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{\Huge\textbf{FRANCIS GALTON}} \\
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{\Large\textsc{February 16, 1822 -- January 17, 1911}} \\
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{\Large BY} \\
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{\LARGE\textbf{KARL PEARSON [?]}} \\
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{\Large\textit{Nature} \textbf{85} (1911 February 2) 440--445.}
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{\Large\textit{FRANCIS GALTON}} \\

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\textsc{February 16, 1822 - January 17, 1911.}
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The death of Francis Galton marks, not only the removal of another link
with the leaders of the great scientific movement of the nineteenth
century -- represented by Darwin, Kelvin, Huxley, Clerk-Maxwell, and
Galton in this country -- but something far more real to those who have
been in touch with him up to the last, namely, the cessation of a source
of inspiration and suggestion which did not flag even to the day of his
death.  The keynote to Francis Galton's influence over the science of
the last fifty years lies in those words: suggestion and inspiration.
He belonged to that small group of inquirers, who do not specialise, but
by their wide sympathies and general knowledge demonstrate how science
is a real unity, based on the application of a common logic and a common
method to the observation and treatment of all phenomena.  He broke down
the barriers, which the specialist is too apt to erect round his
particular field, and introduced novel processes and new ideas into many
dark corners of our summary of natural phenomena.

The present writer remembers being asked some years ago to provide a
list of Francis Galton's chief scientific achievements for use on a
public occasion.  It did not seem to him that a list of isolated
contributions, such as the establishment of anthropometric laboratories,
the introduction of the composite photograph, the transfusion
experiments to test pangenesis. the meteorological charts and improved
nomenclature, the practical realisation of the possibilities of
finger-print identification, the demonstration of the hereditary
transmission of the mental characters in man, the law of regression, the
idea of stirps, or the foundation of the novel science of Eugenics,
fully represented the nature of the man.  What is the spirit of the
contributions -- large and small, almost two hundred in number -- which
Francis Galton made to the science of the last sixty years?\footnote{His
first contribution dates from 1849 and concerns a method
of printing telegraphic messages at the receiving station.}  The unity
of those contributions lay largely in the idea that exact quantitative
methods could be applied, nay, rather must be applied, to many branches
of science, which had been held beyond the field of either mathematical
or physical treatment.  In this manner his inspiration and suggestion
tended to give physical and mathematical precision to a large number of
outlying sciences, to meteorology, to anthropology, to genetics, and to
sociology.  In this idea there is nothing novel; many of the world's
great minds have realised the same truth.  What did Roger Bacon say
towards the middle of the thirteenth century:

He who knows not mathematics cannot know any other science, and
what is more, cannot discover his own ignorance or find its proper
remedies.''

How was it echoed again, full two hundred years later, by Leonardo
da Vinci?

Nessuna humana investigatione si po dimandare vera scientia s'essa
non passa per le mattematiche dimonstrationi.''  \textit{Libro di
pittura} i, I.

We wait another century and hear Lord Bacon's aphorism:-

The chief cause of failure in operation (especially after natures
have been diligently investigated) is the ill-determination measurement
of the forces and actions of bodies.  Now the forces and actions of
bodies are circumscribed or measured by distances of space, or by
movements of time, or by consideration of quantity, or by predominance
of virtue; and unless these four things have been well and carefully
weighed, we shall have science, fair perhaps in theory, but in practice
inefficient.  The four instances which are useful in this point of view
I class under one head as \textit{Mathematical Instances} and
\textit{Instances of Measurements}.''

The words actually used by Lord Bacon for his third and fourth
instances are per unionem quanti aut per pr\ae dominantium virtuti''.
They cover very fully the sociological, psychological and genetic
phenomena which Francis Galton kept so closely in view.

Another hundred years and again a great thinker echoes the same idea:-

Ich behaupte aber, dass in jeder besonderen Naturlehre nur so viel
eigentliche Wissenschaft angetroffen werden k\"onne, als darin Mathematik
anzutreffen ist.''  Kant: \textit{Metaphysische Aufangsgr\"unde der
Naturwissenschaft}.  S\"ammtliche Werke, Bd.\ iv., S., 360.  Leipzig, 1867.

Lastly, coming down to our own age, the great contemporary of
Galton, Lord Kelvin, wrote:-

When you can measure what you are speaking about and express it in
numbers, you know something about it, but when you cannot measure it,
when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and
unsatisfactory kind.''

