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Galton, Eugenics, and Biological Determinism

Margaret Mead began work on Coming of Age in Samoa, the book that was to become the most widely known of all her writings, in the autumn of 1926. A newly appointed assistant curator of ethnology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, she had just returned from the South Seas, where she had gone in 1925 at the behest of Franz Boas, the celebrated professor of anthropology at Columbia University, to try to establish for the Samoans of Western Polynesia to what extent adolescent behavior was physiologically determined and to what extent culturally determined.1

In the mid 1920s the nature-nurture controversy, which had begun in earnest in about 1910, was still very much alive. „No subject of sociological inquiry within recent years,“ Stuart Rice wrote in 1924, „has proved to be more controversial than the effort to determine the relative importance of biological and of purely social factors in the development of human society.“ On the one hand biologists like H. M. Parshley were maintaining that the child was „a rigid complex of inherited proclivities,“ while on the other J. B. Watson and his supporters were fervently proclaiming that „nurture—not nature“ was responsible „for what the child becomes.“ It was onto this confused and hectic battlefield that the young Margaret Mead sallied.2

The question uppermost in the minds of the scientific world at this time was, as Mead records, „What is human nature?“ It was to answering this and related questions that Mead turned in Coming of Age in Samoa. She swept into the fray armed with the results of a special inquiry devised by Boas, based on evidence she had collected during field research in a remote Polynesian society very different indeed from the America of the 1920s, and the conclusion she announced, to the discomfort of biological determinists and the delight of their opponents, was the complete dominance of nurture over nature. The difficulties and unrest associated with adolescence in the United States and elsewhere had long been regarded as the concomitants of a natural process. Among Samoans, however, according to Mead, such disturbances did not occur. This demonstrated, she concluded, that adolescent behavior had to be explained in purely cultural terms.3

Coming of Age in Samoa appeared in 1928, accompanied by an appreciative foreword by Boas. Later that same year, in his Anthropology and Modern Life, Boas made specific mention of Mead's momentous finding that in Samoa „the adolescent crisis disappears.“ Boas' ready acceptance of this finding and of Mead's sweeping view that social pressure exercises an „absolute determination in shaping the individuals within its bounds“ is understandable, for these conclusions strikingly confirmed his own most cherished beliefs. In 1916 he had launched an attack on the „ambitious theory“ that for some years had been „preached“ by the „apostles of eugenics.“ His own belief, in sharp contrast to that of the eugenicists, was that „the social stimulus is infinitely more potent than the biological mechanism.“ It was precisely this view that his own sturW m Mead, had validated in Samoa/ Margaret

Boas' chief complaint in 1916 was that the battle-cry of the eugenists nature not nurture,„ had been raised to tJrankof a dogma and that in consequence „the environmental conditions that make and unmake man, physically and mentally,“ had been relegated to the background. Boas was well justified in this complaint In 1915, for example, Paul Popenoe, editor of The Journal of Heredity, had affirmed his faith (based he claimed on incontrovertible fact) that „heredity is not' only much stronger than any smgle factor of the environment, in producing important human differences, but is stronger than any possible number of them put together.“ That same year, Karl Pearson, the first Galton Professor of Eugenics at the University of London, had declared that the assertion that „nature is five to ten times as influential as nurture“ was free from any exaggeration and formed a solid ground upon which to base reforms to „accelerate racial progress.“ By the time Boas delivered his broadside against eugenics, assertions like these had become commonplace. Moreover, they were directly linked with racist views like those contained in Madison Grant's The Passing of the Great Race.5

In a lecture at Columbia University in December 1907, Boas had given it as his view that a separation of anthropological methods from the methods of biology and psychology was impossible, and then gone on to express the hope that „the safe methods of biological and psychological anthropometry and anthropology“ would help to remove the problems of „race-mix-ture“ and eugenics from heated political discussion and make them subjects of calm scientific investigation. By 1916, however, his attitude had decisively changed. During the intervening years the eugenics movement had effloresced into a pseudo-scientific cult, and Boas had come to see both eugenics and the racial interpretation of history as irremediably dangerous. The extreme doctrines of the hereditarians, Boas pointed out, had set anthropologists and biologists at odds, and so much so that a „parting of the ways“ had been reached.6

