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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 209

course the selections are not usually made with
the definite and avowed object of producing
progeny of an improved type; but the inherent
affinities that lead to the selection of marriage
partners are themselves determined by principles
that might properly be said to be eugenic-pro-
viding artificial restrictions do not too greatly in-
terfere with the freedom of choice.
Generally speaking, men and women would
choose marriage partners having vigor and health
and beauty to the exclusion of those showing the
opposite traits, were free choice given them.
But, of course, under actual social conditions,
entire freedom of choice is impossible, and no fact
is more distressingly patent than the fact that large
numbers of persons who are obviously unfit to as-
sume the duties of parenthood nevertheless enter the
marriage state and bring forth abundant progeny.
Indeed, under existing conditions, it is the all
too general observation that the notoriously unfit
members of the community are the ones that
produce the largest families.
Now it requires no very profound knowledge
of the laws of heredity to understand that such a
condition of things is not conducive to the better-
ment of the race. No one could hope to produce
an improved variety of plants of any kind if he
had not freedom of choice in determining that

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