Human life as the biologist sees it
While engaged in the work of Mr Hoover's relief organizations I saw a good deal at very close range of the behaviour of men at war, I saw a constant struggle in the case of some of these men in positions of authority between two elements in their make-up; a brute element inherent in them as a biologically inherited vestige of prehistoric days, and a strictly human element more recently acquired and transmitted to them by education and social inheritance.
Sometimes one element dictated their behaviour, sometimes the other. Sometimes, unfortunately, the element of education reinforced the element of brute inheritance.
The existence and influence of these two usually conflicting parts of human make-up were made especially clear and sharp because of the unwonted and continuous stress of the whole situation.
It was an unusual opportunity for the biologist-student of human life to observe the relative strength of these two factors which play their parts in the determination of the behaviour and fate of us all. Are we, in our present evolutionary stage, more animal than human or more human than an animal? And why.?
And can any attempt at scientific analysis of present human make-up give us knowledge that will enable us to live more rationally, more successfully, and more happily? As detached and cool-blooded as he can possibly be in his contemplation of the make-up and the capacities and behaviour of human beings, the biologist is nevertheless often overcome by those same feelings of awe and reverence in the face of the "wonders of human life," which over-come other less cool-blooded persons.
In his laboratory and study he may assure himself that he is dealing only with an unusually complex, highly-endowed, and, in every way, remarkable animal, and reassure himself, in the face of the difficulties of the biological analysis of this animal, by remembering how he has been able to reveal, and, in some measure, explain the make-up and capacities of other at first baffling animals. But in his home with his family, and in his social intercourse with his friends and acquaintances, he sometimes loses confidence during his laboratory hours my wife and little girl are confusingly different from that impersonal thing, man as a lab-oratory subject, which I persist in hoping to analyze into pieces and properties capable of scientific explanation, or at least description. There is something, or many things, in all the human beings I know personally, and something in my- self, which makes them and me very different from the samples of the species that I study in the laboratory.
1. Human Origin and Relationships. ... 8
2. The Biologist and Present Man 37
1. The Biologist and War 49
2. Heredity and Human Problems 64
3. The Biologist and the Republic. ... 90
1. The Biologist and Everyday Life. . . 96
2. The Biologist and Death 106
3. The Biologist and Soul 118
4. The Biologist and the Future 132
the book details :