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robust man lived to the age of 66 years in spite of his alcoholism. Of his four children, a boy died of tuberculous inflammation of the brain in his ninth year. Another died from tuberculosis at the age of 46. One of his daughters had 3 children; one died of tuberculous inflammation of the brain, another suffered from tuberculosis of the throat. This man nevertheless apparently enjoyed health until his 66th year, but his descendants were made to suffer on account of his drunkenness unto the third generation."

Even a state of acute intoxication at the time of conception is commonly regarded in the temperance literature as a cause of degeneration. In support of this the observations by Weiss and Lippich are given currency.

A comparative investigation in regard to the condition of the descendants at birth and their development during the first months of life among total abstainers, on one side, and among moderate drinkers and drunkards, on the other, were made by Laitinen and is published in the proceedings of the XIIth Anti-Alcohol Congress. By drunkards, Laitinen understands persons who daily consume more than one glass of beer. He finds the children of total abstainers to have greatly the advantage over those of moderate drinkers and that the same is true of the children of moderate drinkers compared with those of drunkards (who consume more than one glass of beer daily).

Henrik Berg, in his "Instruction in Alcohology," settles the matter summarily in this fashion: "A family poisoned by alcohol dies out as a rule in the third generation. The survivors are feebleminded, fools or idiots."

The method indicated by the foregoing examples of investigating the descendants of alcoholics, and if these be found subnormal to designate alcohol the etiological factor, is supplemented by another method of reaching the same aim. It proceeds an existing subnormality manifesting itself in different ways and makes the ascendants (forbears) of the subnormal the objects of the study in regard to the appearance of alcoholism among them.

Among the better-known investigations of this sort is that of Bunge, who has brought together some material to prove that the inability of women to suckle their children is an expression of general degeneration due to an immoderate use of alcohol by the forefathers.

Bourneville, according to Helenius, found that among the idiotic, epileptic and feeble-minded children received at Bicêtre from 1880-1890, 620 had parents of whom both were drunkards (65 cases), or only the father (471 cases), or only the mother (84 cases). No information was obtained in regard to 171, and only in 209 cases were the parents not alcoholic.

Dahl maintains that in Norway 50 to 60 per cent. of the parents of idiots, one or both, are given to drunkenness. He also asserts that between the years 1825 and 1835 drunkenness for various reasons increased enormously in Norway. "At the same time the number of idiots increased 150 per cent." (Helenius.)

But it is not only in the case of idiocy that alcoholism in the ascendants is held to be the cause of a defective condition. The literature dealing with these questions is flooded with figures expressing the percentages of alcoholics of previous generations in cases of insanity, epilepsy, the deaf and dumb, criminality, etc.

In a somewhat different way Bezzola would prove the relation of idiocy to alcoholism and especially to acute intoxication. He finds that at New Year's and during Lent, which are the popular periods for getting drunk in Switzerland, more idiots than normal children are conceived. The same is true, according to this author, of October, and he connects the phenomenon with the wine harvest. In the months of August and September better conditions are found. which is thus explained: "The healthy work of the rural population and the rational habits of life among the tourists leave little chance for alcoholic excesses; the holidays are fewer," etc. This investigation by Bezzola was presented before the VIIIth International Anti-Alcohol Congress, Vienna, 1901, and is printed in its proceedings. During a discussion of it a physician made the assertion that in the wine district of lower Austria teachers are well aware that a new crop of less-gifted pupils indicates a good grape harvest six yearsbefore!

As a rule, medical writers of alcohol literature ascribe the destructive effect upon the germ plasm only to acute intoxication or chronic alcoholism. Nevertheless, Laitinen believes to have shown through experiments on animals that decidedly small doses of alcohol have a bad effect. The quantity of alcohol used corresponded for a grown person to a small glass of beer daily. (XIth International Anti-Alcohol Congress).

Even prominent scientific men believe they can reason from

the destructive effect of alcohol upon the germ plasm and thereby upon the race as something quite self evident. Thus at the XIth Anti-Alcohol Congress, Gadelius fixes the relation between idiocy and epilepsy, on the one hand, and the parental abuse of alcohol on the other, relying upon such dubious authorities as Weiss, Bezzola, Demme, Lidström and Legrain. He goes so far as to hold that "the ravages of alcohol upon the offspring" is much more important than its immediate effect upon individuals.

A similar a priori point of view manifests itself even when the data at hand are more critically considered. For instance, Santesson, in an article on "Alcoholism and Hereditary Degeneration" (1911), says: "The physician, especially the neurologist and pathologist, has seen too much of the damage caused by alcohol in the individual to doubt seriously that this evil must put its stamp also upon the offspring, even though they must concede that so far this cannot be proven clearly and beyond power of contradiction by statistics."

