decline to undertake similar studies in civil life because this has not been done heretofore? Did not Baron Takaki's epoch-making study of the ration in the Japanese navy stamp out beri beri in that branch of the service and enable Admiral Togo to annihilate the splendid Russian fleet?

We live as though we fully believed that man, of all living animals, is exempt from natural laws or can live superior to them. Race horses, bullocks, poultry, are reared under the strictest rules of diet and hygiene. Our children are left to ignorant nurses, or the divided counsels of improperly instructed medical men. We pass laws to prevent the children of the poor from working nights or in unwholesome surroundings, and yet we allow an overcrowded a»d ill-advised system of public instruction to seriously and sometimes fatally injure our own children.

There is a glaring hiatus in our educational system. The only remedy is in the proper physical education of children and the in-