Correlation and Application of Statistics to Problems of Heredity 93
basis of a national religion, in the sense of that word as defined by J. S. Mill, for, though it be without any ultra-rational sanction, it would serve to `direct the emotions and desires of a nation towards an ideal object, recognized as rightly paramount over all selfish objects of desire."' (pp. 761-3.)
I trust this long citation will not have wearied the reader; for his biographer it contains some of the most important lines Galton ever wrote. There is no reason to be afraid of plain words. Man has learnt how to breed plants and most inferior forms of life that are of service to him. He has yet to learn how to breed himself. When he has studied heredity and environment in their influences on man, the application of the laws thus found to the progressive evolution of the race will become the religion of each nation. Such is the goal of Galtonian teaching, the conversion of the Darwinian doctrine of evolution into a religious precept, a practical philosophy of life. Is this more than saying that it must be the goal of every true patriot*?.
L. Miscellaneous Papers on Evolution, Heredity, etc. We may now
turn to a series of short papers by Galton, chiefly published in Nature, and dealing with hereditary and evolutionary topics from 1897 onwards.
The first paper we note is entitled: "Rate of Racial Change that accompanies Different Degrees of Severity in Selection," and will be found in Nature, April 29, 1897 (Vol. Lv, p. 605). This is an important paper, because it deals with the effect of continued selection in modifying a variate continuously distributed in a population. Galton starts with his two-thirds regression of the offspring on the midparent for stature and the reduction of the variability of the offspring of such midparents in the ratio of 1.5 to 1.7 inches. He then continues to select both parents at the 99th, 95th, 90th, 80th and 70th grades for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and an infinite number of generations in order to determine the progression there would be in stature by such continuous selection. Galton, unfortunately ignorant of the formulae of multiple regression, makes three erroneous assumptions, namely: (i) that the regression between each generation is the same, namely 3, notwithstanding the earlier ancestry being as we advance more and more selected; (ii) that the variability of the array of selected ancestry remains for the later generations the same as for the first selected generation ; this is of course incorrect, the variability steadily diminishing towards a finite limit; (iii) that if the selected race be now left to itself, it will regress indefinitely to the old general population mean
" It must be borne in mind, that there is no stability in a breed improved under the supposed conditions; but that as soon as selection ceases it will regress to the level of the rest of the population through stages in which the deviation, at starting, sinks successively tow, 0...w" of
its value t. It may, however, happen that a stable form will arise during the process of high
* Some may question whether we have more here than in Comte's Religion of Humanity. I think so, because it is freed of the ceremonialism which Comte and Gruppe demanded as a factor of religion, and it is essentially based on the acquirement of knowledge in a field of science, which had little if any existence in Comte's day.
t w is Galton's regression coefficient in the case of selected midparent, with no selected previous ancestry.