The Theoretician and the Experimenter

He tried to apply this concept in understanding heredity and in the future prospect of manipulating it to gain social goals. And the basic premise of his theory was that the environment of a human being had no influence on his character or intelligence (Cowan, 516). Marks has described Eugenics as an attempt to interpret, cultural history in fundamental biological terms (650). Galton’s thought is further explained by Marks by introducing Galton’s belief that cultural ‘progress’ was driven principally by the birth rate of geniuses regardless of any other social processes (650). Between 1910 and 1930, Eugenics had dominated all research works and beliefs in the field of genetics and biology but after this period, the entire concept was questioned and almost discarded (Marks, 650).
Galton had conceptualized Eugenics as the science of cultivating better men and women, on the similar lines of cultivating better plants and animals (Farrall, 111). Farrall has observed that for Galton, Eugenics was the basis of a scientific religion, which could lead to the Utopian situation where problems such as alcoholism, criminality, disease and poverty had disappeared (111). Galton thought that once he could find out the exact ways in which intelligence and behavioural characteristics transmitted from parents to children, such social engineering will be made possible.
The motivation for Galton to develop Eugenics was a belief that statistics would solve the problem of heredity and that heredity, once understood, could be used to resolve the political and social contexts that plague the race of men (Cowan, 510). Thus Galton wanted to create a perfect Eugenic state (Cowan, 510). The first question that he started with, was, can extraordinary intellectual gifts be inherited? (Cowan, 510). He started his work by counting the number of men listed in a biographical dictionary who were relatives of someone else on the list and then based on this, he published the book, Hereditary Talent and Character.nbsp.nbsp.