Reference numberRR/16/416
TitleReferee's report by George Ballard Mathews, on two papers 'On a property which holds good for all groupings of a normal distribution of frequency for two variables, with applications to the study of contingency-tables for the inheritance of unmeasured qualities' and 'On the influence of bias and of personal equation in statistics of ill-defined qualities: An experimental study' by George Udny Yule
Date13 December 1905
DescriptionSectional Committee: not stated.

Suggests Yule recast his shorter paper adding the essential features of his experiment and withdraw the long paper. Queries what Larmor thinks. Thinks the papers should be very considerably cut down and as Larmor notes, the cost of the printing the tabular results would be very expensive. If he thought fit, Yule could for a small sum have his tables graphed or lithographed and sent round to Pearson and others. Thinks Yule has made very clear that tables recording qualities, not quantities, should be scrutinised very carefully before basing conclusions upon them. Each has to be taken on its own merits and for this reason Mathews does not see the use of making a permanent and elaborate record of Yule's colour experiment.

Briefly discusses the difference between the conclusions of the pairs of tints observers, and the horse-coat colour observers. Does not understand what Pearson means in his postscript. The examination is not confined to 18 series but many more, the result for 100 chestnuts being given. How far the latter support Mendelian theory Mathews must leave a biologist to decide. Explains why he would expect more divergence with the eye-colour results. Does not consider Yule's papers as anything like an attack on Pearson. There is bound to be controversy on these difficult questions of statistics and heredity for a long time to come and he does not see why different views should not appear in the Proceedings as well as elsewhere, provided nothing is printed which is in the least degree personally offensive.

[Both papers published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A, 1906].
Physical descriptionLetter on paper
Digital imagesView item on Science in the Making
Access statusOpen
Related materialDOI: 10.1098/rspa.1906.0029
DOI: 10.1098/rspa.1906.0030
Related records in the catalogueRR/16/409
Fellows associated with this archive
NA170Mathews; George Ballard (1861 - 1922)1861 - 1922
NA1151Yule; George Udny (1871 - 1951)1871 - 1951
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