What nature does blindly, slowly and ruthlessly, man may do providently, quickly, and kindly. As it lies within his power, so it becomes his duty to work in that direction.

— Francis Galton

The most mouth-watering Francis Galton quotes that are glad to read

The phrase 'nature and nurture' is a convenient jingle of words, for it separates under two distinct heads the innumerable elements of which personality is composed. Nature is all that a man brings with himself into the world; nurture is every influence without that affects him after his birth.

86

Eugenics is the study of the agencies under social control that may improve or impair the racial qualities of future generations either physically or mentally.

78

The cat is the only non-gregarious domestic animal.

It is retained by its extra-ordinary adhesion to the comforts of the house in which it is reared.

60

One of the effects of civilization is to diminish the rigour of the application of the law of natural selection. It preserves weakly lives that would have perished in barbarous lands.

49

[Statistics are] the only tools by which an opening can be cut through the formidable thicket of difficulties that bars the path of those who pursue the Science of Man.

47

There is a steady check in an old civilisation upon the fertility of the abler classes: the improvident and unambitious are those who chiefly keep up the breed. So the race gradually deteriorates, becoming in each successive generation less fit for a high civilisation.

37

All male animals, including men, when they are in love, are apt to behave in ways that seem ludicrous to bystanders.

34

Whenever you can, count.

33

The object . . . is to discover methods of condensing information concerning large groups of allied facts into brief and compendious expressions suitable for discussion.

32

I do not so easily think in words.... after being hard at work having arrived at results that are perfectly clear... I have to translate my thoughts in a language that does not run evenly with them.

27

Characteristics cling to families.

27

It is always the case with the best work, that it is misrepresented, and disparaged at first, for it takes a curiously long time for new ideas to become current, and the older men who ought to be capable of taking them in freely, will not do so through prejudice.

23

About Francis Galton

Quotes 24 sayings
Profession Polymath
Birthday February 16, 1822

The inferiority of photographs to the best works of artists, so far as resemblance is concerned, lies in their catching no more than a single expression. If many photographs of a person were taken at different times, perhaps even years apart, their composite would possess that in which a single photograph is deficient.

18

Exercising the right of occasional suppression and slight modification, it is truly absurd to see how plastic a limited number of observations become, in the hands of men with preconceived ideas.

12

Life is a republic where the individuals are for the most part unconscious that while they are working for themselves they are also working for the public good.

4

The conditions that direct the order of .

. . the living world . . . are marked by their persistence in improving the birthright of successive generations.

3

I know of scarcely anything so apt to impress the imagination as the wonderful form of cosmic order expressed by the "Law of Frequency of Error." The law would have been personified by the Greeks and deified, if they had known of it. It reigns with serenity and in complete self-effacement, amidst the wildest confusion. The huger the mob, and the greater the apparent anarchy, the more perfect is its sway. It is the supreme law of Unreason.

0

A really intelligent nation might be held together by far stronger forces than are derived from the purely gregarious instincts. A nation need not be a mob of slaves, clinging to one another through fear, and for the most part incapable of self-government, and begging to be led; but it might consist of vigorous self-reliant men, knit to one another by innumerable ties, into a strong, tense, and elastic organisation.

0

The aim of eugenics is to represent each class or sect by its best specimens;

that done, to leave them to work out their common civilization in their own way.

0

Well-washed and well-combed domestic pets grow dull; they miss the stimulus of fleas.

0

It is difficult to understand why statisticians commonly limit their inquiries to Averages, and do not revel in more comprehensive views. Their souls seem as dull to the charm of variety as that of the native of one of our flat English counties, whose retrospect of Switzerland was that, if its mountains could be thrown into its lakes, two nuisances would be got rid of at once.

0

The publication in 1859 of the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin made a marked epoch in my own mental development, as it did in that of human thought generally. Its effect was to demolish a multitude of dogmatic barriers by a single stroke, and to arouse a spirit of rebellion against all ancient authorities whose positive and unauthenticated statements were contradicted by modern science.

0

Some people hate the very name of statistics, but I find them full of beauty and interest. Whenever they are not brutalized, but delicately handled by the higher methods, and are warily interpreted, their power of dealing with complicated phenomena is extraordinary. They are the only tools by which an opening can be cut through the formidable thicket of difficulties that bars the path of those who pursue the Science of Man.

0
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