Clearly, then, Francis Galton was far from originating the idea that
exact quantitative methods are applicable far beyond the range of the
physical sciences.  Wherein lies then his significance for the science
of to-day, and, perhaps, more still for the science of the future?  Not
solely in the fact that he sketched in broad lines the manner in which
quantitative methods could be applied to many branches of descriptive
science, but that without being a professor or teacher of students, he
succeeded in creating a school of enthusiastic disciples who, inspired
by him, have carried his work and his suggestions into practice in
craniometry, anthropology, sociology, genetics, and medicine.  The
elements in Galton's character and life which made this achievement
possible for him are manifold.  Heredity, tradition, education, economic
independence, all played their parts, and not least among these stands
hereditary temperament.  No younger man who knew Francis Galton at all
intimately failed to be influenced by his marvellous keenness, his wide
but wise generosity of suggestion and practical help, and above all, his
equable and lovable personality.  His manifest pleasure and gratitude
for the simplest little thing done for him and duties of others, whether
they were his friends or the servants of his own household, produced a
reverence which worked its effect, not only on his immediate
environment, but upon the men who carried his inspirations and
suggestions into practical science.

The exact biological bearing of religious differentiation upon the
creation of human types has, perhaps, never been fully studies.  The
doctrines of George Fox drew together many men and women of a kindred
spirit, and the stringent regulations as to outside marriage led not
only to a union of similar natures, but, we venture to think, almost
created a biological type.  Not only did the Society of Friends unite
men religiously, but it produced special temperaments genetically.  Even
to this day it is strange how men whose families have ceased to be
Quakers, yet find that their common sympathies and temperaments arise
from Quaker descent.  Galton owed the evenness of his temper, his placid
acceptance of criticism, but his power of steady persistence in his own
work and his own views, very largely to his Quaker ancestry, to the
Galton and Barclay blood.  The fact that Galton was never in controversy
was, of course, partly due to the novelty of many of his methods and
ideas; they were beyond his generation, which left them largely on one
side.  Even his work on the heredity of the mental and moral characters
in man was looked upon as merely academic, and its real bearing on
social habits is only now being realised and pressed home.

For one man who had read Hereditary Genius'' (1869), Human Faculty''
(1880), and Natural Inheritance'' (1889), there were ten who had studied
The Origin of Species'' or Man's Place in Nature.''  But the former were
the natural sequel to the latter, and Galton realised at once not only,
as Darwin and Huxley did, that the new doctrines applied to man, but
also that they must eventually be preached as a guide to human conduct
in social activities.  Looked at from this aspect, his labour to make
anthropometry in both its physical and psychical branches an exact
science; his discovery that new types of analysis are wanted to replace
mathematical function in biological and social studies, and lastly, his
advocacy of Eugenics -- the science of right breeding and training of man
-- are seen to be successive steps in a continuous ascent.  The positive
conception that science exists to serve man, and that its highest
function is not merely to supply his material wants, but to show him how
to elevate himself by obedience to biological principles, was the
crowning conception of his life.  But he did not live to see the
controversies which will inevitably arise, as the world in general
realises that not all its customs, not all its beliefs, not all its
supposed morality and charity, are consonant with scientific knowledge.

But if the fact that Galton was never in controversy had partly a
basis in the historic evolution of ideas, it was also deeply rooted in
his temperament, the temperament of one portion of his stock.  He
considered criticism, not only as it affected the reputation of his own
work, but as it affected his own estimate of the validity of his own
work, and he adopted it or passed it by accordingly.  Only once do I
remember on a public occasion a slight severity in his usually gentle
tone.  A medical man of distinction, speaking obviously without any
knowledge of the literature of the subject, had asserted that the
supposition that the children of parents with certain mental and moral
peculiarities would reproduce these features, arose from a totally false
conception of what the laws of heredity are.  The mental and moral
aptitudes were for the speaker outside the purview of hereditary
investigation.  Galton's reply was very simple: Much of what his critic
had said might have been appropriately urged forty years ago, before
accurate measurement of the statistical effects of heredity had been
commenced, but it was quite obsolete now.''

