Science, Industry, and Francis Galton’s Eugenic-Lie

The scientists did not want to only have a theory, they wanted to realize that theory in a practical model and test it out. Nineteenth-century had set up the mold for science to experiment – the goal could not happen without experimentation and observation. Theory, once held as natural philosophic abstract ideals, wanted to be tested. In efforts to afford physical models, science had to let industry and the military in on the scam. Bowler and Morus discussed the interwar period in which small numbers of civilian scientists were maintained for military or industrial research; they said, “There were now more applied scientists working in industry, including the armaments and aircraft industries.”[1]Industry and the military presented science with purpose and means to further research and technology, and the scientists were able to take their thoughts and form them into actions – surely a cathartic moment for their mental energies.

{Peer} comparison Darwin::biology as Einstein::physics is so true! Brilliant. As for the terrifying notion of Germany formulating a bomb before the Allies, I cannot lend too many moments thoughts to how catastrophic that would have been as the realities of the Holocaust are already too morbid for reality. My research paper was on eugenics. While I already knew there were ugly truths that lived in the topic, I was further shocked to discover that the initial theory of Darwin’s involving blood heredity – the issue which ignited racism and gave it more power – was known to be false! Society wanted it to be true, so they accepted it as scientific proof.

Rabbit Blood and Gemmules

Galton’s experiments with rabbit blood transfusion failed, and Romanes, an additional scientist, also failed in procedure. The theory was wrong. Alfred Wallace, as noted by David J. Galton, said Galton was wrong: “Because of the extreme constancy and severity of elimination of individuals through survival of the fittest … such abrupt variants could never become permanently established in a breeding population and so could play no role in its evolution.”[2] One’s racial factors did not determine if they could survive, it did not affect evolution. Eugenics was built on false theory, a ‘gemmule’ theory that Darwin himself did not publish because he could not prove it. His cousin, Francis Galton, ran with the theory because it supported his racist concept not because it was true. I think this is a message that {Professor}, and history herself, is relaying to the new historian: subjective-value does not truth make. In the paper, I displayed Galton’s “truth” and historical truth. What I think is valuable though, is that this Truth about the falsity of racism is not further exposed. What I mean is – I have been studying and researching for roughly twenty years of my life, and NOW is the first time I come upon evidence that proves through experimented failure that race is not a contributing factor to nature. Why do history and anthropology teachers not lead with this concept? It answers so many questions for me. It exposes the fact that science is victim to its human conductor – Galton wanted white Europeans to be superior, and so did society, so they exploited “bad science” to make it happen.


Galton, David J. Man of Science, Man of God: Gregor Mendel Discovering the Gene. Great Britain: Timaeus Press, 2015.

Picture c/o: and

[1] Bowler and Morus, Making Modern Science, p. 468.

[2] David J. Galton, Man of Science, Man of God, p. 130.