Correlation and Application of Statistics to Problems of Heredity 127
as his independent contribution, it could have been criticised in the usual way ; he could have defended it, and its merits as well as the difficulties of its subject would have been amply recognised. As it was the reason given for the criticisms (which came from more than one quarter) was that of saving the Committee -from making serious blunders*. The Chairman became the centre to which attack and rejoinder were directed, and in despair he wrote to Weldon on November 17, 1896
"Herewith is another paper from Bateson, and I enclose with this his accompanying letter to myself. We must talk over what is the fairest course to adopt when we meet (as we probably shall) before the meeting of the R. Soc. on Thursday.
" You see that he offers to print his four letters for circulation among members of the Committee. My greatest difficulty in thinking what should be done arises from the lengthiness of these papers. I wish the issue could be stated in much more condensed language.
"It would in many ways be helpful, if Bateson were made a member of our Committee, but I know you feel that in other ways it might not be advisable j'. The other members besides yourself hardly do enough."
In 1897 the Committee was enlarged by the addition of zoologists and breeders, some of whom had small desire to assist quantitative methods of research-Sir E. Clarke, F. D. God man, W. Heape, E. Ray Lankester, E. J. Lowe, M. T. Masters, 0. Salvin, W. T. Thiselton-Dyer and W. Bateson. It was further rechristened "Evolution (Plants and Animals) Committee of the Royal Society." For several years there was no dominant personality, who could effectively guide this very mixed assembly. Personally I ceased to attend its meetings, resigning in 1900, and was followed in that year by Weldon and later by Galton. Mr Godman then became Chairman and the Reports of the Committee were devoted entirely to the publications of Bateson and his school. The capture of the Committee was skilful and entirely successful$. I think the feeling of the young biometricians towards Galton's enlarged Committee was more or less expressed by the letter to Galton I now quote, the date is February 12, 1897
"I wanted to write a few words to you about yesterday's meeting, but have hardly bad, nor indeed hardly now have time to do so. I felt sadly out of place in such a gathering of biologists, and little capable of expressing opinions, which would only have hurt their feelings
* A paraphrase of some of these criticisms will indicate the spirit in which they were written. Vast labour, it was said, had been put into the work and its author no doubt thought himself justified in the conclusions put forward. Perhaps the Committee had thought too little of the responsibility it undertook in publishing such work. The author must know that many would accept his conclusions though few would be able to follow the paper or judge the matter for themselves. Nevertheless the critic found the evidence so inadequate and superficial that he could not understand how responsible people could entertain the question of accepting it. He very truly regretted the countenance given to such a production, etc. etc. Poor Galton! There are some people, whose unfortunate temperaments compel them to believe that as a matter of conscience they are born to be their brothers' keepers.
fi Bateson had absolutely no sympathy with the statistical treatment of biological problems, the very work for which the Committee had been appointed.
+ Perhaps the small understanding shown by the ruling spirits of the Royal Society of what had taken place, was evidenced in 1906, when inquiries were made as to whether the Society would accept the Weldon Memorial Medal and Premium, and the President wrote suggesting that the Evolution Committee would be an appropriate selecting body 1