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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/296

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otherwise, however, have no distinct kinship with genius since they are low of stature relatively to the fair whites and possess dark eyes.

Beyond this it may be safe so far to generalize as to declare that individuals of artistic or literary genius in general possess wavy or curly hair, and that even in the case of genius it is not amiss to look for a coarse organization where the hair is coarse and stiff. If, moreover, our data may be relied upon, red and yellow hair rarely accompany genius.

It must be confessed, however, after all is said, that anything beyond tentative conclusions seem forbidden by the scantiness of the data available upon this subject. The inattention of many biographers to the details of personal appearance is a blighting obstacle in inquiries of this nature, and, even where present in works of biography, the absence of adequate indexes makes the task of gathering this information tedious and painful. The fact, moreover, of the predominance of American and English names, and the presence of names of merely accidental distinction, or of mere eminence instead of genius, hinders the usefulness of the average library as an agency for research of this character, and the want of authentic data as to the physical traits of the average individual of the several nationalities but adds to the difficulties of the investigator. The all-important desideratum, be it said, is a list carefully sifted from the catalogue of the world's great names, sufficiently large and discriminating to reduce to the minimum the proportion of names of merely accidental or local note yet gathered by such method as to fairly represent all nationalities. This supplied and the worker furnished as to each nationality with reliable data respecting the details of stature and physiognomy of the average individual, research of truly scientific character would be possible. No better list of names, perhaps, could be desired, as a starting point for research, than the thousand names submitted by Professor Cattell in The Popular Science Monthly for February, 1903, as representing the world's most famous persons, carefully gathered as that list was from the biographical encyclopedias of America and Europe, though even as to this list of names the distinction between men of mere eminence and men of true genius would need to be constantly kept in mind. Nothing short, however, of investigation based upon such a catalogue of names—an investigation, it is plain, which only the amplest library facilities would permit—could be productive of results that might be regarded as final.

In the meanwhile the importance of the subject itself is not to be belittled. As said by Professor Cattell at the outset of the article we have mentioned, "It is now time that great men should be studied as a part of social evolution and by methods of exact and statistical science." This is being done as regards the criminal, and assuredly genius has no less a claim upon the time and talents of our workers.