Sir Francis Galton

Scientist and explorer (1822-1911), born in Birmingham, West Midlands. He studied at Birmingham, London, and Cambridge, but left the study of medicine to travel in N and S Africa. He is best known for his studies of heredity and intelligence, such as Hereditary Genius (1869), which led to the field he called eugenics. It should be noted that "eugenics" literally means "good genes".

In 1883 Sir Francis Galton sent a letter to the editor of Nature*, concerning an "Arithmetic Notation of Kinship". In the letter he briefly describes how the binary 0 and 1 can replace the relation expressions "father" and "mother" respectively. He proposes however not to use the binary numbers but their decimal counterparts, keeping in mind the binary structure of bisexual reproduction. So in fact Sir Francis Galton proposes the same numbering system for ancestors that was used by Michael Eyzinger in 1590, described by Stephen Kekule von Stradonitz in 1898, and here called the Sequential System. Sir Francis Galton however demonstrates how the numbers are based on a "binary" arithmetic structure as seen here:

Cover page
Knot System defined
--> Sequential System
---> Sir Francis Galton
--> KinCode properties
Knot System applied

Illustrations throughout this homepage are copies of output from computer programs designed by the author, and therefore:

Copyright © 1998

*Nature 28 (Sept. 6, 1883):435

Internet links for Sir Francis Galton: