vu.] DISCUSSION OF THE DATA OF STATURE. 115
clearly, after making many attempts. Their curvatures are so delicate and peculiar that the eye can hardly appreciate them even in a model, without turning it about in different lights and aspects. A plaster model of an intermediate form was exhibited at the Royal Society by Mr. J. D. H. Dickson, when my paper on Hereditary Stature was read, together with his solutions of the problems that are given in the Appendix. I also exhibited arrangements of files and ranks that were made of pasteboard. Mr. Dixon mentioned that the mathematical properties of a Surface of Frequency showed that no strictly straight line could be drawn upon it.
Successive Generations of a People.-We are far too apt to regard common events as matters of course, that require no explanation, whereas they may be problems of much interest and of some difficulty, and still await solution.
Why is it, when we compare two large groups of persons selected at random from the same race, but belonging to different generations, that they are usually found to be closely alike? There may be some small statistical dissimilarity due to well understood differences in the general conditions of their lives, but with this I am not concerned. The present question is as to the origin of that statistical resemblance between successive generations which is due to the strict processes of heredity, and which is commonly observed in all forms of life.