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Human Genetics Problems and Approaches - Eugenics and Francis Galton

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The next step adopted by Galton was to incorporate the “ calculus of probabilities” into “ his analysis of mental heredity” (Cowan, 511-12). He tried to rank geniuses using “ some standard measurement of genius” and the “ law of deviations” (Cowan, 512). Galton counted the British population approximately as fifteen million males (a male chauvinist that he was if considered from a present-day perspective) and tried to count “ extremely brilliant and extremely stupid men” (Cowan, 512). As he had no authentic additional data to perfect this investigation, all his further enquiries were focused on getting better sources of data in this regard (Cowan, 512).

To measure the variations in the intelligence of the entire population, Galton collected data from all the public schools in the country (Cowan, 515). He also tried to use Darwin’ s theory of pangenesis to quantify data on heredity, even with the support of Darwin and failed miserably (Cowan, 515). Galton used binomial expansions to prepare a model for heredity and correlated this concept with nature and nurture dichotomy (Cowan, 515). This attempt also was a failure. Galton had refuted Darwin’ s theory of pangenesis after conducting tests using rabbits and then went on to formulate the concept of nature-nurture dichotomy (Fancher, 89).

He repeated his experiments on heredity using same-sex twins as well (Fancher, 89). The next experiment of Galton was with sweat pea, which he himself cultivated and also made his friends to cultivate and send the yield to him for analysis (Fancher, 90; Cowan, 516-517). Parallel to this experiment, an experiment on the height and weight of schoolboys also went on (Cowan, 517). The sweat pea experiment was an attempt to measure “ the change in populations over several generations” so that he can support the schoolboy statistics with this secondary data (Cowan, 517).

Thus, Galton thought, the variation among one generation and among different generations could be measured. With his sweat pea experiment, Galton was able to prove that heredity, in general, has a tendency to clutter to the mean or show great variations from the mean.  

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preview essay on Human Genetics Problems and Approaches - Eugenics and Francis Galton
  • Pages: 10 (2500 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Science
  • Level: Ph.D.
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