That is the extreme limit to which Galton's Quaker temperament ever,
in the presence of the present writer, allowed him to reply, and here it
was a question of checking a vague assertion which swept away the best
part of a man's life work unexamined.  That this calmness of mental
attitude was very largely innate and not due to environment, is well
brought out by a quaint little biography of the first eight years of his
life, written by his mother (Violetta Galton -- half-sister of Charles
Darwin's father) when he went to a boarding school in
1830\footnote{Would it be safe to suggest  that Galton inherited from
his Darwin mother his views on family history?  Is The Life History
Album'' (Macmillan, 1884 and 1903) with its spaces for observations
and photographs of the child, a linear descendant of this biography
with silhouette illustration}.  His
after-tastes and temperament, his great good nature, his calm temper,
his resourcefulness and courage\footnote{This was of much value to him
in his later travels.  When five years old his mother took him into a
field where the servants were trying to catch some geese.  Francis
immediately ran among them and seizing the old gander by the neck
brought him to his mother muttering at the same time to himself the
lines from Chevy Chase'':
\begin{center}
\begin{tabular}{l}
Thou art the most courteous knight, \\
That ever I did see - -
\end{tabular}
\end{center}}, are sufficiently indicated by a mother
who was closely observant, but who could have no knowledge of the future
distinction of her youngest child.  A further fundamental factor of
Galton's mental outfit was his extraordinary mechanical ingenuity.  This
may also have been a Darwin heritage, for it has been shown by other
members of the stock.  At the same time his paternal grandfather, Samuel
John Galton, was not only a statistician, but a man of mechanical tastes
and a friend of Boulton and Watt, and the same form of ability was
markedly evidenced in another grandson, Sir Douglas Galton.

Francis Galton had the mechanical ingenuity\footnote{Many of the
contrivances devised for his first Anthropometric Laboratory are
still in current use.} which makes a great engineer or
experimentalist; his suggestions were always of the simplest kind, and
he used the simplest constructions and the simplest materials.
Most of his friends will remember his delight in some almost primitive
solution of a mechanical difficulty, that possibly they had themselves
pondered over and brought to him in despair.  Nothing worries the
secretary of a scientific society of the editor of a journal more than
the vagaries of an author who provides diagrams wholly unsuited to the
page-size of their publications; Galton would be ready with a
photographic method of modifying the linear scales in different ratios
in two directions.  Nothing is more trying at lecture or theatre than
the tall person or hat; Galton had his hyperscope'' -- a simple tube
with two reflecting mirrors at $45^{\circ}$ by which he saw over or
round them, and he would use it in a crowd when he wished to see what
was going on beyond it.  Or he would carry a wooden brick in as parcel
with a long string attached to it; slowly lowering it in a crowd, he
would stand on his block of vantage, and raise it again by its string
afterwards without attracting observation.  Elsewhere it has been said
that, if one wanted to put a saddle on a camel's back without chafing
it, to manage the women of a treacherous African tribe, to measure a
snail's shell, or to work a theodolite in the midst of London traffic,
Galton would tell you how it might be done.

Beyond mechanical ingenuity he had great wealth of illustration;
what he could possibly represent to the eye, he would do, for he had a
firm belief that graphic representation is more impressive than mere
numbers.  Within a fortnight almost of his death, seated outdoors in a
shelter, he was discussing with the present writer as eagerly and keenly
as he would have done twenty years ago, the best method of graphically
representing and comparing typical racial crania.

Through the last years of his life, apart from his eugenic work, he
was very busy in trying to deduce quantitative measures of general
likeness; evidences of this were given in his letters on portraiture to
this \textit{Journal}, and in his attempts to make a graduated scale of
blurrers,'' which like a photometric wedge would equalise divergence
until differentiation of the two compared portraits became impossible.
Photographs of members of the same family -- similar and similarly
blurred,'' as the mathematicians have it -- blurred'' more readily than
those of strangers in blood.  These things amount, not to complete
fulfilments, but to suggestions and inspirations.  But Francis Galton
realised among the earliest that a comparison of the individual organs
and characters of local races needs supplementing by a comparison in
some manner of two index'' numbers, which by their deviation shall
measure the similarity or diversity of these races, each as a unit
complex of many individual characters.

