382 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
The next advantage of anthropometry Galton finds in its industrial value, a matter which some of our moderns believe they have discovered for the first time.
"Employers of labour might often find it helpful to require a list of laboratory measurements when selecting between many candidates who otherwise might be equal in merit. Certainly a man who was thereby shown to be measurably much more highly endowed than the generality of his class with physical efficiency, would have a corresponding high chance of being selected for any post in which physical efficiency of the kind tested was of advantage. I have great hope of seeing a system 'of moderate marks for physical efficiency introduced into the competitive
examinations of candidates for the Army, Navy and Indian Civil Services." (p. 8.)
We have here a point to which we must shortly return-the question of marks for physical proficiency, which Galton strongly advocated. I might be inclined to go somewhat further and suggest that when there is doubt-and there often is-between the intellectual merits of two candidates the mental tests of a well-organised anthropometric laboratory would effectively discriminate. The County Council educational authorities are annually in difficulty in the award of their secondary scholarships, not about the boys or girls at the top, but those at the bottom of the selected list, where there are numbers on a nearly dead level, with no adequate examinational differences to guide the judgment. It would be a valuable and justifiable procedure to further separate out the better of these candidates by well-chosen anthropometric tests, which would be certain to appeal to faculties whose differentiation could not be achieved by a written examination.
Another advantage Galton finds in anthropometry is the registration of individuals for identification. Honest men may need identification as well as rogues, and the measurements, especially if finger-prints are included, would suffice to identify any one between the ages of 20 and 60.
Apart from the-shilling's worth of-advantage to the individual, Galton emphasises the scientific ends which can be attained by anthropometric laboratories. He refers to problems such as whether the promises of youth are fulfilled in adult life; if a boy is of high rank among his compeers is it an indication of superior future efficiency in the man? Another problem is that of the influence of education or practice upon both mental and physical characters. Again the influence of environment could be tested as soon as we have precise measures of faculties. Galton notes that even if there be a rapid rise in the efficiency of any factor due to training or environment, it soon reaches a condition in which the daily improvement lessens and at last stands still ; the limit of perfectibility has been reached.'
"Experiences of this kind on a large enough scale to give trustworthy results would have a direct bearing on the science of education." (p. 10.)
Lastly Galton deals with the educational value that a habit of measurement has in promoting accuracy in ideas and language
"The present vague way in which men mostly estimate and describe the performances of themselves or others, testifies to much muddleheadedness and to a sad lack of expression.... There is a world of interest hidden from the minds of the great majority of educated men, to whom the conceptions and laws of the higher statistics are unknown. A familiarity with these conceptions would soon be gained by the habit of dealing with human measurements, as by the