The types of future Americans can now be fairly well predicted. It has been generally assumed by unscientific writers, that through intermarriage we are being amalgamated into one uniform type capable of surviving in all our climates. Yet such amalgamation has not occurred in Europe where mixing has been going on for some scores of thousands of years. Nature has been unable to make a type fit to live in every climate from Northern Scotland to Malta, and there is no reason to believe she will be any more successful here where similar climatic differences occur. Indeed, there has been no recognizable change so far. If we disregard speech and dress, no one can distinguish an American of the old stock from a recent immigrant from the ancestral home.
Indeed, it is now being proved by biologists that amalgamation of varieties of any animal or plant is impossible. De Vries, the great botanist, has shown in his book on the origin of varieties by mutation, that characters persist unchanged and the great advance in the evolution of new kinds of cereals is based on plans to discover and isolate specimens having the proper characters. The process is entirely different from what it was once assumed to be when agriculturists thought they caused new types by cultivation and then preserved them by selection.
* Boston, Medical and Surgical Journal, March 2. 1905.
Mendel, the priest, nearly fifty years ago, discovered a law of inheritance now dignified by his name, and by this is meant the fact that the characters of the parents are not necessarily blended in the offspring, but come out separately. It is now being discovered that this law applies to man also, and that children may have the physical characters of grandparents or more remote ancestors, and not necessarily be blended like a mulatto. By this law, there may be many varieties of man in one family, and as some of these varieties may perish from greater unfitness, one type may survive and carry on the family name. This is why family names do not disappear, even though the descendants may not resemble some of their progenitors at all. That is, there is never to be a distinctly American type, but for thousands of years Americans will resemble their European ancestors. Mediterranean types will be more numerous in the South, Alpine in the North, and dying Aryans sprinkled everywhere, but most vigorous in the mountains and other cloudy cold places.
The latest speculation of this character is that by Professor Ripley,* who thinks the interbreeding will cause reversion to the primitive prehistoric European out of which present types evolved, and he bases the prediction on the similar reversion of domestic pigeons to the primitive rock pigeon from which they were evolved, and the disappearance of recently acquired traits of plants. This law does not apply, because these phenomena are really results of restoring the original environment. In the case of man the original environment is not restored and, indeed, the constant interbreeding in Europe has not caused reversion. The "Pigmentary Survey" of Scotland, made by the anthropologists Gray and Tocher,* proved that mixtures due to modern transportation have not increased the homogeneity of type, but on the contrary have actually made the population more heterogeneous. This article, by the way, also shows the small proportion of pure blonds in Scotland, about one-fourth, and their elimination from city life, where the brunet earlier types are surviving, confirming Shrubdall's observations in England as to the disappearance of blonds from both city and country. Intermarriage of widely different types should be discouraged and boys advised to mate with their kind. As so forcibly stated by President Eliot of Harvard, the history of civilization shows that racial stocks are never mixed with profit. Nevertheless, in the end nature will preserve the fittest, no matter what we do.
* Atlantic Monthly, 1908.
* The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 1908.