Judged from the modern specialist standard, Galton was, perhaps, not
a mathematician,'' but he had enough mathematics for most of the
purposes of scientific observation, and he knew how to enlist
mathematical aid when he required it.  Few of those who have really
studies his work or come in contact with his singularly clear and
logical mind, would have wished his education other than it was.  The
training in observation provided by hospital clerking under a good
clinical teacher, could never have been replaced with profit by years
spent over symbolic analysis; the man who would patiently watch the
workman in a foreign country plying his chisel or trowel in order to
learn differentiation of method in craftsmanship, and then take a lesson
himself in handling the tool in the native way, was a born observer,
whose talents lay in other fields than the higher abstract analytic.
Yet the essential feature of his work was, and his reputation with the
future will largely depend on, his extension of analytical methods to
the descriptive sciences.  Without Gauss the work of Quetelet would have
been impossible.  Without Quetelet we should perhaps have missed Francis
Galton, and from Galton and his school the new methods have spread, and
are spreading into the most varied branches of science; in medicine both
treatment and diagnosis will be influenced by them, in physiology and
psychology their advantages are being admitted, in biology,
anthropology, sociology and its latest offspring -- eugenics -- their
importance has been fully recognised.  And wherein does the validity of
this new treatment consist?  It lies very simply in this, that Galton
following Quetelet recognised that causation expressible in terms of
mathematical function was not the only, or even the chief category,
under which men of science can work; that exact methods were applicable
to that lower relation or association, which now passes by the name of
correlation.  To Galton is due the honour of having reached the first
simple measure of this relationship, and in the earlier writings of his
keen disciple Weldon, we find it called Galton's Function,'' a name
which had to be dropped as the conception became more general and its
types differentiated and classified.  It ceased to be possible to call
after its discoverer a philosophical category wider than that of
causation, and embracing causation as a subclass.

The history -- at least, the formal history, -- of his discovery is
very suggestive of the man and his method.  He had been studying the
size of organs in parents and their offspring, and he formed what is now
termed a correlation table; that numerical table he sought to represent
graphically, and to his delight and surprise the rough contour lines,
which he drew on the table itself, had the appearance of a family of
similar and similarly situated ellipses.  The line which joined the
means of the organs of the offspring was seen to be straight, and to be
the locus of the points of contact of a system of parallel tangents to
the ellipses.  Galton had reached from his graph the fundamental idea of
the simplest type of correlation surface -- the generalised Gaussian with
linear regression,'' and he was not slow to realise its great importance
and its wide application to the inter-relationship of contemporaneously
varying or associated phenomena.  He summoned mathematical aid, and with
the help of Mr. Dickson determined the form of the Gaussian frequency
surface.  Years afterwards it was discovered that the mathematics of
that surface had been worked out by Bravais, in considering the
distribution of shots over a target.  Nowadays we know that there are
frequency surfaces which are not Gaussian.  Wherein then does the
transcendent importance of Galton's work lie?  Why, in the fact that he
was not considering shots at a target, but that he was seeking a key to
open a door for exact quantitative methods into the whole range of vital
phenomena.  From Bravais' mathematical treatment of the Gaussian surface
nothing followed, until Galton independently rediscovered it with no
idea of shots in his mind, but with the idea of investigating problems
in genetics, in evolution, and in sociology.

His work first pointed out to us how the whole field of nature lay
open to exact numerical treatment, if we dropped the category of
causation and adopted that of correlation\footnote{The conclusions . .
. . depend on ideas that must first be well comprehended, and which
are now novel to the large majority of readers and unfamiliar to all.
But those who care to brace themselves for a sustained effort, need
not feel much regret that the road to be travelled over is indirect
and does not admit of being mapped beforehand in a way they can
clearly understand.  It is full of interest of its own.  It
familiarizes us with the measurement of variability and with curious
laws of chance that apply to a vast diversity of social subjects.
This part of the inquiry may be said to run along a road on a high
level, that affords wide views in unexpected directions, and from
which easy descents may be made to totally different goals to those we
have now to reach.  I have a great subject to write upon, sacrificing
accuracy and thoroughness'' -- (Francis Galton, Natural Inheritance,''
1889, p.\ 2).  It is those easy descents'' to totally different goals''
which have proved very arduous, not because they were not obvious and
easy so soon as the high level road'' had been made, but because they
turned out to lead into strictly preserved but largely untilled
strays.''}.  Not from Bravais' mathematics, but from the suggestion and
inspiration of Galton's contour lines on his table of observations, has
sprung the whole body of modern statistical theory.  The problem of
evolution, and the study of heredity, were for Galton actuarial
problems.  Needless to say, he did not place on one side the study of
individuals, he was ever in sympathy with individual observation and
experiment.  But, as the late Prof. Weldon expressed it in a sentence
which had Galton's hearty assent, the actuarial method must be an
essential part of the equipment of any man who would make and understand
such experiments.''  It was in this very sense that Galton initiated the
Royal Society Committee for conducting Statistical Inquiries into the
Measurable Characteristics of Plants and Animals.''  And for a long
time he had in mind the eventual foundation and endowment of an
experimental station for variation, heredity, and selection, treated by
statistical methods.  If his gift to posterity be now found to have
taken another form from his original idea, the change is not
unassociated with his views on the need for adequate statistical
treatment, or with the change of purpose and method which led to his
withdrawal from the Evolution Committee.

