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Hereditary Genius
I HAVE now completed what I have to say concerning the kinships
of individuals, and proceed, in this chapter, to attempt a wider
treatment of my subject, through a consideration of nations and races.
Every long-established race has necessarily its peculiar fitness for
the conditions under which it has lived, owing to the sure operation of
Darwin's law of natural selection. However, I am not much
concerned, for the present, with the greater part of those aptitudes,
but only with such as are available in some form or other of high
civilization. We may reckon upon the advent of a time, when
civilization, which is now sparse and feeble and far more superficial
than it is vaunted to be, shall overspread the globe. Ultimately it is
sure to do so, because civilization is the necessary fruit of high
intelligence when found in a social animal, and there is no plainer
lesson to be read off the face of Nature than that the result of the
operation of her laws is to evoke intelligence in connexion with
sociability. Intelligence is as much an advantage to an animal as
physical strength or any other natural gift, and therefore, out of two
varieties of any race of animal who are equally endowed in other
respects, the most intelligent variety is sure to prevail in the battle of
life. Similarly, among animals as Previous page Top Next page