Full text: Problems in eugenics

192Section III.A. Niceforo. 
But to utilise these data one must sort out all this material, removing every 
observation (and it must be said that it entails a great quantity of data) 
which does not respond to the precepts of statistic methodology (homo­ 
geneousness, insufficiency of the number of observations, material which 
cannot be compared, and so on). Then one must elaborate the usable 
material by a more exact method than that already employed; I mean 
that one must endeavour to introduce into the elaboration those recent 
methods of statistical analysis which have given to methodology a new flight. 
The first chapter of our researches is therefore a chapter of critical history 
and of reconstruction. 
The second chapter, on the contrary, is made up of the following personal 
investigations. I have taken the anthropometric measurements of about 
4,000 children of the two sexes belonging to primary and secondary schools 
in Lausanne, classified according to their degree of comfort; I have 
then compared from the point of view of their physical development 
and of sensibility tested by the aid of the esthesiometer of Brown-Sequard, 
groups of workmen and groups of my Law Students—I have, besides, 
studied, one by one, a hundred skulls from the ossuary of one of the poorest 
rural communes of the south of Italy (in order to make anthropometric and 
morphological observations on the dry skull of a professional group of the 
very poor)—and, finally, I have put in co-relation, making use of the well- 
known co-efficients of co-relation, the indications of economic comfort in the 
different quarters of Lausanne, with the rates of mortality, the causes of 
death, etc., for the same quarters. 
I pass over in silence many other soundings taken in this sort of ocean 
so extended and so suggestive, for I am anxious to arrive at conclusions. 
I think I do not deceive myself in asserting that the groups formed 
by individuals belonging to the lower classes present, in comparison 
with subjects of the higher classes, a lesser development of the figure, 
of the cranial circumference, of the sensibility, of the resistance to 
mental fatigue, a delay in the epoch when puberty manifests itself, a 
slowness in the growth, a larger number of anomalies and of cases of 
arrested development; in brief, a very large number of indications which 
can be expressed with all the exactitude of figures, denoting an 
organism which places itself—in a binominal curve where should be ranked 
the different human values, in the direction of the lowest values. 
The groups formed by these same individuals belonging to the lower 
classes present in addition demographic characters well known by statis­ 
ticians; the lower classes have a greater death rate and a greater birth rate; 
the frequency of certain causes of death; a lower rate of movement from 
place to place; precocity in the age of marriage; a predilection for certain 
forms of crime, etc.

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