Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/59

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thus far so well withstood rigorous efforts of disproof, that without doubt it has already greatly influenced general thought and attitude toward the deep problems of human life, and will more and more influence them. In a matter so vital, and one about which general intelligence is bound to be so widely astir for such information as can be had, it is of the greatest moment that information from the best sources should be readily available.

The laws of heredity, particularly those discovered by Mendel, have been tested to such an extent as to make them of positive moment to human life. The eugenics idea, started in England by Sir Francis Galton, aims at a practical application of the known principles of inheritance to the good of the human race. In view of the wide theoretic interest attached to these laws, and to the possible good that may come from their application to the propagation of man himself, the intelligent, thoughtful members of the community could undoubtedly be far better instructed than they are. Not only the possibilities, but the limitations of eugenics as a practical program ought to be and might be presented in simple readable language.

That imperium in imperio of human concerns, the problem of the relation between the sexes, is calling almost frantically to the biologist for help at certain points where, it is coming to be seen, he alone can help. A few investigators are doing splendid things in this domain, though what has been done is but as molecule to mountain relative to what remains undone.

Finally, without a doubt, innumerable bald, unphilosophized facts of living nature ihat would entertain and instruct, and consequently keenly interest thousands upon thousands of generally intelligent persons, are buried in the technical language of biological narration and description beyond the possibility of extraction for such purposes except at the hands of biologists themselves. Now many, perhaps not all, professional biologists are abundantly endowed by nature with the ability to do this extracting and preparing for general consumption. Acquiring the knack to do it is dependent first and foremost on being convinced that it ought to be done. The fact that many biologists develop splendidly the talent for graphic art in response to the need of illustrating the organisms and organs with which they deal, is proof positive that the art instinct is not wanting in them; and there is every reason to believe that this instinct would come out as literary skill here and there, as well as in the form of skill in delineation, were the need felt as keenly in the one case as in the other.

Assuming the contention to be sound that biological knowledge ought to be more widely disseminated than it is, and that so far as concerns the capabilities and desires of people such dissemination is possible, the familiar question arises, "What are you going to do about it?"