These were portentous words. Within the space of a few months, two of the most able and active of Boas' former students, Alfred Kroeber and Robert Lowie, had published intellectual manifestos that conceptually dissociated cultural anthropology from biology. Their solution was the propounding of a doctrine of absolute cultural determinism that totally excluded biological variables. This turning point in the history of twentieth-century anthropology was the culmination of processes, especially within biology, that had begun during the second half of the nineteenth century. It is to a consideration of these momentous events that I turn in this first chapter, beginning in 1859, the year of publication of Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, and ending in 1911, the year of the death of Francis Galton, „the father of Eugenics,“ who more than anyone else was responsible for the extreme hereditarian doctrines against which Boas, Kroeber, and Lowie so categorically reacted.7

In his preface to Grant's The Passing of the Great Race, written in July 1916, Henry Fairfield Osborn explicitly linked both eugenics and the racial interpretation of history to the „great biological movement“ which went back to the teachings of Francis Galton and August Weismann in the last third of the nineteenth century. These teachings were primarily concerned with the phenomenon of natural selection, and both stemmed from the theory advanced in The Origin of Species, with which had commenced, in Weismann's words, „a new era in biology.“ Although Darwin had been convinced from September 1838, when he first conceived of the way in which natural selection operated in animal populations, „that man must come under the same law,“ he elected to include in The Origin of Species no more than the terse words: „Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.“ Yet from the outset the bearing of Darwin's theory on the human species became the center of passionate debate, as in the confrontation between T. H. Huxley and Samuel Wilberforce in June 1860 at the Oxford meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. One of those present at this famous debate was Francis Galton, the half first cousin of Charles Darwin.8

In 1860 Francis Galton was thirty-eight years of age, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and a gentleman of independent means. After taking his degree at Trinity College, Cambridge he had traveled in Egypt and the Sudan and made a major journey of exploration in South-West Africa, before becoming in 1857 the honorary general secretary of the Royal Geographical Society. By 1859 he had already begun to interest himself in „the human side of Geography,“ and being in this way „prepared to appreciate“ Darwin's theory, absorbed it „almost at once.“ It was an experience that he likened to baptism, and he came to think of Darwin „in the same way as converts from barbarism think of the teacher who first relieved them from the intolerable burden of their superstition.“ From his study of The Origin of Species Galton became deeply convinced that „a great power was at hand wherewith man could transform his nature and destiny.“ Imbued with intense enthusiasm for this idea, he turned his powerful intellect to the possibilities of applying selection to the human species. As early as 1865 he published a general statement of the extreme hereditarian doctrines to which he staunchly adhered for the rest of his days.9

At the time of the publication of Darwin's theory of evolution by means of natural selection, there was no understanding of human cultures as socially inherited systems of information. Instead, it was generally supposed that the differences that existed among human societies had come into being, in the course of their separate histories, through the inheritance of acquired characters. Moreover, credence in the inheritance of „functionally-produced modifications“ (to use Herbert Spencer's term) persisted throughout Darwin's lifetime, for it was not until 1883 that Weismann first advanced convincing evidence for the rejection of Lamarckian doctrine. It was in this setting that Galton began, in the early 1860s, to develop his own far-reaching ideas about the power of hereditary influence in human affairs.

Although in The Origin of Species Darwin explicitly recognized „use and disuse“ as ancillary agents in evolutionary change, it was his view that natural selection had given rise to „all the more important modifications of structure.“ He was closely followed in this by Galton, who from the outset of his own theorizing was even more dubious about the inheritance of acquired characters, giving it as his opinion in 1865 that „if the habits of an individual are transmitted to his descendants, it is, as Darwin says, in a very small degree, and is hardly, if at all, traceable.“ Accordingly, in the formulation of his own views Galton gave complete predominance to natural selection, ruling out Lamarckian mechanisms and giving no effective recognition to the existence of cultural processes.10

Galton's doctrines stemmed from the basic assumption that natural selection, as a pervasively determinative force, applied to all aspects of human character and history. In 1865 he proclaimed „the enormous power of hereditary influence,“ and presented, according to Karl Pearson, such a clear epitome of the whole doctrine of eugenics that „it might almost have been written as a resume of his labours after they were completed.“ He roundly asserted that Darwin's law of natural selection, which acted with „unimpassioned, merciless severity“ in the case of physical qualities, also operated in the case of moral character, religious sentiments, and the like, and that mental characters were the direct products of natural selection just as were physical characters. This extreme conclusion that the law of natural selection resulted in „the like inheritance“ of mental and physical characters became, in Pearson's words, the foundation stone of Galton's life's work, and the most fixed principle of his teaching.11

