…Seen in this way, evolution becomes a great adventure in which man, product of random mutations and of a suffering, blindly struggling creation, becomes at least in part, the arbiter of his destiny. If this is to be so, a major contribution to control of the future will be the chief development in biology since Darwin: understanding the mechanism of heredity.
Genetics places the thread of life in men’s hands, the chemical ribbon linking past and future. In his notebook Darwin had written: “Given transmutation theory, instinct and structure become full of speculation and line of observation. My theory would lead to the study of instincts, heredity and mind mind heredity.”
When the Origin was written, the science of genetics did not exist. Evolution was the result of natural selection acting on heritable variations in offspring, but, as Darwin admitted, “Our ignorance of the laws of variation is profound.” The gap had begun to be filled by the experiments of the Moravian monk Gregor Mendel, but Mendel’s work was rediscovered only at the beginning of the century.
At first, Darwinian natural selection appeared to have no application in the new science, and Darwin’s reputation sank somewhat. Later, however, genetic theory began to explain variations as a consequence of environmental selection acting on he results of mutations of genes, and today selection is a controlling concept in the study of genetics, with its incalculable prospects, exhilarating and appalling, of insight into the nature of life and its possibilities for good and evil in the molding of man’s physical and intellectual make-up.
Darwinism was a nineteenth-century cause celebre, a fashionable formula, like Hegelianism, for applying scholarship or prejudice to the results of science. It was also, like the work of John Dalton or Michael Faraday, a permanent contribution to men’s knowledge of the natural world. Yet even this comparison diminishes Darwin’s real stature. As with Copernicus and Newton, before and after Darwin are different intellectual territories. ( to be continued)…
(see link at end)…However, it is not worth mentioning any additional examples, since the central conclusion they promote remains the same: they all claimed that Jews suffered heavily from a disease which was thought to be a female ailment. The male Jew was thereby regarded as
“effeminate”. His constitution, especially his “nerve force”, was seen to be weak, like that of a woman’s. Male Jews as well as women, were considered to be nervous and suffer from neurasthenia, another so-called “typical female disease”. Martin Engländer, as one example among many others, said in a paper that he delivered before a Zionist society in Vienna shortly after the turn of the century, that neurasthenia, just as hysteria, was very common among Jews. His medical colleague Hugo Hoppe described hysteria and neurasthenia as the “modern ailments” for which Jews, always on the forefront of the social development, displayed a strong proclivity.
According to these statements, Jews and women had a proclivity to hysteria and neurasthenia, which were both regarded as female diseases. Jews were considered to represent a specific “type” not only on the grounds of the shape of their heads or the conspicuous size of their noses, but also because they allegedly talked differently and had a different disease rate than non-Jews. These characteristics
ed to be abundant proof that (especially male) Jews represented “the other”, a different “type” from the non-Jews. They deviated from the (non-Jewish, bourgeois) male ideal. They were effeminate human beings with a distorted gender identity, which was a consequence of their body. Read More:http://web.ceu.hu/jewishstudies/pdf/01_hoedl.pdf