Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/103

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WAR AND MANHOOD

It is claimed that by the law of probabilities as developed by Quetelet, there will appear in each generation the same number of potential poets; artists, investigators, patriots, athletes and superior men of each degree. But this law has no real validity. Its pertinence involves the theory of continuity of paternity, that in each generation a percentage, practically equal of men of superior force or superior mentality should survive to take the responsibilities of parenthood. Otherwise Quetelef s law becomes subject to the operation of another law, the operation of reversed selection, or the biological "law of diminishing returns." In other words, breeding from an inferior stock is the sole agency in race degeneration, as selection natural or artificial along one line or another is the sole agency in race progress.

And all laws of probabilities and of averages are subject to a still higher law, the primal law of biology, which no cross-current of life can overrule or modify: Like the seed is the harvest.

And because this is true, arises the final and bitter truth: "Wars are not paid for in war time. The bill comes later!"