Characterisation, especially by Letters 505
42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. July 1, 1898.
DEAR GEORGE DARWIN, Your small son has, I hear, a faculty about which I have been particularly interested in another child, namely the aptitude of identifying the perforated discs used for musical boxes. I wish you would talk it over with your wife, and perhaps make a few experiments and tell me the result on Wednesday. The experiments I mean, are by taking the pile of discs and pulling out one of them very gradually from among the pile until he recognises it.'
Does he know them with equal ease, face upwards or face downwards?
How many does he distinguish? At what age did he begin to do so? Am I right (do you think) in supposing that it is a similar act of memory to that of recollecting a hieroglyph or a scroll pattern, or the like, or is there any
possibility of suggesting the tune, in the distribution of the holes? I should be very glad of some verbal information about this, as the case I have heard of in Northumberland seems to be a very curious one, hard to explain except on the hypothesis of a portentous memory of patterns. Do you think that you yourself could easily recollect and distinguish the discs? Can the other children? Ever yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
42, RUTLAND GATE, S. W. November 16, 1898.
DEAR PROFESSOR KARL PEARSON, Possibly you may intend going to the Royal Society "at home" on Thursday (to-morrow). If so, or otherwise, will you dine as my guest at the Philosophical Club? It is not necessary or even usual to dress. It would, I thought, have been possibly a breach of etiquette, had I written, as soon as I knew it was settled, to congratulate you heartily on the forthcoming award of the Darwin Medal of the Royal Society. It seems in every way most appropriate. I am delighted at the wisdom of the choice.,
Very sincerely yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
The enclosed card will give needful particulars as to the Phil. Club.
7, WELL ROAD, IIAMPSTEAD, N.W. November 30, 1898.
MY DEAR MR GALTON, I quite realise the difficulty about the term Reproductive Selection, but I sought in vain three years ago for a better, and failing to find one have used it ever since in my papers. I think also that it has something, not very much perhaps, in its favour. Evolution takes place by taking out of the community A, B, C, D, E, F, X, Y, Z, certain members L, M, N, and putting them into a position of advantage for propagating their kind. Anything which contributes to this advantage is selection, a differential death-rate is Darwin's natural selection, it should be Selection of the Fitter as all selection in wild life is "natural." Selection by a differential birth-rate is my reproductive selection; it is selection of the most fertile. There is a third kind-selection by a differential pairing rate, individuals L, ill and N pair, or on the whole pair, more frequently than A, B, C,.... This is also a possible progressive source of change. It can be demonstrated to exist in civilised man, I am uncertain whether it is actual as well as potential in wild life. All these three kinds of selection are factors in potentia of evolution, but the last two involve no destruction. A uniform, non-differential death-rate will still cause progressive change. Thus a selection of Celtic over Teutonic elements in a population might arise without any survival of the fitter, if (i) the Celts married equally frequently with the Teutons, but were more prolific, or (ii) if the Celts and Teutons were equally prolific, but the Teutons married less frequently than the Celts. In both cases we might speak of selection. In the former case we have selection by differential fertility, in the latter case by frequency of pairing. In both, to be effective, the fertility must be inherited or the relative tendency to pair, inherited. The former is what I term Reproductive Selection, the latter is-what? Please send me a name for it, before I find it absolutely needful to coin one.
Yours always sincerely, KARL PEARSON.
42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. November 30, 1898.
MY DEAR PROFESSOR K. PE ARSON, It is not so much the word " Selection " that seems to be a stumbling block, as Reproductive. I did my best to think it out, owing to the fact that 'the Royal Society paper was sent to me as one of the Referees, and it was a duty to do so. What I then wrote was somewhat to this effect: (1) The termination of the adjective should accord with natural, artificial, sexual, and therefore be "-al," or its equivalent "-ic," for
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