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Burbank, Luther, 1849-1926 / Luther Burbank: his methods and discoveries and their practical application

[Luther Burbank -- the bearing of his work on human life -- on improving the human plant],   pp. [202]-246 PDF (10.0 MB)

Page 212

that the conditions of Nature again prevail, then
selection will take place in accordance with the
needs of the plant itself, and this will imply a re-
version, in the course of a few generations, to
something like the original wild state of the plant.
Now the conditions of human civilization are
no less artificial.
Standards of excellence among civilized men
are quite different from the standards of excel-
lence among barbaric races. We do not count a
man as the foremost individual in his community
because he has the physical ability to wield a
heavier club than his neighbor can wield, nor be-
cause of the ruthless freedom with which he exer-
cises his superior strength.
Among savage tribes mere physical strength,
coupled with brute cunning and ferocity, may
determine leadership. Such are the natural and
necessary standards so long as man is at war
with wild beasts and with other savage men that
know no law except that of physical supremacy.
But under conditions of civilization all that
has been changed.  The standards of excellence
that determine the position of men and women in
any given community are mental and moral rather
than merely physical.
They are in the broad sense of the word un-

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