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Unformatted text preview: l of all, we judge by standards of beauty that
are totally misleading. The sweetest face may hide the most arrant egoist, for facial beauty has very little to do
with the nature behind the face. In fact, facial make-up is more influenced by diet, disease and racial tendency
than by character.
It would be idle to take up in any detail the claims of phrenologist and palmist. The former had a very
respectable start in the work of Broca and Gall in that the localization of function in the various parts of the
brain made at least partly logical the belief that the conformation of the head also indicated functions of Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor 8 character. But there are two fatal flaws in the system of phrenological claims. First, even if there were an
exact cerebral localization of powers, which there is not, it would by no means follow that the shape of the
head outlined the brain. In fact, it does not, for the long-headed are not long-brained, nor are the short-headed
short-brained. Second, the size and disposal of the sinuses, the state of nutrition in childhood have far more to
do with the "bumps" of the head than brain or character. The bump of philoprogenitiveness has in my
experience more often been the result of rickets than a sign of parental love.
 It is to be remembered that phrenology had a good standing at one time, though it has since lapsed into
quackdom. This is the history of many a "short cut" into knowledge. Thus the wisest men of past centuries
believed in astrology. Paracelsus, who gave to the world the use of Hg in therapeutics, relied in large part for
his diagnosis and cures upon alchemy and astrology.
Without meaning to pun, we may dismiss the claims of palmistry offhand. Normally the lines of the hand do
not change from birth to death, but character does change. The hand, its shape and its texture are markedly
influenced by illness, toil and care. And gait, carriage, clothes and the dozen and one d...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11