Recognized HTML document


Confusion is often made between statistical and individual results. It sometimes seems to be held seriously that if the effect of a particular union cannot be accurately foretold, the application of the rules of Eugenics is vain. This is not the case. Statistics give us assurance concerning the fate of such or such a percentage of a large number of people which, when translated into other terms, is the probability of each of them being affected by it. From the statesman's point of view, where lives are pawns in the game and personal favour is excluded, this information is sufficient. It tells how large a number of . undesirables or of desirables can be introduced or not into a population by such and such measures. Whether their names be A, B, or C, or else X, Y, or Z, is of no importance to the "Statistician, "-a term that is more or less equivalent to that of "'Statesman."

In accordance with one principal purpose of these pages, which is to show the fundamental coherence of most of my many inquiries, I will quote several passages from the above-mentioned articles written in 1865. They expressed then, as clearly as I can do now, the leading principles of Eugenics. They will each be followed by a remark as to how I should wish to modify them.

The power of man over animal life, in producing whatever varieties of form he pleases, is enormously great. It would seem as though the physical structure of future generations was almost as plastic as clay, under the control of the breeder's will. It is my desire to show, more pointedly than, so far as I