Early Anthropological Researches 77
distinction; it would not have affected the validity of his argument had he taken 1' in 1000. He then takes from biographical dictionaries and other sources the number of distinguished men who have had distinguished fathers, sons or other relatives, and shows that they have far more distinguished sonss than could possibly be anticipated in a like number of the general population. For example, taking 391 painters from Bryan's Dictionary there are 33 cases of sons who have renown as artists. Now supposing each painter had on an average 3 sons, we have 33 distinguished in a group of 1173, or about 1 in 36. Galton's statistics show something of this order-when allowance is made for size of family-for the frequency of distinction of all kinds in the sons of a population of fathers of distinction. But in the general population of the educated' distinction is only of the order 1 in 3000-or 1 in 1000 if the reader prefer. This rough method-ample enough for its purpose-was Galton's first application of statistics to the problem of heredity. It is the way he convinced himself that the mental characters in man were transmissible. But Galton was not content with merely reaching a truth. His next step was to consider what its relation to race betterment might be, and then-in 1864-we suddenly find the whole doctrine of eugenics as the salvation of mankind developed half-a-century too early !
"As we cannot doubt that the transmission of talent is as much through the side of the mother as through that of the father, how vastly would the offspring be improved, supposing distinguished women to be commonly married to distinguished men, generation after generation,
their qualities being in harmony and not in contrast, according to rules, of which we are now ignorant, but which a study of the subject would be sure to evolve!" (p. 163.)
Galton next meets the "great and common mistake" of supposing that high intellectual powers are generally associated with puny frames and small physical strength. He says that men of remarkable eminence are almost always men of vast powers of work. He notes how even sedentary workers astonish their friends when on vacation rambles, and how frequently men of literary and scientific distinction have been the strongest and most daring of alpine climbers.
"Most notabilities have been great eaters and excellent digesters, on literally the same principle that the furnace that can raise more steam than is usual for one of its size must burn more freely and well than is common. Most great men are vigorous animals, with exuberant powers and an extreme devotion to a cause. There is no reason to suppose that in breeding for the highest order of intelligence, we should produce a sterile or a feeble race." (p. 164.)
Galton condemns the civilisation of the Middle Ages that enrolled so many youths of genius in the ranks of a celibate clergy and he condemns the costly tone of society to-day which also forces genius to be celibate during the best period of manhood. He finds that, very great men are not averse to the other sex, for many have been -noted for their illicit intercourses, and in this respect he especially blames great lawyers. But science does not escape his censure; he takes the commoners who have been Presidents of the British Association as a fair list of leaders in science of the present day,
1- Galton limits his field because of the handicap on the uneducated, however talented they may be.