Eugenics as a Creed and the Last Decade of Galton's Life 273
Galton says that some contributors to the discussion had been unnecessarily alarmed. No question had been raised by him of breeding men like animals for particular points, to the disregard of all-round efficiency in physical and intellectual (including moral*) qualities and in the hereditary worth of their stock. (Personally also I very much doubt whether most breeders select animals for individual points without close regard to other characteristics.) Galton remarks that
"Moreover, as statistics have shown, the best qualities are largely correlated. The youths who became judges, bishops, statesmen, and leaders of progress in England could have furnished formidable athletic teams in their times. There is a tale, I know not how far founded on fact,
that Queen Elizabeth had an eye to the calves of the legs of those she selected for bishops. There is something to be said in favour of selecting men by their physical characteristics for other than physical purposes. It would decidedly be safer to do so than to trust to pure
chance." (p. 50.)
(iii) The Residue. Galton does not make here a very strong reply to those who objected that, after the selection of the fitter, the residue would interbreed and grow increasingly inferior-. He appears to overlook his own point, that it is essential to create a differential fertility, so that the better stocks increase at a greater rate.
(iv) Passion of Love. To the argument that " Love is lord of all," and will not be restrained, Galton replies that a slight inclination and falling thoroughly in love are two different things, and it is against the former that taboo applies, whether it is due to rank, creed, connections or other causes. "The proverbial 'Mrs Grundy' has enormous influence in checking the marriages she considers indiscreet." (p. 51.)
(v) Eugenics as a Factor in Religion. Here Galton adds to his memoir two additional pages (pp. 52-3) as a short essay on this topic. He considers that Eugenics strengthens the sense of social duty in so many important ways-for it promotes wise philanthropy, the notion of parentage as a serious responsibility and a higher conception of patriotism-that its conclusions ought "to find a welcome home in every tolerant religion." There follows a vivid description of "mechanical" evolution-one of the finest word-paintings that perhaps anyone has made of the world's history-and then the statement that man has already largely influenced the quality and distribution of organic life on the earth and that if he will only recognise it, it largely lies in his power to influence the evolution of humanity itself. The brief essay concludes with the lines that occupy a place of prominence in the Galton Laboratory of National Eugenics as among the most stimulating words of its Founder
"Eugenic belief extends the function of philanthropy to future generations, it renders its action more pO?vading than hitherto, by dealing with families and societies in their entirety,
* This confirms my view (see, p. 224) that Galton would have included the moral with the mental characters.
t He supposes that in the future there would be a freer action for selective agencies, e.g. there would be a reduction of indiscriminate charity, but this seems a return, with emphasis, to the crude processes of natural selection.
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