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CHAP. xIL]   SUMMARY.

193

the processes of heredity. By their aid, the desired equation was thrown into an exceedingly simple form of approximative accuracy, and it became easy to compare both it and its consequences with the varied results of observation, and thence to deduce numerical results.

A brief account of the chief hereditary processes occupies the first part of the book. It was inserted principally in order to show that a reasonable a priori probability existed, of the law of Frequency of Error being found to apply to them. It was not necessary for that purpose to embarrass ourselves with any details of theories of heredity beyond the fact, that descent either was particulate or acted as if it were so. I need hardly say that the idea, though not the phrase of particulate inheritance, is borrowed from Darwin's provisional theory of Pangenesis, but there is no need in the present inquiry to borrow more from it. Neither is it requisite to take Weissmann's views into account, unless I am mistaken as to their scope. It is freely conceded that particulate inheritance is not the only factor to be reckoned with in a complete theory of heredity, but that the stability of the organism has also to be regarded. This may perhaps become a factor of great importance in forecasting the issue of highly bred animals, but it was not found to exercise any sensible influence on those calculations with which this book is chiefly concerned. Its existence has therefore been only noted, and not otherwise taken into account.

The data on which the results mainly depend had to be