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A: London, England, United Kingdom

Francis Galton Issues "Hereditary Genius"


In 1869 English polymath: anthropologist, eugenicist, tropical explorer, geographer, inventor, meteorologist, proto-geneticist, psychometrician, and statistician Francis Galton issued Hereditary Genius: An Inquiry into its Laws and Consequences. In this book he presented the results of his investigations of the heritability of scholarly, artistic and athletic talent, using the records of notable families as data.  He concluded that such talents have a high degree of heritability, and that people vary in the kind and degree of hereditary abilities they possess.  He applied the Gaussian or normal (Gaussian) distribution to the range of human abilities, expanding upon Quetelet's observation that certain measurable human characteristics are distributed like the error function, and thus gave a new importance to biological and psychological variation, which had previously been regarded as unimportant.

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