Recognized HTML document
Previous Index Next

Eugenics as a Creed and the Last Decade of Galton's Life 397

directly or indirectly criticised his books, although I think they have done great harm to the cause of Eugenics in the minds of many who would otherwise have been sympathetic. But the recent tone he has taken amounts to an accusation that the Laboratory has been and is wasting the money provided by you. I feel that the time has come when it is necessary for me to reply to the sort of charges X. scatters. It will be unpleasant work because brushing off mud is always unpleasant, but if you leave thrown mud long enough on the best of coats, you'are ultimately mistaken for a vagabond. I have delayed writing to you on this point, because I felt sure you would not like any controversy between two supporters of Eugenics. I have rigidly left X. alone on this very account, hoping that he would have the good sense to treat us in the same manner; he has not done so, and my patience is practically exhausted. He has anticipated that I should not reply to him, because of his connection with the Eugenics Education Society and my connection with the Galton Laboratory. It seems to me, however, that the time has come when some step must be taken. If you feel, as I do, that any attack on a member of the Council of the Eugenics Education Society is incompatible with my official relationship to your Eugenics Laboratory, I will resign officially as from the end of this year. This will allow of completing Part IV of the Treasury, for which we are pledged to subscribers for this year. I will give every aid-no less than at present-for the forthcoming year to Heron and Miss Elderton so that they can finish the work they have in hand, and there will be time to think of the future during the year. This will relieve you of any anxiety for the continuity of matters, but I shall give the aid, not as director but as a personal friend of the young people here. At the same time I shall feel perfectly free to reply to the criticisms which X. has been making of their work and of the expenditure of the Laboratory, which they are not able to make themselves.

I had hoped that the Eugenics Education Society would do its own work and leave us to do ours, but some members of the Council think otherwise, and as they choose to throw down the gauntlet, I must take it up, though I do so very reluctantly, and particularly because I feel it can but pain you. Still, I think you will, if you imagine yourself trying to work the Laboratory in my place, admit that you could not pass by charges of what really amounts to wasting the founder's money. Please remember that I am and shall always be,

Yours very affectionately, KARL PEARSON.

THE RECTORY, HASLEMERE. November 2, 1909.

MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, It is painful news to me about X., whose articles I have not seen. Of course, if he attacks your work directly or otherwise, the right to reply rests with you and I do not see that the closeness of his connection with the Eugenics Education Society need deter you. It is of course bad for the progress of Eugenics when two workers in it disagree, and gives an opening to ill wishers to say nasty things, but all that must be faced. I do not know whether my name has been used in the attacks, but I authorise you to say, if it helps your argument, that the conduct of the Eugenics Laboratory under your control meets with my complete confidence and satisfaction. Thanks many for the number of relations in near degrees. The paternal and maternal figures strongly corroborate one another. I hope it will eventually work out thus:

A man (or woman) has (   ) brothers (   ) sisters

(   ) father's brothers (   ) father's sisters

(   ) mother's brothers (   ) mother's sisters

and so on for first cousins, so far as the data permit.

Thanks also, very many, for the heredity problem. What I want is the mean deviation of the offspring of parental couples in whom the father deviates (by Gaussian calculations) not less than d from the average. It would thus take the form of class-places. Thus, if the fathers are all selected men, in the ratio of the best out of 50 (or out of 100) of the general adult male population, what would be the class-place of the mean value of their offspring?

Enclosed is a photo for you of Wee Ling held by my man-nurse, Cbarman. He strengthens and grows weekly, and is petted though he gnaws perpetually.

Ever affectionately yours, FRANCIS GALTON.


Previous Index Next