Eugenics as a Creed and the Last Decade of Galton's Life 303
use, under the ever-haunting fear lest the exactitude of their results may not outrun the trustworthiness of the data. That is all. My fundamental misgiving is concerned with a too free use of the statistical axiom: "that unspecified influences tend to neutralise one another in a homogeneous series." My doubt always dwells on the questionable assumption of homogeneity, believing that extreme values are liable to be often caused by an heterogeneous admixture, present and active though undiscerned. So I love the ruder but theoretically correct statistics overmuch, feeling always safer within their moderate limits of one or two decimal places. All this is quite harmless, is it not? It is a purely general statement quite without reference to Biometrika.
I will with pleasure send a revised note about the centile matter, for it wanted re-writing.
I should be very glad to pay for the calculation of centiles and one tenths of centiles (in other words of mill-iles if such an awkward word existed) in terms of the P.E. and to 3 decimal places for printing in/Biometrika, together with the revised matter. The present centile table is not quite minute enough to save trouble in interpolation. It is printed in Natural Inheritance. The form of it might be improved and if you approve I will draft what I mean and send it. Would you care to insert it in Biometrika if calculated? And can you find a calculator? I look forward to seeing your table of amounts of pigmentation.
About the Eugenics Office-what can I now do? I am still in a position to make terms with the University, before paying into their hands next month the promised £1000 to carry on the Fellowship for two additional years. Why should I not make it a condition that it should be treated as a department of the Biometric Laboratory and be wholly under your control? This would suit my views perfectly. Hereafter when the Professorship is established and a tradition of accuracy has been formed the Office could take a wider scope, as already arranged. Do tell me what you think I had best do.
I have not seen Lock's book yet. Murray wrote me saying he was about to publish a book by a Caius man (I forget the name but presume Lock) on Heredity, who wished to insert a portrait of me together with others and asking if I could spare a photo for the purpose. I sent three to choose from; the one he selected was the non-copyright one by Mrs Brian Hodgson, the same photo as that in Biometrika, which has also been published elsewhere more than once.
I hope you will pitch into any errors this writer may have made in his book.
Montague Crackanthorpe has been writing to me about his very readable paper in the current Fortnightly. He has many irons in the fire, I must urge him to keep the Eugenic iron red-hot.
Ever affectionately yours, FRANCIS G ALTON.
Copy of a rough Draft of a Letter to Sir Arthur Rocker.
Dec. 16, 1906.
I feel in some difficulty about the immediate future of the Eugenics Office. Prof. Karl Pearson expresses himself as most desirous to give help to myself personally but fears a greater loss of time and energy than he can spare if the management of the Office by him requires his frequent attendance at S. Kensington for Cttee meetings and discussions on points of detail. There must of course be two opposing views which it is hard to harmonise : (1) The reasonable desire of the University to strictly control a department that avails itself of its prestige and occupies rooms that it provides; (2) The desire of the man who works it to do so with the minimum of "red-tape" entanglement. The question is the more difficult because so far as I know there is as yet no one available for the immediate appointment as Fellow, who can fill the Office properly without considerable statistical oversight, such as Pearson almost alone could give and would I think be willing to give if be had a free hand. Personally I should be quite satisfied if the management of the Eugenics Office could be put for a while under the complete control of K. P. as a branch of his Biometric Laboratory, but whether you would approve of this I do not know, neither do I know whether K. Pearson would accept the charge though I have hopes that after persuasion he might do so. Invalidism sadly hampers me. My intention though not my promise is to continue the £500 annually during my life and, as you know, I have made provision for a considerably larger support after my death. But before paying the £1000 to the University thus prolonging the annual grant up to 3 years from now, one year being already provided for, I should like to be assured that the immediate future of the Office is arranged for in a way likely to give good results without that assistance which I feel no longer able to give.