Cosmic Order

I know of scarcely anything so apt to impress the imagination as the wonderful form of cosmic order expressed by the “law of error”. A savage, if he could understand it, would worship it as a god. It reigns with severity in complete self-effacement amidst the wildest confusion. The huger the mob and the greater the anarchy, the more perfect is its sway. Let a large sample of chaotic elements be taken and marshalled in order of their magnitudes, and then, however wildly irregular they appeared, an unexpected and most beautiful form of regularity proves to have been present all along. Arrange statures side by side in order of their magnitudes, and the tops of the marchalled row will form a beautifully flowing curve of invariable proportions; each man will find, as it were, a pre-ordained niche, just of the right height to fit him, and if the class-places and statures of any two men in the row are known, the stature that will be found at every other place, except towards the extreme ends, can be predicted with precision.

— Attributed to Sir Francis Galton

From: Pearson, K., Life, Letters and Labours of Francis Galton