From Galton's fixed principle that natural selection results in the like inheritance of the mental and physical, and so adequately accounts for human character and history, various related doctrines stemmed, all of them directly impinging on the nascent science of anthropology. Foremostly, Galton's fixed principle was essential to his view of the past evolution of man and his estimation of „the comparative worth of different races.“ Galton was convinced that all of the differences between „savage“ and „civilized“ societies could be explained by the „innate character of different races.“ „Every long-established race,“ he asserted in 1869, „has necessarily its peculiar fitness for the conditions under which it has lived, owing to the sure operation of Darwin s law of natural selection.“12

Giving natural selection this totally determinative power and lacking any appreciation of cultural values and processes' Galton was swiftly led to overweening conclusions, many of them, in the light of present knowledge, markedly racist. The white residents of North America, he claimed in 1865, having been „bred from the most restless and combative class of Europe,“ had, under the influence of natural selection, become „enterprising, defiant and touchy, impatient of authority; furious politicians; very tolerant of fraud and violence; possessing much high and generous spirit, and some true religious feeling, but strongly addicted to cant.“ While in the case of Negroes „the sure operation of Darwin's law of natural selection“ had resulted in the number of those „whom we should call halfwitted men“ being very large. „Every book alluding to negro servants in America“ was, according to Galton, „full of instances.“ Moreover, he had been much impressed by this characteristic of Negroes during his travels in Africa, the mistakes that they made being „so childish, stupid and simpleton-like“ as frequently to make him ashamed of his own species. As he was the first evolutionist to apply natural selection to human races and cultures in this naive and sweeping manner, we may trace back to Galton in particular, as did Osborn, the racial interpretation of human history that became popular among eugenicists and others from about 1916 onward, and to which Boas and


other anthropologists were so rootedly opposed.

Combined with this belief in major innate differences in character and intellect between human races was the closely related doctrine that nature is ever dominant over nurture. In Galton's early papers the opposition was between „race“ and „nurture.“ In 1873, for example, he wrote of race being far more important than nurture. But from 1874 onward he adopted the „antithetic terms of Shakespearean origin,“ nature and nurture. „The phrase 'nature and nurture,' “ he wrote, „is a convenient jingle of words, for it separates under two distinct heads the innumerable elements of which personality is composed. Nature is all that a man brings with him into the world; nurture is every influence from without that affects him after birth.“14

As early as 1873 it was Galton's fixed belief that „when nature and nurture compete for supremacy on equal terms“ it is always nature that proves the stronger. In 1883, after completing an inquiry into the life history of twins, he greatly expanded his claims, declaring that he had succeeded in „proving the vastly preponderating effects of nature over nurture.“ This sweeping conclusion became, in Lowie's words, the „cornerstone of Galton's biological philosophy,“ and the basic doctrine of the eugenics movement he launched during the early years of the twentieth century.15

Convinced that nature was preponderatingly important in the formation of human character and civilization, Galton was impelled to develop elaborate schemes for.“hereditary improvement.„ „What an extraordinary effect might be produced on our race,“ he wrote in 1865, if it were the practice to „unite in marriage those who possessed the finest and most suitable natures, mental, moral and physical.“ In this way, he surmised, for „a twentieth part of the cost and pains“ spent on the improvement of the breed of horses and cattle, a „galaxy of genius“ might be created. He went on in 1873 to envisage a future in which „a perfect enthusiasm for improving the race might develop itself among the educated classes,“ who would avow it as their „paramount duty, to anticipate the slow and stubborn processes of natural selection, by endeavouring to breed out feeble constitutions and petty and ignoble instincts, and to breed in those which are vigorous and noble and social.“ For Francis Galton such „race improvement,“ to which in 1883 he gave the name eugenics, was the grandest of all objects, and from 1901 onward, during the last ten years of his long life, he succeeded in arousing in numerous others something closely akin to a perfect enthusiasm for his Utopian schemes.16

