Psychological Investigations 263
admits that the slow progress of evolution is due to antecedents and inherent conditions of which we have not yet the slightest conception, he throws out an idea which foreshadows in a startling way Einstein, and in itself predicts how his doctrine may modify man's religious views. I have not seen this strange passage quoted, nor do I know what Galton's readers may have made of it in pre-relativity days ik It runs
"It is difficult to withstand a suspicion that the three dimensions of space and the fourth dimension of time may be four independent variables of a system which is neither space nor time, but something else wholly unconceived by us. Our present enigma as to how a First Cause could itself have been brought into existence-how the tortoise of the fable that bears the elephant, that bears the world, is itself supported,-may be wholly due to our necessary mistranslation of the four or more variables of the universe, limited by
inherent conditions, into the three unlimited variables of space and the one of Time." (p. 302).
An obscure passage, indeed, which one of us ought to have asked Galton to interpret, but which now we can only place against Clifford's concept that "matter is a wrinkle in space." Both men might have taught us to think had our minds then been receptive.
Putting these high theories and suggestions on one side, Galton notes two great and indisputable facts
(i) That the whole of the living world moves steadily and continuously towards the evolution of races that are progressively more and more adapted to their complicated mutual needs and to their external circumstances.
(ii) That this process of evolution has been hitherto carried on with what men from their standpoint must reckon as great waste of opportunity and life, and with little if any consideration for individual mischance.
Measured by man's criterion of intelligence and mercy,
"the process of evolution on this earth has been carried out neither with intelligence nor ruth, but entirely through the routine of various sequences, commonly called 'laws,' established or necessitated we know not how." (p. 303.)
Intelligent man has now been evolved. He has enormously modified the surface of the earth and altered its distribution of plants and animals. This new animal, man, endowed with a little power and some intelligence, ought, Galton holds, to assume a deliberate and conscious part in furthering the great work of evolution.
"He may infer the course it is bound to pursue, from his observation of that which it has already followed, and he might devote his modicum of power, intelligence and kindly feeling to render its future progress less slow and painful. Man has already furthered evolution very considerably, half unconsciously, and for his own personal advantages, but he has risen to the
conviction that it is his religious duty to do so deliberately and systematically." (p. 304.)
Thus was the Darwinian doctrine raised by Galton to a religious creed.
The next section of the book, entitled Selection and Race, needs, I venture to think, some modification. Galton, having only dealt with the correlation of two variates, misunderstood, as I shall show later, the phe= nomena of regression. His statement here that the stringent selection of the best specimens of a race to rear and breed from can never lead to any permanent result, is, I feel sure, erroneous, and due to a wrong interpretation of multiple regression. Further, I doubt his assumption of the