If we turn from the inspiration and suggestion provided by Galton in
many varied forms of inquiry to his actual contributions to our
knowledge, two will occur to the minds of most readers, not necessarily
because they are the most important, but because some statement of them
has crept into elementary textbooks and popular works on science.  The
first of these is the oft-quoted Law of Regression''; it was not
originally a theoretical deduction but deduced by Galton from his own
measurements and observations on individuals.  It amounts to the
statement that if in a stable population, -- \textit{i.e.}\ one in which
no selection is taking place, and which is mating at random -- a group
of all the parents be selected which have a character of a given
intensity, then the average of the same character in their offspring
will be nearer to the mean of the whole population than the parental
value.  As Galton stated this statistical result, it has been over and
over again verified by mass-investigations.  But it has been singularly
often misinterpreted by commentators.  One group of them extended it
into a general law that all populations tend to regress to mediocrity,
if we suspend natural selection; they quite overlooked Galton's
statement that the population was stable.  No such general regression to
mediocrity was involved in Galton's law of regression; it was a
statistical law of distribution of offspring resulting from the
\textit{stability} of the population.  Another group of critics selected
certain special parents, overlooking Galton's word all,'' and
endeavoured to show that the law did not apply to their offspring, and
must therefor be erroneous.  The fact is that the very law itself, when
applied to the offspring of somatically selected ancestry and not to all
parents of the class, shows the cessation of regression, and it is upon
this very cessation of regression for selected sub-classes that the
general stability of the Galtonian population depends.

The second contribution to the theory of heredity with which
Galton's name has been generally associated is that termed the
Ancestral Law of Heredity.''  The conception Galton had in mind was the
following one: in a population mating at random and stable in character,
what would be the average relation of each class of individuals in the
new generation to each grade of their ancestry?  Naturally, he measured
the relation by aid of the steepness of his regression lines.  The
degree of resemblance of to successive grades of the ancestry was found
to diminish in a geometrical progression.  The exact numbers found by
Galton from his data (1/3, 1/9, 1/27, \&c.) have not been verified by
further observation.  But the fundamental features of his method, the
idea of applying multiple regression and the diminution of the degree of
resemblance in a geometric series, have been found correct.  Indeed, we
now realise that almost any determinental theory -- including that of
Mendel -- leads directly to Galton's Law of Ancestral Heredity as stated
above.  No direct test of adequate character\footnote{Certain
investigations have been made, but in every case they will be found
not to fulfil the conditions as to average relations, which Galton
laid down.  Galton's own material for Basset Hounds'' is really
inadmissible, for there is scarcely any doubt about the fictitious
character of many of the putative sires.} has yet been made on
Galton's Law, as it is commonly cited -- a form which he originally
stated himself with great hesitation (Natural Inheritance,'' p.\ 136),
and which does not appear wholly in accord with other parts of his
observational or theoretical treatment.  Strange as it may seem, no one
has yet worked out the relationship corresponding to the usually stated
form of Galton's Law for a simple Mendelian population breeding at
random; the theoretical investigation of it is beset with many
analytical difficulties and not a few logical pitfalls.  All the
criticisms of this law have turned on results deduced from selected
gametic ancestors.

