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184   Life and Letters of Francis Galton

classification arch, loop, whorl, and states that by including forked arches and nascent loops (see our Plate XI, p. 181) as ,arches, he has given a more liberal interpretation to the latter category in the tables of this chapter than he has done elsewhere. His fundamental table is the following

Percentage Frequency of Arches, Loops and Whorls on the different
Digits from Observations on 5000 Digits of 500 Persons.

 Digit Right Hand Left Hand Arch Loop Whorl Total Arch Loop Whorl Total Thumb   ... 3 53 44 100 5 65 30 100 Fore Finger 17 53 30 100 17 55 28 100 Middle Finger 7 78 15 100 8 76 16 100 Ring Finger 2 53 45 100 3 66 31 100 Little Finger 1 86 13 100 2 90 8 100 Total 30 323 147 500 35 352 113 500 Percentage (Whole Hand) 6 65 29 100 7 70 23 100

From this, table the following inferences may be drawn

The patterns are not distributed indifferently either on the hands or on the individual digits. The right hand has a redundancy of whorls and the left of loops. The Fore Finger and to a lesser extent the Middle Finger have a redundancy of arches, the Little Finger and the Middle Finger a redundancy of loops, while the Thumb, Fore Finger and Ring Finger have the highest number of whorls. When we compare the corresponding digits of the two hands, we see little differentiation of pattern in Fore Finger, Middle Finger or Little Finger, but a more marked difference between the Thumbs and Ring Fingers of the two hands. While in the first group the percentages differ in the three fingers but are the same in the two hands, in the second group they are nearly the same in the two fingers but differ in the two hands (pp. 115-118)

Dealing with the slope of the loop Galton notes that the "inner" slope is much the more rare of the two for all the fingers but the forefingers, where the proportions of inner to outer slopes are about in the ratio of 2 to 3 (39'/. and 61'/.)*.

The second problem, that of the resemblance of pattern in different digits, is divided by Galton into two sections, that of the resemblance in the same digits of the two hands, and that of the resemblance of different digits either in the same or different hands. He omits the little fingers because in 86'/. to 90'/. of cases both are loops.

* Purkenje appears to consider that while the inner slope is the more rare, it is actually in the forefingers in excess of the outer.