Horse Racing An Aid To Science: Speed Statistics Afford Best Evidence Extant of the Laws of Heredity., Daily Racing Form, 1919-05-18


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HORSE RACING AN AID TO SCIENCE Speed Statistics Afford Best Evidence Extant of the Laws of Heredity In an address delivered before the recent annual meeting of the American Genetic Association the president David Fairchild said concerning the great subject of heredity and Us relation K human welfare welfareOur Our propaganda should be against the almost universal fallacy which pervades society everywhere that acquired characters are somehow and in some mysterious way inherited The noninheritance of acquired characters is a wellestablished theory but the general public does not know it Through the educational propaganda through the chari ¬ table propaganda through the sporting propa ¬ ganda through the medical propaganda there runs everywhere the unspoken assumption that given a good environment any child is as likely to be great as any other and everywhere we find people who are searching for all the causes of crime and degeneracy in the environment The wayward son of the preacher the deaf from childhood the small sized boys of small parents who never got enough to eat when they were young the effect of hats as causes of baldness the causes of longev ¬ ity and a host of others are now explained by those who do not know Millions of dollars are expended every year upon palliative remedies with the firm conviction of the givers that they an curative measures whereas they end with the gen ¬ eration they assist assistThe The sporting propaganda to which Mr Fair child alludes is based on the records of horse racing and breeding as found in the turf guides and the stud books for trotters and runners and concerns the propagation of winners There is perhaps no other mass of statistics in existence from which scientists can so safely deduce the laws of inheri ¬ tance as from the pedigrees and public records found in the stud books and turf guides of thorough ¬ breds trotters and pacers The sjKcd capacity of more than a quarter of a million horses of known ancestry is there recorded as authentically meas ¬ ured by the timing watch at the standard distance of one mile and when analyzed these performances and pedigrees throw a veritable searchlight on the laws governing transmission of both physical and psychical characteristics of parents to their off ¬ spring springThe The interesting question as to whether the environ ¬ ment of the parent influences the offspring and acquired characteristics are inherited or in other words whether speed laboriously taught as distin ¬ guished from speed that is born with the foal can be transmitted is almost as old as the speed lists of the thoroughbreds and harness turf turfAnd And though the better opinion among breeders and students is in accord with Mr Faircuilds views there are now and always have been many horsemen who firmly l elieve that by developing the speed of the sin and dam you materially improve your chance of winning the Futurity with the colt coltA A superficial view of the statistics of harness racing or running racing certainly seems to confirm this theory for the percentage of great trotters and runners whose parents were winners before them is conspiciously large and constantly increasing The real question is of course whether these great trotters and runners would not have been just as great if their sires and dams had never been trained A public1 record demonstrates that the sire of the dam possesses the speed which the breed ¬ er is seeking to obtain in the foal and thus is a valuable guide but does the training create the speed or does it merely reveal the fact that the soughtfor characteristic is there and would it not be transmitted just the same if it remained Un ¬ developed The verdict of horsemen and scientists is that it would New York Herald

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