Eugenics as a Creed and the Last Decade of Galton's Life 319
tion." It had to wait till the publication of Natural Inheritance in 1889; then Galton found the lieutenants he stood in need of
The publication of that book proved to be more timely than that of the former. The methods were greatly elaborated by Professor Karl Pearson, and applied by him to Biometry. Professor Weldon of this University, whose untimely death is widely deplored, aided powerfully. A new science was thus created primarily on behalf of Biometry, but equally applicable to Eugenics because their provinces overlap [i.e. in Man]. The publication of Biometrika...began in 1901." (p. 10.)
Galton then refers to the Huxley Lectures of 1901 and 1903, and to his own papers of 1904 and 1905, to the establishment in the latter year of the Eugenics Record Office with its Research Fellow, and to the foundation in the year of the lecture of the Laboratory for National Eugenics. It is a brief, but adequate history of the small beginnings of the new science, concluding with its definition, that of the Uiiiversity of London Committee.
I have so far passed over the earlier portion of this section which does not really belong to the History of Eugenics, but rather to that of Evolution. Galton refers to that wondrous creation the Hyperion of Keats, to the succession of deities ; Chaos ; Heaven and Earth ; the Titan brood ; the Olympian Gods. Each ousting their parents, and forming a notable advance, physically and mentally, on their predecessors. Thus Galton would have each generation of men advancing by their self-constituted control of evolution through heredity to higher qualities
"So on our heels a fresh perfection treads,
A power more strong in beauty, born of us, And fated to excel us, as we-pass In glory that old Darkness." (ll. 212-15.)
Thus in his 86th year Galton showed how little he had lost of that poetic imagination, which always marked his fertile mind. He could read into the barbaric theogony of primitive Greece a lesson for the men of to-day.
The second section of the lecture is entitled : Application of Theories of Probability to Eugenics. It commences with the statement that Eugenics demands quantitative results. It is not content with such vague words as
much" or "little," but seeks to know "how much" or "how little" in precise and trustworthy figures. Given, Galton says, that we know that a certain class of persons, A, is afflicted with some specified degree of degeneracy we wish to find out how many of their offspring, B, will also be afflicted and to what extent. Further we want to find out : " What will be the trustworthiness of the forecast derived from averages when it is applied to individuals?" Galton then turns for a measureof untrustworthiness to the average deviation, D, from the forecast.
" The smaller D is, the more precise the forecast and the stronger the justification for taking such drastic measures against the propagation of class B as would be consonant to the feelings, if the forecast were known to be infallible. On the other hand a large D signifies a corresponding degree of uncertainty and a risk which might be faced without reproach through a sentiment akin to that expressed in the maxim ' It is better that many guilty should escape