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194   NATURAL INHERITANCE.   [Cxsr.

collected specially, as no suitable material for the purpose was, so far as I know, in existence. This was done by means of an offer of prizes some years since, that placed in my hands a collection of about 160 useful Family Records. These furnished an adequate though only just an adequate supply of the required data. In order to show the degree of dependence that might be placed on them they were subjected to various analyses, and the result proved to be even more satisfactory than might have been fairly hoped for. Moreover the errors in the Records probably affect different generations in the same way, and would thus be eliminated from the comparative results.

As soon as the character of the problem of Filial descent had become well understood, it was seen that a general equation of the same form as that by which it was expressed, also expressed the connection between Kinsmen in every degree. The unexpected law of universal Regression became a theoretical necessity, and on appealing to fact its existence was found to be conspicuous. If the word "peculiarity" be used to signify the difference between the amount of any faculty possessed by a man, and the average of that possessed by the population at, large, then the law of Regression maybe described as follows. Each peculiarity in a man is shared by his kinsmen, but on the average in a less degree. It is reduced to a definite fraction of its amount, quite independently of what its amount might be. The fraction differs in different orders of kinship, becoming smaller as they are more remote. When the