Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 79.djvu/183

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179
FRANCIS GALTON

or which may probably be made of composite photography would lead us too far afield.

Biology and Biometry, Human Faculty and Heredity

When Charles Darwin's name was proposed before the French Academy for membership in the zoological section one of the immortals strongly opposed, and offered to put a hundred others before him because of their contributions of demonstrable facts.

Now whether Darwin is to be ranked as a zoologist or Galton as a biologist is one of those irrelevant questions the answer to which depends entirely upon definition. If biologist means only a worker in a historically fenced in field, then Mr. Galton has little claim to be known as a biologist. If, however, the term biology belongs to a living instead of a dead language and is capable of changing its meaning as men untrammeled by traditional barriers suggest new methods which broaden and deepen, if a man is to be judged by the directing influence he exerts as well as by the pages he publishes, then Francis Galton must take rank as a very great biologist indeed.

His South African narrative contains practically no observations on natural history of the kind generally found in works of exploration. Possibly this side of the work was left entirely to his companion, Charles J. Andersson, who was particularly interested in natural history, and afterwards continued observations and wrote on the region which they had opened up, for there are in Mr. Galton's book many keen observations on the behavior of his cattle. This interest in and capacity for detailed study of the behavior of animals is also evident in the "Art of Travel." A paper on "Gregariousness in Cattle and in Men" was published in 1872.

The only piece of work along at all conventional lines was his memoir on "Patterns in Thumb and Finger Marks," published by the Royal Society.

Experimental methods in biology attracted him. He wrote on experimental moth breeding as a means of verifying certain important constants in the general theory of heredity, and performed experiments to test the theory of pangenesis by breeding from rabbits of a pure variety into whose circulation blood from other varieties had been largely transfused. Thus forty years ago he undertook problems analogous to those which are now being attacked by quite a different method—namely by the transplantation of ovaries. Experimental studies in the inheritance of size of seed in sweet peas formed a part of the basis of his well-known law of regression.

If, as will be shown later, Francis Galton's great contribution to botany and zoology was that of method, the case is very different in that branch of biology which pertains to man.

The volume on South Africa attests a live interest in racial traits