The Ancestry of Francis Galton 7
which most of us would also agree with Darwin--not the least Galton himself-with the proviso, that that mental faculty also is largely subject to hereditary control.
And Darwin did not hesitate to give expression to his conversion in The Descent of Man published two years later (Ed. 1885, p. 28).
"So in regard to mental qualities, their transmission is manifest in our dogs, horses and other domestic animals. Besides special tastes and habits, general intelligence, courage, bad and good tempers, etc., are certainly transmitted. With man we see
similar facts in almost every family; and we now know, through the admirable labours of Mr Galton, that genius which implies a wonderfully complex combination of high faculties, tends to be inherited ; and, on the other hand, it is too certain that insanity
and deteriorated mental powers likewise run in families."
The chief conclusion of Galton's work, the most fixed principle of his teaching, was the like inheritance of the mental and physical characters. Many passages in his writings show that he fully appreciated the modifications introduced by environment, but these modifications can be for any character plus or minus. ineffect, and on the average the hereditary factor comes out as the main controlling feature.
It seems only a few months ago that talking with him over the almost bitter feeling which the work of the Galton Laboratory on environment had called forth, he said : " I wish they (the critics of that work) would study the subject of twins," and referred to his investigations of 1875. I wonder how many of -those critics have studied Galton's papers on twins ! Had they done so, would they have supposed that the contrast of Nurture and Nature was a new .fad of the Director of the Eugenics Laboratory, and had not been recognised and rendered definite by Francis Galton himself. Let such study the section in Hereditary Genius entitled " Nature and Nurture," and its words
"When nature and nurture compete for supremacy on equal terms in the sense to be explained, the former proves the stronger. It is needless to insist that neither is self-sufficient; the highest natural endowments may be starved by defective nurture,
while no carefulness of nurture can overcome the evil tendencies of an intrinsically bad physique, weak brain, or brutal disposition. Differences of nurture stamp unmistakable marks on the disposition of the soldier, clergyman, or scholar, but are wholly insufficient
to efface the deeper marks of individual character" (p. 12).
How did Galton try to solve the relative strengths of " nature and nurture "-this " convenient jingle of words," as he terms it, which