Onderstaande tekst is niet 100% betrouwbaar

them, are also affected, and undoubtedly the e f f o r t s of nature to enable the germ-plasm to right itself in the course of successive generations tend to overcome the effects of the lesser transitory causal factors of causation of the generation. It must be recognised, however, that the mere maintenance of structural and functional integnty is not the only phenomenon in biological life. Such mere maintenance means arrest of evolution also.

Were the struggle for survival all-sufficient for maintenance at a certain level, it would be but p a r t of the great problem of the world of l^e in its evolutionary aspect. The persistance of life in its supremely marvellous powers of ever-changing but unchecked development throughout the geological ages, and the exact adaptions of every species to its actual environment, both, inorganic and organic, have furnished evidence of an ever u pwardandonward trend of evolution. Any arrest or check to this upward and onward trend is unnatural, and the real issue as to the deleterious effects of alcohol on the germ-plasm depends not only upon its röle as a factor of devolution but also as a possible check to evolution.

This question of the arrest of evolution, and the consequent ailure to attam to fullest development, is important, and I am fully satisfied in my own mind, both from the recorded observations of a host of reliable scientific investigators and from my own clinical experience, that alcohol even in small quantities does serve as an obstacle to further upward evolution of the individual. How this is affected both in the i n d i v i d u a 1 adult and in the child, there is abundance of scientific evidence on record to show. Whether this arrest of further evolution to more advanced attainment is transmitted from parents to offspring, is of course another matter and one for further enquiry I myself believe that alcohol in its tendency to handicap the individual by throwing into disuse some or all of the physical or mental functions must in the course of successive generations leaye its mark on the inherent potentialities of the germ-plasm. Indeed it would be strange were faculties not to atrophy through isuse, and alcohol cannot claim exemption from being a factor similar m its effects to those which, according to biological laws, tend to prevent the survival of the unfittest.

The recorded evidence as to the want of vitality of offspring o alcohohc parents is most extensive and appearently convincing;

Sluiten