Recognized HTML document

66   NATURAL INHERITANCE.   [CHAP.

Order in Apparent Chaos.-I know of scarcely any-, thing so apt to impress the imagination as the wonderful form of cosmic order expressed by the " Law of Frequency of Error." The law would have been personified by the Greeks and deified, if they had known of it. It reigns with serenity and • in complete self-effacement amidst the wildest confusion. The huger the mob, and the greater the apparent anarchy, the more perfect is its sway. It is the supreme law of Unreason. Whenever a large sample of chaotic elements are taken in hand and marshalled in the order of their magnitude, an unsuspected and most beautiful form of regularity proves to have been latent all along. The tops of the marshalled row form a flowing curve of invariable proportions ; and each element, as it is sorted into place, finds, as it were, a pre-ordained niche, accurately adapted to fit it. If the measurement at any two specified Grades in the row are known, those that will be found at every other Grade, except towards the extreme, ends, can be predicted in the way already explained, and with much precision,


Problems in the Law of Error.-All the properties of the Law of Frequency of Error can be expressed in terms of Q, or of the Prob: Error, just as those of a circle can be expressed in terms of its radius. The visible Schemes are not, however, to be removed too soon from our imagination. It is always well to retain a clear geometric view of the facts when we are dealing with statistical problems, which abound with dangerous