The New Decalogue of Science

by Albert Edward Wiggam. Indianapolis: The BobbsMerrill Co. xiv+274 pp. $3.00.
THIS book is addressed to His Excellency the Statesman in the Executive Mansion, and its purpose is to demonstrate that neither education nor opportunity will serve future generations unless the men anti women who live therein show themselves capable of meeting the obligations and reaping the benefits that present themselves. It tells something that everyone knows in a somewhat foggy way, and it makes crystal clear the facts which disclose the Great Warning.
The author reminds His Excellency that statesmanship is the art of the control of life, and expresses the hope that some day it may become a science. He tells him that, the revelations of God have not ceased; that He has given us the microscope, the spectroscope, the telescope, the chemist’s test tube, and the statistician’s curve to enable us to see the newer revelations, and that we cannot do God’s work if we close our eyes to these disclosures.
We can’t make good our to-day’s work by repetition of the task of yesterday. The command to multiply and replenish the earth was a counsel of perfection when inhabitants were few, but with two thousand millions to get a living from the earth, the factor of quality enters into the problem. When we deny this fact we deny the light.
The author is rather radical, but he is none the less wholesome. He brings substantial evidence to prove that advanced races are going backward; that the Golden Rule requires science to make it effective; that medicine, hygiene, and sanitation tend to weaken the human race, and that morals, education, and religion will not save congenital stupidity. So far, he says, we have used science to become rich; now we must use it to become righteous.
Among other things he proposes the development of eugenics for the increase of health, sanity, and energy. Those characteristics are hereditary, and they may be determined. He holds that men and women should be measured and recorded; then wealth could not cloak stupidity, nor rags conceal genius. Then the unendowed man would fall far more easily into his niche and the bad man would be recognized and eliminated from reproduction. He does not propose infanticide or murder. It would not do to educate the head at the expense of the heart. We must save the inferiors for everything but reproduction. But to secure future generations from the breakdown of civilization, from the cruelty of jungle law and the domination of the unfit, it is the obligation of men today’ to prevent the reproduction of inferiors. This is the great argument of the book.
Sometimes ihe author wanders off into other fields with less success and less light, and sometimes he shows prejudice; but his main theme is expounded with remarkable wit and clarity. It is a very timely book.