It has been asserted with some plausibility that Galton's deductions
would cease to be of any value if we could discover the physiological
causes of heredity.  To this, we think, answer may be made that Nature
does not work like the breeder by testing gametic qualities.  She
proceeds by selecting with stringency certain grades of somatic
qualities, and the intensity of quality, not the gametic value of the
individual is her index to survival.  Without some degree of correlation
between somatic character and gametic value, the Darwinian theory must
collapse.  This point Francis Galton had ever in mind, and his views on
heredity, and his treatment of the subject, always turned on the effect
of somatic selection of the ancestry in modifying the somatic characters
of the offspring.  Hence the establishment of a definite theory of
physiological heredity would at once have to be followed by a
theoretical deduction from that theory of the degree of resemblance
between somatic characters in ancestry and offspring in a population
living in natural conditions.  The questions of fertility and death-rate
in such a population are actuarial studies.  No physiological inquiry as
to heredity can supersede these studies, but such an inquiry may well
confirm, or it may modify, the laws originally stated by Francis Galton
for populations mating at random.  So far as it is possible to judge at
present, current physiological theories of heredity tend rather to
confirm than refute Galton's conclusion.

Of the work in the last decade in Galton's life, it is possibly too
early yet to speak with any decisive judgement.  Darwin, writing to
Wallace in 1857, uses the following words:-

You as me whether I shall discuss man.'  I think I shall avoid the
subject as so surrounded with prejudices, though I fully admit it is the
highest and most interesting problem for the naturalist.''

Darwin's later writings testify that he did not avoid the subject,
but probably the existence of the prejudices to which he refers
prevented him from accentuating the direct practical bearing of the
doctrine of evolution on human conduct.  The result of this attitude of
the earlier evolutionists was that their strength was opposed to one
wing only of the army of intellectual inertia.  Their critics were
theologians and metaphysicians; there was no question raised of the
bearing of evolution on social habit.  Evolution appeared merely as a
problem of man's intellectual attitude towards the universe, it was a
philosophical belief, not a practical code of conduct.  Francis Galton's
Huxley lecture of 1901 On the possible Improvement of the Human Breed
under existing conditions of Law and Sentiment,''\footnote{[Footnote
added in this reprint] \textit{Nature} \textbf{64} (1901) =
\textit{Report of the Smithsonian Institute} (1901), 523-523.  Reprinted
in \textit{Essays in Eugenics}, London: Eugenics Society 1909 and New
York, NY: Garland 1985.} slender as it seemed at the time, was really
the clarion call which told us that the time was ripe for the
recognition that the doctrines of evolution and heredity were more than
intellectual belief, they were destined to control the future and
determine the relative efficiencies of nations.  Others may have
thought, some may have said, the same thing before\footnote{For example,
Sir W. Lawrence wrote in 1819:- The hereditary transmission of
physical and moral qualities, so well understood and familiarly acted
on in the domestic animals, is equally true of man.  A superior breed
of human beings could only be produced by selections and exclusions
similar to those so successfully employed in breeding our more
valuable animals.  Yet, in the human species, where the object is of
such consequence, the principle is almost entirely overlooked.  Hence
all the native deformities of mind and body, which spring up so
plentifully in our artificial mode of life, are handed down to
posterity and tend by their multiplication and extension to degrade
the race.  Consequently the mass of the population in our large cities
will not bear a comparison with that of savage nations, in which, if
imperfect or deformed individuals should survive the hardships of
their first rearing, they are prevented by the kind of aversion they
inspire from propagating their deformities.''  What finer text for the
eugenist?  But Lawrence spoke to a nation still flushed with Waterloo,
while Galton, eighty-five years later, appealed to its grandchildren
still smarting from South African defeats, and dimly conscious that
all was not well with either its physical or mental vigour.}; but to Francis
Galton belongs the credit of having said it at the psychological moment,
and said it with the emphasis that made many earnest men and women
understand its gravity.  Later, in his paper of 1904\footnote{[Footnote
added in this reprint] \textit{Nature} \textbf{70} (1904), 82 and
\textit{Sociological Papers} \textbf{1} (1905), 45-50 and 78-79.
Reprinted in \textit{Essays in Eugenics}, London: Eugenics Society 1909
and New York, NY: Garland 1985.}, Eugenics: its Definitions, Scope,
and Aims,'' Galton more closely defined the lines of development he had
in view for the new science:-

