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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/78

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72
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

The usual assumption is that the Jews, originally, if they were anything, were brunettes. But Dr. Fishberg finds that hardly more than half—52 per cent, of the males, and 57 per cent, of the females—are dark. The blonds, he concludes, must be due to past intermarriages with non-Jewish races.

Is the conclusion inevitable? Animals are known to change color with a change of environment—why not men? Professor Ridgeway in his presidential address to the Royal Anthropological Institute, January, 1910, refers to a bit of positive evidence that they may. Mr. J. V. Hodgson, biologist of the Scott Antarctic Expedition, reported that as a result of living under such unusual conditions, the eyes of the members of the expedition became so blue as to occasion remark on their return to New Zealand and also on their arrival home in England. "Color, therefore, like the cephalic index and stature, is also prone to change and in itself is not deserving of implicit trust."

Dr. Fishberg dilates upon the statistics of intermarriage between Jews and Christians in Europe to support his thesis that assimilation is the destiny of the Jews, as mixture has been their history. The figures for certain localities are sufficiently striking. In Prussia, during 19001907, there were 21 mixed to every 100 pure marriages. In Berlin there were, in 1905-6, 44 mixed marriages to every 100 pure Jewish marriages. In Hamburg and Copenhagen similar high rates of intermarriage are found. Dr. Fishberg argues that the Jews are bound to become even more composite as a race than they are now.

His zeal, however, seems to get the better of him. He points out that this intermarrying tendency means an appreciable loss to Judaism, and the more so since the children of mixed marriages tend to marry with Christians rather than with Jews. The children of mixed marriages are mostly brought up in the religion of the non-Jewish parent. "It is Ruppin's opinion that hardly ten per cent, of the children resulting from mixed marriages remain Jews for any considerable length of time. Of these it is doubtful whether any Jews are left after two or three generations." But a couple of pages farther on we are impressively reminded of the "new anthropological types" that are being introduced "among the children of Israel." We ask: If none of the offspring of mixed marriages are left among the Jews after two or three generations how can new anthropological types arise among them? And we ask further, whether the anthropological types that Dr. Eishberg finds now among the Jews arose in the same way!

He quotes Professor Boas's statement that if two types of equal number intermingle, there will be in the fourth generation less than one person in ten thousand of pure blood; and if one group is smaller than the other, it will, of course, lose its identity even more quickly. But Professor Boas assumes, in order to be able to make his calculation, that