the race along these lines, but also the church. Since "Eugenics means good-breeding and the study of those agencies under social control that may improve or impair the racial qualities of future generations physically or mentally," the church as well as the State is taking up its share of the burden, and in England a Mental Deficiency Bill has been presented which makes it a misdemeanor for a person to marry a defective or for a minister to perform the ceremony. In our own country Wisconsin has a Eugenic marriage law, under which both parties to the ceremony must certify as to their fitness for marriage, and other States have similar laws under consideration.
In a treatise on "Eugenics and the Church" Rev. Thos. J. Gerrard has made an interesting plea for the strict observance of the marriage laws in the interest of future generations. "The mere bringing of children into the world," says Dr. Gerrard, "could be accomplished without the institution of marriage, but educating them to the highest well being and destiny could not."
True race culture depends upon permanent motherhood, he says, and the latter depends upon permanent fatherhood. Divorce, he argues, tends perhaps to the good of the individual, but if the individual gains society loses.
Another side of the general investigation of family traits and the reproduction of the species, which is highly interesting, was made in England, where an inquiry was had into the family histories of some 400 members of the Fellow of the Royal Society, composed of the most brilliant men in all lines of human endeavor. From the reports the conclusion is drawn that severe mental strain affects the fertility of the individual, and that the highest imaginative power is dangerously near the lunacy line.
The report indicates that every person has on an average one male fertile relative in every line and every form of kinship through all descending generations.