Persistence in setting forth the national importance of eugenics.
There are three stages to be passed through: firstly, it must be made
familiar as an academic question, until its exact importance has been
understood and accepted as a fact; secondly, it must be recognised as a
subject the practical development of which deserves serious
consideration; and thirdly, it must be introduced into the national
conscience, like a new religion.  It has, indeed, strong claims to
become an orthodox religious tenet of the future, for eugenics cooperate
with the workings of Nature by securing that humanity shall be
represented by the fittest races.  What Nature does blindly, slowly, and
ruthlessly, man may do providently, quickly and kindly.  As it lies
within his power, so it becomes his duty to work in that direction; just
as it is his duty to succour neighbours who suffer misfortune.  The
improvement of our stock seems to me one of the highest objects that we
can reasonably attempt.  We are ignorant of the ultimate destinies of
humanity, but feel perfectly sure that it is as noble a work to raise
its level in the sense already explained, as it would be disgraceful to
abase it.  I see no impossibility in eugenics becoming a religious dogma
among mankind, but its details must first be worked out sedulously in
the study.  Our zeal leading to hasty action would do harm, by holding
out expectations of a near golden age, which will certainly be falsified
and cause the science to be discredited.  The first and main point is to
secure the general intellectual acceptance of eugenics as a hopeful and
most important study.  Then let its principles work into the heart of
the nation, who will gradually give practical effect to them in ways
that we may not wholly foresee.''

We have cited the whole paragraph, for it is essentially typical of
the man, and some word of his message to the nation may fitly appear
here.  Conspicuously moderate in tone, the study at each point placed
before the market-place, it was indeed a wonderful appeal for a man more
than eighty-two years of age to make from the public platform.  It
signified that the time was ripe for the labours of the biologist, the
medical man, and the sociologist to grasp what evolution and heredity
mean for man, to make out of their science an art, and work thereby for
the future of their nation.  Nor has that appeal miscarried; its effect
may be traced even among the din of controversy and the clash of diverse
interests in almost every recent book, or discussion of heredity or
evolution.  Those of us, who initially doubted the wisdom of
propagandism beyond the academic field, have lived to see a very wide
public impression made, not only in this country, but notably in
Germany.  If that movement remains within the lines Galton assigned to
it -- no over-zeal leading to hasty action'' which will cause the
science to be discredited'' -- then we may firmly believe that to the
future Galton's life will appear as a rounded whole -- the youth of
experience and observation, the manhood of development and discovery of
method, the old age of practical application.

His school and disciples have lost a leader, but not before he had
lived to put the final touches to his work.  Of his generosity and
helpfulness, his personal modesty and simplicity of nature, many of
those who came in touch with him can bear evidence by remembered talk,
by letter, and by act.  Someday, perhaps, these things may be put
together as a memento of the man whose teaching has just ended, but
whose life-work has only begun to run its course.  Rewards came to
Francis Galton -- medals, honorary degrees, corresponding memberships of
many learned societies -- they came unsought, but not unappreciated.  His
very modesty made him take an almost childlike joy in these recognitions
of his worth, and then present writer remembers with what pleasure, but
a few weeks ago, Galton showed him his recently received Copley medal.
But these things were not of the essence of his life.  Few men have
worked so little for reputation and so much for the mere joy of
discovering the truth.  His three chief pleasures in life were first to
discover a problem, secondly to solve it by a simple but adequate
process, and thirdly to tell a congenial friend of the problem and its
solution.  What he cared chiefly for was the sympathy of men who
appreciated his special type of work and understood its relation to
human progress.  Had he spoken of himself and his feelings, which he
rarely did, he would, we think, have described his purpose in life much
in the words of Huxley:-

To promote the increase of natural knowledge, and to further the
application of scientific methods of investigation to all the problems
of life to the best of my ability, in the conviction which has grown
with my growth and strengthened with my strength, that there is no
alleviation for the sufferings of mankind except veracity of thought and
action, and the resolute facing of the world as it is when the garment
of make-belief, by which pious hands have hidden its uglier features, is
stripped off.''

But in the fulfilment of his purpose Francis Galton was an optimist.
He believed that man can not only physically control his environment,
but with fuller biological knowledge his future development.  Not on
this or that contribution to the records of science, but on the
justification of this belief, will depend his fame in the roll of ages.
There are some of us who believe that among the great names cited at the
commencement of this paper, Galton's will not be the last for he has
given an inspiration which will grow to full fruition.  Our country has
been the land of dominant scientific ideas rather than of massive
contributions to the records of science -- gravitation, the survival of
the fitter, the electromagnetic theory -- may we yet add -- the biological
control of human development?  If so, the name of Francis Galton will be
closely associated with the coping stone of the edifice, which had its
foundations first securely laid by his half-cousin, Charles Darwin.

\begin{flushleft}
\textit{Nature} \textbf{85} (1911 February 2), 440--445.
\end{flushleft}

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