The Function of Disease in the Struggle for Existence

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PROF. A. DE QUATREFAGES (“The Human Species,” p. 430), discussing the decline of the Polynesian Races, remarks:—“Two naval surgeons, MM. Bourgarel and Brulfert, have alone been able to throw some light upon this melancholy problem. The former found that tubercles were invariably present in the lungs of bodies submitted to post-mortem examination. The latter tells us that all Polynesians suffer from an obstinate cough, and that, in eight cases out of ten, tuberculosis follows these bronchial catarrhs. Now, phthisis does not appear in the list of diseases drawn up by the old voyagers.”

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