Statistical Investigations 395
reader familiar, also his latest instruments and the need for considering the correlation of characters.
Then Galton passes to objections. It had been stated that many great commanders and strategists had a poor physique, and that a Nelson might be excluded. But the proposal did not exclude anybody, that was for the pass medical examination to do. Really able men"would not be excluded by the marks for physical efficiency, which it was proposed should touch only borderline cases.
Another objection was that anthropometric tests did not reach the important quality of energy, which includes pluck, strong will and endurance. Galton admits lacunae here, as in mental testing.
"We must be content with what we can get. It is not impossible that practical tests of energy in some of its forms may yet be discovered. It must be associated with physiological signs that we have not yet had the wit to discover." (p. 24.)
The third objection Galton discusses is the supposed untrustworthiness of the examination he proposes. There is, he says, no reason to suppose that it would be more untrustworthy than a literary examination, and he cites for variability of judgment in a literary examination Edgeworth's paper in the Journal of the Statistical Society of the same year'.
Among problems which the lecturer held could be ultimately settled by tests of this physical kind were the following
(1) Whether the proposed tests of physical efficiency confirmed the
results of athletic competitions.
(2) Whether physical efficiency in youth corresponded to achievement in after life.
(3) What type of physique was best suited to tropical climates.
"It is cruel and costly to tempt youths to the tropics who are less constitutionally capable than others of thriving there. If we could distinguish those who are fitted for life in hot countries, we should select them even though in other respects they may be somewhat wanting. The tropical possessions of England are become so large that it is a matter of national importance to investigate this question thoroughly. It may yet be possible to find varieties of our race who are capable of permanently establishing their families in those climates." (p. 25.)
Thus the far-seeing Galton; we are no nearer a settlement of these problems now than we were when he urged their importance, and the reason of it lies in the fact that the data still fail us. One of his reasons for establishing tests of physical efficiency is the stimulus it would give to the collection of trustworthy records.
him as a favour to price myself, just as if I was a light-coloured African; for I was curious to know my worth as an animal. He took evident pains, and I think was fairly honest, though with a bias towards flattery. Having regard to the then high state of the market, he estimated my worth, on the spot, at a number of piastres that was about equal to £20." (p. 20.)
The price of adult negro slaves in 1690 (Davenant) was £26. Sir William Petty after elaborate calculations valued an Englishman at £69, which King some twenty years later reduced to £65. The most recent valuation that I have come across is that of the average American citizen at about £400 (Davenport). It must be admitted therefore that Galton, aged 23, would have been a distinctly cheap bargain at £20.
1 VOL MIT, pp. 460-75, 644-63, 1890, and compare Vol. LI, pp. 599-635, 1888, and Phil. Hag. 1890, pp. 171-88.