Although Darwin was impressed by Galton's work (when Hereditary Genius appeared in 1869, Darwin remarked to its author, „I do not think I have ever in all my life read anything more interesting and original“) he never became a proponent of his cousin's scheme for hereditary improvement, and in his overall view of human evolution, as Karl Pearson has observed Darwin differed essentially from Galton. Thus, whUe always af'firming the fundamental importance of natural selection If^ believing that it did have some bearing on social questions Darwin gave decidedly more recognition than did Galton to the significance of cultural processes in human evolution He sum marized his general position in The Descent of Man in 1871-„Important as the struggle for existence has been and even still is, yet as far as the highest part of man's nature is concerned there are other agencies more important. For the moral qualities are advanced, either directly or indirectly, much more through the effects of habit, the reasoning powers, instruction, religion, &c., than through natural selection; though to this latter agency may be safely attributed the social instincts, which afforded the basis for the development of the moral sense.“17

In this formulation the way is open for recognition of the coexistence of biological and cultural factors, and of their complex interaction in human evolution. There were within evolutionism, however, a number of less enlightened trends, and unfortunately for the infant science of anthropology, by the early twentieth century the doctrines of hereditarians like Galton held sway within human biology.

By about 1871, with the publication of E. B. Tylor's Primitive Culture, evolutionism had become the dominant force in anthropology. Its main characteristic (as Boas pointed out in 1911) was the „application to mental phenomena of the theory of biological evolution.“ At this time all evolutionists, including Darwin to some extent, gave credence not only to evolution by means of natural selection but also to relatively rapid evolutionary change through the inheritance of acquired characters. Indeed, not a few evolutionists, most notably Herbert Spencer, were convinced that the inheritance of „functionally-produced modifications“ ranked as the chief cause of evolutionary change in human societies. This mistaken credence in Lamarckian principles persisted, without serious challenge, until 1883 when August Weismann, in a lecture at the University of Freiburg,

The Emergence of Cultural Determinism rejected the assumption of the transmit, u characters and propounded in its stead his theory of the continuity of the substance of the germ-cells, or germ-plasm

By the mid-1880s Weismann's views had excited widespread interest among biologists, and in 1887, when he attended the fifty-seventh meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in Manchester to lecture on his theory of heredity, a special symposium was arranged devoted to the question: „Are Acquired Characters Hereditary?“ This symposium and the dissemination of Weismann's ideas elsewhere made the theory of the noninheritance of acquired characters, in the words of George John Romanes, the most important question that had been raised in biology „since the promulgation of Mr. Darwin's great doctrine“; and in mid 1889 Romanes ranked the widespread abandonment of Lamarckian principles that had been brought about by Weismann and others as „a most extraordinary revolution of biological thought“ and „the turning of a tide of scientific opinion.“19

By about 1889, then, Weismann, with the aid of other experimental biologists, had brought about a „sea change“ in evo-lutionaiy thought. The leading evolutionists of the day were quick to explore the theoretical consequences of this fundamental reorientation, and two opposing trends soon emerged. The first of these was a marked accentuation, in the writings of the Social Darwinists in particular, of the significance of natural selection in human societies, without any corresponding recognition of cultural processes. The second was the dawning of a realization that for the understanding of human societies it was vitally important to recognize cultural processes as being essentially different from those of evolution by means of natural selection.20

With his demonstration that acquired characters were not inherited, Weismann had placed Darwin's original hypothesis on apparently unshakable foundations, and in the eyes of Benjamin Kidd and other Social Darwinists of the 1890s (who in their enthusiasm went far beyond the views of Darwin himself), this left natural selection as „the immutable law of progress“ in human societies as among other forms of life within the cosmos.


„Not only is the cosmic process everywhere triumphant/' Kidd proclaimed, „but our ethical and moral progress have no meaning apart from it; they are mere phases of it, developed, as every phase of life from the beginning has been, on the strictest and sternest conditions of Natural Selection/' Again, soon after the collapse of the theory of the inheritance of acquired characters, A. R. Wallace expressed the opinion that some form of selection now remained 4'the only possible means of improving the race.

