Quotations by Francis Galton


Whenever you can, count.
Quoted in J R Newman, The World of Mathematics (New York 1956).

I know of scarcely anything so apt to impress the imagination as the wonderful form of cosmic order expressed by the "Law of Frequency of Error." The law would have been personified by the Greeks and deified,if they had known of it. It reigns with serenity and in complete self-effacement,amidst the wildest confusion. The huger the mob, and the greater the apparent anarchy, the more perfect is its sway. It is the supreme law of Unreason. Whenever a large sample of chaotic elements are taken in hand and marshaled in the order of their magnitude, an unsuspected and most beautiful form of regularity proves to have been latent all along.
Quoted in J R Newman, The World of Mathematics (New York 1956).

[Statistics are] the only tools by which an opening may be cut through the formidable thicket of difficulties that bars the path of those who pursue the Science of Man.
Quoted in K Pearson, The Life , Letters and Labours of Francis Galton (London 1914)


JOC/EFR February 2006

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