and that, (slight as was the effect, since it influenced girls more than it influenced boys), it was unlikely to have been due to toxic action on the foetus. That the latter observers carried their observations on this matter a few steps farther than did Professor Laitinen is possibly true, but, needless to say, this fact does not in itself render their conclusions any the more valid, in fact, their additional steps only served to lead them further from the truth. Laitinen's previous researches on the effects of small quantities of alcohol on animals, and the degeneration which he claimed to have found in their offspring, would appear to have much more value because it is not probable that the offspring of animale inherited a parental neurosis or psychosis to which the effects of alcohol had been added and transmitted as such to the offspring.
The problem which has engaged the attention of Professor Carl Pearson and Miss Elderton and which has called for so much spirited and adverse criticism, briefly stated is: Does parental alcoholism (apart from parental degeneracy, which, together with a tendency to alcoholism, is heritable) influence the physique and ability of offspring?
It has already been pointed out by Sir Victor Horsley, Dr: Mary Sturge and many others, that the statistics contained in the memoir issued from the Eugenics Laboratory were fallacious, owing to failure in first eliminating such sources of error as were due to the inclusion of side issues, the indefiniteness of standardsof alcoholism, health, and degeneracy, and the somewhat vague conception as to what constitutes heredity. There was also failure to equalize or exclude altogether such variations in environment as might possibly have affected the germ-plasm of the parents of the offspring independently of the influence of alcohol itself. As I have elsewhere stated, it is obvious that it is well-nigh impossible to find a definite uniformity of phenomena on which to base statistics which shall be accurate in every particular. Thus, we cannot exclude all variations in environment, nor can we neglect the possibility of the diminution or the intensification of degeneracy in successive generations when influenced by a continuation of the same or different environmental defects.
In order to define standards of parental degeneracy and alcoholism and their effects on the offspring, it is of course essentiai that we should note the sex, age at incidence, the nature and degree of the defect, and any evidences of inheritance as may pertain