These developments created a favorable atmosphere for Galton's doctrine of the vastly preponderating effects of nature over nurture as also for his schemes for „hereditary improvement.“ A further major development was the rediscovery in 1900 of Mendel's laws of heredity. In the following year, in his Huxley Lecture to the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Galton initiated what he called, and what during the next decade rapidly became, a „crusade“ for „race improvement.“ The eugenics movement was under way.22

That Galton should have launched this crusade in a Huxley Lecture was ironic, for in his Evolution and Ethics and other Essays, published in 1894, T. H. Huxley had remarked that eugenics hardly came „within the region of practical politics.“ In this same volume there also appeared Huxley's remarkable Romanes Lecture of 1893, in which he adumbrated an anthropological paradigm in which cultural as well as biological processes were explicitly recognized. „The history of civilization,“ he declared, detailed the steps by which men had succeeded in „building up an artificial world within the cosmos,“ and he gave it as his view that the „progressive modification which passes by the name of the 'evolution of society* “ was in fact „a process essentially different from that which brought about the evolution of species, in the state of nature.“23

This same quite fundamental point was taken up a few years later by another distinguished Darwinian, E. Ray Lankester. In a historically important paper, Lankester (who was at this time Director of the British Museum of Natural History) drew special attention to the educability of the human species as compared with apes. „The character that we describe as 'edu-cability,' “ Lankester noted, „can be transmitted, it is a congenital character. But the results of education can not be transmitted. In each generation they have to be acquired afresh.“ In later writings on this same theme, Lankester made it clear that in 1899 he had used the phrase „the results of education“ to refer to „the enormous mass of accumulated experience, knowledge, tradition, custom and law, which pervades and envelopes … the mere physical generations of this or that pullulating crowd of human individuals“ and that this constituted a peculiarity of man that affected his manifestation of qualities „in a way unknown to any other living thing.“ The general term that Lankester applied to the results of education was „tradition.“ From his accounts of what he meant by tradition it is clear that Lankester was discussing what Boas and others were by this time calling culture.24


By the beginning of the twentieth century, then, there were within biology two sharply contrasting views of man's place in nature. On the one hand stood thinkers like Huxley and Lankester, who believed that in the case of the human species there existed two relatively autonomous but closely interacting evolutionary systems, one genetic and the other exogenetic. On the other hand stood scientists like Galton for whom the hereditary nature of man was of vastly preponderating importance. As the twentieth century unfolded the doctrine of the vastly preponderating importance of heredity gained the ascendancy, and it eventually provoked the misconceived nature-nurture controversy of the second and third decades of the century, during which the enlightened views of Huxley and Lankester were almost wholly ignored.

In his account of Galton's efforts to bring eugenics to the attention of the general public, Karl Pearson (who was Galton's fervent collaborator) describes Galton seeking „proselytes“ to his „faith.“ Galton, according to Pearson, was teaching a new morality with a definite plan of eugenics propagandism, and his cry of „Awake my people,“ was „like that of a religious prophet of olden time.“ The use of such language by so rigorous a meth-odologist of science as Karl Pearson may seem odd, but it was appropriate, for Galton made it plain that he conceived of eugenics as an expression of „the religious significance of the doctrine of evolution. In his Huxley Lecture of 1901 he talked of „an enthusiasm to improve the race“ being so noble an aim as to give rise to the sense of a religious obligation, and of the founding of a great society which in its crusade for race improvement would be like a missionary society with its missionanes.

In 1905, by endowing a research fellowship, Galton was able to have eugenics recognized by the University of London and in 1907 the Eugenics Education Society was established to popularize the results and methods of eugenics. By this time, according to Galton, the once feeble flame of eugenics had become „a brisk fire, burning freely by itself.“26

As the eugenics movement grew in popularity in England, its leaders lost none of their fervor. At Oxford in 1907 Pearson'extolled eugenics as the virile „creed of action“ which „alone can make a reality of statecraft,“ and spoke approvingly of countries where „race betterment“ had already „assumed the form of a religious cult.“ Galton, in his Spencer Lecture of that same year, looked forward to a time when, with the desired fullness of information, it would be possible to „proclaim a 'Jehad' oMloly War against customs and prejudices that impair the physical and moral qualities of our race.“ As these and other solemn expressions of zeal indicate, the eugenics movement was (in C. W. Saleeby's words) „at once a science and a religion.“ Its great popularity and marked influence have to be understood in these terms.27

