Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

104 
NATURAL INHERITANCE. 
[CHAI’. 
crown of the head, upwards or downwards as the case 
may be, and not from the ground to the crown of the 
head. (In the population with which I am now dealing, 
the level of mediocrity is 68J inches (without shoes).) 
The law of Regression in respect to Stature may be 
phrased as follows ; namely, that the Deviation of the 
Sons from P are, on the average, equal to one-third of 
the deviation of the Parent from P, and in the same 
direction. Or more briefly still :—If P + (± D) be the 
Stature of the Parent, the Stature of the offspring will 
on the average be P + (=fc ^ D). 
If this remarkable law of Regression had been based 
only on those experiments with seeds, in which I first 
observed it, it might well be distrusted until otherwise 
confirmed. If it had been corroborated by a compara¬ 
tively small number of observations on human stature, 
some hesitation might be expected before its truth could 
be recognised in opposition to the current belief that the 
child tends to resemble its parents. But more can be 
urged than this. It is easily to be shown that we ought 
to expect Filial Regression, and that it ought to amount 
to some constant fractional part of the value of the Mid- 
Parental deviation. All of this will be made clear in a 
subsequent section, when we shall discuss the cause of 
the curious statistical constancy in successive generations 
of a large population. In the meantime, two different 
reasons may be given for the occurrence of Regression ; 
the one is connected with our notions of stability of 
type, and of which no more need now be said; the 
other is as follows :—The child inherits partly from his
        

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