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Posted By Patrick

A couple of Francis Galton factoids: the phrase “nature and nurture,” that catchy cliché opposing the influences of heredity and environment, was coined by Galton, who uses it in the title of his 1874 book English Men of Science: their nature and nurture. And of course he also neologized “eugenics” in 1883 to refer to his program to improve the stock of the human race (well, the anglo-saxon part of it, at any rate) in Inquiries into Human Faculty and its Development.

Not all of Galton’s neologisms stuck. For instance, “stirp,” designating the total of “germs” or “gemmules” carried in a fertilized egg (the term is from stirpes, the latin word for “root”).  The gemmules and germs were Galton’s versions of the carriers of heredity, which we now recognize to be chromosomes and DNA. So the stirp would be roughly like the genome. And the gene pool would be the, ahhh, germ pool?? Too bad we missed that one…


And Galton's friends & family called him Frank, so I'm being factual, not frivolous, with my title for this post. In addition to being alliterative, of course.

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