Many thinkers deny in toto the agency of external influences in creating racial differences; and Professor Weismann is of the opinion that "acquired characters are not transmitted from parent to offspring."8 If the latter be true, and it is well borne out by observed facts, the evolution of the organic world becomes at once unintelligable, impossible, so far as it relates to man, and the most widely accepted doctrine of the present day, the law of evolution, becomes practically a dead letter. It is well known that bent and deformed limbs are not perpetuated in the offspring; the Chinese girl does not inherit the small feet of her mother; the man with skin browned by long residence in the tropics begets a child perfectly white, and of the immemorial mutilations practised upon the body for generations, by savage tribes, not a hint is transmitted to the offspring. So, psychologically, the children of musicians, of poets, of painters, do not inherit their parent's talent nor genius; and facts even go to prove that children of civilized parents, permitted to grow up in a wild or isolated condition, lose even the language of their race and adopt the sign language of nature,4 These facts certainly go to prove that differences of race are not the direct result of adaptation; and lead us to assume that no heredity of acquired character, if there be such, in the face of the facts stated, and the quite respectable authorities quoted, can explain the diversity of human races. The children of negroes are black, wherever born; the children of Caucasians white, wherever born; and the color of each we can only assume to be the correlative, or result, of certain physiological processes, long continued, which, in the country of a man's nativity, were exercised rather with a view to his continued physical existence than the development of racial characteristics.
This is shown by the fact that the native-born child survives, while the foreign-born child perishes; even though the parents of the latter have undergone those functional modifications which necessarily followed their change of abode. I dwell thus at length upon this question of race differences, not with the hope of adding anything new to the great fund of information so patiently gathered by other, and abler, students of anthropology, but because the fullest development of racial characters is necessary to the production of perfect health; and perfect health lies at the very bottom of that outward physical beauty which is the strongest incentive to sexual selection.