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Having thus briefly outlined the current conception of the blastophoric effect of alcohol and the facts and axiomatic assumptions which are believed to justify it, it is proper to consider the objections that can be raised not only against the validity of the proof adduced from the facts at hand, but also against the probability in general of any blastophoric (germ-plasm destroying) effects of alcohol.

To begin with, several circumstances must be considered which most of the authors wholly overlook. When one proceeds, for instance, as Dugdale in The Jukes and Lidström have done, by taking a male progenitor who is alcoholic and paying no heed to the female progenitor and to the admixture of all the foreign blood which makes it possible for a family to build up one generation after another, one has admittedly foregone the possibility of judging how far any causative relation whatsoever can be supposed to exist between the alcoholism of the parents, grand-parents, etc., and the defectiveness of the offspring. In order to arrive at correct judgment it is necessary to prepare and study not only family trees but genealogical tables.

The unusual number of members of Juke family and their truly astounding worthlessness make a certain impression, to be sure, in spite of a defective method of presentation; but the case cited by Lidström, which brings out the scarcely remarkable fact that one alcoholic parent had two tuberculous children and two

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tuberculous grand children, does not in the least convince one that this offspring of the alcoholic father "were made to suffer on account of his drunkenness unto the third generation." not err in asserting that in Sweden a great many total abstainers have one or more tuberculous children and grand-children. This example is mentioned simply to show the astounding lack of critical judgment of which even medical authors are guilty when dealing with the question of alcohol and heredity. The dominant mistake which misleads in almost all presentations in which the subnormality of the offspring is attributed to the destructive effect of alcohol upon the germ plasm is that they ignore the fact that alcoholism, especially in its extreme forms, is very often a symptom of an existing psychic subnormality or some constitutional psychic abnormality. Thus Pearson shows that among the inmates of Reformatories for Inebriates in England about 64 per cent. suffer more or less from congenital psychic defects. Perhaps the figures are too high to be generally applied to alcoholic persons. But when, in order to illustrate the degenerative effects of alcohol upon the offspring, particular individuals are shown as "progenitors," the danger is imminent that chiefly the more extreme cases of alcoholism will be studied from the point of view of heredity. In the cases presented by Demme, for instance, it is evident already from the data furnished by the author that they contradict the proof he would bring out. For of the 10 alcoholic families mentioned by him having highly degenerate offspring, it was stated that the brothers of several of these families were insane, epileptic, feebleminded, etc., although they themselves were temperate. In such cases the degeneration of the offspring indicated a degeneration characteristic of the family as a whole; and nothing justifies the effort to establish a causative relation between it and the alcoholism apparent in some of the members of the family. In other words, there is here clearly a confusion between cause and effect. Under such circumstances it is the more noteworthy that even the most serious scientific handbooks, textbooks and essays, not to mention popular articles, quote Demme's cases or others of the same kind and draw inadmissible conclusions from them.

Investigators who, in cases of constitutional abnormality (imbecility, epilepsy, malformations, hereditary deaf and dumbness, etc.) have had their attention directed to the necessity of finding out when alcoholism occurs in the father, whether he is simply an

occasional drunkard or an abnormal individual who on this very account is given to drunkenness, cannot fail to observe that it is especially in the home of the latter that subnormal offspring is found, while the children of the former by no means correspond to what the alcohol literature has to tell about the descendants of alcoholics.

The investigations of Laitinen, mentioned above, in regard to infants within families having different drink habits, were based upon a questionnaire circulated by the thousands among the general public. How trustworthy these investigations are one can infer from the solemn assertion of the author that all observations point to the fact that if the father or mother consume daily more than one glass of beer, it has a degenerative effect upon the offspring. The same author's conclusions from experiments upon animals are equally valuable.

The second method by which it is sought to establish the relation between alcohol and degeneracy, concerns itself with the ascendants of notoriously abnormal or subnormal individuals. When alcoholism is found in these ascendants, the relation in question is regarded as established. Here two palpable mistakes are made. The percentage of alcoholics among the descendants does not prove anything in a given case unless a corresponding percentage is obtained in the same manner of the ascendants of individuals who are not subnormal and belong to the same group of the population. The second mistake is that no respect is paid to the freedom of the family from the other kinds of notorious defects.

An example will make this plain: Because 25 per cent. of the fathers of subnormal (slightly feeble-minded) school children are known to abuse alcohol, no relation is thereby established between the condition of these children and the alcoholism of the fathers. For it is possible that an investigation of the fathers of the remaining children in the school might show that 25 per cent. of them likewise abused alcohol. The conclusion from this would be rather that abuse of alcohol by the father does not play any part in causing a psychic subnormality in his children. On the other hand, if the percentage of the fathers of the subnormal children were 50 and that for mothers 25, no stronger proof would be gained, not even a probable proof, of a causative relation between the use of alcohol by the father and the subnormality of their offspring. For, as already stated, it is absolutely imperative to try and connect sub

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