A comparable zeal characterized the eugenics movement in the United States. Galton's Huxley Lecture was republished in the Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for 1901, and, according to Pearson, „attracted more attention and bore ampler fruit“ in America than in England. In 1906 the American Breeders Association set up a Committee on Eugenics, with David S. Jordan, a prominent biologist and chancellor of Stanford University, as its chairman, to „investigate and report on heredity in the human race“ and to „emphasize the value of superior blood and the menace to society of inferior blood.“ At this time research in genetics was very active, and a high percentage of geneticists, especially in America, were attracted to, and became proponents of, Galton's ideas.28

The principal enthusiast was Charles B. Davenport, a geneticist who became the secretary of the Committee on Eugenics of I the American Breeders Association. Like Galton, Davenport was convinced of the imperative need for race improvement, as he argued in 1910 in his book Eugenics: The Science of Human Improvement by Better Breeding. Davenport's fervor matched that of Galton himself. Eugenics was seen as biology's panacea for the social ills of mankind. There was, Davenport declared, an urgent need both to set forth „the way to secure sound progeny“ and to „annihilate the hideous serpent of hopelessly vicious protoplasm.“ Ten million dollars spent on eugenics would, he believed, be vastly more effective than ten million dollars devoted to charity, and the giver of such a gift to „redeem mankind from vice, imbecility and suffering“ would be the world's wisest philanthropist. In response to this appeal a benefactor did in fact appear with sufficient funds to set up, toward the end of 1910, a Eugenics Record Office, with Davenport as its director. Devoted to „the advancement of the science and practice of Eugenics“ through investigating „the laws of inheritance of traits in human beings“ and proffering advice as to the consequences of proposed marriage matings, this office, on Long Island, New York, became the center of the movement in America.29

By the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, then, eugenics was thriving in both England and the United States and had become a major social movement vouched for, with both scientific and philanthropic zeal, by many of the leading biological pundits of the day. In contrast, the first decade of the twentieth century was a period of mounting confusion in evolutional biology during which, principally as a result of Hugo De Vries' theory of saltatory mutation, doubt was cast on the efficacy of natural selection. Indeed, by 1909, Emanuel Radl had declared that Darwinism was dead. During these same years, however, there were fundamental advances in genetics (as this science came to be known in 1905) resulting, as Raymond Pearl later remarked, in a broader comprehension of the meaning of heredity and a deeper insight into the laws of inheritance than had been gained from all the previous investigation and speculation about these basic problems. By 1909 J. A. Thomson could claim that geneticists, having formed a picture of what was going on „in the hidden world of the germ cells“ were „reaching towards a control of life.“

These developments added greatly to the appeal of eugenics, especially in America, for it seemed to many that biological knowledge had advanced to a stage that made feasible, as Pearl put it, „the conscious and deliberate control and direction of human evolution, physical, mental and moral.“ We now know that these hopes were illusory, that Huxley was right about the impracticality of Galtonian race improvement. By the 1930s, as M. H. Haller has documented, the eugenics crusade „lay in wreckage.“ In 1910, however, enthusiasm for eugenics was still rapidly mounting.31

In the judgment of Karl Pearson it was Galton's conviction that nature was indefinitely' stronger than nurture that had driven him to his „eugenetic solution of the national welfare problem,“ and so given rise to the eugenics movement. In 1910, in a publication of the Galton Laboratory for National Eugenics entitled Nature and Nurture: The Problem of the Future, Pearson essayed (as befitted a statistician) to quantify Galton's conviction. There was, according to Pearson, no real comparison between nature and nurture, and he thought it „quite safe to say“ that the influence of the environment was „not one fifth that of heredity, and quite possibly not one tenth of it.“ With this trenchant pronouncement, the nature-nurture controversy entered upon a new and more contentious phase.

In his The Mind of Primitive Man, which appeared in 1911, Boas observed that no subject was attracting wider attention among both scientists and the general public than the phenomenon of heredity. The importance of heredity, he added, was, through the influence of Francis Galton and his followers, being expressed in the formula „Nature not nurture.“ By this time Galton was dead, but the movement he had founded was flourishing as never before. Pearson had become the Galton Professor of Eugenics in the University of London, and as a writer in

18 The Emergence of Cultural Determinism

the Eugenics Review put it, the fire that Galton had kindled in the breasts of his followers, far from being extinguished, was growing day by day. During the next few years the ardent followers of Galton's doctrines were to promote the formula „nature not nurture“ even more insistently, until the point was reached at which Boas, whose principal concern for the previous twenty years had been to free the concept of culture from hereditarian assumptions, was moved to call a halt. 

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