This might possibly be worth consideration. By a strange coincidence a stranger writes to me this day, making the very same suggestion.

I am quite delighted to hear that my book interests you enough to lead you to read it with some care.

LETTER 412. TO FRANCIS GALTON. Down, January 4th, 1873.

Very many thanks for "Fraser" (412/1. "Hereditary Improvement," by Francis Galton, "Fraser's Magazine," January 1873, page 116.): I have been greatly interested by your article. The idea of castes being spontaneously formed and leading to intermarriage (412/2. "My object is to build up, by the mere process of extensive enquiry and publication of results, a sentiment of caste among those who are naturally gifted, and to procure for them, before the system has fairly taken root, such moderate social favours and preference, no more no less, as would seem reasonable to those who were justly informed of the precise measure of their importance to the nation" (loc. cit., page 123).) is quite new to me, and I should suppose to others. I am not, however, so hopeful as you. Your proposed Society (412/3. Mr. Galton proposes that "Some society should undertake three scientific services: the first, by means of a moderate number of influential local agencies, to institute continuous enquiries into the facts of human heredity; the second to be a centre of information on heredity for breeders of animals and plants; and the third to discuss and classify the facts that were collected" (loc. cit., page 124).) would have awfully laborious work, and I doubt whether you could ever get efficient workers. As it is, there is much concealment of insanity and wickedness in families; and there would be more if there was a register. But the greatest difficulty, I think, would be in deciding who deserved to be on the register. How few are above mediocrity in health, strength, morals and intellect; and how difficult to judge on these latter heads. As far as I see, within the same large superior family, only a few of the children would deserve to be on the register; and these would naturally stick to their own families, so that the superior children of distinct families would have no good chance of associating much and forming a caste. Though I see so much difficulty, the object seems a grand one; and you have pointed out the sole feasible, yet I fear utopian, plan of procedure in improving the human race. I should be inclined to trust more (and this is part of your plan) to disseminating and insisting on the importance of the all-important principle of inheritance. I will make one or two minor criticisms. Is it not possible that the inhabitants of malarious countries owe their degraded and miserable appearance to the bad atmosphere, though this does not kill them, rather than to "economy of structure"? I do not see that an orthognathous face would cost more than a prognathous face; or a good morale than a bad one. That is a fine simile (page 119) about the chip of a statue (412/4. "...The life of the individual is treated as of absolutely no importance, while the race is as everything; Nature being wholly careless of the former except as a contributor to the maintenance and evolution of the latter. Myriads of inchoate lives are produced in what, to our best judgment, seems a wasteful and reckless manner, in order that a few selected specimens may survive, and be the parents of the next generation. It is as though individual lives were of no more consideration than are the senseless chips which fall from the chisel of the artist who is elaborating some ideal form from a rude block" (loc. cit., page 119).); but surely Nature does not more carefully regard races than individuals, as (I believe I have misunderstood what you mean) evidenced by the multitude of races and species which have become extinct. Would it not be truer to say that Nature cares only for the superior individuals and then makes her new and better races? But we ought both to shudder in using so freely the word "Nature" (412/5.

Charles Darwin

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