Recognized HTML document
Previous Index Next

490   Life and Letters of Francis Galton

But when the comparison is made between the paternal and maternal influences it certainly does seem that the father's influence on the son is uncommonly smaller than the mother's influence on the daughter

Paternal Influence

Maternal Influence

F. S.   F. D.

M. S.   M. D.

18   52

31   69   on same fingers





7   166   on opposite fingers 238

It is 18 against 69. It is true that there are only half as many sons as daughters : therefore the corrected proportions are as 36 to 69, but this is an enormous difference ; too great for mere chance, apparently. Also, the other figures give 88 against 166. The influence of mother on son .seems also equal to that of mother on daughter : the figures uncorrected being 31 : 69, 72: 166, or corrected by doubling the sons, 62: 69, 144: 166. On comparing paternal with maternal influences, the results are not sufficiently congruent, for 70: 100 (14.3) is a different ratio from 155: 238 (13.5). One must not be too much impressed by the lesser magnitude of the latter number. It would be fairer to compare the number of the 31 families in which the maternal influence prevailed, than to compare the individuals in those families. Taking the last paragraph into account, I should not dare to ascribe to the results more than a suspicion that the mother's influence is stronger than the father's. This really ought to be worked out and placed beyond doubt*. I will see what evidence I can collect for you. In haste,

Very faithfully yours, FRANCIS GALTON.

A Bar-lock is busy n my room, copying the MS. at a great rate.

42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. May 29, 1892.

DEAR MR COLLINS, Here is all that seems to come out of the fraternal heredity. (I will leave the maternal, just for the present.) It would be satisfactory were it not for the curious anomaly of the loops, referred to in the last paragraph. Also, I cannot succeed in bringing these data within the grip of the formula in Natural Inheritance, or even to make a proper comparison between the two. It is too puzzling for me at present, the problem being a peculiar one. These data give one much to think about. I will go again at Race now. If a Royal Society paper can be made out of the Heredity and Race, it will have at this late season of the year to be merely nominally read. There is only one meeting after the next, towards the third week in June, and that is technically called the " Massacre of the Innocents." The papers are not read except hurriedly, or only their titles; but they get printed all the same. I am pegging away steadily but the work is slow.

I am truly glad that you really like the book thus far. The chapter on Identification will be greatly improved. The first Introductory Chapter will of course now be written the last. Hardly any of that which was done will do now.

What a glorious day Saturday was. I rushed off after luncheon finding there was just time to catch a special Saturday train to Hampton Court. The boats on the river were most pretty and numerous, and full of nice, merry-looking people.

Very faithfully yours, FRANCIS CALTON.

* I have had to correct Galton's figures in the above schemes, and, corrected, they modify to some extent the results as they stood in his letter. I have cancelled the very strong he put before suspicion. On the point in question ; see Vol. uiA, p. 192.

Previous Index Next